Hello everyone! I hope you are enjoying this wonderful day. Today I have brought to you a review of To Be Honest by Maggie Ann Martin thanks to the wonderful people of Xpresso Book Tours!
I have a lot to say about it, so let’s jump into it!
Savannah is dreading being home alone with her overbearing mother after her sister goes off to college. But if she can just get through senior year, she’ll be able to escape to college, too. What she doesn’t count on is that her mother’s obsession with weight has only grown deeper since her appearance on an extreme weight-loss show, and now Savvy’s mom is pressuring her even harder to be constantly mindful of what she eats.
Between her mom’s diet-helicoptering, missing her sister, and worrying about her collegiate future, Savvy has enough to worry about. And then she meets George, the cute new kid at school who has insecurities of his own. As Savvy and George grow closer, they help each other discover how to live in the moment and enjoy the here and now before it disappears.
I want to start off by saying, this book gives off such a powerful message! The main character, Savvy, does such an amazing job of talking about body positivity and showing that “fat isn’t a bad word.” I really appreciated how straight-forward and honest she was, and she wasn’t afraid to stand up to her mom about her weight.
Even with all of the pressures around her, she was happy in her own skin, which is something I really admired, because I know it can be so hard to love your body, no matter what size.
**However, there is a trigger warning for eating disorders/starving yourself to be careful of!!
Her mom was a really well written character, and she had my blood boiling at so many points (which is a good thing). I’m glad that her relationship with her mother was really developed, and it changed a lot from beginning to end.
I also really loved Savvy’s friendship with Grace, her long time best friend. Grace was always so supportive and helped Savvy grow as a person. Grace is the perfect example of the friend I want to be. She was always there for her, and gave amazing advice. She pushed Savvy to where she needed to be, without pushing her over the edge.
Something else I really enjoyed reading about was the journalism aspect. Savvy and Grace were both so passionate about this project that they worked on, and it was so fun to read about. It is something I could really relate to, so I just wish it was focused on a little bit more throughout the book.
The representation in this book is great, both with fat rep, LGBTQ+ rep, and even mental illness rep! I’m really glad it covered some important topics.
There were a few things that were kind of off putting to me, which made my rating go down a little bit for this book.
For one, the writing style was a bit simple for me, and oftentimes I found myself getting annoyed by it’s lack of variety in sentence structures and descriptions/phrases. Some of the same lines kept getting repeated over and over, rather than finding new ways to say them. For example, I think the phrase “his strawberry blonde hair” was used at least 5 times about the same character. I just wished this would have been edited a bit better.
Another thing that I didn’t like was the romance. It didn’t seem very real to me. The characters had a strange love-hate relationship that would switch randomly though out the book for no reason. I would have much preferred it if there was a slow build up to them liking each other, rather than the characters having huge mood swings.
I also wish that the relationship between Savvy and her sister was explored more, and didn’t look so one-sided. Her sister was there for her a lot, but only after Savvy expressed that she needed her. Her sister never called her asking how she was, or telling her about her day. Savvy always needed to reach out to her. The way that Savvy had described their relationship at the start was completely different from what it actually was. However, her friendship with Grace makes up for the lack of relationship here (at least for me).
Finally, some of the lingo used between the characters was very cringe-worthy at times. For example, phrases like “I heart it” or “sissy” were just very unnatural. I have never heard a teenager speak like that before.
The cons that I have for this book are pretty small things. Personally, I could overlook some of the negative aspects of this book, and I ended up enjoying it a lot. It’s a quick read, and I enjoyed the plot a lot. I highly recommend this book, and I am probably going to pick up a finished copy soon!
Final Rating: 3.75/5 Stars ⭐️
As part of the Blog Tour, all of the hosts are doing a giveaway! It is tour wide, and you can check out the link below for more information on how to enter.
Let me know what you think of this book if you’ve read it! If not, you can purchase the book with any of these links!