Thursday, September 5, 2013

Review: The Truth About You and Me by Amanda Grace


The Truth About You and Me by Amanda Grace
Series: Standalone
Published: September 8th, 2013
Publisher: Flux
229 pages (eARC)
Genre: Contemporary young adult
Acquired this book: From the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
Warning: May contain spoilers
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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.

 
When going into books about student-teacher relationships, you never really know what to expect. Is it going to be a sexy clandestine affair? Is it going to be full of drama and tension and misunderstandings? Is it going to be a romantic but doomed love affair? Will they find some way to make it work and have a happily ever after? The Truth About You and Me was all and yet none of these things. It wasn’t what I expected at all, and while many of my blogging friends didn’t enjoy this one, I actually did.

I loved the style of this story. It was told through letters written by Madelyn to Bennett after they’d been caught having an affair. People had said Maddie was a victim, that Bennett had seduced her using his position of power, and Madelyn wanted to set the record straight by telling not only Bennett the truth about her feelings and actions, but also the authorities if they read the letter. It was basically an account of their entire relationship from her perspective, and I thought it made for a really unique story. 

One of the things I liked best about the story was how it shows that age doesn’t always matter. Bennett thought Madelyn was about 7 years younger than him, and while that freaked him out a bit, it didn’t affect their relationship. They talked about anything and everything, and with the exception of Madelyn’s huge secret (her real age), they were real with each other. It was nice to read a book where the love interests connect emotionally with very little physical contact. For weeks, they didn’t kiss, and they touched but not that much. It was all a mental and emotional connection, and it was nice to see a relationship built on something other than the physical stuff. Plus I thought the anticipation was really sexy and added nice tension.

I also liked that through the whole ordeal, with Bennett’s help and the new-found independence of being in college rather than high school, Madelyn learned a lot about herself and what she wanted out of life. Her whole life had been planned for her and laid out by her parents, and she always went along with it. It was nice to see her gaining some independence and thinking for herself. I enjoyed watching her journey of self-discovery.

I guess my only real issue with the story was how Madelyn dragged things out. She kept saying she was going to tell Bennett, she meant to tell him, she had opportunities to tell him, she’d tell him after a certain date, etc., etc., but she never did. She let Bennett think there was a future for them, let him get close to her and become vulnerable, but all that time she was lying to him about something huge. And yet, on the other hand, I can understand her point of view and why she was so afraid to tell him. Also, the climax was a little anti-climactic; through Maddie’s letters, it seemed like something earth shattering had happened, so when things finally happened, I found myself thinking ‘Oh. That’s it? Hmm.’

The Truth About You and Me is a bittersweet love story, but it’s also a poignant coming-of-age story. Told in a unique and compelling way, from a strong, relatable female character, it’s a book that will likely appeal to many fans of contemporary young adult. 

 3.75 stars
Have you read The Truth About You and Me? What did you think? If you haven't, does it sound like something you'd be interested in? Have you ever read a book told through letters?

4 comments:

  1. Teacher student stories are hit or miss for me. I actually haven't heard much about this book, so I am glad that I read your review first before reading some of the more negative ones. I have been enjoying coming of age stories lately.

    Thanks for sharing this new book with me and thanks for the great review :)

    Michelle @ Book Briefs

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  2. I didn't mind this one ... it was different, but not horrible or anything. I do think that teacher-student relationships can be hit or miss. I did like that this one opened up questions at the end. Really, I ended the story unsure if I should like it or not, mainly because of the subject matter.

    Great review!

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  3. Hm hm hm ... this sounds like an interesting book. When reading the blurb, all kinds of negative thoughts were going through my mind. After reading your review I'm very curious. Great review, Marie!

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  4. I'm still on the fence about this one, BUT knowing you liked it helps me still wanna read it sorta. I really like the idea that it's told via letters!

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Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. I love hearing what you have to say, and I appreciate every single comment. I hope to see you here again soon! ♥
~Marie

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