If I’m Being Honest by Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka

*Minor spoilers*

High school senior Cameron Bright’s reputation can be summed up in one word: bitch. It’s no surprise she’s queen bee at her private L.A. high school—she’s beautiful, talented, and notorious for her cutting and brutal honesty. So when she puts her foot in her mouth in front of her crush, Andrew, she fears she may have lost him for good. In an attempt to win him over, Cameron resolves to “tame” herself, much like Katherine in Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew. First, she’ll have to make amends with those she’s wronged, which leads her to Brendan, the guy she labelled with an unfortunate nickname back in the sixth grade. At first, Brendan isn’t all that receptive to Cameron’s ploy. But slowly, he warms up to her when they connect over the computer game he’s developing. Now if only Andrew would notice… But the closer Cameron gets to Brendan, the more she sees he appreciates her personality—honesty and all—and wonders if she’s compromising who she is for the guy she doesn’t even want.

I’ve been wanting to read a book by these authors for a long time. I’ve seen so much love for them and their books online that I couldn’t help but want to check out their books! All of them sound amazing, but I was pulled to this one specifically because of the bitchy main character. I’m a big fan of unlikable, or even sometimes mean, main characters. I was looking forward to seeing what Cameron’s journey was going to be, because it certainty sounded like she would be going on one that would change her view of the world drastically.

Oh, do I get the hype surrounding this pair of authors. Oh, do I get the hype around their books. Because this book was all kinds of incredible. I fell so completely in love with it.

I’m starting off with Cameron. She was bitchy (I believe that bitchy is different than being a bitch). She’s honest, and she delivers her opinions unfiltered. She’s also not that way she is with no reason. She’s the way she is because of the obstacles life has thrown at her. That doesn’t make it alright for her to be incredibly bitchy to the world, but it makes me understand her. She’s not bothered by people not liking her, she’s herself, and that’s all she cares about. What I love about her, and her journey, is that she doesn’t compromise herself. She still wants to be starkly honest, she still wants to be outspoken, and she doesn’t want to lose that spark that makes her, her. But she does learn that there are things she can do to be kinder. She doesn’t want to change, but she doesn’t want to be a bitch. I loved her. She’s got sharp edges and she’s made of strong material, but she’s funny and she cares so deeply. I fell completely in love with her.

I also really, really liked how subtle Cameron’s journey to change was. Her mindset slowly changed throughout the course of the book. She found new things she liked and new things she cared about. She truly discovered herself. I know that sounds so cheap and such a bad way to describe, but she truly found what she valued in life, what she wanted to hold close, and how she wanted to move throughout the world. She wasn’t going to change that for anybody, and I think that’s what makes this book so special. She finds herself for herself, and she makes herself into a person she likes.

Also, speaking of subtle, there were some non-subtle things that I didn’t quite like. I felt like the accumulation of Cameron’s journey was very sudden. It was one single moment when everything came together, and I’m just not a fan of those. Though, that is a just a personal preference!

The side characters were another highlight for me. I loved Paige and her group of friends. They were so good for Cameron, and honestly just great people in of themselves.

And Brendon. Oh, I loved him so much in all his nerdy geekyness. I’m gonna leave my gushing there since I feel that phrase can encapsulate everything that makes Brendon so amazing. He’s great, and I love him so much.

I loved this book so much. It felt kind of like a hug. It was painful at points and I wanted to try at some. But there were other times that were so swoony and even others were I had the biggest grin on my face. It’s so, so incredibly written and just an amazing book overall.

You can add If I’m Being Honest on Goodreads and order a copy of your own!

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