A Stella Review : Having Her Back by Ann Gallagher

RATING 4,5 out of 5 stars

Trevor Larson is a Navy brat. He’s used to moving every few years, and thanks to social media, he can stay in touch with the friends he leaves behind. But shortly after he leaves Okinawa, his best friend, Brad Gray, cuts off contact and disappears.

Four years and two bases later, Brad resurfaces—and announces his family is coming to Trevor’s base in Spain. But a lot’s changed in four years, and Trevor is stunned to find out Brad is now Shannon. Their reunion isn’t quite what either of them had hoped for, but they quickly find their footing, both relieved to have each other back.

Except nothing is ever all sunshine and roses. The military is a small world, and there’s no keeping Shannon’s transition a secret. Parents warn their kids away from her. She can’t attend school on-base for fear of harassment or worse. And although her parents try to hide it, being ostracized by their only social circle while they’re thousands of miles from home is taking a toll on them too.

More and more, Shannon leans on Trevor. But she’s also drawn to him, and he’s drawn right back to her, feeling things he’s never felt for anyone before.

Trevor’s scared, though. Not of dating a trans girl. Not of damaging his chaplain father’s career or reputation. After finally getting his friend back, does he dare take things further and risk losing Shannon a second time?

Having Her Back was a lovely surprise, I adored the story from the start till the last words. The relationship bewtween Trevor and Shannon caught my heart, althought I’m not a huge fan of young adult books, this was a truly gem.

I’d like to make a little premise, this is not an MM novel, yes Shannon is a transgender character but she is a girl and the reader needs to approach this book like it is going to read an MF novel with important themes linked to the LGBTQ world.

Having Her Back was the first book I read by Ann Gallagher but having read title she wrote under other pseudonims, I knew this new release was well written, and the double POVs in this case were very well done and needed to understand both MCs’ minds.

This is not just a YA book, but a friends to lovers too, a trope I always enjoy. I loved how Trevor and Shannon found each other again four years later, but this time when they met, Trevor came face to face with Shannon and not the Brad he left behind. And after a misunderstanding, they realized nothing really changed, on the contrary little by little, Trevor will discover an attraction he wasn’t expecting at all. Beside them, an important net of friends and family ready to stand against the world and support Shannon and Trevor on their new lives.

Never title was more fitting than Having Her Back, it sums everything the story is about. And then there’s love, in every form it can be showed, there’s sweetness, a lot of misunderstandings but they are young characters so it’s normal, at the end a good believable story. I loved it so much and feel to recommend it.

The cover art by Lori Witt is adorable.

Sales Link:  Amazon


Kindle Edition, 250 pages

Published May 19th 2017


Edition Language English

By Scattered Thoughts

At over 50, I am ruled by my terriers, my gardens, and my projects. A knack for grubbing about in the woods, making mud pies, and tending to the injured worms, bugs, and occasional bird and turtle growing up eventually led me to working for the Parks. I was a park Naturalist for over 20 years, and observing Nature and her cycles still occupy my hours. From the arrival of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds in the Spring to the first call of the Snow Geese heading south in the Fall, I am entranced by the seasons. For more about me see my bio on my blog.

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