True by Erin McCarthy

TrueTrue by Erin McCarthy

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Rory Macintosh and Tyler Mann are opposites; she’s the awkward, premed student who wants to be a coroner and he’s the tattooed, bad boy. When they meet through Rory’s roommate, opposites attract.
Tyler takes in interest in Rory after he rescues her from the groping hands of their druggie friend, and learns that Rory is a virgin. From there, he seems to deem himself her protector, even showing up at her place the next day to help nurse her through her hangover. His interest in her continues when they decide to help tutor each other and, eventually, their romance starts to blossom.
This story started strong. I liked tough-guy Tyler coming to Rory’s rescue and her learning that he has a heart of gold. Tyler comes from a terrible home life that is the total opposite of Rory’s. His mother is a drug addict that is cruel to her children and Rory steps in to help out with Tyler’s younger brothers. Seeing Tyler practically raising his siblings, one of which has Down’s Syndrome, was probably the best part of the book.
Sadly, that is where things fell off. I found the secondary characters, Rory’s roommates Kylie and Jessica, annoying. I think they were drunk or high in every single scene. In fact, Rory meets Tyler because he is sleeping with Jessica. Both girls came off as ditzy and promiscuous and I couldn’t understand why Rory hung around with them when she had been described so differently. Additionally, the girls mention at one point that they paid Tyler to take Rory’s virginity. This plot point was a non-starter. Rory is briefly sad and avoids Tyler for a few days, then she goes on like normal and all is completely forgiven after Tyler quickly says sorry.
The book is written in very short scenes and frequently changes location and time. It was surprisingly bothersome because you never got much substance in a given scene before the book moved on. The middle of the book drags on with repetitive scenes of Tyler and Rory hanging out, people partying, and most males in the book acting brutish.
The conflict of the book revolved around Rory’s father disapproving of the relationship and legal trouble with Tyler’s mom. Neither point was very fleshed out and they were resolved very quickly. The ending of the book was very abrupt and seemed to attempt to quickly tie off the loose ends. It ended up feeling very unsatisfactory.
Possibly the most refreshing thing about this story was the age of the characters. Rory and Tyler are college students and are 20 and 22, respectively. After the first chapter, I almost expected the story to jump ahead ten years because it is so rare to have such young leads in a contemporary romance.
I think that True had a lot of potential, but fell short. There wasn’t enough believable conflict to carry the middle of the story and a lot of the references to Tyler’s prior promiscuity, with Rory’s best friend even, made him a lot less likeable. This was a disappointing read from Erin McCarthy who, otherwise, is a fantastic addition to the romance genre.
Advanced copy provided by Penguin Group through NetGalley.

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