Title: The Truth About You and Me
Author: Amanda Grace
Publication Date: 9-8-13
Genre: Young Adult, Romance
Source: ARC from Netgalley
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.
This book is an quick and engrossing read about a student-teacher relationship between a 16-year-old girl and her 26-year-old biology professor. Told in letter form, Madelyn’s relationship with her teacher is innocent and sweet…until it all falls apart. While this wasn’t as good as some other student-teacher relationship novels I’ve read, it still had some parts that I really enjoyed.
The Truth About You and Me was a really quick read that I was able to finish all in one sitting. I love reading books about student-teacher relationships, so of course I was excited for this, but I was a little apprehensive due to its less-than-stellar Goodreads rating. But ultimately it wasn’t as horrible as I was kind of expecting it to be.
I thought that the epistolary narrative style was kind of interesting, although it did get slightly annoying as the book continued. There was too much “you” language and self-serving reminiscing that got in the way of the story. And I really don’t like it (with a few exceptions) when you know how a book is going to end before it even starts. I thought that it really took away from the atmosphere of this book, which should’ve been exciting, fresh, and forbidden…but turned into mopey, regretful, and tired.
But I did really enjoy parts of the story. Like how there was a bit of an inversion in the traditional roles of a student-teacher relationship, with Madelyn being the one who sort of “tricked” her professor into thinking that she was older than she was in order to continue their inappropriate relationship. And I thought that the author did a good job of making Madelyn’s personality both endearing and aggravating. She’s an innocent young girl, and as such, is frustrating and annoying at times, but I also really liked her in a lot of ways. I wish that there had been more showing of her personality vs. telling, though. I think that the letter format got in the way of that, because we didn’t get to see any of her actions from an outside perspective, and 1st-person past tense is hard to navigate around.
I thought that the ending of this book was very strange. The way Bennett reacts to a certain event is very aggressive and surprising. It made me think that there is a lot more to his character than we ever get to see in this novel…and I wish that that side of it had been explored more. I don’t understand how he was able to do some of the things he ended up doing if their relationship was at the level it seemed to be at. His actions seemed incongruous with his feelings, so I wonder if his feelings were truly honest or not.
The very last part of this book was heartbreaking for me. I thought that the ending was bold and realistic, but it still made me pretty emotional. Overall, there were a lot of parts to this book that I liked, but it just doesn’t measure up to some of the other student-teacher books I’ve read.