Well folks, I’m a New Adult goner. Seriously. I see books being published under the genre of New Adult and I MUST have them. While perusing the Netgalley site I came across Erin McCarthy’s True. Billed as a “captivating new adult novel,” I was instantly sold.
When Rory Macintosh’s roommates find out that their studious and shy friend has never been with a guy, they decide that, as an act of kindness they’ll help her lose her virginity by hiring confident, tattooed bad boy Tyler Mann to do the job…unbeknownst to Rory.
Tyler knows he’s not good enough for Rory. She’s smart, doctor smart, while he’s barely scraping by at his EMT program, hoping to pull his younger brothers out of the hell their druggy mother has left them in. But he can’t resist taking up her roommates on an opportunity to get to know her better. There’s something about her honesty that keeps him coming back when he knows he shouldn’t…
Torn between common sense and desire, the two find themselves caught up in a passionate relationship. But when Tyler’s broken family threatens to destroy his future, and hers, Rory will need to decide whether to cut her ties to his risky world or follow her heart, no matter what the cost…
I’ll admit that I went into reading True with high expectations. I’d been coming off of a new adult high thanks to Easy, Losing It, The Secret of Ella and Micha, and The Forever of Ella and Micha and I wanted to love this as much as I love those four. Sadly, this book fell way below my expectations for a few reasons.
Reason number one was probably my issues with all of the supporting characters. Rory’s a girl that’s obviously shy and has self-confidence issues. In the first scene we see a timid girl who just goes with the flow socially and is almost raped as a result of getting mixed up in a bad situation. After Tyler steps in and saves her from impending doom, we the see her roommates give her about 2 minutes of their time before they fall asleep/walk away to leave her to be driven home by Tyler. Did either of them think she wouldn’t want to be alone with a guy at that moment in time? OR that their own sex lives should be placed on hold while they helped their so-called best friend? It makes me angry that they were so callous and selfish.
THEN upon finding out that Rory is a virgin they decide to PAY Tyler to sleep with her? First off, how awkward is that? Also, one of her roommates was Tyler’s “friend-with-benefits” at one point in time. I give Tyler a lot of credit for not taking the money. It showed that he had a respect for Rory and for her decision to choose when/how/where she would lose her virginity. I was happy that Rory confronted him about the plan once she found out about it, and that Tyler lets us in his head to see the misgivings that the plan had caused him. BUT (and here is another huge issue I had with the book) Rory’s roommates are NEVER confronted or held accountable for it. They just make these comments along the way telling her not to hang out with Tyler too much. UGH. The entire situation aggravated me.
Don’t even get me started on the guy that almost raped Rory. Apparently it’s cool to almost rape a girl and then come back to hang out at the house when she’s there. NO COMMENT.
The only thing that saved this book for me (and kept its rating above 2 stars) was the writing. The writing is really descriptive and is big on showing and not telling. Rory and Tyler’s relationship develops through feelings that are apparent and vivid to the reader. Tyler’s backstory is super depressing, but it’s an incredible one. He’s definitely my favorite character in the book due to his intense characterization. While the ending is a bit abrupt, I understand there are more books planned for the series. I can only hope that the supporting characters are held accountable for their actions and that the story develops deeper.
3 out of 5 Stars
True by Erin McCarthy
Penguin Group (2013)
eBook: 240 pages
Special thanks to Penguin Group for my review copy via Netgalley!