Title: The Lies About Truth
Author: Courtney C. Stevens
Publication: November 3rd 2015 by HarperTeen
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 336 pages
Format: Library book
About the book:
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.
So here’s the alphabetical run down:
I loved Sadie’s character, she is the girl you want to be friends with. The accident changed her and you can see that in the difference between the way she is written present day and the flashbacks, but there is an underlying sense of who she is throughout the book. She seems like so much fun, a daredevil and a badass, a great best friend and fun girlfriend and just someone who everyone wanted to be around.
Max is just wonderful. His character is so genuine and caring and comfortable in a good way. I feel like the transition of Gray’s character and relationship with Sadie from the beginning of the story to the end is done really well and in a way that is believable. Gina was lacking a bit to me, she was a bit of a place holder and her character wasn’t fleshed out enough, but it didn’t really take away from the story. Trent, although only in the story in flashbacks and through the memory of his friends, was an amazingly written character. He just had so much charisma that it makes you hurt all the more for the four friends who were left, because who they lost was such an amazing person.
I don’t dislike the cover, but there’s nothing spectacular about it. The broken polaroid, the open back hatch of a vehicle and two guys and two girls walking off into the sunset, there’s nothing that really pulls me in. I know there is another cover where the people are sitting in the back of the vehicle in the picture, but there’s not a lot better about that one. Overall, I feel like there’s just too much white. Also, the title of the book really trips me up. I want it to be “The Truth About Lies” and for some reason I can’t ever get it right.
I loved the relationships in this book: the friendship between Sadie and Trent and the relationship between Sadie and Grey both told in flashbacks, and the potential for a relationship with Max told through emails and the present day. I loved the way the story was knit together through all of these relationships, how they crossed over each other, effecting each other’s lives so intricately until the story of the five friends (Sadie, Trent, Max, Gray, and Gina) can’t be separated.
I love the relationship that Sadie has with her parents because they are actually really good at being parents. I feel like it’s the trend in YA fiction to have parents be either terrible (and effect the story by their terribleness) or almost completely out of the picture (and effect the story by their absence), but seldom do parents in YA fiction effect the story in a positive way. Sadie’s parents were amazing, but even so, the accident and her scarring has taken her a year of therapy to get to the point where she is when the book begins. I feel like this is such a realistic picture of dealing with grief and how good circumstances and a good family don’t just automatically fix you when something bad happens. But their continued love and support for her are such a constant fixture in the storyline.
The time period of this book was really important. Not the year it was set in (present-day, duh) but the time period in regards to the accident. This wasn’t a book where the tragic accident is the first chapter and the book is the story of what happens immediately afterwards. Although the flashbacks through emails from Sadie to Max do let us in on what was going on during that time period. This story is set a year after the accident, as all of the characters come up on the one year anniversary. Instead of feeling tragic and sad and depressing, setting the story a year later makes the book feel hopeful, like we are let into the story right as the characters can begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel they have been living in for the past year. So instead of being a book about a tragedy, it becomes a book about healing from a tragedy, about finding the pieces of your life and putting them back together.
The emails from Sadie to Max were sometimes slightly confusing because Stevens made the decision not to write Max’s response, so you only get Sadie’s perspective and her responding to things that Max has said. Also, I didn’t feel like the climax was as climactic as I expected, but it did unraveled all of the misunderstanding very nicely. The incorrect assumptions that the characters made based on the lies that they told (or the truths they withheld) were all resolved by the end of the book and I do love it when things get resolved.
“No one talked about the questions, because talking ruined plausible deniability. Talking burst the bubble of innocence. Talking ended the happily ever after. These were the truths they believed. And they were lies. They should have talked while there was still something to say.”
“Maybe forgiveness was giving the past less power to hurt me. Or even building new memories that were stronger than the painful ones.”
“Here’s a secret. I want to matter. I want to be known. I want to be myself. I want you to write this day on a piece of paper and put it inside Big. And one day, when you open him, you’ll read about me and think, “‘God, that day with Trent was one of my favorite days ever.'”
I really really really liked this book. I contemplated giving it 5 hearts, but alas, the majority of books that I give 5 hearts could be described as “epic” in some way, and this one just didn’t feel quite epic enough. However, I will be looking for more Courtney C. Steven’s books in the future.