THE TRUTH ABOUT YOU AND ME
Author: Amanda Grace
Rating: 2 out of 5
Genre: Young Adult
Format: ARC (Received copy for an honest review)
Release Date: September 8, 2013
Recommended Reading: AGE+ 16
Contains No Spoilers
OVERALL THOUGHTS: I have to be honest, I didn’t really like this one. It wasn’t because the story was uninteresting… it was. I just didn’t take to the “letter” format. I found this book, which is broken into two letters, to be unique, yet unrealistic. I felt the protagonist, even though it was intentional, to be wholly unlikeable and it’s really hard to follow someone who has no redeeming qualities whatsoever. What saved this book from the dreaded one star was the authors attempt at crafting something unique and thinking outside the box. However, the final product is not as interesting as the concept – ergo two stars.
[note color=”#ebcaad”]SYNOPSIS: 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.
THE LOWDOWN: A high school girl goes off to college because she is super smart, she meets the boy of her dreams, only he is completely off limits being that he’s her professor. She lies and he falls for it then the world finds out. We, the reader, are privy to her letters to the fallen professor, post the big reveal and rather than a riveting story (which this really could have been) we have to read her blithering obsession over her academic mentor/illicit lover through recounts of what actually happened. Confused, don’t be. It was really rather simple. The unfortunate part was we learn everything that counts within the first few pages. The rest is her version of what happened and for a young girl with above average intelligence she is extremely deceptive, annoying and plain old uninteresting.
What I found completely unrealistic was that this girl would actually write dialogue in a one-hundred and fifty plus page letter, basically recounting to the man she deceived and ruined, what happened between them. Further, I found her letters creepy, not beautiful or cautionary. Who does that? Crazy people, that’s who. And by page thirteen I was thinking, get this girl some meds stat and perhaps a publisher because what 16 year old writes a dissertation to a boyfriend? But that’s not all I found highly improbable: Let’s take the very young, fresh out of college himself, teacher – even at a Jr. College level he was too young to lead a classroom without the title of teaching assistant. I guess it was the writers, editors, publishers way of preventing this educator from coming off as a complete pedophile, but if you’ve spent anytime at a college you know that professors never teach without, at the very least, a Masters Degree. Nit picky? Perhaps, but it made a difference to me. It moved this story from probable to utterly impracticable. Make him a pervert, but make him believable.
Now for all my complaining, I did like the idea and the fact that this author took a chance and wrote in a non-traditional chapter format. Theoretically, it worked, when in reality it didn’t. Had it been in the form of a police confession, that would have been more understandable, or transcripts or even her biography, but a 200 and something page letter written by a teenager reiterating events, with dialogue to a person who was privy to most of what she is recounting is too far fetched and it didn’t work for me. But it is a quick read, so if it sounds interesting, by all means give it a try, but be forewarned it becomes a little like a rant from a messed up kid rather than a fleshed out three dimensional story.
FINAL THOUGHTS: As much as I wanted to love it, I didn’t and so my final word is… skip it.
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