In the opening scene of To Be Honest, Savannah "Savvy" Alverson is in a dorm room at Indiana State, saying goodbye to her big sister Ashley. Ashley is tall and lanky and adores her little sister very much. Savannah is short and chubby and book smart, has a tendency toward panic attacks, and is totally unprepared for the life she's about to have to lead all on her own now that her sister's off to college.
After their parents' divorce many years ago, Ashley and Savannah's mother was cast on a reality television weight-loss show. She lost an extreme amount of weight and gained an unhealthy obsession with the healthy-living lifestyle. This obsession pushes what might have once been self-care into a selfish narcissism that she constantly takes out on Savannah.
Savannah, however, has an extremely positive body outlook. In fact, apart from her mother's obsession and the pointed remarks that come with it, her size and appearance are almost never a factor in her story; she's just trying to placate her mother long enough to get to college and live her own life.
I cannot tell you how incredibly refreshing this is! I love that the book, itself, is not obsessed with its plus-size main character. Maggie Ann Martin actually allows us to look past Savvy's weight into other aspects of her life, and it's a shame that books like this are so few and far between.
So what else is going on in Savvy's life? Well, George, most importantly. Savannah meets George at her best friend Grace's family cookout. They hit it off, even though their time is cut short by one of Savvy's panic attacks. But that's OK — turns out George is also the new guy at school. He's into music but not great at math, so of course, the universe conspires to get Savannah to tutor him.