Young Adult- Contemporary
Warnings: Mild language, sexuality-teacher/student
2.5/5 Stars- 16&up
Review Copy (Thank you Flux)
If Madelyn Hawkins were a superhero her power would probably be blowing up peoples brains with her genius, however in this story shes just a normal 16 year old girl with very gifted skills that land her in college early. Aiming to please her overachieving parents, Madelyn stays out of trouble, excels and flourishes in the face of a challenge. Of course its always these quiet geniuses who fall on their face with a colossal mistake of the heart.
When Mady meets Bennett, her young, good looking college professor who thinks shes 18 and brilliant, she cant help but fall in love with him. Deep down Mady knows if Bennett found out her age he would never date her, to top it off even with the feelings they feel he wont date her until his class is over and he's no longer her teacher, she knows its wrong but waiting for the final moment when Bennett can let go of his inhibitions drives Mady to keep her secret. She desperately wants to see what could happen between them, she doesn't want to lose what she feels or her desire for this man. Whats done in the dark always comes into the light and for Mady that light is shinning brightly the closer her and Bennett come to a choice that neither will ever be able to take back.
The Truth: This book was not what I was expecting, I did like the sound of the book, that's obviously why I agreed to review it, but the delivery of the book was unexpected. I found the layout a tad clunky and overall I was really disappointed in the development of the plot. I guess I wanted the story to unfold as it happened in real time, instead of a letter/journal entry that "told" me what happened in a past time. Im impressed that the older character made the right choices, however Im not all that impressed that the author wrote the story in way that made the reader want to hate him for it due to the empathy cast on the underage character.....
Let me Explain:
~If Amanda Grace was trying to show both sides of the scenario, then neither character should have been placed in certain slants of light, I felt the story failed to highlight the obvious right choice to young female readers due to the fact that it was written in a way that the audience would root for the relationship to work, where we anticipated the characters having sex and enjoyed it when they did, and then when the relationship was found out a feeling of loss when the adult made the hard choice, feeling sorry for the 16 year old girl who just lost everything. As a parent reading this, what I saw was an author who demonized the male character for making the right and legal decision and instead basically gave us a message that said age is evil, and that if two people fall in love, they should not be prohibited by laws, which I can't agree with- I have three daughters, if my 16 year old had an affair with a 26 year old man, he would be looking for his balls and that's after what my husband would do to him. Of course this was exactly Grace's driving point, my reaction to how I would feel in real life is how the parents felt immediately in this book with no regard to how the relationship developed, the point being that not all real life story's like this involve a guy who is a big creeper going after an underage girl, rare but possible, sometimes he's innocent, and sometimes the girl is not the victim we all paint her to be. That's a nifty little concept and great for dramatic fiction, still doesn't change the fact that an adult having sex with a minor is wrong, no matter how we want to romanticize it, paint it or devalue the law that protects children and young adults.
While The Truth About You and Me was ok, I think it could have been ridiculously good had it had both point of views from man and girl and the story had shown itself in real time. So much potential, but for me as a reader- a lackluster delivery with a sour end and an even more sour message.