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Posted September 13, 2013
When I first requested this book for review, I had no idea that it was written in verse. I’d never read a book written in verse, nor did I even know what it was. I’m still not exactly sure. And maybe that’s because this book reads almost exactly like a normal book. I probably wouldn’t have even known it was written in verse if I hadn’t seen reviews mentioning it. I would have just assumed the ebook formatting was off, which happens often with eARCs, and I probably wouldn’t have thought anything of it.
This story was quick and straight to the point. I really like that in a book. I flew right through To Be Perfectly Honest, never once feeling a lull or boring spot. It was a quick read that definitely had me thinking. Some good thoughts, some bad.
Let me start at the beginning. The extent of lying in this book, especially in the very beginning, really started to get on my nerves. I know that’s the point of the story, which later all made sense to me, but in the beginning I was constantly frustrated that she would stop mid-sentence and tell us it was all a lie, and it didn’t happen that way. At one point I wanted to smack the girl. Buuuuuut, I got over it. ;)
Something that really rubbed me the wrong way the entire story was the fact that Colette was only 15 years old. My niece is 16, and if she EVER did half of the stuff Colette did, I would have a hissy fit (to put it nicely). Maybe I’m aging myself now. Maybe this is totally normal behavior for a 15-year-old girl nowadays. But when I was 15, it wasn’t like that.
I did enjoy the characters, especially Colette’s little wise-beyond-his-years brother, Will. His little lisp definitely added to his charm. Colette’s movie star mother, Marissa Shawn, was fun too… though again, I felt much too lenient with her children. Leaving her little 7-year-old son home alone. Letting her 15-year-old daughter spend extended periods of time (including overnights) with her boyfriend. I was more angry throughout this story than anything. And again, maybe I was raised extremely sheltered, or maybe this is how children are raised in showbiz, I don’t know, but it was definitely wayyyyyy out of my normal comfort zone.
This entire story of a summer romance spans only a few months. A lot of information in as few words as possible… Wonderful. And honestly I’m not so scared of verse books now! ;) If you’re looking for a creative story written in verse, teaching a great lesson that sometimes the truth hurts, but the lies hurt more, than I would suggest this story for you. It’s definitely unique and unlike anything I’ve ever read.
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Posted October 13, 2013
Posted November 7, 2014
I’ve become a fan of Sonya Sones writing in the last year or so after reading What My Mother Doesn’t Know and following it up with What My Girlfriend Doesn’t Know. I’ve read most of Sones’ work, and like the rest of her books, To Be Perfectly Honest takes some time to draw you in, then hits you unexpectedly with something to make it great.
The narrator of this book, Colette, is a minor character in Sones’ other work One of Those Hideous Books Where the Mother Dies. We don’t see too much of her in that book, so it was great to see her here with a bigger role. She’s an interesting narrator too; she’s a career liar. With lying being her nature, she’s an unreliable narrator. Lying also plays a big part in the conflict throughout the book. It took me a little bit to warm up to Colette, to be honest, but her personality kept working on me.
What really won me over was the big reveal in this book. At first this was a nice, light teen romance, but at one point it takes on a heavier, more serious tone. It packed a punch, and I like seeing that in a book. It didn’t feel out of place, just unexpected.
Sones’ free verse has all the strength that I’ve come to love in her previous books, and I know I’ll see in the future. I know I’ll be reading whatever Sones has in store for readers in her next book.
Posted September 3, 2014
I have a thing about unreliable narrators: I cannot get enough of them. And Colette is easily one of my favorites. Why? Because she's unreliable about being unreliable! She knows she's a big fat liar and then admits to her lies - or admits to the big ones anyway. You never know if she sneaks in a tiny lie and doesn't tell you about it because she admitted to all these other lies she told. So if she admits to the lies, what makes us think she would lie and not tell us about them. She's crafty. Maybe she admits to the big lies so she can sneak in little ones and we would be none the wiser.
FIND AND INSERT HER COMMENTS ABOUT PARADOXES
I'm sorry. Did your head just explode?
Instead of spending the summer in Paris with friends as planned, her mother, a famous movie star, takes both her and her brother to TOWN while she shoots her new movie. Facing a summer of boredom and babysitting Will, they soon meet Connor (a motorcycle-riding tiger-stripped-hair hunk of man meat) who might just make the summer bearable.
Honestly (ha!), I love Colette. I mean, I wouldn't want be her friend, but as a character I love her to pieces. She adores her younger brother, who has the cutest lisp ever and is far too observant for his young age, but also has that naivete about her that comes with adolescence and young love. She lies for the sake of lying, is proud of the lies she tells, and it doesn't seem to phase her when she does it. However, while perhaps not on such a grand scale, who among us hasn't lied about trivial things when we were teenagers?
Sonya did an amazing job with the verse poetry. Each poem flows into the other perfectly and you don't notice that you're reading verse. Even the formatting and stanzas contribute to the feel of the story. The way your eyes dance across each word and each line enhances both the plot and your reading experience.
An engaging story, To Be Perfectly Honest grabs hold of you from the beginning and continues to suck you into Colette's lies with every page. The unreliable narration is the magnetism that makes this story what it is, that makes you wonder where exactly the lies began.
Posted October 1, 2013
Posted August 9, 2013
No text was provided for this review.