True by Erin McCarthy
New Adult contemporary romance*ebook, 222 pages
Published May 7th 2013 by Penguin Group (USA)
When Rory Macintosh’s roommates find out that their studious and shy friend has never been with a guy, they decide that, as an act of kindness they’ll help her lose her virginity by hiring confident, tattooed bad boy Tyler Mann to do the job…unbeknownst to Rory.
Tyler knows he’s not good enough for Rory. She’s smart, doctor smart, while he’s barely scraping by at his EMT program, hoping to pull his younger brothers out of the hell their druggy mother has left them in. But he can’t resist taking up her roommates on an opportunity to get to know her better. There’s something about her honesty that keeps him coming back when he knows he shouldn’t…
Torn between common sense and desire, the two find themselves caught up in a passionate relationship. But when Tyler’s broken family threatens to destroy his future, and hers, Rory will need to decide whether to cut her ties to his risky world or follow her heart, no matter what the cost…
Erin McCarthy, author of the New Adult novel True, talks bad boy heroes and what Hollywood stars would play the characters if a film was ever made based on True.
Why are bad boys so appealing in Young and New Adult fiction?
Bad boys are appealing in all romance novels. Readers love the intensity of emotion they display, and of course, every girl/woman wants to be The One who got him to redeem his wicked ways.
Describe your portrayal of the novel’s hero.
Tyler has all the trappings of a bad boy—he has the tattoos, the heavy metal T-shirts, the terrible home life. Yet he is loyal, trustworthy, hardworking, and sacrificing in order to provide for his younger brothers. To me he is heroic because he could have turned out to be selfish or fallen in with a rough crowd, yet love is what ultimately guides everything he does.
What Hollywood actors would fit to play the characters of TRUE?
I don’t usually write books with actors as inspiration and I didn’t with this book either. So when I think about casting for a film, I can’t imagine any guys who would perfectly fit my image of Tyler. I’m really particular about how I see him. I did, however, just search the Internet for hot guys with tattoos and found some likely candidates. They are posted on my Pinterest and my Facebook fan page. For the girls, for some reason it was easier to pick an actual actress to play the characters. I could see Emma Roberts as Rory and Brie Larson as Jessica. I think any Hollywood actress could probably play Kylie. Robin, who is a minor character in TRUE, but shows up more in the second book, is Hispanic, so maybe Selena Gomez.
About the author:
Erin McCarthy is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than 40 novels and novellas in the paranormal, contemporary romance, and young adult genres. The author is a RITA award finalist and an American Library Association winner of the Reluctant Young Reader award. She lives with her family in Ohio.
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When I first began reading True by Erin McCarthy, I wasn't sure I was going to like main character Rory. She chattered too much in her head. She seemed to comment on everything. But then I realized about thirty minutes later, I had grown accustomed to her steady stream of consciousness filled with naivety, sarcasm and general observations. Some of her comments did raise my eyebrows with her insensitivity (her use of the word "ghetto" and the way she described a boy with Down's syndrome). I figured it was part of her being an outsider, of being from a white suburb in Cincinnati and not accustomed to an urban setting.
Aside from her outlook on life, she was a decent narrator. She made me chuckle occasionally with her wry sense of humor. Watching her scenes with so-called bad boy Tyler as their relationship intensified had its moments. I'm accustomed to Erin McCarthy's paranormal novels and consider myself a fan. Once I settled into Rory's quirky voice, I liked the general idea of the story, but not the full execution.
Opposites attract and in this couple's situation, they may be from different backgrounds but both shared similar sensibilities to a degree. Though an only child, Rory admired Tyler's fierce devotion to his younger brothers living with an alcoholic and drug abusing mother. Rory is also a virgin (I didn't know having one's virginity was a big deal nowadays, isn't is simply a choice?) and her two college roommates want to "help" her change her status. Rory wants what a lot of females want--romance. Will she get that from Tyler? And how far will her closest friends go to guarantee she changes her v-card status?
I may have grown to like Rory's voice, but I didn't connect with her. I never warmed up to her character. I knew I was reading a story, never fell into it like I do with others. The story was formulaic and the characters, though not fully fleshed out enough for me, did give me insight into their back stories and backgrounds. I believe my problem was I didn't really like anyone (for me, liking a 'voice' is not the same as liking the character). When I tried to like someone, they usually did something so stupid, my opinion jumped back to its initial view.
Rory seemed to carry her love for math and science and general geekiness as some type of badge she flung about easily in her defense when she either put her foot in her mouth or was uncomfortable with a situation. I had some other issues with Rory as well. Even when she found out what her roommates had done, she continued to see Tyler (after a week of avoiding him), knowing his initial reason for pursuing her. Would one be able to look him in the eyes and not wonder about his true motives forevermore? I am getting tired of every guy who has tattoos being deemed a "bad boy" and now view them as cliche. Why are the fictional women of today so hung up on the importance of a guy being gorgeous as their main reason for dating him that the way he treats her becomes secondary?
And when Rory has a talk with the same guy who almost raped her in the opening scene and he makes an unsavory (really moronic) suggestion, she considers it. What? All for revenge? For a young woman quick enough to hide behind her intelligence, what happened to her high I.Q. in this case?(Hint: something Tyler does to her in the front seat of his car for the first time suddenly makes her like Stella from A Streetcar Named Desire.)
I found some parts of True interesting, others convoluted. I wished for a middle of the road feel with the story and not such a seesaw effect. For an author I have previously read, I had a hard time reviewing her foray into New Adult. True didn't always ring truthful to me and only increases my growing frustration with the problems New Adult seems to have during its infancy as a category.
I don't care for the cover. It's boring. Is that supposed to be Tyler? Where are his trademark black tees and tats?
I received a promotional copy from Netgalley.