TRUE by Erin McCarthy

 In Book Reviews, New Adult


Author: Erin McCarthy
Rating: 4 out of 5
Genre: New Adult
Format: ARC
Publisher: Penguin
Release Date: May 7, 2013
Recommended Reading: AGE+ 17 (Explicit language, Sexual Situations)

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Received a free copy in exchange for an honest review

Contains no spoilers[divider top=”0″]

OVERALL THOUGHTS: True had me laughing aloud and I loved the first half so much, I stayed up till 3 am reading it. Then the second half kicked in and although I liked it, I just found it lost the humor and feel I found so endearing through the first half. The book didn’t disappoint, it just didn’t leave me screaming at the top of my lungs for more, like I had expected. But it has a lot of heart and a pretty hot male protagonist, so I definitely recommend it for that book crush fix. If you are one of those new adult readers who expect explicit sex scenes…be warned this one was very tame, but sweet, so it worked.

[note color=”#fabde2″]SYNOPSIS: When Rory Macintosh’s roommates find out that their studious and shy friend has never been with a guy, they decide that, as an act of kindness they’ll help her lose her virginity by hiring confident, tattooed bad boy Tyler Mann to do the job…unbeknownst to Rory.

Tyler knows he’s not good enough for Rory. She’s smart, doctor smart, while he’s barely scraping by at his EMT program, hoping to pull his younger brothers out of the hell their druggy mother has left them in. But he can’t resist taking up her roommates on an opportunity to get to know her better. There’s something about her honesty that keeps him coming back when he knows he shouldn’t…

Torn between common sense and desire, the two find themselves caught up in a passionate relationship. But when Tyler’s broken family threatens to destroy his future, and hers, Rory will need to decide whether to cut her ties to his risky world or follow her heart, no matter what the cost…[/note]

THE LOWDOWN: From the very first page this book grabbed hold of me and held on tight (Well, at least for the majority of it). I started reading at midnight. By 3am and fifty percent through, I literally had to force the Kindle out of my grip. I paid for it the next day, because I was tired as hell, but what was the first thing I did…you got it, I picked my Kindle back up (much to my daughters chagrin – it was Saturday) and finished off the book. What I loved so much was the main characters voice. She was snarky and smart, yet awkward socially and not traditionally pretty. Her wit was refreshing and she made outlandish comments that made me blush in embarrassment, but she didn’t hold back. She spoke her mind and said what she felt.

Then there was the bad boy. He was bad and tattooed and slutty and a smoker. All those things your mommy told you to cross the street to avoid, he encompassed them all, but he was smart and noble and I loved him. Even when I thought he did something only a total douchebag would do, I still wished it wasn’t true, because deep down, I believed in him. That kind of characterization is what I look for in books. The kind where I feel connected and passionate for the characters. I even loved most of the peripheral characters. Good or bad, they were realistic and each of their voices carried a completely different tone.

One of the most endearing parts of the story was the dynamic between the boy and his family. They were unbearably dysfunctional and the mother was cruel and disgusting, yet there was always a light, a strength that the brothers found in each other. I liked that things weren’t perfect, he wasn’t a millionaire and would probably never become one. It was a relief to know that he wasn’t an abusive a-hole that wanted to show his love with a swift caning or blindfolded flogging. This was a boy who fell in love with a girl and he was irreparably flawed. He was true.

What I didn’t like was that this book sort of fizzled off about halfway through. I found that once the characters overcame a major obstacle, they became comfortable and their personalities became normal and the same as every other person. All those quirks the girl had to begin with were no longer at the forefront and that bad boy, well he was just a sweet boy in love with a sweet girl. It was all so sugary and cute. Don’t get me wrong, there was a big confrontation that causes everyone to scream and cry and run, but it just didn’t make me scream and cry and run along with them.

But the biggest problem I had with this book was the rape scene (or attempted rape). It happens in the first chapter so don’t think I just blew the lid off the ending. The writer has the lead protag encounter a situation that is absolutely defiling and deplorable and instead of demonizing the attempted rapist, the victim finds a way to sympathize (in a sense) and forgive and forget with a simple “Oops, my bad”. It was unrealistic and frankly, it just pissed me off. Luckily, this was only a minor part of the book, so all was not lost.

FINAL THOUGHTS: If you love New Adult and stories about the awkward girl getting the hunky beer swigging barroom brawler, then this book might be True love.

Sara O'Connor
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