The New Girl:  A Trans Girl Tells it Like it is by Rhyannon Styles (first published in 2017 by Headline)

Ryan Wagg was born in 1982 in a small village in England, where prescribed gender norms were abundant and any deviation was frowned upon. 

However, from a young age, Ryan was interested in more feminine pursuits than the activities of his male peers, leading to years of torment, misunderstanding and ridicule. Eventually fleeing the village in favour of London and a career in the arts, Ryan decided that it was as good a time as any to introduce other changes, in an effort to be more true to himself. 

Eventually, after soul searching, self-discovery and enormous bravery, Ryan decided to transition.

Rhyannon Styles was born in 2012 in England, in a world slowly coming to terms with gender fluidity and identity. The New Girl is her story and it’s a hell of a ride. 

Between your tears (and there will be many) you’ll be given reasons to laugh, feel empowered and be proud, all vicariously through a woman who has decided to live her life to the fullest.

Rhyannon is happy, healthy, and at peace with her body. After struggling with her self-identity for most of her life her decision to become a transgender woman made her feel whole, happy and at home. 

Her book explains the chaos in her heart and mind before and during this journey, highlighting her remarkable strength, enviable beauty and delightful sass.

However, what really stands out about Rhyannon is her message of love; for yourself, for others, and for your world. 

I love this book. I was rather unimpressed to have to put it down for a few hours to sleep. Rhyannon is a great story-teller with a real talent for hooking a reader. 

The New Girl is delightfully frank and incredibly beautiful. Between your tears (and there will be many) you’ll be given reasons to laugh, feel empowered and be proud, all vicariously through a woman who has decided to live her life to the fullest. 

The New Girl was my first full serving of an experience like Rhyannon’s and I strongly feel that her story – and the many others like it – need not only to be told, but to be heard and taken in.

Ryhannon’s messages of self-love, pride and courage will make any human a better person for listening.

While she does not shy away from illuminating those who remain ignorant or opposed to transgender people and their struggles, the shadows they cast are overpowered by the legion of people who support love and life in all its many, beautiful forms. 

Thank you, Rhyannon, for telling your story, and allowing me to hear it.

Purchase a copy of the book from Takealot.com.

Read more of Samantha’s reviews on her book blog and check out her Instagram account.

WATCH: The New Girl - Young and Transgender