Friday, April 26, 2013

Book Review: True

TRUE by Erin McCarthy
May 7, 2013
238 pages
Source: NetGalley 
Genre: New Adult
(contains mature language, drugs/alcohol, and sexual situations)
Goodreads Summary:
When Rory Macintosh’s roommates find out that their studious and shy friend has never been with a guy, they decide that, as an act of kindness they’ll help her lose her virginity by hiring confident, tattooed bad boy Tyler Mann to do the job…unbeknownst to Rory.

Tyler knows he’s not good enough for Rory. She’s smart, doctor smart, while he’s barely scraping by at his EMT program, hoping to pull his younger brothers out of the hell their druggy mother has left them in. But he can’t resist taking up her roommates on an opportunity to get to know her better. There’s something about her honesty that keeps him coming back when he knows he shouldn’t…

Torn between common sense and desire, the two find themselves caught up in a passionate relationship. But when Tyler’s broken family threatens to destroy his future, and hers, Rory will need to decide whether to cut her ties to his risky world or follow her heart, no matter what the cost…
My Review:

Rory is a unique heroine that I couldn't help but love. She is smart, average-looking, honest, and shy. She is logical and scientific. She is not bookish, in the fictional reading sense, choosing facts instead. She wants to see the good in people. She tries not to judge people. She's not hormone-driven and angsty. These are all qualities I appreciate and admire in her, and they compelled me to want to read her story. Then there's Tyler, the "bad boy" who really isn't a bad boy. He just comes from rough circumstances and has had many punches thrown his way. But he is a kind, supportive, protective, and loyal soul, who takes a hit, gets up, and starts all over again. Throw in the fact that he's attractive, tattooed, and loves to read, and you've got a swoon-worthy guy.

I liked the way the author developed Rory and Tyler's relationship for the most part. It did start a little sketchy, and speculative, with a very interesting first chapter. But I liked that the author sets the reader up to not necessarily believe everything you see, forcing us to have our skepticism, and having to decide if we're going to buy into this relationship or not. I also liked that the author gave us multiple views of Rory and Tyler, helping us have a deeper understanding of who they are. There was a steady flow of progression in their relationship, which helped me to develop and invest my feelings as I saw their honest feelings and treatment of each other develop. I also appreciated how the author pulled in Rory and Tyler's other family members into their relationship, giving it additional layers and challenges. Even though the circumstances may not be super common, dealing with external family pressures is very common in relationships, so we can still relate.

One issue: I wish virginity wasn't always looked upon as some strange disease, that if you are still afflicted with this status after you graduate high school, there must me something severely wrong with you, and that you must quickly rid yourself of it before you shrivel up and die. Not every virgin is either ugly, socially-awkward, or traumatized by their past. Virginity is a choice for many people for different reasons. I was a virgin until I was married, by choice, and I don't have any problem admitting that. Rory was a twenty-year-old virgin. Big deal. She didn't seem too concerned about it until her roommates found out. But Rory was wise enough to understand it was her choice to "lose" her virginity, not anyone else's. But I didn't like her roommates idea of how to "help" her along in the process. I'm glad Rory was observant enough to see through what was going on around her, and make her own decision without being fooled. There are certain perks with being the smart, observant, logical chick. But I still wish authors would do away with perpetuating the notion that virginity is some curse that the population must rid itself of before leaving their teen years, particularly in these New Adult books. It should be a personal choice without a deadline. (Okay, sorry for the rant...)

Bottomline: This was a quick read for me that I enjoyed (outside of the above issue). I found the plotline interesting and the storyline flowed well, keeping me tied to getting to the outcome. The main characters were well-fleshed out and engaging, and I felt the need to root for them. The ending was a bit abrupt and I would have loved an epilogue or something with all the unanswered questions (plus, I just really liked Rory and Tyler). But I see that there will be another book following a different character, so I can only hope we will see glimpses of Rory and Tyler in future reads.

3-1/2 Stars

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