FICTION

To Be Honest

304p. Feiwel & Friends/Swoon Reads. Aug. 2018. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781250183156.
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OrangeReviewStarGr 8 Up—High school senior Savannah (Savvy) has just dropped her only sister Ashley off at college and is dreading living at home alone with her mother. Her mother who, after losing a large amount of weight on a reality TV show, is determined to change Savvy's body too. Her mom's body-shaming comments and food restrictions are things that Savvy knows are wrong, and she desperately tries to not let them impact her self-confidence and love for her body. That's hard to do, though, when her mother is getting more and more drastic in her own restrictions and extreme exercise, and when reality TV comes to their house to film them. Luckily, Savvy has a loyal best friend and a brand-new love interest to distract her, along with a major news story to investigate for her school paper. The portrayal of Savvy's mother's eating disorder is sensitive and will resonate strongly with readers close to this issue, and while the story line regarding Ashley's sexuality is a minor one in the book, it sets up rich conversations between the sisters about acceptance of all kinds. Savvy's story is a welcome one in today's YA market and will help spread a much-needed message to teens about parental mental health issues and the potential dangers of diet culture.
VERDICT A first purchase for libraries serving adolescents.

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