I received this book for free from the Publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Everything but the Truth by Mandy Hubbard
Series: If Only #6
Published by Bloomsbury Publishing USA on 2015-11-17
Genres: Friendship, Love & Romance, Young Adult
Source: the Publisher via NetGalley
Amazon • Barnes and Noble • Book Depository
If Only . . . she wasn't pretending to be someone else! The If Only romance line continues in this fun rags-to-riches romance.
Holly Mathews' mom is the new manager of a ritzy retirement home, and they just moved in. But having super-rich retirees as her only neighbors isn't a total bust, because the gorgeous, notorious Malik Buchannan is the grandson of a resident. Just one problem: when they meet, Malik assumes Holly is there to visit her own rich relative. She doesn't correct him, and it probably doesn't matter, because their flirtation could never turn into more than a superficial fling . . . right? But the longer she lives in his privileged world, the deeper Holly falls for Malik, and the harder it is to tell the truth . . . because coming clean might mean losing him.
For anyone who has dreamed of their own Cinderella story, this romance shows that when it comes to true love, the best person to be is yourself!
I didn’t dislike this one nearly as much as the last one, so that’s something, but there are just so many other better YA romances out there. Of course, if a fast, light romance with a touch of friendship kind of story is what you’re looking for, this one definitely fits those requirements. So I think it really just depends on what you’re looking for as to whether or not you’ll like this one. For me, though, I like just a little bit more depth to my books and characters and less annoying circumstances. I think I’m probably done with this series now. But I didn’t hate the book!
For the first half of this book, it just kept getting worse and worse. A tiny, little misunderstanding happens and then keeps growing and growing because the main character can’t just step up and admit that she’s been misleading him. If she had done it in the beginning, just said, BTW, my name is Holly and I live here, there wouldn’t have been a problem to begin with. But because of a misunderstanding and then a lie, and then another lie, and another lie, which wasn’t even a good one, she got in way too deep and ended up hurting Malik more than she wanted and couldn’t take it back. It’s storylines like these that drive me crazy. I’m all for fun, light romances but stupid problems are just stupid. And they become hard for me to overlook. If I constantly feel like yelling at the MC, chances are I’m probably not going to sympathize when them or connect with them emotionally. And that’s a problem.
Besides this stupid lie, I also didn’t like how much I hated the best friend relationship for most of the book. Of course, now that I’ve finished it, I can see why it was written that way and I liked the revelation that happened and the moments after but I’m tired of so many female friendships being portrayed in negative ways. So this one was frustrating in the beginning/middle but actually sort-of kind-of paid off in the end. I just wish it could have been done differently so I didn’t completely hate the friendship by that point.
In the end, all I really have to say is that this book was just okay. Really frustrating for me in the beginning, almost to the point of not finishing it, but it read so quickly that I went ahead and finished it. I’m kind of glad I did because I liked the second half better than the first and didn’t actually end up hating the book like I thought I would. But if lying and stupid misunderstandings are pet peeves of yours, you will have trouble with this book. Also, if you want a romance with some depth to it, this isn’t it. It’s a very quick, light, easy to read YA romance with not much meat that’s very predictable. Good for when you’re in a slump and need something quick to help you move on or maybe good for the younger crowd but not something you’ll think about much afterwards or get much emotion from.