Sunday, June 11, 2017

#SneakPeekSunday - Be True to Me by Adele Griffin

Title: Be True to Me
Author: Adele Griffin
Genre: YA Historical Romance
Publication Date: June 13, 2017
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Pages: 352


It's the summer of 1976 on Fire Island, where feathered hair and the Bicentennial celebration reign. Jean, a sometimes cruel, often insecure, and always envious rich girl, is accustomed to living in her glamorous older sister’s shadow. So when Gil Burke, a handsome newcomer with uncertain ties to one of the most powerful families in the exclusive enclave of Sunken Haven, notices Jean—not her sister—Jean is smitten. Then Fritz, a girl from outside the gilded gates who humiliated Jean in the Island’s tennis championship last year, falls for Gil herself. Soon the girls are competing for much more than a tennis trophy, with higher stakes than either of them can imagine.

Told through the alternating perspectives of Jean and Fritz, as they experience feeling like an outsider and first love.

Sneak Peek Review

I received a copy of this sneak peek from Algonquin Young Readers through Netgalley. This is my honest review. 

I really need to start reading book blurbs before I start reading books I think. There were some details of this book that had me seriously questioning things, like $10 covering the cost of two hamburgers at a bar/restaurant in NYC. That's so not realistic in 2017 (but if you read the blurb unlike me, you'll see this book is set WAY before 2017.) The thing is, the characters behavior and actions for the most part felt pretty modern (granted 1976 wasn't THAT long ago, although I hadn't yet set foot on this planet), so I didn't have a lot of context clues to tell me that this was historical fiction. The biggest one was probably that a 17 year old girl took a guy to a bar and no one batted an eye, but I've seen Gossip Girl; underage children from the upper East side of NYC have no problem getting into bars and drinking. So don't do what I did and forget that this book is set in the 70s. Those details make way more sense when you know in which period the book is set. 

Now I only had a sneak peek of this book, so I only got to read the first few chapters, which means I'm not feeling a particular connection to either of the two main characters (I assume Jean and Fritz are the main characters since the book alternates between their POVs). That being said, at the moment, I love Jean and kind of loathe Fritz, but not just because of how Jean feels about her. Her attitude in her first chapter got on my nerves something fierce. 

It was pretty obvious to me that Jean and Fritz would both be into Gil, even before I got to the chapter where Fritz meets Gil, and I have a feeling that Gil is going to play that for all it's worth (which is sad because I really liked him in the first chapter, but I would quickly lose respect for him if he leads both girls on). 

I felt like this book had a bit of a Dirty Dancing vibe to it (which really should have clued me in to the fact that it's not set in the present, but again, Gossip Girl taught me that rich New Yorkers summer outside of the city). So if you liked Dirty Dancing, there's a chance you may like this as well. Just remember, I only had a sneak peek, so I don't know what the whole book is like. 

While I typically enjoy historical fiction, this is a bit too recent for my tastes, and I don't feel any strong urge to continue the story myself. I'm only a little bit curious how things play out between Jean, Fritz, and Gil, and I imagine I can appease that curiosity with some spoiler filled reviews in a few weeks. So I will very likely not be buying a copy of this book any time soon. - Katie 

Buy the Book

About the Author

Adele Griffin is the acclaimed author of many books for young readers, most recently The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone. Adele lives with her husband and children in Brooklyn, New York.

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