Title: The Truth About You and Me
Authors: Amanda Grace
Publication Date: September 8th 2013
*Received through Netgalley
Goodreads Summary: Smart girls aren’t supposed to do stupid things.
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 Bennet. 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.
The story of their forbidden romance is told in letters that Madelyn writes to Bennett – both a heart-searing ode to their ill-fated love and an apology.
I really thought The Truth About You and Me was going to be a cute, intense, and romantic story that would leave me torn and conflicted about Madelyn and Bennet’s relationship. I thought Madelyn and Bennet were going to have a big connection that I wouldn’t be able to get enough of or ignore. I was prepared to fall in love with these characters while they fell in love with someone they shouldn’t but unfortunately that was not the case. Although it was wonderfully written as a letter, a style I do not recall really reading before, I just could not connect with Madelyn which made it hard to develop any feelings for the whole story.
My main “problem” with this book was Madelyn, which affected everything else. I couldn’t connect with her, i couldn’t bring myself to even really sympathize with her. I thought she really was going to be this super smart girl making a few poor decisions that create an awesome and heartwrenching story. Forbidden love stories are usually the best but in this case Madelyn would have been better of with some other normal Joe. That is what Madelyn was, normal. She wasn’t a genius in school, though she did get to do a running start program at her local community college, and her parents wanted too much out of her causing her to pretty much slowly lose it and rebel in a less obvious way than other teens. Madelyn did something that wasn’t expected of her by going after her professor. Yes, she went total stalker (maybe i’m exaggerating a little) and did what she could to turn his attention towards her. It wasn’t hard, he obviously felt a connection with her and took notice but what I liked about Bennet at first was that he tried not to pay attention. He did not know she was only 16 but he did know she was a student and did not want to break those rules. Could Madelyn take that? Nope, she wanted Bennet knowing it wasn’t a good idea for either of them, mostly him, and somehow he can’t stay away. While still keeping a physical distance Bennet allows Madelyn to get too close. I just wanted to yell at everyone. Madelyn for lying so much and Bennet for falling for Madelyn so easily. He says they can’t be anything while she is his student but then they hangout anyway. He even makes sure to hide it so he obviously knows even this is a big no no.
Anyway, even though I hate lying when it comes to entertainment some lies make things a little more interesting. That was not the case here. I think Madelyn let it go to far without telling Bennet the truth. She irritated me. She knew it was wrong but continued on her mission to get what she wanted. I also couldn’t see why it had to be Bennet besides the fact that it shouldn’t have been. They were attracted to each other, they talked but it wasn’t as personal as you would think. I couldn’t see how he really understood her when she never fully explained her feelings. I think he would have been a great boyfriend and I might have liked him if this was a different story. If I could see Madelyn through Bennet’s eyes (with him not knowing her age) I might have been able to like her and understood their relationship but Madelyn just made it feel extremely wrong. I know it wasn’t only the whole age difference that made it feel so wrong. I’m a Aria & Ezra fan on Pretty Little Liars (show. I haven’t read the books). Love them together. Never felt it was creepy but with this student/teacher relationship Madelyn makes things feel very not okay.
Back to the writing though. The way it was written as a letter made it feel really personal and if I would have liked Madelyn this would have made things truly heartbreaking. If you cared for characters there is no way you can ignore what this kind of writing would make you feel. How the events unfolded were told clearly and Madelyn’s feelings were always obvious. I would definitely try more of Amanda Graces work in the future because I can tell it has the potential to wreak havoc on my emotions.