To Be Honest
Author: Maggie Ann Martin
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Published: August 21, 2018
Pages: 304
My Rating: 

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.
A plus-sized girl struggles with falling in love the first time and her mother.
Savannah, the main character, is a short plus-sized girl who struggles with her weight. While her mother is just coming home from a weight-loss show that is kind of like The Biggest Loser type of show. However, her mother takes weight loss to the extreme and is constantly on Savannah and her daughter's cases to eat super healthy. It became super annoying and kind of triggering for me to read. 

If I didn't enjoy the sister relationship I probably would have not finished the book. The close sister relationship was my favorite thing about the entire book. Plus, the romance wasn't half bad either. The book is predictable and nothing too special but what can you expect from a contemporary romance? 

I breezed through the novel because it wasn't super long. Savannah is super smart and I enjoyed that aspect too. There are tons of diversity represented in the novel which was nice to see. Including mental health representation, weight issues, lesbian representation, and family dynamics including divorce. Almost to the point of there being too much diversity where it seemed forced at times.

The ending was kind of abrupt and the story randomly ended. I wanted to see so much more from these characters. I could see the book continuing into a second book. A critique that I do have only because I am a Gilmore Girls avid fan too is that the show is referenced by the characters visiting the set in Universal Studios. Although the set was actually at Warner Brothers studio where it was filmed. Where you used to be able to visit the set there on tour. I had to mention this.... that is just semantics of the author making a mistake. All in all, To Be Honest, wasn't anything absolutely amazing. It was just an average young adult novel. If weight issues are triggering to you be careful picking this one up. 

Maggie Ann Martin hails from Des Moines, Iowa but moonlights as a New Yorker. She earned a BA in English and Journalism from the University of Iowa, the most welcoming literary community in the world. When she is not writing, you can find her binge-watching TV shows or passionately fangirling over fictional characters on the Internet. Her two young adult novels, The Big F and To Be Honest are available now from Swoon Reads (Macmillan).