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4.21  ·  Rating details ·  10,797 ratings  ·  2,284 reviews
Meet Eric and Morgan.

Born on the same day, at the same time, in the same place. They’ve always shared this one day together, but as they grow up they begin to grow apart.

Everyone expects Eric to get a football scholarship, but no one knows he’s having second thoughts.
Former quarterback Morgan feels utterly alone, as she wrestles with the difficult choice to live as her tr
Paperback, 300 pages
Published May 31st 2019 by Usborne Publishing Ltd (first published May 21st 2019)
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Steve I was friends with Meredith and her ex and tried but could not remain friends with both during their messy divorce and custody battle. As for the char…moreI was friends with Meredith and her ex and tried but could not remain friends with both during their messy divorce and custody battle. As for the charges and countercharges, it is enough for me that there was a final settlement and no criminal allegations were ever prosecuted.

Life can be messy.

I, for one, have read both her books and have enormous respect for her talent and would never reject her art.(less)
Caleb I'm fairly certain the one on the left is Owen Lindburg (@owenlindberg), (some of his IG stuff is almost NSFW btw) not sure of the other model. …moreI'm fairly certain the one on the left is Owen Lindburg (@owenlindberg), (some of his IG stuff is almost NSFW btw) not sure of the other model. (less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 4.21  · 
Rating details
 ·  10,797 ratings  ·  2,284 reviews

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Lala BooksandLala
Oct 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: queer
Equally soul crushing and heart warming
Kai Spellmeier
May 25, 2020 added it
Shelves: owned, queer
I'm not going to rate this book. I thought a long and hard time about whether I should read this or not and I'm glad I did. It is an important novel about a trans teenager written by a trans author and I truly believe it comes from a good place. It was heartfelt and emotional and it hurt.

What I cannot condone, though, is the author's own history of abuse. Reading about violence and abuse leaves a very bitter aftertaste when you know the author, too, is an abuser. It's not just hypocritical, it's
Larry H
Apr 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc
Meredith Russo, this book absolutely blew me away.

Eric and Morgan have known each other since birth. That's not hyperbole—they were born on the same day in the same hospital, and there was a snowstorm, so both families were snowed in. Their families were close, at least until Morgan's mother died of cancer. But the boys have been best friends their entire lives.

As their 13th birthday approaches, Morgan knows things are changing. What Morgan knows more than anything is that he isn't whom he's sup
Tucker  (TuckerTheReader)
well, folks we may just have our next A.J. Finn

article 1

article (reddit thread) 2

Article 3 - note: The Post Millennial has a problematic background and transphobic posts. Enter at your own risk. Their opinions and beliefs do not reflect my own.

Art vs. Artist

Article 4

Article 5

I urge you to read this article before reading any of Russo's books.

none of these articles are absolute or definite and I do not stand by any offensive terms or language that may be used within them

i'm not trying to complete
demi. ♡
Nov 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lgbtq, owned-physical
❥ 5 / 5 stars

I read this one without knowing anything but it’s a story about two friends who were born on the same day, includes LGBT and ...... that’s it. So, when I discovered that Morgan was a trans, I was completely shocked (but in a good way) because I’ve never read a single book that includes a transgender as the main character before. It’s a definitely brand new experience and also a good start for me. It makes me understand those who are transgenders much more than I did before, knowing
Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
I am crying so hard in this club 😭😭😭😭

TW: suicide, death of a parent, homophobia, transphobia
chan ☆
Jun 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, ya-contemporary
favorite book of the year, hands down.
Huge thanks to Flat Iron Books for the ARC!
Holy crap, I loved this book. I loved it so much more than I thought it would. I finished it one one day and it’s been a while since I’ve done that. I just absolutely adored Morgan and Eric.

The premise of this book is super vague so I’m going to try to keep this review as vague as possible - but wow. My fucking heart hurts and this book is so powerful and so important. I love the way this story is told, we get to follow these two characters every year
Lyn❤Loves❤Listening #AUDIOBOOKADDICT
Audio – 4.5 stars
Story – 5 +++ stars

I don’t really have the words to review this book, but I do have two words for the author, Meredith Russo…THANK YOU!!!

As a mother who very recently found out that her 13-year-old child is FTM trans, this story and the interview at the end between the narrator and the author (who are both MTF trans) proved to be more enlightening than any pamphlet could ever be.

The story may be fictional, but it comes from a place of truth. Even though Morgan and Eric have bee
destiny ♡ howling libraries
ffs, if I have to read the f-slur one more time I'm going to cry. It's immensely triggering for me and it's used in such an overkill amount here. ...more
Trina (Between Chapters)
Absolutely a favorite of the year. I was immediately invested in these characters and loved the format of only seeing them once a year on their birthdays, seeing how their lives had changed since we last checked in.

I did not expect the grief element in this book. Morgan's mom died from cancer when she was 12, and my mom died of cancer when I was 12. To say that Morgan's feelings hit home is an understatement. Her mother wrote letters before she died, and so on the other side of things, as a mom,
Jasmine from How Useful It Is
I started reading Birthday on 5/10/2019 and finished it on 5/11/2019. This book is a fantastic read! As soon as I read Morgan’s view I felt heartbroken for him because of his mom. Gosh, I cried so much reading this book! I also really like Eric too. Eric’s such a good person and a caring friend despite having those jerks for brothers and dad. Their struggles felt so real and the secrets they live with makes me ache for them. Both of the main characters are well liked. I love Morgan’s birthday le ...more
Kevin (Irish Reader)
Oct 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
You know when you read a book and you just know it’s going to have a long lasting impression on you, that’s what this book has done for me. Amazing

CW/TW: Grief, Homophobia, Transphobia, Suicide, Abusive Parent.

This book follows Morgan and Eric, who are best friends and also share the same birthday. Morgan’s mother has recently passed, and they are struggling with grief and also beginning to question their gender. Eric’s father takes out his anger on his wife and sons. Morgan and Eric have such d
Moony Eliver
Oof. This one’s hard to talk about. Here’s why…

I highlighted 2 lines in Birthday. TWO. Normally I would have at least 20. But people, I forgot I was reading. I didn’t reach out to highlight for the same reason I don’t reach out to highlight the air when a friend in front of me says something great.

(Although…hmm…put a pin in that. Someone please make this capability??)

I wasn’t reading a novel, I was living Morgan’s life. I wasn’t seeing into her head, I WAS her. With the added bonus of also gett
Nov 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I feel like crying. I couldn’t put this down because I fell in love with both Eric and Morgan. This broke my heart and twisted it and made me tear up. But it was also so triumphant. This is going to save lives.
Jul 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this. I want to give Morgan and Eric the biggest hug.
Madalyn (Novel Ink)
I’m just sitting here crying??? This was so wonderful, and I think Morgan’s story (and Eric’s) will resonate with so many people. The format— Birthday is told through snapshots of the two main characters’ birthdays from age 13-18– was executed to perfection. The Southern small-town setting was all-too realistic. Birthday is a great reminder that coming out stories are still important and that there are so many coming out narratives that still need to be told.

Content warnings: death of a parent
Jun 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow. This was some book.
I loved the characters, i loved the concept and i loved the execution.
h o l l i s
BIRTHDAY blew me away.

"I don't think we have much choice in who we turn out to be, as much as we might want to."

I honestly don't even know what to say. But my god. I was choking back the sobs by page thirty and that more or less was what I did throughout the rest of the book, too. And just thinking about the journey makes me want to cry.

What do you do when you can't swim up, you can't swim down, and staying put will suffocate you?

As always I went in with only a very very vague idea as to what t
I am not going to lie, this is one of the hardest books I've ever read. it was very dark, it was painful to read at times, but most importantly this book is hopeful. so hopeful. I cannot recommend it enough. I truly cannot. this is one of the best & most important books you'll ever read, and I am so thankful for Meredith Russo. we need more ownvoices transgender books. trans lives do matter.

trigger warnings (please take care): internalised transphobia, homophobia & transphobia from other people,
Jul 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Cried like a baby. 5 stars.
Mar 19, 2020 rated it liked it
This book is so important and good🤩 , I personally don't know a ton about people who are transgender or the LGBTQ in general but this book gave me some insight and now I know how important this book is to make people aware for these important topics ,100% recommend , 3 ⭐⭐⭐ ...more
Sophie "Beware Of The Reader"
Morgan had to find who he was and when he did he could not show it to anyone. He had to live for years, suffocating. Either trying to live as a girl just to hide it again; either embracing his masculinity, wearing it like a mask until everything shattered inside.

Add to his/her suffering the yearly letters left by his deceased mother and to be read at every birthday and I was a sobbing mess most of the time!

This book hit me hard.

I am someone who will empathize with the character, live his lif
shirley ♡
I can’t describe how much I loved this book.
Dannii Elle
I spent the most glorious weekend traversing London and the Harry Potter Studios with a bunch of book lovers. One of my highlights was finally getting to visit the renowned Gays the Word bookstore. This isn't a review of the shop so I'll keep my ravings about it brief, but if you ever get the chance to visit do not hesitate to do so as it is an LGBT+ HEAVEN!

I knew I was going to purchase a book from the store but had no preconceptions which one I would pick. Almost immediately upon entering, thi
4.5 Stars.

This book feels important.
This book is important.

From time to time you stumble upon something that truly marks you. Things that you will keep with you as long as you live. Birthday will always occupy a space of my mind.

I don't want to talk too much about the story because I went in a bit blind and I loved it.

It's a love story, a story of acceptance, of family, bullying, identity, friendship, and freedom.

My only tiny complaint is that I wanted more from it. It ends on a beautiful note,
Elle (ellexamines)
Aug 21, 2020 marked it as zzzzz-coverporn-etc  ·  review of another edition
[TW for sexual assault & domestic abuse.]
Meredith Russo has been credibly accused of raping and abusing her spouse, a crime she has seemingly confessed to over email yet publicly denied. Here are two sources (both strike fairly bad tones). You can also find her booking information.
She has stated this is all a lie by her ex on twitter. It should be noted that her ex identifies as nonbinary and seems to indicate in the first one they do not want this information weaponized by terfs. Here is thei
Lea (drumsofautumn)
May 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs-done
Video Review

Birthday is one of the most heartbreaking and simultaneously hopeful novels I have read in a long time. Meredith Russo had a perfect balance between creating a realistic novel with all the hard hitting, devastating truths of life while giving us an ending that is so full of hope and light that it still leaves you with a wonderful, warm feeling.

“Maybe that's what life is about: suriving what you can't control and clinging to the good things the winds whip up.”

Jan 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
If you’ve read any of my past reviews, you may well be aware that I like my contemporaries to rip out my heart, and stomp all over it. This one didn’t disappoint at all, I was dead set on giving it alllll of the stars, right until the very end, at which point I felt 4.5 stars was a bit more accurate.

Birthday surprised me, I expected it to be a lighthearted read, it was anything but lighthearted. There are so many themes and issues covered, with of course the central being Morgan’s gender identi
Feb 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
“Maybe that's what life is about: surviving what you can't control and clinging to the good things the winds whip up.”

Man, this book really hit me in the feels. It's the first book I ever read about a trans character finding their identity and i think everyone should read this. It makes you think about so many stuff trans people have to deal with, and not just the "obvious" things. Morgans perspective was just so sad to read but I loved how it wasn't just all about her and her struggles but als
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YA LGBT Books: * May 2020 BotM - "Birthday" - possible spoilers 2 59 May 07, 2020 11:39AM  

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MEREDITH RUSSO lives in Brooklyn with her cat Shadow and probably more books than is responsible for a New York apartment. When she isn't upsetting Yankees by smiling and making eye contact on the 3 train she spends her time lifting weights, playing fighting games, blowing up the mic at karaoke, glancing anxiously at her TBR pile, and, of course, working on her next book.

Meredith's debut novel, If

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