True to Me

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 24 Dec 2019

Member Reviews

A really good read again from Kay Bratt After Quinn's mother dies she learns something that leads her leaving home and travelling to Maui where she discovers a new way of life and will eventually discovers secrets from the past that changes her life forever
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This was my first time reading a book by Kay  Bratt but it definitely will not be the last time. Full of twist and turns  True To Me will keep you hanging on and cheering Quinn on.
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This book is a must read!! While you follow along through all the emotions of learning your family has been keeping lifelong secrets, and a journey through loss and triumphs this book has it all! If you love books with endings that give you all the feels; you need to pick up a copy of TRUE TO ME by Kay Bratt today
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I enjoyed TRUE TO ME, it was a quick read filled with beautiful descriptions, stories and history of Maui.  As a matter of fact, Maui was my favorite character in this book.  I actually felt Maui was a character for the richness, history and wonderful knowledge the author imparted.

Quinn's world is turned around by her mother's deathbed confession that nothing in her life was as it seemed. .She buys a home in Maui to investigate who her real father and family are and gets so much more in the bargai . 

A feel good story that is nicely brought to a conclusion and leaves you wanting to visit Maui.
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Author Catherine Ryan Hyde is one of my big reading discoveries this year. I have only read two of her bajillion books so far, but both hit the bullseye for me. I am thrilled there are so many more for me to dive into.

Stay is a thoroughly engaging story set in the summer of 1969. The plot centers around four main characters, including the deeply affecting Zoe Dinsmore, a 55-year-old recluse with tragedy in her past that has left her racked with guilt. Then there are the two 14-year-old best friends Lucas and Connor, both trying to cope with dysfunctional parents. Lucas has also seemingly taken the weight of the world on his shoulders and is intensely engaged in saving said world. Finally, there is Lucas’s older brother Roy, a troubled Vietnam soldier with his own dark secrets.

The tale is told from the viewpoint of Lucas. Through conversations and their actions, we get a pretty good idea of what the other three characters are like, though it would be nice to have at least one chapter from each of their perspectives. This is minor, however, and no stars are lost. All of these four are suffering. By coming together, they begin to heal each other. At the center is Zoe, a woman racked with pain and regret, but also blessed with ton of wisdom. I loved Zoe. But Zoe needs support as well. And through her relationship with the three young men, she is also able to transform her life.

Major themes include suicide, addiction, almost paralyzing guilt, family dysfunction, the importance of human care and sharing, animal-human relationships, self-worth, and redemption.

It's worth mentioning that this book has one of the very best epilogues I have ever read.

I have read a few books this year involving challenged/troubled young people and their relationships with enlightened older people. I’m digging this particular theme and will be on the lookout for more of these types of books. Recommendations welcome.

If you are looking for a gentle, poignant slice of life centered on deep personal nonromantic relationships, try Stay. I bet you will love it.

I wish to extend my thanks to Net Galley, Lake Union Publishing, and Ms. Catherine Ryan Hyde for an ARC of this novel. Opinions are mine alone and are not biased in any way.
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I have never been to Hawaii but this author took me there in her book.  Her writing is very atmospheric and I enjoyed learning about the Hawaiian culture.  The story is about family, secrets, and love and I enjoyed it very much.  
Many thanks to Lake Union Publishing and to NetGalley for providing me with a galley in exchange for my honest opinion.
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Of all the Kay Bratt books I've read, this hit me the hardest.  I loved Quinn's story and read the entire book in a weekend.  I love a book that continues to make me think long after I've finished it...this is that book.  Give it a try, it's well worth it.
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“I received a free copy of True to Me from the Publisher through Netgalley”


True to Me is a story of self discovery, it is the story of finding your roots and realising where you belong, what you want and what you don’t want. This was a very heart warming and beautiful story.

The first thing that stood out for me in this book was the main charcter Quinn. She was very relatable. Quinn could be my sister, my friend, anyone actually, it could even be me. Quinn was a very well written character and so very relatable. There were plenty other characters that I loved like Kapuna, Maria and Maggie. There was also Aunty Wang and little Alani, I loved them too.

True to Me is set in picturesque location of Maui, Hawaii. The different locations of Maui was beautifully described, not just the beach and the ocean but other sight seeing location were also described. I won’t say that they were described in a lot of details but it was described well enough that I was filled with longing to go there.

Kay Bratt incorporated some things of Hawaiin and also a little chinese culture into this novel. I really enjoyed knowing about these two different cultures.

I think the most mind blowing part of the book was the mystery surrounding Quinn’s father. The way it unfolded in the end, oh my God!!! that was one big twist. I never expected the mystery of Quinn’s father to turn out like that. The last 30% of the book was where this mystery unfolded and I feel that this was the best part of the book.


I have mixed feelings about one of the main side characters Liam, though he was very sweet and caring, I felt that he was just too perfect for my liking. He just didn’t have any flaws. I like characters with some flaws at least, that would have made him more human like. He was made a epitome of perfect man. I can’t relate to these characters.

The second half of first 50% of the book got very slow, I got really frustrated in this part and I won’t lie I once even thought of DNFing. Only predictable things were happening in this part and also I was getting really irritated by Liam, he got really annoying. Thankfully the pace picked up and Liam got less annoying and after that I really enjoyed. So this was my second problem with the book.

Another problem I had with this book was with Ethan, he was shown only in bad light without any redeeming characteristics. Unlike Liam, Ethan was shown as an epitome of asshole. I was so impressed by Quinn, Maria, Kapuna, Maggie and other characters, I just wish that Ethan and Liam also turned this good, they felt a bit too flat for me.


I had some issues with True to me but it was also a great read, it was heartwarming and it also had a awesome twist at the end. So I think True to me is a book I would definitely recommend. I wouldn’t say that True to Me surpassed my expectations but it definitely met them. 

Would I recommend True to Me?

YES, I would recommend True to Me.
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Such a heartfelt story of the path to self discovery.  After the passing of her mother she sets out to find her own way. You become invested in her tale and find yourself hoping for her happy ending.   First experiance with this author was referred by another author whom I really enjoy.  I will be picking up this story again upon release.  Thank you to netgalley for this wonderful chance.
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An interesting tale that drew me in.   Upon her mother’s death, a young woman whose life is all in order and planned out for her suddenly find herself on the way to Maui with confusions related to who her father really was.   She is determined to find out more about her history and that of her mother plus she wants to put down roots on the island that was her mother’s home.   She finds herself enveloped in Hawaiian traditions and Hawaiian concepts of family and realizes she feels at home with much of this new life.   And all along she is finding out more about her own story as well as seeing a new side to her finance back in the States.   As I got into the story, I found myself wanting to know how things were going to work out.   I won’t reveal the details of the plot or the ending because I do try to leave spoilers out of my reviews.  And I will indeed be looking for more books by Kay Bratt.
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Once again Kay delivers a hit with True To Me. As I reflect on this novel the growth of Quinn is central to the book. From her being unsure of herself and of her situations to her relationship with Ethan. She uncovers a family mystery at the death of her mother. She embarks on a journey to Maui . There she discovers not only herself but a family in which she was unaware of. The author propels the novel forward with her gently flowing creative sentences.The setting is sure to please readers as well as the descriptive moments in the book showcasing this beautiful island. Quinn could be any one of us but in the end she finds who her true self was meant to be. Family plays an integral part of this story as well as DNA. Yes we can be connected by blood but this isn’t the only element that makes up a family as we discover. Good job Kay. I look forward to another By The Sea novel. #NetGalley # TrueToMe Thank you for this ARC.
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When Quinn's mother whispers a long held secret to her on her deathbed it sends her ordinary life into a tail spin. A secret that sends her on a journey to Hawaii. This was a moving story and the descriptions of the island and the surroundings were just magical. I loved learning about the culture and traditions. This was such an emotional journey along with the character. This is my first time reading this author and I was completely captivated by the writing and the story. It amazed me. A discovery of heritage. This is brilliant story telling.

Novels N Latte
Hudson Valley NY
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True to Me blew me away! I loved this story of Quinn as she discovered the lies and truths of the life she had been content to live. Her world is rocked to the core when her mother reveals a secret on her deathbed. Quinn travels to Maui, where it all began, to find out the truth. Quinn finds some wonderful people in her quest for answers and maybe, just maybe, she will find out what really makes her happy. 

And how can a story be anything but fantastic when the setting is a beautiful island in Hawaii? Kay's descriptions of the area made me feel like I was there. It was heavenly! 

True to Me is an amazing story that I devoured and enjoyed so much! This author's story just keep getting better and better and I'm always excited to read her books.
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This is a beautifully written story of  love of family, forgiveness and family secrets. I loved the setting of the Hawaiian Islands and how the author infused the story with such lovely descriptions of the island. It was like traveling to Hawaii for the afternoon without the high cost !  Kay Bratt is a favorite author of mine and I was thrilled to receive this for review. Thank you to the publisher and to Net Galley for the opportunity.  My review opinions are my own . 

This is a story of Quinn's Her life is seemingly in order when her  Mother  revels a secret to her on her deathbed. The story takes off from Quinn's previous life as she knew it to a new exciting life in Hawaii amid secrets and truths long held behind a veiled curtain by her Mother. 

I loved this story. It is a sweeping saga that takes you right into the culture and environment of Hawaii.  It was a enjoyable afternoon read with great charcters, lovely setting and a interesting plot. I highly recommend this book for your reading enjoyment.
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Kay Bratt has done it again! She has delivered a heartfelt sensation set in the seemingly magical island life in Hawaii. Quinn thinks she has the life every woman should want until she learns shocking news. News that changes her life forever. The characters in this book draw you in and you feel every emotion that each of them feels. The highs and lows, the good and bad are a wonderful mix that won’t let you put this book down. Thank you to Kay Bratt for bringing the islands alive and moving Hawaii up on my bucket list of places to experience.
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This was a wonderful book to end the year! Quinn’s journey is heartfelt and inspiring. A vast knowledge of Hawaiian culture is displayed by the author. She does an amazing job of capturing the importance of ohana, pono and other aspects which brought back fond memories. I loved the little twists that complicated Quinn’s search while also enhancing her understanding of her situation (don’t want to give too much away). If you’re looking to start the new year with an uplifting story, look no further, get this one. For a more thorough review, please visit my blog at Fireflies and Free Kicks Fiction Reviews. This review was written based on a digital copy of the book.
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I am so very glad that I requested an advance copy of True to Me from Netgalley. I only request books that truly interest me, and little did I know just how much I would fall in love with this book. This was my first read of Kay Bratt's, and I will definitely be looking for more! This book took you on a breathtakingly-descriptive journey to the Hawaiian island of Maui, for a beautiful, interesting, and twisty story of love, loss, family, etc. I highly recommend, and even wish that I had a physical copy of this book, as it would become a part of my very rare kept books collection!
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What happens when you find out your whole life is a lie. Quinn decides that before her future can procede, she has to find her past. There were so many twists in this book. Loved them all and can't wait to read more about this community in the big island. So many characters you want to find out what happens with them
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One thing I absolutely love with reading is finding amazing settings in stories and getting a bit of “virtual” travel while I read. With finding True to Me by Kay Bratt takes place in Hawaii I immediately had to grab this contemporary romance and thankfully the story was a lovely as the setting.

Quinn Maguire had spent her life being raised by a single mother thinking that her father had left as a child but when her mother is about to pass away she admits to lying about who Quinn’s father was. Despite being engaged Quinn decides she really wants to learn her real father was and finds evidence he might be in Hawaii where her mother was raised.

The author did a wonderful job bringing the setting of Hawaii to life in this story even including the culture and people into the mystery of who Quinn’s father might be. While this is more on the side of a contemporary read it does have a pretty solid mystery involved in it too with Quinn looking into her past which made this one a definite page turner. With  likable characters, a great setting and fun plot this one is one I’d recommend checking out.

I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
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Imagine your Mother is dying and her last words are a confession that the man you thought was your deadbeat dad wasn’t even your real father at all. That news would be difficult to absorb even if you were somebody who seems to have their life plan all on track. Quinn Maquire is that person and because of that news she travels to her Mom’s native homeland of Maui in an attempt to find any and all information about her true family. How long will it take her to find the truth about her real family? Will she be happy with the truth she finds? Will she want to go back to any of her old life? How will she be changed by what she finds? 

Kay Bratt has a way of writing that truly delves into her characters deepest inner core. She allows readers to feel as though they know the characters as they would a friend - all the good & all the bad. This particular book is insightful as it reveals all the multiple layers of deceit brought on by nothing more than pure greed. The lessons learned from withholding the truth in TRUE TO ME apply to many real life situations. 

I was provided a complimentary copy of this book by Lake Union Publishers and NetGalley. The opinions expressed here are completely my own and without influence.
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