Publishing Info: November 3, 2015 by HarperCollins
Genres: Young Adult, Realistic Fiction, Contemporary, Psych/Mental Health
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Date Completed: October 22, 2015
Sadie Kingston, is a girl living in the aftermath. A year after surviving a car accident that killed her friend Trent and left her body and face scarred, she can’t move forward. The only person who seems to understand her is Trent’s brother, Max.
As Sadie begins to fall for Max, she's unsure if she is truly healed enough to be with him — even if Max is able to look at her scars and not shy away. But when the truth about the accident and subsequent events comes to light, Sadie has to decide if she can embrace the future or if she'll always be trapped in the past.
I had heard so many good things about THE LIES ABOUT TRUTH that I simply couldn’t wait for its release and I requested a copy from Harper Teen. The book fairies granted my wish and sent me a copy and let me tell you… the good things I heard? All true and then some! I started and finished this book in just a day because I couldn’t put it down! (Although I do regret that a teensy bit because I already miss the characters!)
THE LIES ABOUT TRUTH is just so well done all around. From the characters to setting to plot to emotion — everything was incredibly realistic and really came across to me as a real story, almost surpassing that feel of it being fiction. Aside from just connecting to the characters, I really got to know them inside and out, feel their grief and their joy, and every reaction just really felt so genuine. I was so impressed with the character development that Courtney C. Stevens was able to include in this book! I absolutely loved Sadie. Even though I haven’t been through nearly anything like what she did, I saw pieces of myself in her and I just felt like I really got to know her so well throughout the book. She was so realistic to me and I felt like she could have been one of my friends and not just a character in a book, which is something that rarely happens to me.
I also adored Sadie’s parents. Any avid reader of young adult will tell you that too often parents are absent in some way (it does amp up a story when putting a teen into that leadership or life-changing role) but it was so, so refreshing to see loving, caring, and present parents. Sadie’s mom was truly amazing and I loved the relationship she had with her mom. She didn’t seem as close to her dad but they were both really awesome parents and incredibly supportive as she went through this terrible grieving process for her friend and the way she used to look.
I didn’t connect to some of Sadie’s friends as much but it was so great to see how their friendships devolved, changed, and then evolved all over again throughout the course of the story. There’s such a tension between them after “The Wreck” and it was really great to see these characters go through the stages of working on their friendships as they try to figure out how to work on themselves and find that inner-peace again. I also really appreciated how they experienced this massive, life-changing event and it really did change their lives in the sense that no one was really the same once the book was done. Everyone was still true to themselves and they managed to really work on who they became after this incident but they also really did change and took on new roles even in their own friend groups. It was so refreshing to see that exponential change in the characters and really witness them move forward. A mantra that Sadie kept repeating throughout the book was something like “I do not have a time machine” and I loved how the book really carried this mantra all the way through to the end. The characters had to come to this true acceptance that they could never go back to the way things were and they really had to continue on towards the future, embracing who they are in the present day and who they will be once they’re able to move on from this.
The emotion captured in this book was simply fabulous too. I laughed, cried, and everything in between with Sadie, and these characters really had some dynamic personalities. Courtney C. Stevens did an amazing job of allowing those feelings to flow naturally and really let her characters carry the story to the reader through their experiences. It really was like peeking into their lives and I felt very emotionally invested in them.
THE LIES ABOUT TRUTH even had a few surprises and a small mystery! I’ll admit that a mystery always hooks me so the anticipation of figuring out that answer definitely kept me turning the pages in addition to my connection with the characters. There was even a small yet large surprise (I mean, it’s called THE LIES ABOUT TRUTH so naturally some lies are unearthed…) that I totally didn’t see coming in the book that really changed the course of the book for me for the better. When that little knowledge bomb was dropped on me, I became even more invested!
This book was great from start to finish. It was an emotional roller coaster in the best possible way, but it really flowed so well, allowing me to really experience everything naturally as the characters did. (And emotional… water slide? Terrible metaphor, I know.) THE LIES ABOUT TRUTH was so refreshing with its wonderful characters, meaningful story, and true character growth. This is one of my favorite realistic fiction novels in a while and I’m so glad I didn’t wait to read this!
“The View from Goodreads” is a featured section in my reviews that I decided to incorporate! I tend to update my Goodreads status a LOT when I read — reactions, feelings, notes — so I thought it would be fun to share the sort of “reading process”! All status updates are spoiler-free (no specific plot points will be revealed) but will contain reactions to certain pages and/or characters!
Sadie // Character Obsessions: Her scars, avoidance, grief, lists.
Sadie was SUCH an awesome character. It was so awesome to see her progression and character development throughout the book. I was so impressed with her and how much she changed, eventually finding the strength that she needed to push herself mentally and emotionally to heal and become a better person.
Max // Character Obsessions: Healing, Sadie, family.
At first I hadn’t expected to like Max as much as I did. I was a bit afraid of how he would affect the dynamic of the friend group after Trent’s dead and new romantic role with Sadie but he was super sweet and it ended up not being awkward at all. (Okay, maybe a little bit for the characters but not really for me.)
Kept Me Hooked On: Heavier realistic fiction. I haven’t really been drawn towards more serious or heavy realistic fiction lately but I’m so glad I didn’t put this book off! I really connected with it and it was so touching.
Left Me Wanting More: Attachment to Sadie’s friends. There’s not much to complain about with this book but I think the only thing that was really missing for me here was a bit more of a connection to Sadie’s friends. That’s also super hard when everyone is still healing and many of them are on the outs so that might just be how it goes with this book! (Or still could be me.)
This is owning-the-hardcover worthy, my friends. I adored this book and it was such a wonderful read. You may cry but you’ll also laugh, smile, fall in love, and really root for these characters. It was such a wonderful reading experience.
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(Click the cover to see my review!)