Saturday, September 7, 2013
My Thoughts: The Truth About You & Me by Amanda Grace
There is something oddly fascinating about a forbidden relationship- specifically one between a student and a teacher. Maybe it's because 99.9 % of the time the relationship is doomed and I don't understand how anyone involved would think otherwise. So when I read the blurb for Amanda Grace's newest novel The Truth About You & Me I knew right away that I had to read it. This was even after I read Grace's novel, But I Love Him, and was not impressed with the way she approached such a sensitive subject. So I wasn't sure what I was going to get from The Truth About You & Me but I was curious enough to read it. For the most part I enjoyed this novel, however, a few weeks after reading it I am a little hazy as to why. This may be an indicator as to how unmemorable the story was. And funnily enough I remember thinking that as I read the book. Nothing really amazing happened that stayed with me, that made me go 'woah!"
The story begins with Madelyn our protagonist taking college classes as part of a program her highschool is offering. It is here that she meets Bennett, her biology professor. They are instantly attracted to one another and slowly begin this affair that is doomed from the start. However, Bennett doesn't know that. He has no idea that Madelyn is only sixteen years old.
The book is told through a letter from Madelyn to Bennett after their relationship is discovered. The purpose of this was to express Madelyn's reasons for keeping her age a secret from Bennett, and what their relationship gave her. I actually really liked this part of the book. I have read a few reviews in which a number of people didn't appreciate that letter component. But it worked for me. What I found really interesting about this idea, was how readers were meant to sympathize with Madelyn and understand her need to be independent and break away from her family's high expectations of her. This was maybe her way of rebelling, but it was not a concious act. However for me, I found Madelyn a little selfish and not very mature. Knowingly keeping secrets (like huge make or break secrets) from someone you claim to love and you are fully aware that it's wrong is not a mature thing to do. In the end, I think you wind up more concerned/rooting for the teacher, rather than Madelyn herself.
In saying all this, while I enjoyed the novel while reading it I did find that it was a very surface level read. The story had no depth and it fell very flat for me. Grace did a lot of telling instead of showing. Maybe that's what you get with this style of story telling, but I don't know if I believe that. The characters were okay, but like I said earlier Madelyn's decision making skills needed work.
Overall, The Truth Between You & Me was enjoyable while reading it and was dramatic enough to keep me reading. But after I put the book down it was hard to remember what I liked about it.
~Happy Reading Everyone!