Monday, June 3, 2013

True by Erin McCarthy - Review


By: Erin McCarthy

Published: May 7th 2013 by Penguin Group (USA)

238 pages

Genre: New Adult, Contemporary

Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thank you!!)

( Goodreads | Amazon | )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and are affiliate links.

Goodreads description--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 really should have made notes when I was reading this book, but honestly, I didn't want to stop reading it to jot stuff down. I just wanted to keep plowing through. But I suspect that I'm going to forget some of the better thoughts I had while reading it since I didn't write them down. Oh well. Here goes...

In the very beginning, I went back and forth on this book. First of all, Rory's roommates' casual sex-lives is something that I just can't wrap my head around. And the fact that once they find out that Rory is a virgin they make it their mission to help her lose her virginity? Really? I just don't really want friends like that. The paid transaction they make to a guy to "help Rory out" was a bit overdone as a concept and even dare I say unrealistic. I guess just overall I didn't really like either of Rory's friends.

Rory herself...I was torn between picking apart her flaws and relating to her. She loves math and science. I love math but HATE science (with a passion, thank you Ms. Sands, my first grade teacher). I was slightly annoyed that people expect every person who loves math to also love science. The two aren't mutually inclusive. But that's just a pet peeve of mine. I very much relate to Rory's logical side because I'm constantly fighting my practical and logical personality. So I related in this way. It was a bit upsetting to me that Tyler was one of the casual partners with Rory's roommate and friend and that Rory could get over that. In my day, you did not under ANY circumstances hook up with someone that your friend had hooked up with. Flirt, sure. Move passed that, no way. But I ended up rooting for Tyler.

Speaking of Tyler, I did move past the above mentioned issue, and I grew to really like Tyler a lot. Seeing what his home life was like and how he stood up to take care of and protect his younger brothers was really awesome. Who wouldn't fall for a guy like that? Even the way that he loved and protected his mom despite what a crap mother she was to him and his brothers. The one thing about Tyler that annoyed me was his self-sacrificing antics to "protect" Rory from a crappy future with him. I just don't go for stuff like that. While I respect the gesture, let's just forget that you're an idiot and move passed this already. (Side note, Tyler has a brother who's seventeen, but acts more like a thirteen year old. What was up with him?)

I found myself swept up in the emotion of this story more than anything. I wasn't expecting to. And despite the flaws that I saw in the book, I really enjoyed it. I even teared up a time or two. I'm not even sure this point was part of the author's intention, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was, but I loved that Erin McCarthy worked this in. Chalene Johnson says in her book Push that she tells her kids that no one can make you feel anything (Ex: So-and-so made me feel bad. He/she made me feel stupid). Essentially, you either agree with the assessment of the person in question or you don't. So you either feel that way about yourself or you don't (either you secretly fear you're stupid or you don't). Erin McCarthy definitely played that up in this book. Rory has her own fears and insecurities about herself, she fears that others will see those same things in her, and if they do then it means what she fears about herself is true. This is life and I've never seen this concept illustrated so well in fiction before.

I enjoyed True much more than I expected to (seems like that's been happening a lot lately). It was more emotional than I was expecting despite the flaws that I saw in the book/story/characters. I'm giving True 4 Stars. Have you read True? What did you think? Let me know!


  1. Hmmmm, now I'm wondering. Yeah, the casually hooking up with the roommates, hard to get over. I might just check this one out anyways - your four star review and the fact that it's New Adult has me wanting this!!! great review!

  2. I think it's worth reading...if you can get over the roommates. While I didn't love them, they didn't dominate the book either. Thanks Kristin!