Title: The Truth About You and Me
Author: Amanda Grace
Release date: September 8th 2013
Genre: Young Adult contemporary romance
Source: BEA - I received a free advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thanks!
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My rating: 4 out of 5 starsMadelyn 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.
I love the set-up of this story. The entire novel is told in letters from Maddie to Bennett, explaining and apologizing for her actions while narrating the story. This format - especially the way Bennett is always referred to as "you" - took some getting used to, but once I did, I really enjoyed it. It adds another level of emotional intensity to the story.
The main issue of The Truth About You and Me is a difficult one, but Amanda Grace handled it really well. It blurs the lines between right and wrong, and whenever I wanted to judge these characters for their actions, I just couldn't. The way Maddie's relationship with Bennett develops is relatable and realistic, making it so much harder to form an opinion on whether what happens in this book is right or wrong, which I really appreciated with an issue like this one.
The other storyline - Maddie's coming-of-age and her family problems - is good too. It's the type of set-up we've seen a million times before, but with an unusual twist because of Maddie's parents' characters. I especially liked Maddie's relationship with her brother. I kind of wish Maddie's personal growth had been elaborated on more towards the end, but it makes sense why it isn't, given the set-up and circumstances. One thing that bugged me, though, is the way Maddie kept being referring to and keeps referring to herself as a smart girl; I found that to be overdone and a little offensive, too.
Amanda Grace's/Mandy Hubbard's writing is so easy to get lost in; her stories are always absorbing and entertaining. Equal parts sweet, heartbreaking, and thought-provoking, The Truth About You and Me is another great read from Amanda Grace!