Welcome! It’s my turn on To Be Honest Blog Tour! 🙂 This is my first ever blog tour and I am so excited to share this book with you all. Stories related to weight are my favourite so when I saw this tour was available I jumped at the chance to take part ❤ Thank you to Xpresso Book Tours for giving me a slot!
As you can see from the banner above, the To Be Honest tour is hosted on lots of book blogs between the 20th and 24th August, including interviews, reviews, excerpts and more. I’m here on Snowly’s Rambles with a book review this time, but make sure you check out the other lovely posts in the blog tour too! 🙂
Oh, also check out the links at the bottom of the page for details on how to get your own copy, including a chance to enter for a print copy giveaway! 🙂
A disclaimer: I did receive an e-arc of To Be Honest for the purposes of this blog tour, but all opinions in this post are all my own!
Title: To be Honest
Author: Maggie Ann Martin
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult
Published: 21st August 2018
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Acquired: Part of Xpresso Book Tour’s event!
Rating: ★★★★☆ [3.5]
Book Blurb:: 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.
Ugh, so real talk really quickly: WordPress deleted my original review a few hours before this was due up, so I’ve had to rewrite this from an old half-attempted draft. This is the first time WordPress failed me and I’m so sad! I’m hoping I’ve managed to write this as good as before, I just wanted to vent a little while I am furiously filling in the last half of this post, haha!!
So, I’ve had my eye on this book for a while as I love reading stories centred around weight (weight troubles, disorders, body positivity, etc), or that have fat MCs. It is something very close to my heart and so I love reading stories about it (maybe I’m subconsciously looking for some book motivation and relatability in my own weight loss journey).
First of all, isn’t the cover beautiful? ❤ I love the colours on it, and the cover girl image is lovely, with a figure to die for (can I have her outfit please?)!
I ended up reading To Be Honest really quickly. I found the story really easy to dive into- I got sucked into the relationships and found it hard to put it down!
I don’t know if it is because my reading style changes on a Kindle (I seem to go through pages a lot quicker) but the story felt like it progressed super quickly? It wasn’t terrible, but it did leave me feeling like parts were a bit rushed, and certain areas could definitely have been explore more. But then again, that could be down to my reading! Maybe I should pick up a physical copy and see if my thoughts change.
What’s nice about To be Honest is that it touches upon so many different themes, while still allowing for a normal contemporary plot. I wanted to read this book because of the weight rep, so let’s start there. One thing I really liked is that To Be Honest addresses different perspectives surrounding weight. It mentions themes like being fat and body positive, fighting haters and body insecurities, and seeing the toxic side of a weight-loss media. I’m all for showing different effects associated with weight in society, both good and bad. 🙂 Love yourselves, readers!
I would quickly say that there was so many different topics included that probably could have been explored in more detail, particularly surrounding the consequences of a weight loss obsession. For example, part of me felt that the situation with Savvy’s mum was downplayed slightly towards the end. It was a huge deal yet when I read the ending it gave a vibe that it could all be brushed away and everything is now magically better? I dunno… BUT it was a refreshing experience all the same and this book definitely has some important themes and talking points for the YA audience.
I do love reading about weight in a novel, but there was also loads more going on in To Be Honest. I mean, there’s a strained family relationship, a journalism project subplot, a coming of age and the all important romance. There’s a lot to unpack and, while there could have been more development in a longer book, I think there’s something for most in this contemporary 🙂
Although weight issues can be considered the central theme in this one, I really enjoyed the fact that the main character, Savannah, did a great job at not letting it ‘form’ her. She was much more developed and her life was so much more than the number on the scales. Savannah tried so hard to be body positive in herself and it was even nicer to see that, despite other issues going on in the background, there is still that lovely YA romance at heart ❤ Actually I have to admit, the romance in To Be Honest had to be my favourite part of this book. Also, although her anger/opinionated personality clashed with mine, I did enjoy Savannah as a character!
Speaking of characters, there were some real winners in To Be Honest. Firstly Maggie Ann Martin has included a fair bit of diversity in her novel. Savvy is fat and suffers with anxiety/panic attacks, her sister Ashley is queer and both Grace and George are Colombian. I can’t say for sure about the anxiety rep (although other reviews have said how good this was), but it is so nice to see the other elements inserted into the story so naturally. It was normal didn’t feel forced, which is exactly how all YA should be ❤
I wont talk about Savvy’s mum as she does have a key plot role and I don’t want to give anything away to you lovely readers. But sister Ashley was a lovely character. You can see she is really caring and helpful whenever she can, and I completely understand Savvy’s concerns about having her best friend and older sister leave the nest to go to college.
Grace was such a good, wholesome friend and it was so nice to have this in a YA contemporary! I can’t get over how wonderful she was; her personality was amazing and I love how she was so considerate to Savannah. She was so genuine and thoughtful, definite friend goals 🙂
And George- oh my gosh! He is such a sweetie, and I love how he and Savannah interacted! ❤ There were so many cliché blunders, but I adored their friendship/relationship. It felt natural (no clear insta-love here) and I was rooting for them all the way. I was so happy when things started to look up for them both~ SO CUTE!
In general I think To Be Honest is a lovely read. I am slightly biased as I do like reading weight-related stories, but I think my favourite part of this story is that the good and bad weight issues are woven into a more general romance contemporary, with some family drama mixed in. The romance was super cute, and I loved seeing its progression. I think some parts could have done with a bit more development to give it more clout, but all in all this was a great read with some important messages. I hope I haven’t rambled too much, but To Be Honest is definitely worth giving it a try yourself~
Have you read To Be Honest yet? Do you like reading books about weight and body positivity? Let me know in the comments!
Maggie Ann Martin hails from Iowa City, Iowa but moonlights as a New Yorker. She has a shiny new BA in English and Journalism from the University of Iowa, the most welcoming literary community in the world. When she is not writing, you can find her binge watching TV shows or passionately fangirling over fictional characters on the Internet. The Big F is her debut novel.
As part of this tour Xpresso Book Tours are offering you the chance to win your very own print copy! Click the link below for details. Hurry though, you only have until the 29th August!