Just Girls

by Rachel Gold

Jess Tucker sticks her neck out for a stranger—the buzz is someone in the dorm is a trans girl. So Tucker says it’s her, even though it’s not, to stop the finger pointing. She was an out lesbian in high school, and she figures she can stare down whatever gets thrown her way in college. It can’t be that bad.

Ella Ramsey is making new friends at Freytag University, playing with on-campus gamers and enjoying her first year, but she’s rocked by the sight of a slur painted on someone else’s door. A slur clearly meant for her, if they’d only known.

New rules, old prejudices, personal courage, private fear. In this stunning follow-up to the groundbreaking Being Emily, Rachel Gold explores the brave, changing landscape where young women try to be Just Girls.





In stock

Genre LGBT YA, New Adult
Length 272 pages
Publication Date September 15, 2014
Publisher Bella Books
ISBN 9781594934193e
Editor Katherine V. Forrest
Cover Designer Kristin Smith


  • An act of courage and support changes everything for a group of young women.
  • If you're looking for a story to restore your faith in people, this one is it!
  • Read the appetizer! Click to open a PDF in a new window.


Just Girls
Young Adult.

Barnes & Noble YA Blog

Just Girls is a story of friendship, feminism, and looking beyond the binary.

I'm With Geek - Olivia Grey

Believable and beloved characters... Jess Tucker is a girl who would be a shining example of a role model to young girls around the world. Not afraid to stand up for what is right, loyal to the end and unfailingly brave... Writing which is so intricate like Gold’s allows you to completely and utterly connect with the characters involved and to live their lives along with them as you read, feeling what they feel and seeing what they see.

Lambda Literary Review

Brilliant, brilliant, and all kinds of brilliant... Written with a sure-footed and almost magical lightness... Like a great wine: a beautiful blend of different emotions and different people told with depth, and complexity. It is a richly layered novel, which leaves the reader enthralled and wanting more of this exquisite concoction.

Curve Magazine

The novel covers all manner of sex, sexuality and gender identities and is an excellent educational tool, as well as a very good read... This book sits particularly well in the teen / young adult audience category, but can be enjoyed and appreciated by a much older audience as well, especially those who are keen to expand their knowledge and try to understand a little more about what it means to be trans*.

Glasgow Women's Library

As I said for Being Emily, this is an excellent book for any young person to read as it is a story about people like them and unlike them, which is always the basis for a good tale... What comes across strongly is that, to use my favourite quote from that great woman philosopher Marge Simpson, "our differences are only skin deep but our sames go down to the bone." This is also another fine read for any age – we were all young once and as I always maintain, still changing, still evolving.

James C. Femmer Blog

I want to marry this book! ...It’s life, with all its bumps and twists. And as in real life, friendship and love trump fear... I think everyone would be entertained by this book, and may also learn things they didn’t know about gender politics without being lectured about it. Gold does a FANTASTIC job weaving the debate between the radical feminists and the transgender community into the narrative.

Tracy Riva Blog

Stunning... I cannot praise this book enough... I loved the characters in this book. They were so interesting … and so real. The book wasn’t just about issues – it was also about life, relationships, friendship and taking a stand when you need to. I cannot praise this book enough. It gets the highest recommendation from me and as such I recognize it as our Book of the Year.

Frivolous Views

Once again, Gold has given us a novel that is full of wonderful, engaging characters... Gold has offered her readers and rich, thought-provoking novel. I firmly believe that Being Emily and Just Girls should be required reading in Gender, Women’s Studies, and Queer Studies programs. (Probably in quite a few other programs, as well.) Can you imagine the discussions? I’d love to be a fly on the wall.

Praise for Rachel Gold and Being Emily!

Being Emily
Dramatic/General Fiction.

Being Emily
Gold Medal
Young Adult - Mature Issues.

Young Adult Services Library Association

Being Emily Collection Recommendation

Customer Reviews

1 review for Just Girls – eBook

  1. Louisa from Glendora

    One of the things I really enjoy about Gold’s writing is how much I learn. The dedication of this book to someone who taught Gold “how to be a girl” captures much of what this book does. I loved the dichotomy between Tucker and Ella’s definitions of femininity. The novel explores and challenges what it means to be feminine, and the plot propels the reader through with concern for both characters, and every reveal is perfectly timed. I found myself sharing with my friends and family the conflicts the characters faced as if they were real people because they were so vividly drawn. I teach a course in Children’s Literature, and my students’ final project is to discuss whether a book published in the last ten years has literary merit by the standards we have set over the course of the term. I have enthusiastically recommended that my students consider this work for their presentation and look forward to hearing what they gain from the reading.

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