Author Guest Post and Review: TRUE by Erin McCarthy

Posted 30 April, 2013 | Mary @ TheBookSwarm | | 20 Comments

Today, I’m so pleased to hav Erin McCarthy on The Book Swarm! One of her main characters, Rory, is with her, sharing a letter that gives a little insight into that moment that changed his life. While TRUE is her first venture into New Adult, this isn’t Erin’s first rodeo. She writes the super-hot series, Fast Track, (total Top Off Tuesday material — next week!!) as well as Vegas Vampires and a couple other great series.  

Dear Readers,

     The first time I saw Tyler Mann he was sitting on a stool at the breakfast bar in Nathan’s apartment. Actually, to be totally accurate I heard him first, then saw him. I was doing my typical uncomfortable party behavior- find the one person I knew and cling to them like pet hair on black clothes. The lucky recipient that particular night was Jacob Stapleton, who was in my anatomy and physiology class and he was ignoring the basics of A&P in his assessment of the Human Centipede movie. I’m not a know-it-all and rarely even if I disagree do I speak up and protest, but when it comes to biology, I can’t be silent. “It’s physically impossible, Jacob, you know it. They would die of asphyxiation or dehydration. It’s moronic.”

     “Agreed.” It wasn’t Jacob.
     It was Tyler. Only I didn’t know his name then. I turned, startled, and saw him. He was sitting with his legs spread, his hands on the stool between them, and he was giving me a sardonic smile.
     “What?” I asked blankly, thinking he couldn’t possibly be talking to me.
     “I think infection would be a serious issue, too,” he added. “You’re Rory, aren’t you?”
     He knew who I was? A shiver ran up my spine. I nodded.
     “I’m Tyler. Jessica’s friend.”
     Ah. My roommate’s latest interest. She did like the bad boys and he was definitely dressed the part, with the tattoos and the metal band T-shirt. “Nice to meet you,” I said, though honestly it wasn’t. Jessica’s many flirts made me feel even more awkward, because they always smirked at me and seemed to use a secret ancient language of mating that I couldn’t interpret.
     “You, too. So I guess what we can conclude that the truth isn’t necessarily relevant to entertainment, is it?” he asked.
     “No, I guess not.”
     He saluted me with his beer and slid down off his stool and sauntered away.
     I wonder what would have happened if I had said more. If I had followed him. If I hadn’t waited another three months and stupidly fixed my interest on another guy in the meantime if things would have been different.
     Does a moment in time change everything? Or if two people are meant to be together, will they find each other anyways? I like to think so. Because otherwise how could I explain how Tyler and I ended up in love?
     John Lennon said, “‘There’s nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be…’”

XO, Rory

TRUE by Erin McCarthy
NA Romance
238 pages, ebook
Available May 7, 2013
Publisher: Penguin
Review copy provided by publisher for honest review

In TRUE, Rory Macintosh has nothing in common with Tyler Mann. Innocent, studious, and awkward, she wouldn’t know where to even begin a conversation with the confident, tattooed bad boy.  But when Tyler saves her from a dangerous situation, the two begin to look at each other differently. Tyler knows he’s not good enough for Rory. She’s smart, doctor smart, and from a good family while he’s barely scraping by at his EMT program in the hopes of pulling his younger brothers out of the hell of their home life. But there’s something about her he just can’t keep away from. As Rory enters Tyler’s world, she realizes that she might be out of her depth. If first love is supposed to be easy, then maybe this isn’t the real thing. Or, maybe, their struggles just mean they’ve found something truer to fight for…

Erin McCarthy’s first foray into the realm of New Adult is typical of the category, though that’s a good thing in this case. TRUE sets us up with an awkward, brainy co-ed in a bad situation who gets rescued by her roommate’s hook-up (it’s a bit of a tangle, to be sure). Then he starts to hang out with her and Rory does so with full encouragement from her roomie. It was only sex to her, after all, and she wants Rory to get out and have a good time. 

Rory’s a very logic-based girl, always exploring all aspects of a situation before plunging in — so different than many other look-before-they-leap characters populating YA and NA books. She’s also quite levelheaded about situations which is one of the reasons Tyler takes her breath away. He makes her want to jump in, to try things she’s never tried before.

Tyler is a great guy, too, despite growing up in a difficult home situation. His mom’s a drug addict (prescription pills) and he does his best to help out his two younger brothers while they live under her roof — at least until he and his older brother can get custody of them. He’s tender and caring, sweet without being a pushover. But Rory’s father is not a fan — he’s got tattoos, he’s involved with drugs, he’s from the wrong side of the tracks (so to speak). Plus, Tyler’s dating his daughter. 

Overall, this was a highly enjoyable read. I should have expected it, coming from McCarthy but I’m still a little leery of the New Adult category as a whole. So many that are trying to be NA are just sexed-up, graphic YAs, with little consideration given for the new challenges 18-23-year-olds face and how different they are from young adults. But that’s a whole ‘nother post, considering McCarthy’s deft handling of those tumultuous and life-changing years in college and in the throes of first real love. My only real quibble was the overly-quick ending. I guess I really need full closure, much like Sheldon of The Big Bang Theory.

Pre-Order on Amazon | Barnes and Noble (only $3.99!)

Erin McCarthy is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than 40 novels and novellas in the paranormal, contemporary romance, and young adult genres. The author is a RITA award finalist and an American Library Association winner of the Reluctant Young Reader award. She lives with her family in Ohio.



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20 Responses to “Author Guest Post and Review: TRUE by Erin McCarthy”

  1. I have heard she’s a great author and have read many amazing reviews, but haven’t read any of her books yet. Sounds like I need to remedy that soon!

  2. I LOVED True! And .. it was my first book from her, but I loved it sooo much! Absolutely loved this letter, Rory was pretty awesome:)

  3. Ha, love the Sheldon mention, as I just watched that episode today. 😉

    I’m definitely looking forward to this one! It sounds like it has a lot of the tropes of the genre, but I read an excerpt and I liked the writing style. I think tropes can be a good thing if the author handles them well, and it sounds like she did for the most part.

  4. I’m a bit leery of NA as well, although since I haven’t read any I have nothing to really judge. It’s funny how some books can be typical of a genre but in a good way. There’s a reason formulas work well 🙂

  5. Ahhhhh! I LOVED this book Mary. LOVED it. Rory was the real highlight for me, I loved how she was anti-drama the entire time. I could have just hugged her for being so honest and upfront in her interactions with Tyler, she was just a joy for me. This was my first book by Erin McCarthy and I seriously need to do some exploring of her backlist. Cannot wait!

    Loved that letter, and I’m so glad that aside from the quick ending, you really enjoyed this one too:)

    Do you have a recommendation from her backlist I should start with?

    • I adored Rory! She was a FANTASTIC character–so level-headed and science-y (what does that mean? Sheesh.).

      Um, I think I’d start with HOT FINISH (or one of the other Fast Track books). Super-hot! (I think I’ll have to re-read some of these or read some that I missed! Plus, awesome ToT covers…)

  6. I don’t know how well I’d deal with this initial tangle, I’m afraid. I tend to get jealous on behalf of the characters, lol. But you loved it and Jenny loved it and that’s good enough for me. Plus, Rory sounds like such a fabulous character.

  7. ROFL! I totally knew what Sheldon was getting at with closure. 🙂 Needs it in a book. Oh I’ve been wanting to try this author for a while now. I know I will get to her very soon. I’m also still leery of the NA genre, but this one (despite the quick ending) sounds like a good foray into it. Hm… might still start with her paranormals first. 🙂

  8. I’ve never read anything by Erin McCarthy, and apparently I’ve been missing out! Rory sounds like a character I would definitely root for, and I’m glad this isn’t just sexed up YA like so many other NA books. I think the ending would irk me too, because I’m in Sheldon’s camp all the way, but it sounds like a fab read other than that. Great review!

  9. I’m with you on the NA thing, it’s something I still don’t subscribe to, I think it’s just a label to market these stories.

    That being said, I’m glad you liked True because I kind of got it for review too, lol, and I was nervous about it because of the dreaded NA label.

    Thanks for sharing the pot and your review