Madelyn Hawkins is super smart. At sixteen, she's so gifted that she can attend college through a special program at her high school. On her first day, she meets Bennett. He's cute, funny, and kind. He understands Madelyn and what she's endured - and missed out on - in order to excel academically and please her parents. Now, for the first time in her life, she's falling in love.
There's only one problem. Bennett is Madelyn's college professor, and he thinks she's eighteen - because she hasn't told him the truth.
The story of their forbidden romance is told in letters that Madelyn writes to Bennett - both a heart-searing ode to their ill-fated love and an apology.
I just wanted someone to talk to me like you did. Someone who didn't see me as the same old bookworm, too studious, the wet-blanket sort of girl, but instead could build a whole new picture of me based on what I told him.
Madelyn Hawkins is so smart that at the age of sixteen she is attending college under a special program. On the first day she encounters Bennett and can't deny how incredibly attractive he is. They bump into each other outside of class and find that there is a real connection between them. Bennett is funny and smart and really seems to understand Madelyn. There is just one problem. Bennett is Madelyn's professor. And he is twenty five.
I have to admit that I love books about student/teacher relationships. Not in real life. That kind of makes me ill, but if it's in a book I'm all over it. The Truth About You and Me is different to others that I've read in that it's told through letters written by Madelyn to Bennett after everything unravels. It's also her apology to him for not being completely honest.
I originally had a hard time liking Madelyn. I hated this path that she was leading Bennett down. For the most part she seemed much older than her sixteen years, but her dishonesty really showed her lack of maturity. I'm sure we've all at some stage told a lie. An untruth. But nothing like this. Madelyn's deceptions threaten to destroy everything of the man she claims to love. But as Madelyn writes these letters, we slowly get glimpses into the pressures that she faces from her parents. Her life is mapped out for her. They are not her choices for the future but those of her Mum and Dad. And going completely against my initial reactions to her, I found myself really empathising with her and I could understand more the draw she felt towards Bennett. Did it excuse her actions? Of course not, but I think she was such an incredibly lonely girl. Did I think she set out to hurt Bennett with her deceptions? No, I don't. I think at first he may have made her feel better about herself, but her feelings for him were definitely real.
You smiled at me like a boy smiles at a girl, and I was lost to you in an instant, too far gone to care if it was all supposed to be wrong.
Too far gone to care if you were going to turn your back on me when you found out the truth.
I loved Bennett, wholly and completely. He was sweet and caring. Was he naive in not clarifying Madelyn's age? Probably. But he did give her every opportunity to come clean. He mentioned age a few times and Madelyn managed to steer things in a different direction. I truly believed the feelings that Madelyn and Bennett had for each other. And when Madelyn's age finally came out in the open, Bennett's hurt and anger and devastation were written so honestly. I would have loved to be able to get inside his head during it all.
I had not read anything by Amanda Grace (Mandy Hubbard) before, but this will be the first of many of her books that I will read in the future. I found the story completely engaging and extremely well written. It was a quick read and one that I couldn't put down. It does at times have a heavy feel to it and I think that's because you know that this romance is not going to end well. But don't let that deter you. If you love Young Adult contemporary romance, or relationships that are different to what you normally get in YA, then give this one a read.
4/5 Ill Fated Stars