ARC Review | To Be Honest by Maggie Ann Martin

To Be Honest by Maggie Ann Martin
Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: August 21st, 2018
ARC from Netgalley

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.

| Book Review |

To Be Honest was a book that wasn’t even on my radar until I saw Chelseadolling Reads mention it on her channel. It peaked my interest enough that I went right to Netgalley to see if it was available for request, and luckily it was! This book kicks off with a major change taking place in Savannah’s life as she and her mom move her sister, Ashley, to college. Ashley’s always been the buffer between Ashley and her mother, and since her mother is always after Savannah about her weight, she’s sure things won’t go well – and she’s right. I really loved Savannah’s character. Obviously she was aware she was overweight, but I didn’t feel like it defined every facet of her life all the time. There were obviously situations where it defined her more than it normally did, but I feel like, as a whole, Savannah’s bigger issue was her mother’s problem with her (Savannah’s) weight, not her own issue with it. Savannah cared about everyone around her. She was a good daughter, sister, and friend. There were times when I wished she’d stood up for herself, but I understand how a mother’s criticism of one area of your life can spill into others and make your confidence non-existent, even if only temporarily. It was sad to see things through Savannah’s eyes – with all of her friends starting relationships and her feeling like she was living life on the sidelines, and I think that’s the part of this book that resonated with me the most. I really liked Savannah’s best friend. She gave solid advice, and when Savannah needed her, she had no problem prioritizing Savannah over her boyfriend. She was constantly telling Savannah how great she was, and their friendship felt so genuine and precious. There was a cute little love story in To Be Honest, but it didn’t overwhelm the plot, and that was another thing I really loved. It didn’t seem like any one part of this story outshone another. Everything that was going on in Savannah’s life was equally important to her. Throughout this story, Savannah grew and started finding her own way and really honing in on what she wanted for herself, not just what was going to keep things comfortable for her, and I loved seeing her taking chances.

To Be Honest may be about an overweight young woman, but I think anyone who has ever felt like they didn’t measure up would enjoy this story and be able to identify with Maddie. I know I did.

| Rating |

24 thoughts on “ARC Review | To Be Honest by Maggie Ann Martin

Add yours

  1. That is neat how there was good balance with all elements of the book and that the overweight part was just the right amount of influence on the story and just an example of not measuring up to someone else’s expectations rather than a pity party. Sounds good, Angie!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. This sounds fantastic! It sounds like Savannah’s relationship with her mom would be difficult. Sounds like a book that would be easy to relate to.

    Such a silly thing but my daughter is named Savanna and I cannot stand it if someone calls her Savvy. It makes me want to scream. I think that the names being spelled differently (it just looks wrong to me with the h at the end) and the whole Savvy thing would bug me.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, name issues can easily make or break a book for me, or rather, whether or not I’m able to pick it up. I read a blurb one time where I was stumbling over the names in my head (the H and h names were SO similar) and while the blurb sound good, I was like ‘no go!’ LOL I don’t want to have to work to read a book.

      This really was a fantastic read!

      Like

  3. Great review! I haven’t really read much about this one, but people do seem excited for it. I’m glad the various aspects of the book blended well together and not one part overshadowed the rest (that can happen sometimes when a romance is introduced). And the best friend sounds amazing, which I love!

    -Lauren
    http://www.shootingstarsmag.net

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I’m REALLY REALLY happy that this didn’t turn into a weight shaming book. I feel like in the last couple years there have been several overweight protags, but the stories have been about their own insecurities and trying to “be beautiful” and it’s… disappointing. Been looking forward to this one, so I’m excited to hear it has balance and a sweet protag! Great review!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Amber!

      I guess I haven’t really noticed that, but to be honest, I feel like that a lot of the time, so I think that would be something I could relate to. But this one did have a different feel to it, and I loved Savannah!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. This is the first time I’m hearing about this book, but it sounds like a must read. I feel like there will be a lot of times where I’ll want to throw the book or strangle a character, but it also sounds like I will fall head over heels in love with it.

    Liked by 2 people

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