I NEEDED THIS OVER TEN YEARS AGO. ~ To Be Honest by Maggie Ann Martin


To Be HonestTITLE: To Be Honest
AUTHOR: Maggie Ann Martin

RELEASED: August 21, 2018
PUBLISHER: Swoon Reads
FORMAT: Hardcover

GENRE: YA Contemporary

TRIGGERS: Anxiety disorder, fat shaming, verbally abusive parents, eating disorders
REPS: LGBTQIA+, fat rep, Columbian rep, anxiety disorder

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.

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Even though I own a hardcover copy of this book, I decided this would be my second ever audioread – contemporary, fat main character and possible fluff? Sounded like the perfect combination! But was it?

The good

I honestly believe it was. I liked our main character, Savvy. She knows what she wants and.. the internal struggle she had going on is one I saw my past self in enormously. [I still do now, but in a less present way.] The things she had to deal with, the difficulty with certain comments at home, trying to feel worthy. Especially the latter stroke a chord. When you don’t fit the norm, it’s always harder to feel worthy of.. basically anything. I feel like Maggie did an amazing job by adding this necessary layer to Savvy’s character.

But there’s more, of course. The toxic relationship she has with her mom is.. hard. And, unfortunately, parts of it I could very easily connect with due to my own past. I get how her mother had to sacrifice a lot to get where she’s at, but making your own daughter uncomfortable and succeed at making her feel like “less” is.. well.. Unfortunately it’s a very realistic thing in a lot of families, so it’s necessary to see this depicted in books. Just be warned that this could be triggering for some.

It was one of those disappointments that confirmed your every fear that you’d somehow kept at bay with the tiniest sliver of hope.

All of the above made it very easy for me to connect with Savvie. Not to mention how she’s this character who knows how she feels about things, but not how to word them.. And then just blurting it all out without meaning to? Basically me when I’m being awkward.

The friendship in this book. Grace, Savvie’s best friend, is one of the kind we all need in our lives. Motivating Savvie, having her back, accepting her just the way she is.. All those things made for one very amazing best friend and an amazing relationship to see as well. As for the other characters? The romance is adorable and awkward in the best way possible. There’s Columbian rep, queer rep. Oh! And Savvie’s anxiety disorder! Also a big one to mention, right?

Just to mention it – the writing is simple and very to the point. It makes for a quick read, even with the harder subjects. But it suits the story and it definitely suits Savvie.

You’re the queen of pushing people away before they can say they like you. The queen of rejecting first so you can’t be rejected.

I don’t have anything bad to say about this book, to be honest. [such a bad pun, I’m not sorry.] The only thing I have left to tell you is to check out – amongst others- Destiny’s review on this book because she’s written such a thorough one that I loved reading after writing my own!

All in all this was a read younger me would’ve loved and adored and gotten so much out of. It’s a must to read if you feel self-conscious about your body, if you need to be reminded that it’s more than okay to love yourself just the way you are.

What is a “label” [to put it like that is ugh, but..] you have and want to see way more of in books?




4 thoughts on “I NEEDED THIS OVER TEN YEARS AGO. ~ To Be Honest by Maggie Ann Martin

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