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If I'm Being Honest Blog Tour: Review and The Taming of the Shrew Themes

Mean Girls meets The Taming of the Shrew in this romantic follow-up to Always Never Yours
Cameron Bright's reputation can be summed up in one word: b*tch. It's no surprise she's queen bee at her private L.A. high school--she's beautiful, talented, and notorious for her brutal honesty. But when she slips up in front of her crush, Andrew, any affection he may have had for her quickly fades. To win him over, Cameron resolves to "tame" herself, much like Shakespeare's infamous shrew, Katherine. If she makes amends with everyone she's ever wronged, Andrew will have to take notice. Thus, Cameron begins her apology tour with Brendan, the guy whose social life she single-handedly destroyed. At first, Brendan isn't so quick to forgive, but slowly he warms to her when they connect over a computer game he's developing. To Cameron's amazement, she actually enjoys hanging out with Brendan; he appreciates her honesty in a way Andrew never did, and she's left wondering: maybe you shouldn't have to compromise who you are for the kind of love you deserve.


If I'm Being Honest by Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka is such a fun novel. I really enjoyed this contemporary and I can't wait to see what they have next for their readers. 

“If I was going to commit to someone, I wanted him to be worth the worry, worth the part of me I was going to give him.”

These characters are absolutely amazing. 

Cameron is a senior in high school who wants to go to UPenn. She is so focused on trying to make her father proud of her. She is very blunt. Cameron focuses so much on speaking the truth to others that she doesn't always understand why she hurts people's feelings.

Andrew has been friends with Cameron for what seems like forever. His mom is best friends with Cameron's mom and so they are always at Cameron's house. He has had a crush on Cameron for a long time but never thought Cameron could actually like him back.

Paige seems to be Cameron's biggest arch-nemesis. These two girls do not get along. Paige despises Cameron for many of Cameron's "truth statements". 

Brendan is Paige's brothers. He tends to keep to himself in the computer lab. He enjoys building video games. Brendan has had to live with the awful nickname that Cameron gave him years ago. Now he is known by this terrible nickname for the whole school.

Cameron is the most popular girl in school. There isn't really a reason as to why she is popular. It would be more like that she was naturally born popular if that could be a thing. (I think she is popular because people fear her but that is my own opinion.) Cameron and her friends are known for being ruthless because they all have taken up Cameron's code of conduct of being bluntly honest with no tact. Everyone wants to be their friends just so that they don't end up on the wrong side of the firing squad.

When Cameron is completely rude to Paige, in front of Andrew, it turns Andrew off of wanting to be in a relationship with Paige. Cameron decides that she is going to apologize to Paige in front of Andrew and the whole thing blows up in her face. Paige makes Cameron a deal. She will forgive Cameron for the horrible things she said if (and only if) she can get Brendan to forgive her for starting his horrible nickname.

Cameron starts this journey of trying to become a better person. She realizes that this is not an easy task. I really enjoy how much Cameron grows in this story. I love how even though her changes are for the good that she decides that she is doing them for herself rather than for Andrew. Getting to that point of the story was amazing. This story is put together so incredibly well. I really enjoyed all of it. 

The Taming of the Shrew and Other Thoughts:

Image result for taming of the shrew bookThe Taming of the Shew is my favorite Shakespeare play. This entire play is all about how men and women relate to one another and what roles that take in a relationship. The common gender roles throughout society is that the men take on the more dominant person in the relationship.  In The Taming of the Shrew, Petruchio attempts so hard to get Katherine to conform to her typical wifely duties and she wants no part of it. Petruchio is looking at the situation that he is the dominant person and should be obeyed. People look down on Katherine for her strong will and pigheadedness in the story.

Why am I bringing this up on a blog tour? Well Cameron is reading The Taming of the Shrew in class and she finds that in some areas she relates to Katherine and she wants to learn to change. She may be blunt and honest but she doesn't have any tact. Cameron decides to tell everyone her opinion even when it isn't always needed. I think the other lesson that Cameron learns is, should she have to change herself for someone else?

I think so many people battle with trying to find a good place in their lives where they aren't always looking for approval from someone else. I have been in that position more than once in my life. We battle this a lot as humans. We tried to change who we are in order to satisfy what someone else thinks we should be. Then last thing I would want to do is change the core of my being for someone else.

One thing I want to look at is Marriage and Relationships. Marriage is a big theme in The Taming of the Shrew but in If I'm Being Honest, it is relationships. One of the common items looked at between these two themes is the power struggle between the characters. There is two parts to The Taming of the Shrew when it comes to marriage. There is the 16th century idea that portrays the husband being the boss and the wife is an obedient servant and then there is the more modern way now of men and women struggling over who is in charge. The 16th century idea of marriage is also treated more like a business transaction by then men. Women weren't always treated like people, instead it was more like property. One of the examples Shakespeare is trying to show you is that marriage wasn't always fair and Katherine was fighting for herself.

Now if we take a look at If I'm Being Honest, the characters are too young to get married but it doesn't mean that the same ideas don't apply to the story. Cameron is trying so hard to change herself for Andrew. She is being submissive and trying to change the person that she is. Andrew comes across as being the more dominant person in the relationship. He won't give Cameron the affection she is looking for because she isn't being the type of person he thinks she should be. Cameron spends a good part of this book trying to change herself for him. Something I really liked is that Cameron finally gets to the point where she is trying to figure out if Andrew is worth all the working of changing herself. Shouldn't she be loved for who she is?

Going back to the beginning. I love The Taming of the Shrew. I am so glad they did a re-imagining, retelling, a spin on this book. Whatever you would like to call it. I hope you enjoyed my tangent. I could share so much more but I don't want to bore all of you.

About the Author:

Raised by a school librarian, Austin's always had a passion for books, especially books for young people. He met and fell in love with Emily in high school and went to Harvard University as an undergraduate. He studied English (focusing on Shakespeare) and graduated magna cum laude in 2014. Recently, Austin worked as a journalist for The Hollywood Reporter. He is currently a UCLA law student; however there's nothing he loves like writing with Emily.

Emily, whose parents are screenwriters, has loved writing and story-telling since an age she hardly remembers. Since meeting Austin (she says it was middle school--accounts vary), Emily attended Princeton University as an undergraduate, studied psychology, and graduated magna cum laude in 2014. While at Princeton, she wrote the first novel in her self-published YA fantasy trilogy, The Last Oracle, which was featured in USA Today and was a finalist for the Next Generation Indie Book Awards.

Tour Schedule

Week One
April 15 – Arzo_yo – Creative Instagram Picture
April 16 – A Court of Coffee and Books – Playlist
April 17 – Book Princess Reviews – Listicle: Disney Heroines that changed themselves for love
April 18 – Readerrewind – Creative Instagram Picture
April 19 – Moonlight Rendezvous – Review + Playlist
Week Two
April 22 – Dazzled by Books – Review + Creative
April 23 – Bookish in Texas – Review + Playlist
April 24 – Amber After Glow Reads – Creative Instagram Picture
April 25 – Read by Tiffany – Review + Rainbow Moodboard/Aesthetic
April 26 – A Court of Crowns and Quills – Creative Instagram Picture

Week Three
April 29 – Lindseyybooks – Review + Creative Instagram Picture
April 30 – The Fandom – Review + creative content
May 1 – Forever Young Adult – Review
May 2 – Just Add a Word – Listicle: Top Ten Quotes

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