Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Review: To Be Perfectly Honest by Sonya Sones

To Be Perfectly Honest: A Novel Based on an Untrue Story by Sonya Sones
Series: Standalone
Published: August 27th, 2013
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
496 pages (ARC)
Genre: Contemporary young adult
Acquired this book: From Simon & Schuster Canada in exchange for an honest review
Warning: May contain spoilers
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Her friends
have a joke about her:
How can you tell if Colette is lying?

Her mouth is open.

Fifteen-year-old Colette is addicted to lying. Her shrink says this is because she’s got a very bad case of Daughter-of-a-famous-movie-star Disorder—so she lies to escape out from under her mother’s massive shadow. But Colette doesn’t see it that way. She says she lies because it’s the most fun she can have with her clothes on. Not that she’s had that much fun with her clothes off. At least not yet, anyway…

When her mother drags her away from Hollywood to spend the entire summer on location in a boring little town in the middle of nowhere, Colette is less than thrilled. But then she meets a sexy biker named Connor. He’s older, gorgeous, funny, and totally into her. So what if she lies to him about her age, and about who her mother is? I mean, she has to keep her mother’s identity a secret from him. If he finds out who she really is, he’ll forget all about Colette, and start panting and drooling and asking her for her mother’s autograph. Just like everyone always does.

But what Colette doesn’t know is that Connor is keeping a secret of his own…

To be perfectly honest, I didn’t know how much I’d like this book. I was both curious and wary when I discovered it was written in verse; curious because I’d never read anything in verse and wary because I thought it would be like poetry and I’m not really a poetry kind of girl (with a few exceptions). Not knowing what to expect, I wasn't sure if it would be random and rambly or if it would be a 'real' story.

Within the first few pages of To Be Perfectly Honest, I was hooked. Colette had me laughing and wondering which parts of her stories were truth and which were made up. I loved her voice, the writing style, and the simplicity of the story itself. I also really loved that despite the simplicity, there were parts that were beautifully written. Parts I read two or three times just to let them sink in because they were such perfection. As a lover of words, those are my favourite kinds of books.

Because I went in not really knowing what to expect, I have to say I was really impressed with the story. It was funny and cute, but it also had a really great message to it. It had twists and turns, it made me laugh out loud repeatedly, but it also made me tear up once or twice. There was a little bit of everything - romance, adventure, family issues, action. I loved the relationship between Colette and her little brother, and thought they were surprisingly well-developed considering the story was told in verse. Then there was the love interest, Connor...oh Connor. I can't say much without getting into spoilers, but I'll say this: Connor was exactly what Colette needed. He came into her life at precisely the right time and taught her so much about herself, her family, and life in general.

If you're like me and you’d never read verse before because you were wary, don’t be. Honestly. I got used to it very quickly and enjoyed the flow of the story just like any other book. To Be Perfectly Honest is a hilarious, fun, unique, and touching coming-of-age story that I would recommend to any fan of contemporary young adult.

A nice side bonus to a book written in verse: I’m a very slow reader, so this was likely the first, last, and only time I’ll ever be able to read an almost 500 page book in a day. ;-)

Have you read To Be Perfectly Honest? What did you think?
Have you read any of Sones's other books? Or any other books in verse? Now that I have a more open mind about verse, I'm planning to read Sones's other books, but I'd love to check out a few by other authors. Do you have any recommendations? 


  1. YESSSSS! I can't wait to read this one. I'm so glad you were able to experience a book in verse and that you enjoyed it.

    "Parts I read two or three times just to let them sink in because they were such perfection."

    This. Totally know what you mean there, and that especially goes for a book in verse. :)

  2. I was very wary of reading books in verse until last year, but I've found a few I've enjoyed. They definitely are a bit of a different reading experience though (and like you said, you can read 500 pgs in a day, haha!).

    I wasn't too interested in this one before, but if they end up getting it at my library I might check it out. Great review Marie!


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