by Courtney C. Stevens
To be published on November 3, 2015
by Harper Teen
Source: eARC for review from publisher
Synopsis from Goodreads: 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.My take: I missed out on Courtney Stevens's debut novel, Faking Normal, but after reading The Lies About Truth , I'm going to go right out and remedy that. I'm not saying this book was perfect for me, but I really loved Stevens's writing and the interesting ways she chose to tell her story.
What I loved: Sadie. Wow, she had a horrible year. Her close friend was killed in a car accident that also left her scarred. A year later, she's contemplating heading back into the world again -- leaving her house, returning to high school, and spending time around her former best friend and former boyfriend, both of whom were peripherally involved in the accident. I also loved Sadie's mom and their mother-daughter relationship, which more than once got me a little teared up. Again, I really liked the writing. Sometimes these forward-backward kind of stories -- in which an event in the past has major importance- - can be awkward, but this book did a great job of filling the reader in about what happened a year ago without being clunky or info-dumpy.
What I liked: the romance. At first, I couldn't figure out the age difference between Sadie and Max. There was a line in the book about them being twelve and fifteen that made me think that there was a three-year age difference between them, but that wasn't the case. At first, I also wasn't crazy about the whole "fall in love with dead guy's brother" thing, but I was (mostly) won over in the end.
What I was a bit skeptical of: all the secrets. Every character was keeping a secret, and that felt a bit over the top to me. (There was also someone leaving Sadie mysterious notes.) In the end, the secrets worked, but I didn't love the way the book kept having the characters almost confess and then chicken out. To me, the grief story and the romance were completely enough, and all the melodrama surrounding the secrets wasn't necessary.
Will you love this? Yes, if you're a fan of super emotional books. To me, this book felt a little like those NA books with the two characters with the tragic pasts who find each other. But I'm also a new fan of this author and I look forward to trying her prior (and future!) books.