To Be Honest by Maggie Ann Martin
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: August 21st 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Savannah is dreading being home alone with her overbearing mother after her sister goes off to college. But if she can just get through senior year, she’ll be able to escape to college, too. What she doesn’t count on is that her mother’s obsession with weight has only grown deeper since her appearance on an extreme weight-loss show, and now Savvy’s mom is pressuring her even harder to be constantly mindful of what she eats.
Between her mom’s diet-helicoptering, missing her sister, and worrying about her collegiate future, Savvy has enough to worry about. And then she meets George, the cute new kid at school who has insecurities of his own. As Savvy and George grow closer, they help each other discover how to live in the moment and enjoy the here and now before it disappears.
I’d never seen so much chevron in my life. We slowly unpacked all my sister’s belongings in her small, dingy dorm room, and I wondered how it would ever feel homey. Right now it reminded me of a glorified prison cell with a set of worn-down loft beds and a free-standing sink in the corner. The cement floor was not helping in my sister’s attempt to make the room prison-chic. Apparently they were redoing the floors and ran out of budget/time to put in new carpets for this year. Lucky Ash.
I helped her put the sheets on her loft bed (not an easy task, might I add) and we giggled as her corner boinked off and smacked her in the nose. Thank goodness for these moments when we could laugh, when we could forget what was going to happen in a few hours. Forget that I would be living without my sister and best friend for the first time in seventeen years.
No matter how many times Ashley tried to broach the subject of her leaving this summer, I would always turn my head and plug my ears. I couldn’t bear it then and suggested that we push off any sad or mushy conversations to the very last minute. I was a professional procrastinator in all things. Especially feelings.
“You put the bug liner on the mattress before the sheets, right, girls?” Mom asked, looking from a long list she’d printed out from one of her favorite mommy blogs.
“No bugs getting in this fortress,” I said, smacking the bed. The force of my hand smack caused another corner of the fitted sheet to snap out from under the mattress and Ashley scowled at me.
“I told you we should have gotten the extra-large sheets,” Mom said.
“That’s a waste of money. We had plenty of working twin sheets already,” Ashley said. Always the practical one, she was. Ashley’s brain was constantly in conservation mode while mom’s brain was always in excess-mode. Especially in the past two years, after Mom and Dad’s divorce, Ashley has had to be the voice of reason in our home.
“The list said extra-long,” Mom mumbled.
Ashley huffed after fixing the sheet once more, and we both climbed down from the loft. I offered to wind her twinkle lights around the base of the bed while she and Mom tag-teamed getting the minifridge up and running. Who knew you could have a teal minifridge with coral flowers? Only Ashley would upcycle our cousin’s old, beaten-up minifridge to make it beautiful. She was going to film school, after all. It was kind of in her blood to be incredibly creative.
While Mom and Ashley exchanged a few heated words while trying to find an extension cord to keep the fridge in the “perfect feng shui location” of the room, I unwrapped the photos she packed. One was of her and me at summer camp the year that we were finally in the same cabin. We both slept in the bottom bunk that year because Ashley was afraid of heights and I was prone to falling out of the bed. I didn’t mind, though. You can’t quite explain the comfort of knowing your sister is close by.
About the Author:
Maggie Ann Martin hails from Iowa City, Iowa but moonlights as a New Yorker. She has a shiny new BA in English and Journalism from the University of Iowa, the most welcoming literary community in the world. When she is not writing, you can find her binge watching TV shows or passionately fangirling over fictional characters on the Internet. The Big F is her debut novel.