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Be True to Me

3.30  ·  Rating details ·  290 ratings  ·  96 reviews
How far is too far to go for love?

: Could it be true? Instead of a summer playing handmaiden to Daphne, was I being delivered something entirely different—a summer in the spotlight? A summer starring Gil Burke and me?

Summer flings and sexy romances were Daphne’s territory. Not mine. I was the one you didn’t pick.

I swatted off my hope like a bumblebee, knowing it was al
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published June 13th 2017 by Algonquin Young Readers
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Average rating 3.30  · 
Rating details
 ·  290 ratings  ·  96 reviews

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Jen Ryland
Be True to Me is a story of rivalry, jealousy and betrayal. I also thought it was a really beautiful piece of writing.

The story takes place in the 1970s on Fire Island, and is told in alternating first person POV by two girls who have just graduated from high school. Jean is a sophisticated New Yorker, a girl who has always felt inferior to her glamorous older sister. Fritz is a Southerner, and feels out of place in this summer community of wealthy New Yorkers. There's a history of rivalry betw
Jul 02, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: review-copies
In the summer of 1976, to teen girls fall in love with the new boy visiting their home on Fire Island. How far with they go to win his heart?

I read this book as part of a blog tour I was participating in. However, I disiked it and opted out of the review for the tour. I decided to write one now anyway. I always try not to bash books in reviews and so pair my critiques with complements. But in Be True to Me, I'm sorry to say there are very few complements I can give, and those are generally under
Set on Fire Island in 1976, this is a story about two girls -- Jean and Fritz -- and the new boy they're fighting over. It's a story of heat and romance, of summer, and about two girls who don't hate each other, don't tear one another down, but who are fiercely competitive, both on the tennis court and off. Griffin can write twists in her stories and this one is no exception. I'd come to accept something as the resolution and then BAM it was pulled from me (in a good way).

These are rich white k
Frankie Lovely
3.5 stars
See this review and others at A Thousand Lives of Frankie Lovely
I received this sneak peek from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

This review is for an excerpt of this book only. I was happy to be able to read the first few chapters of this book provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Story

This story This story takes place over the summer of ‘76 and follows the lives of two rival girls (Jean and Fritz) who spend their summers in the upper class exclusive beac
Danielle (Life of a Literary Nerd)
So, this will be pretty short because I didn’t really love this story. I guess exclusive and ritzy island stories aren’t for me because I didn’t like We Were Liars either. I wanted a fun summer story of love and drama, but the abundance of pettiness just made the story drag for me.

Things I Liked :
This book really delivered on the summer drama and teen angst. It was over the top and very entertaining. It also helped the plot to move quickly.

Things I Didn’t Like :
All of the characters were
The Blonde Bookworm
Jun 12, 2017 rated it liked it
Be True To Me is the story of two young women and a summer that will change their lives forever. There was romance, drama, fierce competition, and enough juicy gossip to keep me turning page after page. The characters were intriguing and the setting was perfect. I loved the gorgeous beach imagery mixed with days from the past.

As much as I enjoyed the setting, there were a few things that bugged me a little bit as well. I don't particularly love it when there is unnecessary female drama or compe
Michelle (Pink Polka Dot Books)
Jun 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Summery with an edge. A book that made me miss those childhood summers of freedom and friends. It's also completely addicting and I'll be so tired now that I've stayed up all night reading.

I was so excited for this book because-- 70's, and summer, and ADELE GRIFFIN. I know Ms. Griffin doesn't make most people's lists of fave authors, but she's super high on mine. You wanna know why?? It's because her books fucking GO FOR IT. They aren't perfect, and things don't always go the way I want them to
PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps
** I received a complementary copy of BE TRUE TO ME from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.**

Meh. 1.5 stars

1976 Fire Island. 2 girls, 1 boy on a collision course. Jean lives in the shadow of her older sister Daphne, who's off to Europe for the summer. Last year, her tennis rival Fitz captured the title that was supposed to be hers. On the eve of Daphne's departure, family friend Gil notices Jean, not her prettier sister. For once, Jean outshines her prettier sister. Then Fitz arrives f
Alexis (The Book Democracy)
* I received this as an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review *

2.5 starts

I'm going to start by saying that this book has a two tropes I'm not okay with, which is why I rated it as I did. This first is cheating. I really hate cheating in general as a trope it's literally one of my least favorite things in books. The next is girl hate. I hate in when authors push girls against each other and make them full of hate and trash talk each other. In this circumstance it was a lack of will
May 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Liked it.
I had a bit of a time connecting with the book & some of the characters. For 1, this book takes place before my time LOL. And 2, I've never had to compete for a guy's attention & affection.
Poor Fritz. She didn't deserve that dumb shit happening to her. I shed a few tears for her. Poor baby.
And Jean, I started out kinda liking her. By the end of the book, Jean irritated the hell outta me.
All in all, a good book.
Received as a Gr giveaway.
Samantha (WLABB)
May 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical, arcs, romance, ya
Jean is determine to make this summer one of her best. She returns to Sunken Haven with a plan to win the heart of Gil, an island newcomer, and to reinvent herself. However, her plans are stymied, when Gil falls for Fritz, an island outsider. The tug of war over Gil fuels the rivalry, which meets a tragic ending.

This story takes place during the summer of 1976. I was only 4 years old, but I fondly remember the bicentennial. Griffin peppered the story with just enough references to bring me back.
Ms. Yingling
May 26, 2017 rated it liked it
Lots of good 1970s details, but more of a high school book. Very slow paced compared to middle grade books. The party at the beginning of the book with the neighbors was spot on. I could practically taste the inevitable Jell-o mold that was lurking somewhere!
Mar 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
[Edited on 3/8]

Reading all the negative reviews on this book, I thought I would go ahead and give a better idea about why I liked this book.

Some warnings: This book is not a romance. (view spoiler) If you are reading this in hopes of a fun light-hearted summer romance you will be disappointed.

Warning 2: All of the characters in this book are pretty unlikable. They are selfish, petty and make rash decisions. So...they are teenager
Apr 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult-teen
If you read one book this summer...this is the one. DYN-O-MITE!

At Reading Rants:
Online Eccentric Librarian
Jul 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc, contemporary, ya
More reviews at the Online Eccentric Librarian

More reviews (and no fluff) on the blog

Be True To Me is YA at its best - a literary read with an historic milieu that is engaging and stays with you long after the story has finished. Characters are conflicted but very much a product of their upbringing - each making decisions and mistakes that are both heartbreaking but also poignantly teen. The writing is engaging: straightforward but evocative. And the story arc is crisp and surprisingly brisk for a slo
Kristyn - Reading to Unwind
This story follows two girls during the summer where they travel to Sunken Island to stay. Jean is a girl from the upper class whose family has been on Sunken Island for years. Jean is finally spending the summer without her over bearing big sister and feels this is her summer. Fritz comes to the island to stay with a family friend every summer. Jean and Fritz have had some history with a tennis tournament last summer. Now Jean and Fritz are at it again for Gil’s attention a newcomer to Sunken I ...more
Wow! Be True to Me was a romance taking place in 1970's. I'm not a big fan of love triangles and I was hoping that this book would change my opinion....which it didn't. Jean is a girl who finally gets to step out of her sister's shadow and gets to show everyone who she is. While in New York, she falls in love with Gil. But, when Gil arrives at Fire Island he makes a connection with Fritz. Fritz is an athletic, spunky girl who is free-spirited. She just broke up with her boyfriend and doesn't wan ...more
Colleen's Conclusions
I received this book from Netgalley as a early advanced copy. This was a really cute beach type of read! I think was like Dirty Dancing, but it was on the beach instead of a resort. It still had the same feel because the two girl characters reminded me of the sisters in the movie. I really liked the plot, and the time setting it was in. It'll be a perfect book to read while on vacation this summer. I also really love the cover, it makes me happy! ...more
Sue Holmes
Jun 25, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc, young-adult
*Review copy received from publisher
I struggled to get into this story for the first half and considered giving up. It did improve as the characters developed although their depth was overshadowed by the dramatic angst which dominates the book.
The exceptionally close parallels to We Were Lies by E. Lockhart gave the story a tired, uninspired taint which it probably doesn't merit.
Jun 27, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2017-read
I was excited to read this book because it was set in 1976. It quickly faded into boredom. This is a love triangle with girl hate.

There are two girls who are on opposite ends of the island life. The boy comes along and plays them both against each other.

It gets two stars instead of one because she did have a few cultural references to the time period
Jul 20, 2017 rated it really liked it

Dena (Batch of Books)
May 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, mystery
Be True to Me is one of those epic love stories that you can’t get out of your head for days after finishing it. I picked it up because I LOVE the cover and it was compared to We Were Liars by E. Lockhart. In many ways, it was like We Were Liars, but it was different too.

Be True to Me is about two girls, both falling desperately in love with the same boy. It takes place in a sun-soaked island community where wealthy families gather every summer. Jean comes from one of these wealthy families, but
Dec 01, 2019 rated it did not like it
Absolutely loved the concept of the book but unfortunately just couldn’t love the book. Really not sure what it was, maybe the narrative with it being between two different people (one of which I disliked) or the overall theme of the book. Would like to try more by the author however.
Apr 16, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: dnf, arc
While I appreciate the unique twist that alternating perspectives between two love rivals offers, what I've read of this book so far didn't particularly interest me.

Jean is a compelling but confusing and unpleasant character, and despite it being told in first person, I haven't had any engagement or understanding of her actions at all. Her relationship with Gil seems like an instalove sort of thing, although things might certainly change further into the book.

Admittedly, the bulk of the story is
Jan 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Excellent, immersive historical fiction. I ended up dreaming about this book.
Jun 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Be True to Me landed on my radar as soon as I saw that Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian, two of my favorite YA authors, provided such positive blurbs for it. Then I saw the comparison to E. Lockhart's We Were Liars (if you haven't read this book, you must! It's deliciously twisty!). At that point it was a done deal: I was reading Be True to Me no matter what. As it turns out, Be True to Me was the perfect slow-burning summer read. A coming-of-age tale at its heart, Be True to Me is infuriating and h ...more
Sara (A Gingerly Review)
Jul 17, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2017, audio-book-2017



Forgettable characters, bad dialogue, and a ho-hum plot that felt like an afterthought. Do yourself a favor, skip this book.


Full review can be found here:

You want the truth about this book? BORING. Snoozefest. This book was dull as dull can get.

Short recap: Two girls fight over the same guy during the summer of 1976.

Pretty direct and two the point, no? That’s about all you need to know when it comes to this book. Do n
Heather A
I received a copy from Netgalley.

I actually had a request wish granted for this one. An enjoyable read, though very meandering and almost no plot until right before the end.

The novel tells the story of two different girls on an exclusive island during the summer of 1976 and the boy they both want the attention of. I don’t quite get why it had to be set in 1976, the setting didn’t really do anything for the story. The setting didn’t really make much difference, the plot could have easily worked
Vina Le
May 27, 2017 rated it it was ok
I received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

The feel when you want to like a book because the set up sounds interesting...and then the main character drives you to rip out your hair.

Jean lacked self esteem to the point where she was the most self absorbed/selfish character I've ever experienced. She's that friend that falls instantly in love, analyzes every little thing the guy does, and then throws a fit when he doesn't call her because she's psychotic. So what is your s
Shannon Holcomb
I'm so sad to say this, but I really did not like this book. It was so disappointing to me.

I was immediately sold when I heard that this book took place in 1976. I thought it was be really cool to experience a contemporary in a different decade, especially the 70's. Unfortunately, had I not known beforehand, I wouldn't have even been able to tell the time setting was 1975 until about halfway through the book.

Where my disliking for this book really spans is that the characters were so incredible
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