Monday, June 3, 2013

Review: The Truth About You & Me by Amanda Grace

Smart girls aren't supposed to do stupid things.

Madelyn Hawkins is super smart. At sixteen, she's so gifted that she can attend college through a special program at her high school. On her first day, she meets Bennet. He's cute, funny, and kind. He understands Madelyn and what she's endured - and missed out on - in order to excel academically and please her parents. Now, for the first time in her life, she's falling in love.

There's only one problem. Bennet is Madelyn's college professor, and he thinks she's eighteen - because she hasn't told him the truth.

The story of their forbidden romance is told in letters that Madelyn writes to Bennet - both a heart-searing ode to their ill-fated love and an apology.
Paperback, 264 pages
Expected publication: September 8th 2013 by Flux 
(info grabbed from GoodReads)
I was very surprised when I reached the end of this book.  Not because of some huge plot twist or a cliffhanger -- nothing like that.  I was surprised because of how much I liked this book.  The fact that it is written in a series of letters (well, really one big letter and then two short ones) had me concerned.  I didn’t think I would enjoy a book written in such a way and I thought there would be a multitude of writing issues.  I was completely wrong -- I love the way this story was told.  The Truth About You and Me is such a fresh and intensely emotional read that any lover of contemporary and/or romance should definitely give it a second (and third and fourth) thought.

Like I said before, I thought I was going to have to trudge my way through the second I read that it was told through letters.  After reading though, I found that this story was much more powerful because of how it is told through a letter.  It is the literal truth from a girl to a man that shared a relationship filled with one sided lies.  Obviously because it is a letter, there was no way to get around it being more tell than show than a regular novel, but I don’t think this really was an issue.  Many times I would get lost in the story, which is usually a struggle when the prose doesn’t paint a proper picture and simply tells the reader what’s going on.  The author’s prose makes up for any shortcomings that did come from the way it is written.

The main point I want to make is how this story perfectly embodies the naivety of a teenage girl who thinks she is in love.  Regardless of whether or not she is actually in love -- that is left up to the reader’s interpretation -- the story is filled with the raw emotion of a young girl struggling with finding herself while being torn between duty and temptation.  Because the story is supposedly written by the main character, we not only see the world as she does, but also only what she wants us to see.  I think how the author played with this idea was brilliant and that the main character’s willingness for deception made for a more interesting character.

I found The Truth About You and Me to be one of the best books I’ve read in awhile, probably the best of 2013 so far.  It is by far my favorite book by Amanda Grace, who I wasn’t convinced before NetGalley approved me for this title that I would ever read again.  This book is not for everyone; it is not a squeaky clean read.  It’s about a good girl behaving stupidly in her own words.  But if you can handle a more adult take on young adult, I suggest picking this one up.
Final Thought: 10 out of 10 toadstools

This review is  also posted on GoodReads

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