Friday, August 23, 2013

Review: The Truth About You and Me by Amanda Grace

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Review: The Truth About You and Me by Amanda Grace
The Truth About You and Me
Amanda Grace
Genre: Contemporary, YA
Publication date: September 8th 2013
by Flux

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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 Bennett. 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. Bennett 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 Bennett - both a heart-searing ode to their ill-fated love and an apology.
-A copy was provided by Flux Books for review-

This was an alright read. I liked it better than I expected based on the early reviews – though maybe my lowered expectations helped. It’s your typical student-slash-professor storyline where you know their relationship is doomed from the start, but like a car accident, you can’t look away.

This book is written in second person letter form, it reads as if you were the recipient – the actual recipient being the love interest and professor, to which the protagonist explains her point of view of why she did what she did. I actually found this compelling, definitely unique, however it reminded me too much of Drowning Instinct by Ilsa J. Bick which has a similar plot as well with an execution that is worlds better, and as such making this feel like an inferior replica of a favorite book of mine – never a good thing.

Despite the comparison, I still found myself fully immersed in the story from start to finish, making it a solid 3 stars regardless. My more affecting qualms were in regards to the characters. From the main characters to their supporting cast, I found everyone to be shallow. The author seemed to prefer using stereotypes instead of fully developing these characters, making them a little superficial with a lot more tell rather than show. We’re told Madelyn’s is smart, we’re told of her parents suffocating her, but aside from a brief conversation with her father showing his need to push her academically, this was not very well demonstrated through character building – especially Madelyn’s smarts. Moreover, I was not okay with a lot of Madelyn’s decisions. They were selfish and not reflective of an intelligent young girl. She knew full well that she was risking his whole life and career but still decided against telling him she was only 16. Though I get she’s a teenager and they make idiotic mistakes, but if she loved him as much as she said… If she’d thought for just a minute… For such a smart girl – or so we’re told – she does a lot of stupid things in this book, this includes flunking a test because she was daydreaming too much about him.

The romance is the plot in this novel, through and through. It’s just a love story, albeit a doomed one, so don’t expect to come out of this with a new purpose in life or to have experienced a journey to self discovery. It’s a book you read for instant gratification, likely to forget much of it immediately after. In any case, the romance has its sweet moments and does give off a nice amount of chemistry. I did appreciate the ending, as well. It’s sad but realistic. Though I was expecting a much bigger climax – mostly because the letters seemed to foreshadow an outcome that was considerably grievous, until that all turned into a cop-out.

In spite of the problems I dished out in this review, it’s still a solid 3 stars for me. It had my full attention while reading and I flew through it in no time.

3 Stars
3 Hot Espressos

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Canadian blogger, wife, mother, coffee lover, and sarcastic at heart! She has had a love for all things bookish since before Amazon and eReaders existed *le gasp*. You can also find her organizing tours and other fun things at Xpresso Book Tours.
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28 Responses to “Review: The Truth About You and Me by Amanda Grace”

  1. Eileen @ Singing and Reading in the Rain

    I’ve seen this around recently, and I think I may skip this one because the characters do sound really under-developed and totally stereotypical. I’m glad that the writing style appealed to you, though, I’ve never read a book where it was told in second-person in a letter style, and I also have never read Drowning Instinct, so I don’t know how I would feel about that approach. But I’m still happy that you flew through this one and thought it was really great even if there were a few flaws πŸ™‚

    Fantastic review, Giselle! <33

  2. Amy @ Book Loving Mom

    I almost got this for review, but decided not to. It does sound good. I think it’s interesting that it’s written the way it is. That’s cool. I think I read a book that started off that way, then turned to first person after. I’m glad that you liked it. Fabulous review babe!

  3. Jenea @ Books Live Forever

    Sounds like it might be pretty good, I do think that I’ll probably end up wanting to yell at Madelyn for the way she acts. I have this, and have been putting it off. I haven’t read Drowning Instinct, but I will check it out. πŸ™‚

  4. Nick @ Nick's Book Blog

    I took this book off of my TBR when Jasprit reviewed it.
    I don’t think this will appeal to me much because I’ve heard about the main character. Plus, you seemed to have the same reaction to her as well. It’s hard for me to stand a selfish character who doesn’t think about others.
    I also don’t think the writing style would work for me.
    At least the romance has some sweet moments to it although I’m not in the mood for a doomed relationship story!
    Lovely review, Giselle!

  5. Megan

    I think I’ll skip this one for now. I’m not really in the mood for a smart but dumb MC right now.

    Also, it looks like she is blowing up his nose on the cover.

  6. Savannah

    I so need to read this book. I have read both good and bad reviews and I think this book is going to be emotional for me. Stories like this already catch me cause I like to know what happen or why is happened? And more importantly how it affected everyone around them. Thanks for sharing your review.

  7. Danielle

    Hmm I’ve been trying to decide between this and Drowning Instinct. This does sounds interesting despite the issues but I think DI might edge it! Great review Giselle!

  8. Kate

    I really liked Amanda Grace’s But I Love Him and this sounds like an interesting storyline. Great review! I’ll be adding this to my wish list.

  9. Candace

    I have quite a few books by her but I haven’t read any of them yet. I have met her a couple times on trips up to Seattle and she’s really nice. I have just heard mediocre things about this book, so I’ll definitely start with one of her others.

  10. Vivian

    I do love a good story about forbidden romance, but I can’t much more of the “liked it, but didn’t love it” books, which I’ve been reading a lot of lately. This one sounds like something that would fall into that category. Great review!

  11. Christianna

    You know what, I’ve never read a book about a student/teacher relationship. Sounds like Drowning Instinct is the winner here, thought this one sounds like it had some good points as well. Thanks for the honest review!

  12. Jen

    It looks like this book doesn’t go far in terms of memorable-ness and wow factor. It’s a shame that Amanda Grace chooses to go with stereotypes, making the characters shallow. And the main character Madelyn doesn’t seem to bright. I have this book for review so I might still pick it up, but my expectations are definitely lowered now. Thanks for your honest thoughts, Giselle!

  13. Millie Dixon

    Uhh, I don’t think that I’d ever be able to read something like this. I’m not really a fan of contemporary romances, but when there’s this forbidden romance with the teacher, I just think that it’s weird. I have no idea. I do like how it’s written in diary entries, though. Great review!
    Cheers!

  14. ShootingStarsMag

    Student/teacher relationships are fascinating to me, but I think I’d rather go with another title; one that seems more well-written, or at least with better characters. I like the letter format though! that’s cool!

  15. Alise

    I completely agree, this one is easy to breeze on through, the letter writing style actually kept me reading. You make a great point about the character development that I didn’t really notice-they are all kind of one-dimensional… maybe because it’s written in somewhat second person?

  16. Haley

    Hmmm, not sure if I will pick this one up. Definitely going to look into Drowning Instincts though now. Thanks for the awesome review as always Giselle! πŸ˜€

    Haley @ YA-Aholic

  17. Jennifer Bielman

    Second Person Letter Forms? What the hell? I’ve never heard of that, but it does sound interesting. This one sounds okay but I am so tired of the whole student/teacher relationships storylines in books.

  18. Amanda @ Vivalabooks

    Ugh I hate it when an author just says their character is smart, but he/she does lots of stupid things. I mean how are we supposed to think that the character is smart when they’re obviously making dumb mistakes?!?! I was interested, but now not too much. Thanks for the honest review!

  19. Jennifer @ Some Like It Paranormal

    I really enjoyed this one especially the writing style. One of my other favorite books, Stolen by Lucy Christopher is written as a letter to her captor, and I just love the writing style! I have been loving all the different reviews on this because everyone has a different take. I think I was more on Maddie’s side. Yes she didn’t tell him her age but he never tried to really ask. Plus he knew she was pretty young like 18. Two years isn’t that big a difference. And he knew dating a student was a bad idea but he did it anyway. I just felt sad and mad that when he found out he didn’t talk to her more and explain his feelings. He just ditched her.

  20. Kat (AussieZombie)

    I just finished reading Amanda Grace’s But I Love Him and I felt kinda blah about it too. Issues books can be amazing but when the characters are so grrrrrrr it’s hard to really appreciate the story.

  21. Rachelia (Bookish Comforts)

    This one sounded fairly unique and I was interested in how they dealt with the student/professor issue. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to download my copy from NetGalley in time (or rather, I thought I had, but hadn’t), darn it! & it sounds pretty good too.

    I definitely want to read Drowning Instinct too!