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Source: Publisher provided for review through Netgalley
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Smart girls aren't supposed to do stupid things.The Truth About You and Me is a hard one for me. I can't say it was enjoyable, but I also can't say I didn't like certain aspects. I can't completely hate Madelyn (though it's close), but I sure can want to slap her. I'm in a weird zone on this one. It's an interesting book, but just not one that I can say I liked or will ever want to reread.
Madelyn Hawkins is super smart. At sixteen, she's so gifted that she can attend college through a special program at her high school. On her first day, she meets Bennett. He's cute, funny, and kind. He understands Madelyn and what she's endured - and missed out on - in order to excel academically and please her parents. Now, for the first time in her life, she's falling in love.
There's only one problem. Bennett is Madelyn's college professor, and he thinks she's eighteen - because she hasn't told him the truth.
The story of their forbidden romance is told in letters that Madelyn writes to Bennett - both a heart-searing ode to their ill-fated love and an apology.
For one, the way The Truth About You and Me is written is just really cool. It's written as letters from Madelyn to Bennett after their relationship has been ended and discovered. You know that disaster is coming, and the letters betray that foreboding tone, but you just want to see how, why. It's also all Madelyn's voice, so she's up front about why she did things. It didn't make me like her any better, because she's so willingly doing what she knows she shouldn't, what could get Bennett in trouble, but it's still helpful to see what she says.
And that's the thing. I think the format is supposed to make you sympathize with Madelyn, see why she does what she does. But it really doesn't. If anything, it made me dislike her more. Without being so in her head, I might not have known how aware she was that what she was doing was wrong and how she knew she needed to tell Bennett she's sixteen, but I did. Every time she mentioned either thing it was just like a slap in the face, saying, "The things I want are more important than the welfare of anyone else." She loves Bennett, yet she does so much to hurt him, knowing how it will affect him. That certainly sounds like love to me, right? Smart girls may do stupid things at times, but most have enough sense not to ruin the lives of others.
So while I see some interesting things going on in the book, I just can't get past Madelyn. I not only didn't like her, but I couldn't even see her point of view. I know love seems like the biggest thing in the world at that age, but it doesn't mean you destroy lives--especially so willingly.
About the author:
Amanda Grace is a pen name for Young Adult author Mandy Hubbard (PRADA AND PREJUDICE, YOU WISH). She lives near Seattle, Washington, with her husband and young daughter.