Thursday, May 2, 2013

Book Review: TRUE by Erin McCarthy

Book: TRUE by Erin McCarthy
Genre: New Adult Romance
For: Review
From: NetGalley (released May 7, 2013)

Something about the description for this book caught my eye and so I accepted a copy from NetGalley to review. After a page I thought, hmmm.... not sure if this book is for me! But, of course, I kept reading and was sucked into the story despite that first impression.

Yes, this book is categorized into the fairly new marketing niche we are calling New Adult. My understanding is that this means it features characters in college, out on their own, and discovering all sorts of things about life. But I think that it is also assumed that books falling into this category will be full of all things sex related and all will be well and okay.... including fairly graphic "almost" rape scenes.

So my review of this book is one of those mixed ones. On one hand, I enjoyed the characters and became invested in their story and what would happen and how it would all turn out. The girl was a good sort of girl who felt the need to venture on a new path. She falls for the bad boy, a boy that in reality, she discovers, is a pretty good kid. He has his own issues, dealing with his mom and his brothers and all sorts of deep life issues. This part, I liked.

On the other hand, there was just too much stuff (sex, drugs, abuse, drinking, etc.) included for me to really "like" this book. Yes, I was uncomfortable reading it. And while I've read many uncomfortable books that I ended up loving and learning form, this one I think does not fit that category for me. This one was just blatantly out there. And I picked this one up to "read now" because I was in a major mood for romance, but the actual romance was only a small part, which was very frustrating for me.

And so, basically, if this is an indication of what this new New Adult thing is going to be, I'm not sure I'm on board! And it bugs me because I think that this niche for books would be a good one really, in theory. I just think it doesn't have to be ALL about the sex, you know?

I know this is quite the hotly debated topic around the book blogosphere, so there you have my take. What do you think?

Granted, I will most likely give these books (meaning NA) more chances. I think there's a few more waiting on my Kindle. And I know I've already read a few that would fit nicely in this category had it existed for them. For instance Markus Zusak's I Am the Messenger is a perfect example. And you know how I feel about that book! So, I guess we'll see before I totally brush them off. (While I love YA with all my heart, maybe I'll find I'm "too old" for NA!)

So bottom line: I enjoyed the actually story and the characters (3 stars worth I suppose!) but the execution and method was not to my taste. (I also think had I been more up on this author's previous books, I could have predicted this final outcome!)

By the way for those interested, this appears to be the first of a series similar to the Perfect Chemistry one where the next book follows the brother's story. I like that actually. Cool.

Other Reviews: 

True shows accepting and living the hand that you’ve been dealt in life while finding friendship, love and connection with someone completely opposite. From Readers Confession

BUT my most favorite thing in the story were the tattoos... I was so touch with that... It makes me want to cry... From Books Mystify

Overall, this was a highly enjoyable read. I should have expected it, coming from McCarthy but I'm still a little leery of the New Adult category as a whole. From The Book Swarm

On the surface this novel seems to be rather similar to many of the New Adult books I’ve read in the past year. But True is different. The characters have a lot of depth. The plot has twists and turns. From WhY.A.Not


  1. Yeah, I'm kind of giving NA a wide berth. Definitely not up my alley. Though, I did enjoy I Am the Messenger...

  2. I think the definition I found for NA basically said that it's YA plus sex, so my impression was that it was all about the sex. If it were instead a genre really aimed at "new adults" - people who've just graduated college and/or started working and figuring out what they want from life - that would hold a lot more appeal for me :)



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