Book Review: True by Eric McCarthy

True by Erin McCarthy is a 'new adult' novel that is being released today, May 7 2013. The 'new adult' genre is geared towards those in their late teens and early twenties, and tend to include more sexual or difficult context than young adult novels but might not appeal to a wide range of adult demographics. This novel is about twenty year old Rory Macintosh, a self proclaimed and fairly proud geek that is in college with plans to be a coroner. She has two, much more outgoing, roommates who help her break out of her shell and interact with other people. Tyler Mann is a tattooed bad boy that is in the girl's circle, working his way towards being an EMT in order to help his brothers survive a less than stellar home life. When it is made public that Rory is a virgin, her friends go about trying to change that for her. Can Rory and Tyler get past their differences and the challenges they face to find a solid relationship, or are their futures to different to bridge that gap.

While I am not a fan of this 'new adult' genre, since I see it as just another marketing scheme to sell books since book for this age range have been available for as long as books have been written. However, I am a fan of Erin McCarthy and wanted to see what she would do with the constraints inherent in 'new adult'. I liked McCarthy's inclusion of a college student that is geeky and good-hearted in True. Rory is struggling with the loss of her mother, the her connection with her father, but does not let her challenges dominate her life. Tyler's home life is hard, gritty, and very realistic. I loved the effort he put forth to make sure his brothers would have a better childhood than he had, and how he protects them. The honest natures of Tyler and Rory, even when they are not being honest with themselves, make them feel very real and make their crisis even more heart wrenching as I read.

The struggle between doing what is expected, what is 'right', and following the heart is something most people face at some point, and it is handled perfectly here. Although, as a practical and inked mother, I did have some issue with Tyler and his siblings not being able to afford food and the mortgage but getting tattoos and Tyler never seeming to be low on beer or cigarettes  Sometimes people do make those choices, so it was not breaking with reality, but it still bothered me.

I highly recommend True to readers that want to see how this 'new adult' genre can be done right, and those that just love a realistic fiction and romance. The characters and the situation resonated with me, although I am no longer of age with the target audience for 'new adult' books, and I felt like I was right at Rory's side through out the book.

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