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Estelle: The Truth about You and Me by Amanda Grace

The Truth and You and Me by Amanda GraceThe Truth about You and Me by Amanda Grace ( tweet )
Amanda Grace is also writes as Mandy Hubbard.
Publication Date: September 8, 2013
Publisher: Flux Books
Pages: 235
Target audience: Young adult
Keywords: student/teacher romance, family pressure, sibling rivalry
Format read: ARC from Publisher via NetGalley. (Thanks!)

Summary: When Madelyn is given the opportunity to take college level courses at 16, she never thought she would fall in love with her professor. Bennett is 26 years old, and totally aware that he should not be dating his student. What he doesn’t know that Madelyn is actually still in high school. Through her letters to Bennett, we watch as they grow closer in friendship and wonder just how it will all end.

I know a lot of people who are going to be turned off by The Truth about You and Me because of the assumed teacher/student affair plotline. Chances are if you look at the crime section of any news website, you are going to see similar looking stories. I obviously don’t condone these relationships, but they do happen and Amanda Grace has taken this story and really spun it on its heels.

Here we have a responsible adult (who happens to be a professor) who knows just how much engaging in a relationship with his student could jeopardize his career and his entire life. So he trusts in who Madelyn is, and they decide to wait until the semester is over to do anything about their feelings for each other. Only Madelyn is the one who doesn’t unveil all the facts. She’s only 16; she’s still in high school.

And Bennett has absolutely no idea.

The Truth About You and Me is a really fast-paced read (I got through it in a few hours) but it really made me think about the level of maturity we need to have to be a part of certain relationships, how easy it is to hide who we really are, remaining in control (or so you think), and just what happens when the truth comes out. This is not a story about an older man preying on a younger woman, a child. I believe that Bennett and Madelyn had the makings of a solid relationship but there are so many “ifs” involved… and originating from her own dishonesty? So interesting.

I was incredibly wrapped up in this romance and its complications, and so impressed with how carefully they treated their situation until their deadline. But Grace also sheds some light on the pressure parents place on us to be perfect, and what happens when that product of perfection runs free. Being book smart does not necessary mean being street smart, and what Madelyn made up for in brains, she certainly lacked in maturity.

I definitely suggest giving The Truth about You and Me a shot. You might be pleasantly surprised at your reaction. Two other books that popped in my head when reading this were Stealing Parker by Miranda Kenneally and Where You Are by J.H. Trumble. Sometimes people’s actions are not so clear cut and all three of these books are examples of that.

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September 22, 2013 - 1:09 pm

Hannah @ So Obsessed With - I didn’t realize this one was about a relationship between a teacher and a student, but that’s probably because I haven’t really read anything about it aside from noticing the cover popping up around the blogosphere. I’m a little turned off by the premise, but you’ve managed to make me interested in it with your review. Definitely one I’d consider picking up if I saw it at the library!

September 20, 2013 - 1:12 am

Katy - I’ve been wondering about this one! I have a (weird?) interest in fictional teacher/student stories. There isn’t usually much hope for a positive ending, but they are interesting. I like that he doesn’t know she’s that young and, it isn’t about him preying on her. “Being book smart does not necessary mean being street smart” is so true! Their relationship sounds really fascinating and I really want to try this one sometime!

September 18, 2013 - 3:07 am

Alexa Y. - This book sounds great! I love that it really tackles the whole student-teacher relationship dynamic, right alongside the incredible age gap. It should be interesting, if slightly worrying, to read this story. But I do believe that romances can form between people you least expect. My only problem? The dishonesty. I’ll definitely be checking this out!

September 10, 2013 - 11:23 pm

Liz (Along for the Read) - Ooh this sounds really interesting. I don’t know if it would have stood out if I had come across it any other way, but your reviews are always so enticing! I am definitely adding this straight to the top of my TBR, I need something different to spice things up.

September 9, 2013 - 2:03 pm

Maggie @ Just a Couple More Pages - I was really surprised at how much I liked this one, I had a really difficult time motivating myself to pick it up, but I was glad I finally did. I’m on board with pretty much everything you said and the book definitely raises a lot of though-provoking questions.

September 8, 2013 - 9:13 pm

Joli @ Actin' Up with Books - I always enjoy reading your reviews. When I first learned of this book, I wanted to read it. It isn’t one that I have to read asap, but will get to eventually. I appreciate your honest review and am glad to know that it is worth it.

September 8, 2013 - 8:16 pm

Jess - Hmmm, this isn’t a book I’m familiar with but I’m willing to give the premise a change. I also like the character names.

September 8, 2013 - 5:25 pm

Jen - I had some problems with the romance and whether it was real or not, but I agree, Madelyn’s book smart was definitely not equivalent to her level of maturity. And yes, this book certainly was engaging for that matter. It looks like we share pretty much the same opinions for this book! Brilliant review, Estelle!

September 8, 2013 - 2:41 pm

Hazel @ Stay Bookish - I have yet to read this but I’m happy to hear you liked this, Estelle! I enjoyed Miranda Kenneally’s Stealing Parker and aside from the student-teacher thing, it seems like the two books have more in common, specifically the main character’s immaturity. I agree with you though- the things people do aren’t always so black and white. Wonderful review!

September 8, 2013 - 2:34 pm

molly @ wrapped up in books - I have this one but haven’t gotten to it, but your review definitely makes me intrigued. I really loved JH Trumble’s What We Know, and also felt that the it took an icky subject matter and didn’t ignore the consequences/problems with a student-teacher relationship, but also portrayed it in a way that made it incredibly compelling. When I’m looking for a short, quick read I’ll pick this up!

September 8, 2013 - 1:08 pm

Melissa @ Writer Grrl Reads - I’m glad you ended up liking this one, Estelle! I just couldn’t get past my own personal ick factor, but I do agree that it’s a quick, easy read.

September 8, 2013 - 10:19 am

Bookworm1858 - I ended up really liking this book too-I wasn’t sure due to the subject matter but found that it handled the topic sensitively.

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