Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Blog Tour: Be True to Me - Adele Griffin

Be True to Me
Adele Griffin
Series: n/a
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Historical
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
It's the summer of 1976 on Fire Island, where feathered hair and the Bicentennial celebration reign. Jean, a sometimes cruel, often insecure, and always envious rich girl, is accustomed to living in her glamorous older sister’s shadow. So when Gil Burke, a handsome newcomer with uncertain ties to one of the most powerful families in the exclusive enclave of Sunken Haven, notices Jean—not her sister—Jean is smitten. Then Fritz, a girl from outside the gilded gates who humiliated Jean in the Island’s tennis championship last year, falls for Gil herself. Soon the girls are competing for much more than a tennis trophy, with higher stakes than either of them can imagine.

Told through the alternating perspectives of Jean and Fritz, as they experience feeling like an outsider and first love.

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.  I loved all the mentions of the music, the clothing, the hair, even the odd food we ate. It was a cool trip down memory lane.

Our celebratory block party. You can see a lot of Griffin's 70s references. 

This story revolved around three characters: Jean, Gil, and Fritz. Both Jean and Gil were trying to reinvent themselves, while Fritz stayed true to her self.

Gil had recently been accepted into his wealthy uncle's world. He was constantly battling between his desire to please his family and the desires of his heart. This resulted in Gil making some poor decisions, and both Jean and Fritz being hurt in the process.

Jean was a spoiled, entitled, rich girl, who grabbed this opportunity to shine by both hands. She had a chance to enjoy a summer at Sunken Haven without the shadow of her sister looming over her, but Jean also made a myriad of poor decisions, and often tried to justify or dismiss them.

I should have hated both Gil and Jean, but I didn't. Griffin did such a good job with these multidimensional characters, that I would get angry with them, but then later, I would empathize with them. Jean was oppressed being the "Other Custis Sister", and Gil was constantly being reminded that he could be written off if he dared any missteps. I cannot say that these circumstances excused their poor behavior, but it helped me understand their motivations.

Fritz, on the other hand, was fantastic. She loved spending her summers with her best friend in Sunken Haven. She was confident in who she was and her abilities. But as the summer wore on, her confidence began to unravel. The damage inflicted by Jean's and Gil's actions had consequences. Her rose colored glasses were removed, and she began to see the people of Sunken Harbor in a new light. Regardless, she chose to stay true to herself through it all. But again, poor decisions were made.

I found the story quite compelling, and fought sleep to keep reading. Having the story told from Fritz's and Jean's point of view worked really well. I got to hear each of their sides of the story, and see the Sunkie world from two very distinct viewpoints. It was also interesting to see Gil through their eyes, as he was perceived quite differently by each of them, and that added yet another dimension to this story. Griffin did an incredible job relating this tale of what happens when we lose ourselves, and unfortunately for our protagonists, they were a little too late figuring out what was really important.

**I would like to thank the publisher for the advanced copy of this book. Quotes are from an ARC and may change upon publication.


If Adele Griffin could cast this book, this is who she would pick:

Jean Custis - Saoirse Ronan
She just really has that plain vanilla-with-a-twist thing going on.

Gilbert Burke - Lucas Till
Maybe it’s Taylor Swift’s “You Belong with Me” music video, or when he played Travis Brody in “The Hannah Montana movie”- but Lucas Till has some serious southern-charm/boy-next-store qualities. *POINTS OUT PERFECT HAIR AND JAWLINE*

Fritz O’ Neal - Zoey Deutch or Hailee Steinfeld
THIS.IS.HARD. Both young and vibrant, either of these actresses would make a fantastic Fritz. Zoey has that carefree vibe and was stunning as a ‘70s chick in “Everybody Wants Some” but Hailee is more edgy and could pull off that signature raspy voice.

Carpie and Weeze Burke - Danny Houston and Laura Linney
Danny Houston looks like one of the many rich old uncles in Sunken Haven: tan, silver, and never without his evening cigar. Laura Linney played a stereotypical bored Upper East Side mother in “The Nanny Diaries”. She would be great as Weeze, who lives for appearances and overthinks dinner parties.

Julia and Logan
Julia Tulliver, steadfast and true: Jane Levy 
Jean’s reliable yet drippy Bertie? I see Logan Lerman

Junior “the Underminer” Burke feels like either Beau Mirchoff or David Henrie

Daphne Custis - Dianna Agron
Does she look the way she act or act the way she looks? Maybe it’s her ability to rock hair accessories like no other, but Dianna Agron would make a beautiful/cool older sister in the 70s! Just think: She could bring back those strong bitch vibes from Glee when she played head cheerleader.


  • 1 Copy of BE TRUE TO ME by Adele Griffin
  • 1 BE TRUE TO ME patch (see picture)
  • U.S. Only
  • Follow the tour for more chances to win
  • Read the rules and regulations before entering
  • Giveaway ends 6/14/2017

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Adele Griffin is the highly acclaimed author of almost thirty books for Young Adult and middle grade readers.
Her works include the National Book Award Finalists Sons of Liberty and Where I Want to Be, as well as the popular Oodlethunks series for younger readers. Her latest novel The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone was a YALSA Best Book of 2015, an Amazon Best YA Book of the Year, a Booklist Top Ten Arts Books for Youth, a Junior Library Guild selection, a Romantic Times Finalist for Book of the Year, and a School Library Journal Top Fiction pick. Her latest novel Be True to Me is publishing in June 2017 with Algonquin Books.



June 5
The Unofficial Addiction Book Fan Club & Pink Polka Dot Books - Welcome Post
June 6
A Dream Within a Dream - Guest Post (author)
YA and Wine - Q&A

June 7
YA Obsessed - Review
We Live and Breathe Books - Guest Post (author)

June 8
Her Book Thoughts - Guest Post (author)
the book dragon - Review

June 9
Taking it One Book at a Time - Q&A
Reading to Unwind - Review & Favorite Quotes
Zerina Blossom's Books - Review

June 10
Here's to Happy Endings - Review
Deliciously Savvy - Promo

June 11
YA Book Divas - Review & Playlist
BethLee's Book Blog - Review & Favorite Quotes
Never Too Many To Read - Guest Post (blogger)

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  1. I totally agree with you I was able to find empathy for Jean and Gil. I also enjoyed getting to see Gil from Jean and Fritz's perspective. Great review!!

    1. Right? Griffin did such a good job with the characters.

  2. I haven't seen this book before but it sounds amazing. I'm definitely intrigue and will put it in my TBR. Thanks so much the great review and stopping by my blog.💋

    1. Just be prepare, this is NOT a breezy beach book, but Griffin sure knows how to do tragic tales.

  3. I have to admit that I am more interested in this book than I was before reading your review. I am really interesting in the 70's references. Great review!

    1. It was just the right amount of references. The story was very good. Griffin can spin a great tale of tragedy.

  4. I hadn't heard of this one before. Love the time period for it!! Glad you enjoyed dit. Great review!!