"Give me books, French wine, fruit, fine weather, and a little music played out of doors by somebody I do not know." - John Keats

"You're not allowed to say anything about books because they're books and books are, you know, God." - Nick Hornby

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Review #36: The Truth About You & Me, by Amanda Grace

"Dear Bennett," Madelynn begins. "You might not read this, but maybe they will, and maybe somehow that will help you. This letter can't help us, because there is no us, not any more."

What follows next is a love letter from Madelynn to Bennett. It's also an explanation, as she is trying to save Bennett from legal trouble. It's an apology, with Madelynn trying to make things right, to make him understand. And I think it's a little bit of a plea, one she knows even as she makes it is hopeless, that he will forgive her for her betrayal, and maybe even see his way back to her.

Madelynn is just sixteen when she dual enrolls at the local community college. She is a bright, straight-A student, struggling against the expectations of her parents and the constant push to do more, to do better, to be the perfect daughter. She lands in Bennett Cartwright's Biology 101 class, and is instantly smitten. Bennett is young - just 25 when the semester starts - attractive, and enthusiastic about his first year of teaching full time.

She falls in love with him in that desperate, all-consuming way that only a sixteen year old girl can. She keeps her age a secret, willingly lying to him, justifying it to herself, saying that she'll tell him once the semester is over. Of course the truth comes out, as it always does, and the fall out is far bigger than Madelynn ever thought possible.

Grace's prose is spare, aching, and delicate. I devoured this over a matter of hours in one day. This is the first work of Grace's that I've read - I stumbled across this quite accidently on NetGalley - but this will definitely not be my last.

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