Review| To Be Honest – S.M. James

S.M. James is a new to me author and I want to thank her for providing an ARC for me to read and review! To Be Honest is a new release that will be available on the 15th! I really enjoyed reading To Be Honest, so keep on reading for my full review!

Angus Reid is pretty sure he’s being catfished.

After spending the last half of junior year talking online to the guy of his dreams, Angus wants to meet. In person. So when Scotty brushes it off with excuses of not being ready, red flags go up.

Determined to either catch Scotty out, or take a shot at real love, Angus embarks on a summer road trip with his adorkable roommate, Tyler. But as summer stretches on, and mixed messages fly between them, Angus finds his heart torn.

His potential catfisher?

Or his straight best friend?

And while their road trip takes them across the country, Angus is headed for one destination.

Either a happily ever after … or a broken heart.


To Be Honest is the second book in the #lovehim series, but can be read as a standalone. I have to start off by saying that I love the cover of this book! It’s different than most covers these days, but I love the drawing and the little details.

Angus met Scotty on a forum a few months ago and felt an instant connection. He really wants to meet Scotty, but Scotty isn’t ready. This makes Angus worried, is Scotty really who he says he is? I loved that the book took time to explain what catfishing is and the warning signs. This is a real thing these days and I think teens (and even adults) should be aware of the signs.

Angus starts wondering if he really should feel the way he does for someone he met online, which is pretty understandable. He really wants to find out if he’s real, so a road trip seems like the perfect way to spend the summer and make his way to Scotty. He starts this trip with his best friend Anah and his roommate Tyler (his straight roommate who he’s kind of had a crush on).

I loved how real this road trip felt (yes, it’s a bit unrealistic with a few of the kids being rich and having funds most teenagers won’t have), but the tension and doubts all seemed real. Yes, they’re friends, but things happen. During this journey, Angus starts becoming confused. Is Scotty real? What about his feelings for Tyler?

To Be Honest (yes, I know it seems like a pun), I figured out how this was going to turn out about a third into this book. I can’t get too much into detail, but I was happy to see how it ended, I was disappointed I already guessed.

I loved the character development in this story. Angus is gay and proud of who he is, but realizes this isn’t as easy as it seems. His best friend Anah is in a relationship that is in a vicious circle, what should she do? And then there’s Tyler who has more going on than it seems!

The chat messages between Scotty and Angus were fun to read along the way, I think it would’ve helped maybe a bit more to have had a few chapters from Scotty’s POV. I love the grand gesture at the end and the fact that the story wasn’t happily ever after within a few chapters.

All in all, this was a very pleasant read. I actually finished To Be Honest in two sittings! I am definitely excited about reading more books by this author!

I’m sorry if some things aren’t completely clear, but I don’t want to give away certain details that I think need to be discovered while you’re reading the book!

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