Wednesday 18 December 2013

The Truth About You & Me - Amanda Grace

Pages: 225
Publisher: Flux
Release Date: 15th October 2013
Edition: US paperback, purchased

Other Titles by this Author: But I Love Him, In Too Deep (as Mandy Hubbard: Prada and Prejudice, You Wish, Ripple, Getting Caught, Dangerous Boy)

Smart girls aren’t supposed to do stupid things.

On her first day at Green River Community College, Madelyn Hawkins meets Bennett Cartwright, her biology professor. He’s funny. He’s interesting. And he has no idea that Madelyn is only sixteen.

When they’re together, Madelyn feels more alive than she’s ever felt before. And she knows Bennett feels the same way. She also knows that if she tells him her real age, their relationship will be over.

So Madelyn makes a simple decision.

She won’t tell him.

I devoured The Truth About You & Me in mere hours; it was just what I wanted. Romantic, tense, brilliantly written and just a little different.

Now I’m a huge fan of books featuring student/teacher relationships. There are just many different possibilities in both the type of relationship, the outcome and the plot and I don’t think it’s explored enough. The Truth About You & Me took a fairly unfamiliar route in that the teacher, Bennett, thought that Madelyn was 18 and he insisted on waiting until the quarter was over and he wasn’t her teacher anymore. It put a whole new spin on the idea. He was cautious and careful and so aware of the threat of anyone finding out, even though she was 18; it was Madelyn that pushed it, that enabled everything to happen. There was no questioning Bennett’s motives or entertaining the possibility of his being predator in any way which was refreshing.

Saying that, the entire novel was told by Madelyn in a letter to Bennett in the aftermath of their relationship. From the very beginning you know it doesn’t end well, that something happens and Madelyn’s true age is revealed. I felt a sense of impending doom quite strongly as I read and it only made me turn those pages faster. She’s writing her letter to clear Bennett of responsibility. Her letter is to him, but also for the police, so after finishing the book, lying in the bath, I began to question myself: can her perspective be fully trusted? I decided yes, but I guess you’d have to read it for yourself to make that decision.

The style of the novel was one of the things I loved most about it. I love direct address, but when there’s direct address to a particular character, total win for me. Madelyn was writing to the man she loves so everything she wrote was full of emotion and want and truth to her mind. Amanda Grace pulled it off brilliantly and I believed every word of Madelyn’s letter. Grace’s romantic, and yet tense, prose only secured that belief further. I also thoroughly respected her for the ending. With a relationship like this, there are a few inevitable endings, but rarely this one. It ended as tales of first love do realistically and I applaud Amanda Grace for that; it was refreshing and true and something you don’t get often in YA. It really makes The Truth About You & Me stand out among contemporary YA novels.

I loved The Truth About You & Me and I’ll definitely be recommending to many, many people in between devouring the rest of her novels.


1 comment:

  1. I loved this one too and read it all in one night. Brilliant!


Leave a message, I'd love to hear from you!