To Be Honest
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.

To Be Honest Details

TitleTo Be Honest
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseAug 21st, 2018
PublisherSwoon Reads
ISBN-139781250183156
Rating
GenreContemporary, Young Adult, Romance

To Be Honest Review

  • Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
    January 1, 1970
    So much about this book hit me SO close to home, but not in the ways that I was expecting! The main plot of this one and the romance are honestly pretty average, but I ended up LOVING it because of the realness of the relationship between Sav and her mom. Their relationship in this mirrored my relationship with my own mother to a T and it was honestly a little jarring. Such an odd reading experience for me, but I definitely recommend checking this one out when it releases later this year!I recei So much about this book hit me SO close to home, but not in the ways that I was expecting! The main plot of this one and the romance are honestly pretty average, but I ended up LOVING it because of the realness of the relationship between Sav and her mom. Their relationship in this mirrored my relationship with my own mother to a T and it was honestly a little jarring. Such an odd reading experience for me, but I definitely recommend checking this one out when it releases later this year!I received an early ARC copy of this at YallWest; it releases publicly in August!
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  • destiny ☠ howling libraries
    January 1, 1970
    1. I need this in my life right now2. This cover is everything3. Can 2018 please be the year we finally start getting more than 1-2 GOOD plus rep books per year?
  • Norah Una Sumner
    January 1, 1970
    I AM SO EXCITED FOR THIS BOOK
  • Fizah(Books tales by me)
    January 1, 1970
    Actual Rating 4.5RTC
  • andrea caro
    January 1, 1970
    Firstly, let me thank Goodreads and Fierce Reads for sending me this ARC! This cover is gorgeous."News flash: fat isn’t a bad word, Mom."Savannah is fed up. You know those diet shows where people spend several weeks locked away from their families getting yelled at by trainers and mocked because they like doughnuts? Yeah, her mom was on that show and is exacting everything she’s learned on Savannah. This, coupled with Savvy’s big sister Ashley headed off to college, she has had enough.This book, Firstly, let me thank Goodreads and Fierce Reads for sending me this ARC! This cover is gorgeous."News flash: fat isn’t a bad word, Mom."Savannah is fed up. You know those diet shows where people spend several weeks locked away from their families getting yelled at by trainers and mocked because they like doughnuts? Yeah, her mom was on that show and is exacting everything she’s learned on Savannah. This, coupled with Savvy’s big sister Ashley headed off to college, she has had enough.This book, to me, was very much about being fat, body image, self-love, anxiety, and how all of it plays into a person’s self-worth. And it all felt very authentic.I really loved Savannah. She is fat and she’s okay with it, but she understands what being fat means about how she’s perceived. Savannah’s mother is another key figure in this book; a woman once fat, this book establishes through her story that a number lowering on a scale doesn’t correlate with learning to love yourself. "I’m sorry that someone taught you to hate yourself because of your body somewhere along the way, but I’m not going to let you pull me down with you." Secondary to the conversation about weight is anxiety and how it can play in to our fears about who we are and how the world looks at us.It was nice to see a character having panic attacks on the page. It was nice to see a character push others away out of fear. It was nice to see a character compare herself to others around her. It was nice to see a character build their own lives around another because being with someone you trust means you’re safe. These are all things that I’ve personally experienced and they made this book feel very real to me.A couple of notes: the romance was very cute, but not the most powerful element of the book. Savvy’s sister is gay and her best friend is Columbian. These were nice additions, but these characters weren’t really explored in a way that makes me feel comfortable in suggesting that it’s “rep”. Ultimately, a very good contemporary that felt personal and real to me. ---"You are one of our Giveaways lucky winners! You will soon receive a free copy of To Be Honest in the mail.Oh my god, I won my first Goodreads giveaway!!!"
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  • Julie
    January 1, 1970
    This was a lot of fun! Great fat rep, great discussions about diet culture and fatphobia and the expectations of family. I wish it was a little longer because there were a lot of subplots I wanted to see more from, but otherwise it was wonderful. Great friendships, sweet romance, STEM + liberal arts mixing, discussion about jock stereotypes. Lots of things I adore.TW for fatphobia, eating disorders (anorexia/starvation), a few mentions of homophobia, emotional abuse
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  • Vicky Who Reads
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 starsI felt like this was missing a lot of emotional weight and in-depth ness that I wanted. Martin's great at tackling those more comical stories like with The Big F, but I feel like with this more serious topic, her writing style didn't change enough to make it fit as well.Full review to come Saturday.
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  • Madalyn (Novel Ink)
    January 1, 1970
    *4.5 stars*Um, hello, I LOVED this. Review TK!
  • Kate Olson
    January 1, 1970
    Stay tuned to School Library Journal for my review!
  • Beth Summer
    January 1, 1970
    I am a massive fan of Maggie Martin's debut, THE BIG F, so I knew going into this I was in for a treat. Her light and funny voice is the perfect contrast to the deeper subject. Savannah is an amazing protag. She's hysterical, brilliant, and STRONG. She can get through absolutely anything. Maggie has an ability to create such real, layered characters with humor and heart. The romance is beautifully executed and extremely swoonworthy. I'm already impatiently waiting Maggie's next book!!
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  • Brooke Banks
    January 1, 1970
    Content Warning: Eating Disorder w/ Hospital Stay (this is NOT the protagonist but her mom), Emotional & Psychological Child Abuse/Neglect>>Fat girl on the cover!!!!!>>Savannah is great. She's withstood her mother's bullshit and is firmly body positive, but does come with insecurities and defense mechanisms. I love how she put herself out there and did the work of progress. She's forced to live and deal with an unhealthy mom that's honestly cruel to her and struggling with mental Content Warning: Eating Disorder w/ Hospital Stay (this is NOT the protagonist but her mom), Emotional & Psychological Child Abuse/Neglect>>Fat girl on the cover!!!!!>>Savannah is great. She's withstood her mother's bullshit and is firmly body positive, but does come with insecurities and defense mechanisms. I love how she put herself out there and did the work of progress. She's forced to live and deal with an unhealthy mom that's honestly cruel to her and struggling with mental health issues. >>Great fat & anxiety rep>>I love how the shallow, competitive "health" bullshit is put on blast where it belongs. >>The eating disorder is handled well. I haven't had the same type tho so YMMV.>>I think her mom was crafted and portrayed well. She's got a tragic event in the past and damage from growing up fat. She does love her daughters but clearly plays favorites and tries to "fix" Savannah. She's very relatable and understandable but not clean and easily forgiven to me. She's a victim of the TV show praying on people, but she's also emotionally and verbally abusive and neglectful. She does have a mental illness but she has to own to her actions and their effect.>>Grace is a GREAT friend. I adore her. >>George is a sweet, shy, musical nerd that likes to eat his foot every now and again. It's nice to see a guy that isn't the typical sex crazed, emotionally stunted posturing fool. >>The dress shopping worried me, but it was a dream of a scene. Love loved it. >>I was totally with Savannah the whole way through. From her reactions to George, her dad, the journalism story, Grace, etc. >>I love how she's good at math, but it's not the end all be all. She chooses and excels at her passion which happens to be humanities, not STEM. >> I love the journalism investigation, interviews, and turn out. It's really cute and heartening.>>Dad was a let down at first and I really didn't think I'd change my mind about him, but I did. >>Totally would read more of Savannah, prequels, sequels, short stories, w/e. And her sister and Yael too! I'm really curious what would happen next. This book is wrapped up nicely and it's great, but there's threads to follow for more content that's worthwhile IMHonestO. (<---That abbreviation would be a great next title maybe?!?)Not So Great Things:>>I do wish there was more therapy and apology shown from her mom. More acknowledgement on how badly her mom (and her enabling sister) treated her, making her cave and hide when her mom was in the wrong the whole time. I hope Savannah would get therapy too. She's fine on the page, but living through that causes real deep scars and shit. Making it so easy for her mom feels like a cave in to the fatphobic society because "it's about health, she's wasn't that bad!". Yes, yes she was. It has nothing to do with health. Stop excusing abusive harmful shit. Her mom has to confront, cope, and change to properly deal with her mental illness. Letting her off the hook doesn't help anyone. >>I feel bad the second place people did a story on immigration and the winning story was about sexism, money and abuse of power. Totally realistic, but given the current events with Trump Camps, bans, ICE, and white feminism...I just feel uncomfortable with it. Kinda wish the immigrant story had won or more about it was included, like having Savannah and Grace talking to the other students at least instead of a one line throwaway. >>Ugh, Eminem. Look, I loved him growing up a loooong time ago but I've gotten better. Savannah is a huge fan and there's not a single moment of acknowledging how problematic and offensive the he is. Even when I was a die hard fan that defended him, I felt like shit with his fatphobic and sexist lyrics. I find it hard to believe she'd be that ignorant and not have any qualms or second thoughts about it. I'm surprised there was no angsty blasting of his music. But maybe that last part is me projecting. Quotes:She thought Yael was cute - Sister is gay, have w/w relationship"Has anyone told you you'd make the perfect Miss Frizzle in a Magic School Bus reboot?" he asked, smirking a tiny bit. "Very few people get to witness Savannah Shady. You should feel honored.""I know that parents shouldn't be allowed to make their kids feel like shit unless they buy into their culty dogma""Like I'd known him for years, like we'd put a bookmark in our friendship and we were picking up where we left off. "They should put a warning on all clarinet cases: May Cause Sexual Tension.""She'd even called ahead to make sure that the stores we ended up going to carried my size of dresses, which took off another level of stress from my plated.""My goal today was to find a short dress that looked as if it was made for a fun-size, five-foot-tall human."
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  • Sara Texas Girl Reads
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to the Kid Lit Exchange network for the review copy of this book! All opinions are my own!Savannah (Savvy) is not looking forward to the next year. Her sister and best friend just left for her first year at college, and Savvy is stuck at home with her weight-loss-show contestant mom. In addition to losing an unhealthy amount of weight on the show, she is now obsessed with remaining thin, eating the least amount of food possible, and dragging Savvy into that lifestyle. Meanwhile, Savvy Thank you to the Kid Lit Exchange network for the review copy of this book! All opinions are my own!Savannah (Savvy) is not looking forward to the next year. Her sister and best friend just left for her first year at college, and Savvy is stuck at home with her weight-loss-show contestant mom. In addition to losing an unhealthy amount of weight on the show, she is now obsessed with remaining thin, eating the least amount of food possible, and dragging Savvy into that lifestyle. Meanwhile, Savvy has a new friend/crush in George, the new kid at school. Between her mom’s concerning behavior, her love life, and trying to be a normal teenager in the process, Savvy is juggling quite a bit. The story is about Savvy finding her own happiness amidst insecurities, her mom’s unhappiness, and figuring out who she really is as a person.This book is wonderful. Wonderful! On the surface it’s a YA romance, but the story goes much deeper than that, in a way that’s easy for younger readers to relate to. I loved seeing the development and breakdown of the mother/daughter relationship (and the not so thinly veiled sendup of The Biggest Loser, an extremely harmful show) and how realistically Martin portrays the slow healing of a damaged maternal relationship. She really stresses the importance of how our kids see us versus how we see ourselves, which rarely matches up. Before the reality show, Savvy saw her mother as strong and beautiful, and all she wants is for her mom to look at herself through that lens. (Something we could all stand to do.) Savvy also love the way she looks. She does not apologize for being a certain size, and she displays only a few normal insecurities that anyone might have.As for the romance . . . it’s a sweet plot, and Martin handled it perfectly for middle grade and up readers. I love that looks aren’t ignored (there’s no way for looks not to be involved in the beginning of relationships, especially in a teen YA romance novel), but aren’t the main focus, either. It’s about how Savvy and George support each other and how they make each other feel. Being cute is just the YA icing on top.My only complaint about To Be Honest is that I wish it was longer! There were some wonderful sub-plots that would have been even better if they’d had a few more pages devoted to them, and Savvy’s relationships with her mom and dad would have benefitted from a few more in-depth scenes. However, this book is perfect as a middle school and teen book and as a body-positive story (more fat girls in lead roles with the focus not being on their weight, please). I would truly recommend it to anyone ages 11 and up. You need it in your life!!
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  • Sara
    January 1, 1970
    I loved Maggie’s debut, The Big F, when I read it last year. TBH has been at the top of my 2018 TBR ever since it was announced and I was so excited to grab a copy when I was at BookCon! Side note, BookCon was how long ago and I’m just now getting to the ARCs? I’m so sorry.Anyway, the review.Savannah is definitely a less likable heroine than Dani was. She’s rude, she’s angry, and she pushes people away. And why shouldn’t she? Her mother is always making snide comments about her weight and trying I loved Maggie’s debut, The Big F, when I read it last year. TBH has been at the top of my 2018 TBR ever since it was announced and I was so excited to grab a copy when I was at BookCon! Side note, BookCon was how long ago and I’m just now getting to the ARCs? I’m so sorry.Anyway, the review.Savannah is definitely a less likable heroine than Dani was. She’s rude, she’s angry, and she pushes people away. And why shouldn’t she? Her mother is always making snide comments about her weight and trying to get her to tag along with her latest diet scheme. I’d be rude and angry, too. Despite Savannah’s attitude problem, or maybe even because of it, I liked her. I got where she was coming from. She was a refreshing protagonist and reading her story made me so happy.The family dynamics in this book stressed me out so much, but I also loved them! In addition to her diet-crazed mother, Savannah has a barely-there father who really isn’t that great at parenting… when he even bothers to show up. Her sister Ashley is her saving grace, but since Ashley just left for college, Savannah is more or less on her own with a mother who constantly makes her feel like she isn’t good enough.Luckily, Savannah’s best friend Grace is a constant positive presence. I loved Grace and the fact that their friendship never took a backseat to the action, regardless of what the action was. There’s a really great side plot about Savannah and Grace doing some investigative journalism, and I loved it!The last thing I want to talk about is the love interest, George. He was such a cutie pie and I loved him so much. George and Savannah were so cute together, honestly, I was just one big heart eyes emoji while I was reading their scenes together. 😍 The only thing I could’ve wished for was some better communication between the two of them. Savannah jumped to a lot of conclusions and George was pretty closed off about his emotions, but considering that they’re in high school, I’m really not that surprised!All in all, this is a great contemporary focusing on body shaming and body image that also includes a super cute romance. Highly recommended!// find more reviews on my blog //
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  • Abbie Martin
    January 1, 1970
    I simply adored this book. Maggie Ann Martin is a force to be reckoned with. She brings a new voice to this generation that advocates for self-love and body positivity. I can't recommend this book enough!
  • Justine May
    January 1, 1970
    MY MIND AUTOMATICALLY GOESAFTER SEEING THIS!
  • Alison
    January 1, 1970
    I really wanted to love this book...but it just left me wanting more from each of the many storylines.
  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    **Thanks for the ARC Netgalley!**Savannah is feeling left behind. Her best friend/almost twin sister has gone off to college. Her mother has become a completely different person, literally and figuratively, after appearing on a Biggest Loser style weight loss/makeover show. Her father has left the family for another woman. And her other best friend is dating a jock...which Savanna is really not sure about. All she wants to do is finish high school and join her sister at college.There is first lo **Thanks for the ARC Netgalley!**Savannah is feeling left behind. Her best friend/almost twin sister has gone off to college. Her mother has become a completely different person, literally and figuratively, after appearing on a Biggest Loser style weight loss/makeover show. Her father has left the family for another woman. And her other best friend is dating a jock...which Savanna is really not sure about. All she wants to do is finish high school and join her sister at college.There is first love...maybe, a journalism investigation, and trying to figure out if her mother will be okay. Martin’s To Be Honest was a good book. I loved that Savannah was unapologetic about who she was and what she looked like. There could have been a “fat to fit” makeover montage where Savannah takes up running and eating rice, but that never happens-thankfully. The thing that kept this story from being a great book for me was the fact that several plot points that COULD have been really interesting and exciting to dig into (like the investigative journalism) seemed very superficial...like it was just an afterthought and it never really wraps up and lets you know what exactly happens and how things end up going down. I would have also loved further insight into George (the love interest) and why he was the way he was. The answers given in the book seemed like a bit of a cop-out. And while I was rooting for them, I was also a little frustrated that Savvy was willing to just forgive so easily. All in all, this was a good book. The body positivity was AMAZING and I really liked Savannah (enough to hope that she gets another story...like her college adventures or something.)
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  • Michelle
    January 1, 1970
    Savannah AKA Savvy (how adorable is that nickname?) is one of my favorite kinds of leading lady. Savvy is smart (YES!), snarky, driven, and curvy. I like seeing a female, teen protagonist who can get sh*t done instead of needing someone else to lead her around. Savvy is a senior in high school, thinking about college plans and how she'll survive the school year without her older sister, the buffer between Savvy and their weight-obsessed mother. Despite her mother's questionable intentions, and m Savannah AKA Savvy (how adorable is that nickname?) is one of my favorite kinds of leading lady. Savvy is smart (YES!), snarky, driven, and curvy. I like seeing a female, teen protagonist who can get sh*t done instead of needing someone else to lead her around. Savvy is a senior in high school, thinking about college plans and how she'll survive the school year without her older sister, the buffer between Savvy and their weight-obsessed mother. Despite her mother's questionable intentions, and much to her mother's dismay, Savvy is happy with her body. She's short, she's curvy, and she's unapologetic about it. She still wears cute dresses, knows how to do a smokey eye (I cannot master that), and can do killer fishtail braids. Martin creates a leading lady who doesn't hide behind giant baggy sweatshirts just because she's heavier than the average. Even though Savvy has a healthy image of her body, the important question comes up- How do you reconcile what you see when you look in the mirror with what others push upon you? Savvy has to battle other people's demons in order to keep her own positivity strong. Like Savvy's sister tells her, Savvy is stronger than she thinks. I think we need a lot more Savvy's out there. Girls, no matter their size, need role models that teach them that beauty has no size, and everyone is allowed (and encouraged) to find the beauty in themselves. Along with Savvy and her family, we meet George and Grace. Grace is Savvy's longtime (and seemingly only) close friend, and George is Grace's cousin. Despite Savvy's insistence that boys are never interested in the girls "like her", George comes onto the scene as a potential love interest. Savvy and George's relationship is a little awkward, but their mutual enthusiasm (I totally want my own hype man, too) and lovable dork moments make them a cute match. If there's one thing I wish about To Be Honest, it's that it came in an extended edition. Martin gives us a lot of big issues: Savvy's relationship with both her mother and father (divorced), her mother's faltering parenting abilities and obsession with weight-loss, Savvy learning how to live without her sister, George & Savvy's relationship (will they? won't they?), and the school sports scandal that Savvy and Grace are investigating for their school's newspaper. Despite all of these plot-lines (and god help me, they're ALL interesting) the book goes by way too fast. I wish there were another 100 pages, so each of them could get more page time and detail. I was particularly intrigued by the school sports scandal, but it took a backseat to all of the personal issues in Savvy's life; honestly, if something had to go, that would be a prime target. Although it's really cool to see that aspect of Savvy's interests and skills, I'd gladly read a version where that page time was donated to one of the other conflicts. Overall, To Be Honest reminded me of Julie Murphy's Dumplin' (for once, the ads are right). Even though I think Dumplin' was more focused, stronger, To Be Honest was a fun read with some heartwarming moments between Savvy, her family, and friends. Yes, body positivity. Yes, sassy women. Yes, intelligent, strong, brave girls. I'd totally dig into more of Martin's books, any day.
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  • Renata
    January 1, 1970
    A really enjoyable YA contemporary romance! Loved seeing a fairly confident fat teen girl and the effects of her mother going on a Biggest Loser-style show has on her whole family. It's an insightful look at how body positivity isn't a one and done kind of decision but rather an attitude that might ebb and flow depending on what's happening around you. PLUS a girl who's good at math tutoring a boy who's less good at math. plus a side queer romance. plus teen journalists on the CASE.
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  • Jenni
    January 1, 1970
    I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I ADORED this book. Hands down, ADORED it. I will absolutely be picking this one up for my school library. I devoured it in under 2 hours. This books is about Savannah, a high school senior who is dealing with life. She has anxiety, a mother who lost an extreme amount of weight publicly via reality tv, and pretty good sense of humor.While she is now left alone with her mother after an ugly divorce and her sister moving to coll I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I ADORED this book. Hands down, ADORED it. I will absolutely be picking this one up for my school library. I devoured it in under 2 hours. This books is about Savannah, a high school senior who is dealing with life. She has anxiety, a mother who lost an extreme amount of weight publicly via reality tv, and pretty good sense of humor.While she is now left alone with her mother after an ugly divorce and her sister moving to college, she starts to push back. She starts coming in to her own, and doesn't let her mothers issues with food and her body change her own opinions about her. SERIOUSLY. A plus-sized main character who sees beauty in her size. Can we get more like this?!?!? We see someone who has weight and weight loss constantly shoved at her via her own mother, sometimes indirectly, and SHE STILL is true to herself. As a fat woman, this was so empowering. I myself have had moments in my life that were mirrored in this book. I love my mother. But my mother also lost a huge chunk of weight when I was in jr. highish. She tried pushing her ideals on me, and I was made to feel like shit because it wasn't working. I had cheerleading coaches tell me I'd be happier if I went back to only eating soup. MY DOCTOR told me after becoming aware of my bulimia that I needed to make "MORE CHANGES" to see results. Let that sink in. My doctor was not concerned with my bulimia because I was overweight. He wanted me to lose more weight. I remember being a size 11 as a freshman in highschool. I wore shapewear EVERY DAY to school. I have read almost every book about eating disorders. I have seen parts of me reflected in every one. But THIS is the book I wish I had had when I was younger. This book is much more than about the weight and the eating disordered mindset that she faces from her mother. It is about find acceptance, and realizing that we project our fears on others. I grew up believing I would never get married because I was fat. No one would be attracted to me because I was fat. I wish I had this book. Fat is an adjective describing your looks. It does not CHANGE who you are. I am rambling at this point, but that's because this book is a much needed, and happy addition to the views that our readers in schools need to see.
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  • Kris
    January 1, 1970
    This was really cute! The parts about her mom and the weight loss really hit home for me. It was fluffy and nice, just what I needed after my breakup.
  • Mckinlay
    January 1, 1970
    Literally the only thing i didn’t hate was the fat rep.
  • Cristin
    January 1, 1970
    To be honest...I really liked this book. I loved the relationships between the main character Savvy and her mother, sister, father, and friends. This book gives us some raw emotions that comes with complicated relationships.I love that Savvy was accepting of her body and she pushed back at those trying to make her feel "less" because she was chubby. It was a really striking difference with the relationship her mother has with her own body.I really wish the book was longer though. There are soooo To be honest...I really liked this book. I loved the relationships between the main character Savvy and her mother, sister, father, and friends. This book gives us some raw emotions that comes with complicated relationships.I love that Savvy was accepting of her body and she pushed back at those trying to make her feel "less" because she was chubby. It was a really striking difference with the relationship her mother has with her own body.I really wish the book was longer though. There are soooo many plot points I felt were either tied up too quickly, or not at all. By the end, I felt like I only read 2/3 of a book.*ARC was given in exchange for an honest review*
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  • Mikayla (MyBookSelf)
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 stars.While I think the topic To Be Honest covers in both body positivity and that being skinny does not equal being healthy are extremely important, I was let down by the execution of this novel.What I liked best about this novel was the character Savannah. Savannah is happy in her skin, which is something I love seeing in fat characters. Her voice really shines through the novel and I felt like I got a wonderful sense of who she is. There are moments where humor really shines through and I 3.5 stars.While I think the topic To Be Honest covers in both body positivity and that being skinny does not equal being healthy are extremely important, I was let down by the execution of this novel.What I liked best about this novel was the character Savannah. Savannah is happy in her skin, which is something I love seeing in fat characters. Her voice really shines through the novel and I felt like I got a wonderful sense of who she is. There are moments where humor really shines through and I laughed out loud or she had classic "preach!" moments when she would address the shaming and constant negativity directed toward her because of her body.Heading into this novel, I thought it would focus heavily on the mother-daughter relationship of Savannah and her weight-loss-obsessed mom. Unfortunately, I felt like this got lost in a storyline that tried to do too much in too little words. We followed Savannah's journey through her family with her sister going to college and the fallout of her parents' divorce and mom's weightloss, but we also follow a love interest and, strangely, a journalism investigation Savannah is spearheading which seems to hold very little significance to the story as a whole. I wish we were able to explore the family dynamic more, and the love-interest storyline seemed to have drama when it was convenient. I think if the journalism subplot had been erased and that space was dedicated to the other subplots, I would've loved the story.Overall, I really loved Savannah and the body-positive plot, but something was lacking in the execution.
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  • Rachel
    January 1, 1970
    When Savvy’s sister Ashley leaves for college, she’s not just worried about losing her best friend. She’s also worried she’s going to lose the only buffer between herself and her newly diet-obsessed mom. Ever since her parents got divorced and her mom went on Shake the Weight, a weight loss reality show, she’s been like an entirely new person… and not really for the better. Her obsession with weight and healthy living extends to Savvy, who isn’t ashamed of her body and is all about body-positivi When Savvy’s sister Ashley leaves for college, she’s not just worried about losing her best friend. She’s also worried she’s going to lose the only buffer between herself and her newly diet-obsessed mom. Ever since her parents got divorced and her mom went on Shake the Weight, a weight loss reality show, she’s been like an entirely new person… and not really for the better. Her obsession with weight and healthy living extends to Savvy, who isn’t ashamed of her body and is all about body-positivity. Even so, some of her mom’s comments really hurt. As Savvy grows increasingly worried about her mom’s behavior and growing apart from her sister, she also faces a new crush at school that might just return her feelings. If they could just accept their feelings for each other, that is. This book deals with some tough issues: namely, eating disorders (important to note, the character dealing with this is not Savvy), living with anxiety, complicated family dynamics, and following your passions. Despite that, the book manages to be fairly light and uplifting. It think that mostly comes down to Savvy’s voice which is fun and sassy. She definitely doesn’t ignore life’s problems, but she’s bold and instead of shying away, faces them head on. I really loved the relationship she has with her sister (I’m a sucker for a good literary sister relationship) and how it grows and changes as Ashley leaves for college and they learn to live apart from each other for the first time. I also loved the budding relationship between Savvy and George and Savvy’s foray into investigative journalism with her best friend. It think it’s important to note—since this is a book with a fat-positive protagonist—that this book does deal pretty heavily with body image issues and disordered eating. Again, those things aren’t happening from Savvy’s perspective, but her mother’s issues with body image are projected onto her and there are a number of body shaming moments that are uncomfortable to read. It’s all handled really well, but I would be lying if I said that that kind of thing wasn’t hard for me to read and some of those scenes definitely got to me. While the book is very positive from Savvy’s perspective about body image and embracing the body you have, if you are worried about reading a book that deals with fat shaming or eating disorders, it’s possible this one might not be the book for you. That said, I really, really enjoyed this book! It’s a very cute and sweet YA novel about friendship and family relationships and falling in like and getting through high school. I would recommend To Be Honest to fans of Dumplin’ and The Upside of Unrequited, both of which also feature sassy, fat, body-positive girls dealing with life and high school crushes.**Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.**
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  • Courtney Garrison
    January 1, 1970
    I wasn’t quite sure of what to expect from this novel. I saw Chelsea on YouTube brag about this book for having a plus-sized main character and talking about loving yourself at any size. I knew after that I wanted to read it.Your main character is Savannah. She is in her senior year of high school and lives with her mom. Her sister Ashely has just moved away for college and so Savannah isn’t sure how she will do living alone with her mother.Savannah’s mom I went through the whole book with mixed I wasn’t quite sure of what to expect from this novel. I saw Chelsea on YouTube brag about this book for having a plus-sized main character and talking about loving yourself at any size. I knew after that I wanted to read it.Your main character is Savannah. She is in her senior year of high school and lives with her mom. Her sister Ashely has just moved away for college and so Savannah isn’t sure how she will do living alone with her mother.Savannah’s mom I went through the whole book with mixed feelings about. One moment she is completely normal and supportive of Savannah’s size and the next she completely tears savannah down. Even though she’s been divorced and had her own insecurities it was totally cringe-worthy reading what she said to Savannah.Savannah’s best friend Grace is the wing woman we all need in life. I absolutely adored her. She was always there for Savannah and ready to kick anyone’s ass for her, even her own cousins.George was sweet but his anxiety and fear completely get in the way of him being honest with Savannah and I completely related to him and secretly rooted for him throughout the book. He is such a sweetheart.This book does contain quite a few scenes about carbs, sugary foods, dieting and exercising, seeing bones and a few other triggering things, so if you have any triggers relating to eating disorders I would go into this one very cautiously.My favorite aspect of this book was how the author showed both sides of body image. You have Savannah who is happy with her size and is proud of who she is and all her curves. While as you have her mom who has gone on this weight loss show and is now basically starving herself to stay thin. I was really in awe of how the author not only showed both sides but showed it happening under the same roof with a mother and daughter.This book ranks up there with what I lost by Alexandra Ballard. You see how something so small in someone’s life can change their attitude or the way they see something.Overall this is definitely a new fave and I don’t think my review is doing any justice to how good this book is. I hope you all get the chance to read it when it releases.Quotes/Favorite Moments“I never felt beautiful in this dress,” she snapped. “You were beautiful to me in this dress,” I said.“Oh, gosh no, honey. Savannah if you want a snack, there are banana chips in the kitchen,” she said.She started scraping the partially cooked balls of cookie dough into the trash can, disregarding all my yells asking her to stop.“Stop, mom, stop!” I yelled “he brought that; he bought that with his own money! Please stop! She stopped slowly turning back around to face me. Horrified tears had already started falling down my face as I waited for her next move. “Get it out of my house,” she said. (All that because George brought a pizza over)“You say opinionated and outspoken like they’re bad things,” he said."I knew that I was stuffed to the brim from all the spaghetti that I grabbed the first time, but knowing that I would have the option to go back up for a second round of food without any judgment made the biggest sense of relief and calm fall over me."
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  • Jill
    January 1, 1970
    I was immediately drawn to this book when I saw author, Maggie Martin, is not only an Iowa native but also a graduate from the University of Iowa. Admittedly, I have not read her debut novel The Big F, however given the incredible talent Martin possesses for capturing the high school female emotions and fears in her newest novel, To Be Honest, I imagine her first is just as enjoyable. To Be Honest covers some heavy ground, literally and figuratively. Savannah, or Savvy as her friends call her, i I was immediately drawn to this book when I saw author, Maggie Martin, is not only an Iowa native but also a graduate from the University of Iowa. Admittedly, I have not read her debut novel The Big F, however given the incredible talent Martin possesses for capturing the high school female emotions and fears in her newest novel, To Be Honest, I imagine her first is just as enjoyable. To Be Honest covers some heavy ground, literally and figuratively. Savannah, or Savvy as her friends call her, is struggling with her body image obsessed mom, her parent’s divorce, her sister leaving home to start college, and a boy who may or may not like her. All of Savvy’s struggles are relatable in one way or another and perfectly portray fears we as readers have likely felt at some point. While this book lacked the shocking plots, and twisted turns I am used to, it was steadily enjoyable, as evidenced by the fact I stayed up finishing it in one day. Its hook is the emotional connectedness you feel to the characters; the shyness of George, the steadfast determination of Savvy’s mom and even the tightrope her sister is forced to walk as she mends the peace at home while trying to fit into college. You may even feel a little better about your own body, your own fears and your own hesitations after reading this, I know I did. For the full review, please visit: http://fortheloveofthepageblog.wordpr...*Disclaimer: A review copy of this book was provided by Xpresso Book Tours, in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Trianna
    January 1, 1970
    3.5/5TW: For eating disordersThis was a super cute and fun story. I wish I had just sat down and read it in one sitting rather than spreading out over a week. This book has family dynamics, self love, and a super cute relationship. It is also very humorous and the references are modern. It feels like how teens of today talk (at least on the internet because I don't hang out with teens). My favorite part of this book was George and Savannah's banter. It was witty, fun, and super cute. At some par 3.5/5TW: For eating disordersThis was a super cute and fun story. I wish I had just sat down and read it in one sitting rather than spreading out over a week. This book has family dynamics, self love, and a super cute relationship. It is also very humorous and the references are modern. It feels like how teens of today talk (at least on the internet because I don't hang out with teens). My favorite part of this book was George and Savannah's banter. It was witty, fun, and super cute. At some parts I was physically smiling at my phone while I was reading it. They also were equals and ad their own individual strengths and weaknesses. Savannah is great at math, while George is a great musician. They are both so supportive of each other's gifts. I will say that the plot is very focused around the school setting and if that is something you are not interested in, this might not be for you. I also found the overall plot to be a bit messy, the journalism plot is mentioned in the beginning, but doesn't heat up until the end and Savannah's anxiety is mentioned the in the beginning, but is rarely mentioned after. *Thanks to NetGalley for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review*
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  • Kalyn Delillo
    January 1, 1970
    Savannah is the overweight daughter to a newly thin mother who is obsessed with health and weight loss after being a contestant on a weight loss show. Now that her sister is away at college, Savannah will have to navigate her mother’s weight obsession and snide remarks all on her own. This was a quick read that deals with important topics. I really enjoyed that the main character didn’t feel as though she needed to change herself to be loved. Yes, she was insecure at times about how she might be Savannah is the overweight daughter to a newly thin mother who is obsessed with health and weight loss after being a contestant on a weight loss show. Now that her sister is away at college, Savannah will have to navigate her mother’s weight obsession and snide remarks all on her own. This was a quick read that deals with important topics. I really enjoyed that the main character didn’t feel as though she needed to change herself to be loved. Yes, she was insecure at times about how she might be treated by others for her weight, yet she still remained confident and happy in her own skin. That alone is a very powerful statement for teens to read. With that being said, I did feel like there were quite a lot of miscommunications between Savannah and her love interest that could have been avoided, although I understand that was probably only done to add plot interest. My other problem was the ending. It just felt like it was cut extremely short, almost as if we had reached a certain page count, and that was good enough. Overall, I really enjoyed this book and feel it shows a lot of positive body images for plus size teens.
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  • Emily Leyland
    January 1, 1970
    This book is a solid 3.5 stars. I loved Savannah - her voice was clear, she's smart, driven, sassy, and relatable. But I didn't find the story in general to be the most compelling. I couldn't tell what the story was supposed to be about...there was a small romance plot, family drama, and school drama. And while it's fine to have offshoots of the plot, it was hard to focus on which was the most important. And while that's kind of how life goes, it doesn't make for the most readable story. I think This book is a solid 3.5 stars. I loved Savannah - her voice was clear, she's smart, driven, sassy, and relatable. But I didn't find the story in general to be the most compelling. I couldn't tell what the story was supposed to be about...there was a small romance plot, family drama, and school drama. And while it's fine to have offshoots of the plot, it was hard to focus on which was the most important. And while that's kind of how life goes, it doesn't make for the most readable story. I think this is a great read for teenage girls who are having trouble with self-acceptance, or body image, or who struggle to relate to the rest of their family, but I might have been just a little too old to fully relate! Or maybe it's just the problems I already mentioned - I need a more fleshed out plot. I would love to read more about Savannah and George. This might be a book that needs a sequel...
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