Friday, 12 April 2013

The Truth About You and Me by Amanda Grace

Title: The Truth About You and Me
Author: Amanda Grace/Mandy Hubbard
Publisher: Flux
Release: September 8th 2013
Pages: 264 (eBook)
Pre-order: Amazon UK / Amazon US
Add on Goodreads

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.

You know those books where you read the blurb and know you have to read it? Well, I got that feeling with The Truth About You and Me. There's something I love about contemporary books about forbidden love - something thrilling and tense and exciting that keeps you gripped and wanting to know more. I may not be the biggest fan of contemporary romances, but part of me just couldn't get enough of this book - when it was finished, I was still craving more!

Now we all know the allure of liking people we can't have - whether that's celebrities, or someone's boyfriend, or - in Maddie's case, a teacher. We know we can't have that person, but that's what makes it all the more fun - the daydreaming and the really insignificant things that give you butterflies anyway. Although at my school we don't actually have any hot teachers (sorry if you're reading this, sirs), immediately I had that connection to Maddie's character, and I could understand that longing of hers. As the character developed, I started to form more connections to her - she's sixteen, she mentioned Nirvana (I love them, okay?), she's kind of invisible, and she has this need to exceed in her learning. I found myself being able to relate to her thoughts and feelings with incredible ease, so in a weird way, reading the novel was like me imagining this happening to myself. It's a teenage girls fantasy, and I think Hubbard captured the essence of forbidden love perfectly.

I have a bit of a soft spot for books written in letter form - for example, The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Again, I think it appeals to teenagers as I'm sure most of us have written love letters in the past - to a celebrity, a unreachable crush, whoever - and I think it increased the realism of the story and made it more believable. And that's another thing - this has happened to people. Wasn't there that story of a student and her teacher running away in France, or something? Things like this do happen, and since Bennet was super hot...well, it was fun to imagine!

Although I adored the story, I have one complaint - I think the ending just about killed me, and I am left with a book hangover for the loss of that shipping. It was realistic, which I liked - if they'd skipped happily off into the distance...well, bang goes that good review. So I did love the ending and I guess this isn't a complaint, but I hated it at the same time...Hubbard, why you want to tear out my heart like that?

I think this is perhaps one of the best contemporary novels I have read in a long time - and a romance at that! Hah! I usually hate romances, but this touched a soft spot for me. If you love the YA romance genre, then I definitely think this is your 2013 read - and it's published on my birthday, which is an even better reason to go out and preorder it ASAP!
Rating: 5/5

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