(True Believers #1)
ebook, 222 pages
Published May 7th 2013 by Penguin Group
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ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review and approved by Penguin
As soon as I’ve realised this was a New Adult book, I kind of waited a long while to start reading it as I thought that all NA books are starting to sound the same: same plot/same characters. It was a relief when I started reading True and somehow it did not felt like the others. I actually regretted that I haven’t read it sooner. But no use to cry over spilled milk! I own McCarthy an apology for doubting that her book would be amazing: it was.
True is a character-driven novel, the characters lead the plot and it all goes from what they do, the decisions they make. Rory is a lovely female character: she is shy, intelligent and while she never had a boyfriend, she believes that one day someone will notice her. She comes from a middle-class world where difficulties are scarce. You can say that she is a little protected from the real world but she is in no way childish or innocent.
Tyler on the other hand, makes a grand appearance: there is no better way to present your male character than with a rape scene. Rory almost gets raped by a friend of a friend and Tyler appears in the scene and “rescues” her. While Tyler is a sex-buddy of Rory’s friend, they break apart and Tyler starts to get closer to Rory. He says that she is genuine – I agree. Maybe we enjoy Rory so much because she is a simple creature – she wants to be loved and Tyler gives her that chance, to feel loved. She struggles inside her about her virginity and whether Tyler is good enough for her. She starts as a shy college girl and ends as a brave and caring woman. By making her own choices Rory will shows us that relationship can makes us fearless to struggle for those we love.
Tyler is a lot more complicated than Rory. He has a certain bad boy look at the beginning, but as soon as Rory starts getting to know him, he feels real. Having a drug addicted mother, he has to work (and not focus on his studies) and protect his brothers from her. McCarthy portrays the characters as human and gives them an aura of honesty that we don’t get in other NA novels. Tyler problems are real; they actually exist and Rory could be one of us.
Dare I say it that True was my favourite New Adult read so far? Well, yes indeed, I do. By exploring the themes of sex, family and even self-esteem (as Tyler believes Rory is too good for him and Rory believes Tyler is too hot for her), the first novel establishes a level of quality that is rare in other stories. Instead of presenting us with lots of sex scenes, McCarthy prefers to focus on the struggles and fears of her characters. And for that we say: thank you for giving us a great novel!