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.

To be honest

Summary: To Be Honest

Savannah aka Savvy is a fat teen with a mom who, post-divorce has just completed a weight-loss centered reality TV show. While Sav is a smart, confident girl, her mom constantly needles her about her weight, under the guise of concern for her health. Sav has also just met her best friend’s cousin, George, and the two soon begin a friendship that leads to romance.

The Good

I loved so many things about this book, but what I loved best of all is the focus on the negative impact of diet culture. Savannah’s mother is a prime example of what can happen when people focus too much on losing weight, or view weight loss as the most important form of self-improvement. Although sometimes insecure about her body (who isn’t?), Savannah’s confidence and acceptance will be helpful to other teens and adults.

Also, Sav’s friendship with Grace is the kind of female friendship that needs to be modeled more in young adult literature. In To Be Honest, Savannah and her sister, Ashley also have an admirable relationship–loving and showing up for each other in good and rough times. Of course, I cannot ignore the adorable love story between George and Savvy. I loved watching them become friends, support each other, and start a romance.


To Be Honest is a powerful fat-positive story featuring a strong sisterhood bond, solid female friendships, and a sweet romance. If you’re looking for a young-adult novel featuring an anti-diet-culture message and/or a teen navigating their parents’ divorce, To Be Honest may just be the pick for you. The audiobook is also excellent–would recommend.

To Be Honest is a powerful fat-positive story featuring a strong sisterhood bond, solid female friendships, and a sweet romance. @swoonreads Click To Tweet

To Be Honest

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Have you read this book or anything by Maggie Ann Martin? What did you think? What are your favorite fat-positive books? I’d love to know!

– Afoma

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