Review: If I’m Being Honest, Emily Wibberley, Austin Siegemund-Broka

There are no spoilers in this review.

Last year, around that time of the year, I fell in love with a book called Always Never Yours. It had everything I adore in my young adult contemporary books and, naturally, I had to add If I’m Being Honest, the authors’ sophomore novel, on my TBR immediately. Somehow, the book Gods and the authors incredible generosity made my book dream come true and I sobbed while holding the book and… well, you know, sometimes you have expectations and you end up being disappointed, because you expected too much.

Here, it was not like that, at all.

I expected a lot, of course and… once again these two just baffled me and made me just want more, more, more of their stories. Another new favorite to add to my shelves.

ONE OF MY FAVORITE MAIN CHARACTERS. EVER.

☂️

If there is something I noticed in the authors’ debut, Always Never Yours, it’s their main character. How unique she was, bold, brilliant, incredibly unapologetic and confident, one of these main characters we need to see more of in young adult contemporaries and one of these characters that, somehow, inspires me. If I’m Being Honest just follows up in the amazing-characters-I-will-forever-annoy-you-with, introducing us to Cameron. Cameron’s seen as a bitch by most of her classmates, the kind of person that will tell you the cold hard truth without blinking or apologizing for being honest. She’s driven, always likes to be in control, is confident and aware of her own awesomeness and YES to that, she makes lists of her plans-of-action and somehow made me think of a kind of Blair Waldorf, too.

Cameron doesn’t feel like a very unlikeable character, when you take a first look at her. Yet, I fell in love with her.

Despite appearances and what her classmates may think, Cameron was so, so well developed and so, so not a bitch. She was such a complex, three dimensional character and, as the story goes on and we get to know her, her family history, her own struggles and her own journey to there and now, everything just… made sense somehow and everything made me want to root for her and adore her. Moreover, her journey and growth through the story was absolutely stunning and most likely one of my favorites ever.

FRIENDSHIPS, FAMILY, ROMANCE: IT HAS IT ALL.

☂️

Just like the cover and the synopsis might make you think, If I’m Being Honest gives a big place to its romance, but doesn’t reduce itself to that, at all. The story was perfectly rounded between family, friendships, romance and character-growth and, friends, this is everything I need in my books.

Obviously I’m going to mention the romance first because it had my heart. It was a blooming romance, slowly starting and with every interaction, from the first banter-ones to the second to the third to the tenth, I was just so. Here. For. All. of. it.

The story also focused on friendships, new, unlikely blooming friendships that, at the start of the story, Cameron would have never imagined going into herself. Yet, slowly, as she’s trying to make amends for the ones she’s wronged and somehow, finding herself enjoying her time with these new friends, I found myself warming up inside and smiling, because sometimes the best friendships come in the most unexpected of places.

Cameron hasn’t the easiest family history and relationships with both her mother and her father and somehow that was such a big part of her, her story and her emotional and personal journey in the book, too.

OVERALL

☂️

Honestly I don’t know how to talk about this book without GUSHING or something, because it had it all. Friendships. Family. Romance. A complex main character going through such a great development. Banter. Great writing and great everything and I just swallowed this book whole and have no regrets. I adore everything these two authors write and will be reading everything they release next.

Friends, if you’re looking for GREAT young adult contemporary books, please take my recommendations and check out both If I’m Being Honest, their debut, Always Never Yours and everything next. I know that I will.

Final rating:  It’s a hurricane!

The biggest thanks in the world, the entire universe and all of the galaxies to the authors for sending me a free ARC of this book. This did not, in any way, influence my thoughts and rating.

Trigger warnings:  cheating & talk of cheating, emotional and verbal abuse from parents.

Diversity: One side character is Black (Andrew).

Emily Wibberley, Austin Siegemund-Broka, If I’m Being Honest, Published on April 23rd, 2019 by Viking Books For Young Readers.

goodreads-badge-add-plus-fad3b68d35050280ea55d50f17c654b5

High school senior Cameron Bright’s reputation can be summed up in one word: bitch. It’s no surprise she’s queen bee at her private L.A. high school—she’s beautiful, talented, and notorious for her cutting and brutal honesty. So when she puts her foot in her mouth in front of her crush, Andrew, she fears she may have lost him for good.

In an attempt to win him over, Cameron resolves to “tame” herself, much like Katherine in Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew. First, she’ll have to make amends with those she’s wronged, which leads her to Brendan, the guy she labelled with an unfortunate nickname back in the sixth grade. At first, Brendan isn’t all that receptive to Cameron’s ploy. But slowly, he warms up to her when they connect over the computer game he’s developing. Now if only Andrew would notice…

But the closer Cameron gets to Brendan, the more she sees he appreciates her personality—honesty and all—and wonders if she’s compromising who she is for the guy she doesn’t even want.

☂️You can also check out my interview with Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka about their publishing journey, their books and more!

Did you read If I’m Being Honest? Do you want to (please do do do it’s SO GOOD)?

What was the last YA contemporary book you’ve read and loved? Let me know in comments!

 

 

 

 

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Book blogger, travel blogger, writer. 📚 |🌍 | 💞 Writing & Communications Graduate. French. Living on love, wanderlust and ya books.

52 thoughts on “Review: If I’m Being Honest, Emily Wibberley, Austin Siegemund-Broka

  1. I’ve wanted to read this book ever since you added this to a few of your posts. The cover looks beautiful, the plot sounds interesting, and for you to say now that she is one of your favorite characters ever makes me want to read it even more! I’ve had it in my TBR list for a while, but maybe i’ll bump it up once I get out of my book buying ban. Great post xx

    Melina | http://www.melinaelisa.com

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m really glad you enjoyed this book Marie, I picked up Always Never Yours because of your review (I loved the main character in that book too, she wasn’t like any other character I’d read in YA before) and I’m really excited to pick up If I’m Being Honest, even more so having read your incredible review for it. 🙂
    Cameron sounds like another brilliant main character, and If I’m Being Honest sounds like a book I’m going to love when I get around to it as well.
    Great review. 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  3. OMG I really want to read this now because I’ve heard so many more good things about this book aaaaaah. Also, I feel like you would enjoy reading How To Break a Boy by Laurie Devore? It was one of my old favorites and really, really emotionally gritty but the main character is fierce and should be unlikeable but I loved her a lot. The boy was a SOFT BOI and it was just… overall, really good. Although I’m not 100% sure because I read it a while ago, haha.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It has been so long since I last read a contemporary novel! I miss reading them and this one sounds like such a brilliant one to add to my list. I love that the character’s are three dimensional and it explores the complex relationship between friends and family. I’m definitely going to have to read this one.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I know I’ve said I don’t read a ton of contemporaries, but this year I’ve been reading more of them than fantasy books! Even though I’ve been leaning towards the adult genre, I’ve seen this book around and I LOVE THAT COVER, also, your opinion has just made me add it to GR XD Hopefully, I’ll read it soon!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Oooh this sounds so good! I am getting some Sarah Dessen vibes, which is basically all I need from a contemporary. I also love a mean girl! Characters who are somewhat emotionally unavailable always appeal to me.

    Amazing review! Love the umbrellas for the rating. So cute!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m glad you enjoyed this book and it lived up to your expectations because with high expectations that can be dangerous.

    I really liked this cover and normally illrustrated covers are my favourite but I love the colour scheme and the layout– it’s feel very summery.

    And it is great that you loved the main character— and that she was so complex because they are my favourite type of characters and you get to peel back the layers of them. And I love it when female characters are unapolegitically themselves because you’re right they are an inspiration!! 💛
    GREAT review!!! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I love it when I desperately want a book & somehow it falls into my hands — there’s something so magical about that, and it sounds like that couldn’t happen to a more perfect book for you than this one! 😊 (Maybe there *are* bookworm gods? 😆) This book sounds both really fun to read (I’m such a softie for story arcs where a character uses another person to pursue their crush, but then falls for the person they were using in the first place) and also really thoughtful as well. I’m definitely putting this into my TBR. Great review! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It couldn’t have happened for a more perfect book than this, agree, I just loved it SO much ❤ and hopefully there are bookworm gods somewhere haha 😀
      I really hope you'll give this one a try, Zoie, it was so, SO good 😀
      Thank you!! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I recently requested this from the library. It looks really good! I hope I can get it from the library… your enthusiasm makes me even more excited, and I’m kind of really in a YA contemporary mood at the moment ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I’m so excited for this book! I didn’t realize how much I was anticipating it, until I made plans to go pick it up in the next few days even though I’m on vacations and brought waaaay too many books with me already! Hopefully I’ll have it in my hands soon!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Wonderful review! I haven’t even read the book yet and you’ve already made me fall in love with Cameron ❤️ I’m so excited to get my hands on this and get to know her story, I love fierce, complicated, confident girls. YA needs more of them!

    Liked by 1 person

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