CBR11Bingo – Summer Reads!
Savannah’s older sister is off to college, and she’s not sure how she is going to survive without her. Ashley has always been the peacekeeper between Savannah and her mother, especially since their parent’s divorce and their mom’s follow-up stint on a reality show called “Shake the Weight.” Since mom’s return home, she keeps pushing her new “healthy” lifestyle on her daughters, and Savannah has no interest in following the philosophy of the body-shaming show that body-snatched her mother.
Plus, it’s her senior year and she’s juggling other issues: an independent study in journalism with her best friend is unfolding into quite the school scandal and Savannah can’t deny she has a knack for investigative journalism – but that would disrupt her plan to follow Ashley to Indiana State. Plus, there’s George – cousin of her best friend and new junior at their school, who seems to really like Savannah. And she really likes him! But his signals seem all over the place, and Savannah’s afraid she may be stuck as just friends.
To Be Honest is a very light, very sweet book with a proud plus-size girl in the spotlight. The plot spends equal time on the romance with her and George, the drama with her mother, and the pain of the distance from her sister. The investigative journalism plot is peppered in here and there, but frankly I kept forgetting it was a thing until it would be brought up again.
The best part of the book is how the issues with Savannah’s mom unroll. It was interesting to read something where the parent is the one with the eating disorder (that is sort of a spoiler, but one you definitely see coming), and I think the author could even have dug into that a little more. In the opening pages, it felt a little like this book was going to be all about Savannah being self-conscious about her weight, but that feeling eventually falls by the wayside and the story was more fun for that.
I also really loved that Savannah’s love interest is a band geek, and a jazz band geek at that.
All in all, I think this book is more “important for who it represents” than “an important book to read”, but it is definitely a good, mostly light summer read.