Review: To Be Honest

To Be Honest

 

 

Where to start with this story. I still have so many thoughts and feelings that it is tough for me to properly organize them. While I did gush about the beginning of the story, the middle and end had me ready to DNF and never look back. This went from “Where was this story when I was in school?!” to “What in the <b>actual</b> is going on. COME ON”.

Short recap: Savannah “Savvy” is having a rough senior year. Her big sister and best friend has left for college, leaving her at home to maneuver her relationship with her unstable Mom. I say unstable because her Mom was a former contest on a reality weight loss show and is obsessed with “losing that extra 15 pounds”, all while fat-shamming her daughter into losing weight. On top of that home life drama, Savvy has started to develop feelings for her best friend’s cousin <b>while</b> trying to figure out where she wants to go to college <b>and</b> uncovering some very juicy story about her school’s athletic department.

WHEW. Do you see how much was happening in this story?! I didn’t even mention that Savvy (not the biggest fan of that nickname) was also dealing with her parents being divorced and the outrageous fact that her dad has little to nothing to do with her. The further I got into this story, the more of a steaming hot mess it became. This was the textbook definition of “Too Much Happening In One Story”. This book had far too many topics that it tried to cover and ended up missing the mark on all of them. I’ve mentioned most of the topics above so you could see how all over the place it really was.

The first half of the book did an alright job talking about Savannah’s struggle with her Mom <i>always</i> making snide and rude comments about her weight. Talk about downright rude. I wanted to punch her Mom so bad it made my hands shake. But, Savannah <b>never, ever</b> said anything to Mom about how hurtful her comments were. I quickly grew tired of Savannah always being the verbal punching bad and never standing up for herself but mentally she would verbally spare with whoever was hurting her. Either you stand up for yourself or you don’t. You don’t get to be both in this story, Savannah. She constantly – and I absolutely mean <b>constantly</b> – gave people permission to talk to her and treat her badly because she refused to say something about it. During one scene, Savannah had a cute boy over and he brought pizza while she was making cookies. Her Mom comes downstairs and has an outright blow up session about how she doesn’t want “that kind of food” in the house. She goes on to take the cookies out of the oven and throw them away while threatening to throw the pizza away that the boy brought over. Instead of confronting her Mom or saying something, she made an excuse and left the house. She simply took the boy and the pizza and left the house to go somewhere else. Then she made an excuse for her Mom’s behavior. That, my dear readers, sounds like “enabling” to me.

The last half of the story was filled with too many topics to keep straight: corruption at the high school, Savannah’s mom being admitted to the hospital, boy troubles for Savannah, nobody listening to Savannah (being ignored by all adults), problems with her father and his new home life, and more. All of this was fit into the last 150-ish pages and it was not well done. Because there was so much, the ending was absolutely rushed and given a sloppy bow to bring it together. It was not believable and it was not plausible. Nothing was truly resolved at all. It did nothing but make me shake my head and wonder what I read.

There was so much potential but it fell so short. I wish some of the topics had been explored more, like how Savannah dealt with her parents divorcing due to cheating or how she dealt with the nasty comments from her Mom.

I don’t regret reading this story but I am upset by what I read. The premise promised one thing but the actual story delivered something else. It was not what I was expecting and therefore I don’t want to recommend this. If you are still curious, please give it a go because I know there are a lot of positive reviews. Maybe the story just hit me differently but I caution you before you do. Know that this may not be the warm and fuzzy feeling story you are hoping for.

 

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