Blog Tour: If I'm Being Honest by Emily Wibberley & Austin Siegemund-Broka

Title: If I'm Being Honest
Authors: Emily Wibberley & Austin Siegemund-Broka
Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Hardcover, 384 Pages
Published April 2019

Summary: 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.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review for this blog tour, and I'm really glad that I did, because I really enjoyed reading this story! I tore through this book in only two days because I just wanted to know what was going to happen next, and what sort of drama was going to go down. So without further ado, let's get into my review!

As the summary explains, Cameron Bright is used to being labeled as a bitch. She prides herself on being unflinchingly honest at all times, even when some people don't want to hear it. She's a realist, and she thinks people need thicker skin and to just get used to it. However, after a particularly nasty altercation with another girl from school, Cameron finds herself being labeled a bitch by the one person she wishes would see her differently -- her crush. And thus, since they're reading The Taming of the Shrew in her class, she decides to undergo her own taming, just like Kate did -- vowing to apologize and make things right with everyone she's wronged recently. Too bad it's not as easy as she expects, especially when everyone is suspicious of her intentions.

When I first started this book, I wasn't sure how I felt about Cameron as a character. She reminded me a lot of the high school mean girls that I avoided when I was school, and it seemed like she used blunt honesty as an excuse for saying some pretty awful things to people. However, as I kept reading, I really got into the story and ended up liking her a lot! She really seemed to recognize what it was within herself that wasn't conducive to being a great friend, while also not changing herself completely -- instead, she found a way to be honest without hurting people, and that was a really great character arc to see. (Minor spoilers incoming, skip to the next paragraph to avoid them!) Something that really stood out to me in this book was the scene where Cameron is talking to Elle and saying that there is a difference between apologizing for who you are and apologizing for things you've said/done. I just thought that was a really poignant way to point out that Cameron wasn't necessarily "changing" herself, but making reparations for some of the cruel things she's done in the past. It was just a scene that was really striking to me in the best of ways, and I really enjoyed reading it and I thought it definitely rang true, at least in my opinion. 

My favorite character in this book was definitely Brendan. He was so funny and geeky and adorable, and I found myself swooning over him pretty quickly. The way he was so passionate about his video game design was also something I loved seeing, because I'm a sucker for characters that are super creative and go after what they want. Plus -- designing a video game?!??!?! That sounds super hard to me, in a way that makes me admire him all the more. The way Brendon is so unabashedly himself was one of the biggest reasons I enjoyed seeing him on the page, for sure!

Overall, I really enjoyed reading If I'm Being Honest. If you're looking for a, well, honest read about a character who sometimes says things people dont' want to hear, but also a story that still makes you laugh and swoon a little bit at all the right times, then I'd definitely recommend picking up this book. I'd like to once again thank Penguin for being awesome enough to reach out to me so I could participate on this tour in exchange for an honest review -- because of it, I ended up finding a story that I really enjoyed!

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