To Be Honest by Maggie Ann Martin Release Date: August 21, 2018 Publisher: Swoon Reads Standalone Number of Pages: 262 Paperback Source: ARC from Fierce Reads via Goodreads YA Rating: PG Read 8/16/18 to 8/17/18
I try to write my reviews immediately after reading a book, so all the details are fresh in my mind. (I may not post them right away, but they’re down on paper, so to speak.) Obviously, since I read in bed a lot, that’s not always possible. And sometimes, I just need to sit and let the story percolate a bit before I can even make sense of my feelings. This was one of those times.
First, I loved this book. No matter that I had to really give some time to think about what my other feelings were once I read that last page, I knew I loved the story. Savannah aka Savvy is so real. Being in her head took me straight back to being a 17-year-old girl/woman. So confident that I knew it all while so unsure of myself at the same time. It’s such a confusing time for most of us.
This story also made me cry…a lot. I wanted to reach out and give Savvy a hug while simultaneously throttling her parents. The story is not one of terrible parents that are outright abusive or negligent. But her parents are extremely selfish and don’t even see what they are doing to her. Her mom is dealing with some major issues so she gets a bit more lenience from me, but her father is a jerk. The sad thing is, I’ve seen this same scenario of dad getting a “new” life after divorce and putting that life above his children too many times in real life. It just breaks my heart and makes me so irate at the same time.
There’s also a lot of great times for Savannah. She has such a wonderful support system. Her BFF is actually her older sister who just left for college. But she’s as attentive and wonderful as she can be from afar. And her other best friend, Grace, is just as wonderful. Savvy is close with Grace’s family and that helps, even while she dreams of having such a loving family herself. There are a lot of issues Savvy has to deal with and Grace is always there, no matter what. All woman and girls need a friend like Grace.
So why the percolation? I wasn’t sure if I liked the ending. But after sitting on it for a day I realize that it couldn’t have ended any other way. This (new-to-me) author wrote this story as true to life as she could get. Therefore, the ending had to be true to life. It wouldn’t have made sense any other way. So while there isn’t necessarily a HEA, there is most definitely a HFN.
And yes, there is some romance in this story. But I’m not classifying it that way because this is really a story about Savvy, not Savvy and George. It’s about self-acceptance and being open-minded. It’s about standing up for what you believe in, no matter your age. What I absolutely love is that this is truly a YA book that I can recommend to any of the 13 and over crowd that I know and not worry about it being inappropriate. Often times I hesitate on recommending some of my favorite YA because it’s more for the over 16 group. There are some diet/exercise/weight issues in this book for sure, but I think Savvy’s take on all of that is very healthy.
**I won an ARC of this book in a Goodreads Giveaway listed by Fierce Reads. All opinions in my review are my own and given freely.**