Be True to Me by Adele Griffin

It is rare for me to be unable to finish a book. I hate that feeling of guilt over the abandonment, that creeping thought that maybe it gets better, there’s just a slow build up. But, I could not bring myself to finish Be True to Me. I kept waiting for something to happen- some action, or drama, or something, but nothing did. I read until page 148, and all that happened was a never ending saga of rich girls whining and pining after a guy who, in my opinion, was pretty awfully stringing them along.

“Summer romances were made out of ice cream and cotton candy, intensely sweet before they melted into nothing. But I’d never thought of Gil as a summer thing.”

Initially, I was most excited to read Be True to Me because of the setting, Fire Island, NY, in 1976. But, I found the writing inauthentic and clumsy, like someone born in 2010 trying to describe 1990. The only difference between now and Griffin’s ’70s was a few phrases and cultural references. This is probably what disappointed me most about the novel. I am a sucker for a good setting- and lazy, not-entirely lucid days in a wealthy New York vacation spot sounded just perfect. Unfortunately Be True to Me was nothing special- the island too bland to have any summertime mystique.

Putting a book down is always hard for me to do. But when it came to Be True To Me, I just couldn’t keep reading. The characters were annoying and one dimensional, the setting not far enough removed from reality. My search for the perfect beach read is not over yet though- next on my list is Once and For All by Sarah Dessen.

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