In their latest novel, If I’m Being Honest, Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka (Always Never Yours) bring The Taming of the Shrew (and, with it, Ten Things I Hate About You) into present-day context as high school senior Cameron Bright grapples with what it means to change yourself in order to please others.
Beautiful, smart and brutally honest Cameron has been called a b*tch more times than she can count. But it never bothers her. The people who know her well love her, so why should she care about anyone else? But when her crush, Andrew, calls her out on her behavior, she decides it’s time for a change. Inspired by her English class assignment, The Taming of the Shrew, she decides to “tame herself.” But as one attempt after the next goes awry, Cameron learns that being nice doesn’t mean being soft. And, more importantly, nobody’s approval is worth losing who you are.
Wibberley and Siegemund-Broka’s punchy prose and deft (mis)handling of Shakespeare make for an entertaining read on their own, but the authors’ real strength lies in their treatment of Cameron and her friends, both new and old. While most of these characters aren’t exactly likable, they are all so complex and thoroughly developed that we can’t help but root for them—and see ourselves in them—as they work through the drama and the expectations that come with senior year.