5 star reads - Courtney

(Arc) To Be Honest by Maggie Ann Martin


Savannah is dreading being home alone with her overbearing mother after her sister goes off to college. But if she can just get through senior year, she’ll be able to escape to college, too. What she doesn’t count on is that her mother’s obsession with weight has only grown deeper since her appearance on an extreme weight-loss show, and now Savvy’s mom is pressuring her even harder to be constantly mindful of what she eats.

Between her mom’s diet-helicoptering, missing her sister, and worrying about her collegiate future, Savvy has enough to worry about. And then she meets George, the cute new kid at school who has insecurities of his own. As Savvy and George grow closer, they help each other discover how to live in the moment and enjoy the here and now before it disappears

I wasn’t quite sure of what to expect from this novel. I saw Chelsea on YouTube brag about this book for having a plus-sized main character and talking about loving yourself at any size. I knew after that I wanted to read it.

Your main character is Savannah. She is in her senior year of high school and lives with her mom. Her sister Ashely has just moved away for college and so Savannah isn’t sure how she will do living alone with her mother.

Savannah’s mom I went through the whole book with mixed feelings about. One moment she is completely normal and supportive of Savannah’s size and the next she completely tears savannah down. Even though she’s been divorced and had her own insecurities it was totally cringe-worthy reading what she said to Savannah.

Savannah’s best friend Grace is the wing woman we all need in life. I absolutely adored her. She was always there for Savannah and ready to kick anyone’s ass for her, even her own cousins.

George was sweet but his anxiety and fear completely get in the way of him being honest with Savannah and I completely related to him and secretly rooted for him throughout the book. He is such a sweetheart.

This book does contain quite a few scenes about carbs, sugary foods, dieting and exercising, seeing bones and a few other triggering things, so if you have any triggers relating to eating disorders I would go into this one very cautiously.

My favorite aspect of this book was how the author showed both sides of body image. You have Savannah who is happy with her size and is proud of who she is and all her curves. While as you have her mom who has gone on this weight loss show and is now basically starving herself to stay thin. I was really in awe of how the author not only showed both sides but showed it happening under the same roof with a mother and daughter.

This book ranks up there with what I lost by Alexandra Ballard. You see how something so small in someone’s life can change their attitude or the way they see something.

Overall this is definitely a new fave and I don’t think my review is doing any justice to how good this book is. I hope you all get the chance to read it when it releases.

Quotes/Favorite Moments

“I never felt beautiful in this dress,” she snapped. “You were beautiful to me in this dress,” I said.

“Oh, gosh no, honey. Savannah if you want a snack, there are banana chips in the kitchen,” she said.

She started scraping the partially cooked balls of cookie dough into the trash can, disregarding all my yells asking her to stop.

“Stop, mom, stop!” I yelled “he brought that; he bought that with his own money! Please stop! She stopped slowly turning back around to face me. Horrified tears had already started falling down my face as I waited for her next move. “Get it out of my house,” she said. (All that because George brought a pizza over)

“You say opinionated and outspoken like they’re bad things,” he said.

I knew that I was stuffed to the brim from all the spaghetti that I grabbed the first time, but knowing that I would have the option to go back up for a second round of food without any judgment made the biggest sense of relief and calm fall over me.

Courtney 💛

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