Title: Tell Us Something True
Author: Dana Reinhardt
Publisher: Rock the Boat
Release Date: July 2016
Genre: Young Adult
My Rating: 7/10 Something Missing
Seventeen-year-old River doesn’t know what to do with himself when Penny, the girl he adores, breaks up with him. He lives in LA, where nobody walks anywhere, and Penny was his ride; he never bothered getting a license. He’s stuck. He’s desperate. Okay . . . he’s got to learn to drive.
But first, he does the unthinkable—he starts walking. He stumbles upon a support group for teens with various addictions. He fakes his way into the meetings, and begins to connect with the other kids, especially an amazing girl. River wants to tell the truth, but he can’t stop lying, and his tangle of deception may unravel before he learns how to handle the most potent drug of all: true love.
I received an advanced copy of this book through Goodreads Giveaways.
If you’ve read my blog before, you’ll probably realise that I don’t read much YA fiction. At 22, I’m still just about in the age demographic, but I honestly find them cheesy and annoying most of the time. This mainly stems from my deep hatred of anything John Green related. That being said, I enter pretty much every Goodreads Giveaway that I think I might mildly enjoy, and was quite pleased when I won this one. I have read so many dark thrillers recently, I was in the mood for something light and easy. This fit the bill exactly.
This was your typical ‘boy-meets-girl, boy-gets-dumped, boy-gets-over-girl’ sort of story. Being only 204 pages long, it took me a grand total of about 4 hours to read this book. If I’m honest I didn’t want it to take me any longer than that, and I stayed up late to finish it so it wouldn’t run over two days. By reading it quickly, it gave me the same ‘guilty-pleasure’, smiley, happy experience that watching a chic-lit film does. I enjoyed it for it being what I needed right there and then, but wouldn’t have wanted it dragging out.
What I really liked, was there was no pretentious language and no stupidly quirky characters (John Green, I’m looking at you). Despite having a slightly bizarre plot (in a good way), the characters were as realistic as I know of American high school kids, and they were all compelling enough to keep me interested. River was very cute, despite his many flaws, and I really liked him as a main character. It was quite refreshing to see a teenage boy who isn’t either super-sporty heartthrob, or super-geeky invisible. River is something in between, in fact, he was quite average as far as personality goes. He has a decent group of friends, is attractive enough to get himself a girlfriend, yet still has some emotional issues. He’s not perfect, but neither is anybody else, and that’s sort of the point of this book.
It was also well written. It managed to keep me interested for four straight hours, without me wanting to give up or have a break. It made me happy, and that’s not something I can say about any of the books I’ve read recently. I rarely read ‘happy-ending’ books, so this was a refreshing change. I worry that some YA books have dumbed down, more simplistic language, but this didn’t. Of course, I felt like I was reading a book for teenagers, and there wasn’t anything overly complex in there, but I didn’t feel like a child reading it. I’m not sure if that makes sense!
I’m struggling to give this any more than a 7/10, and I only gave it 3 stars on Goodreads, simply because it isn’t really my sort of thing. I’m sure someone who reads a lot of YA fiction would absolutely love it, and I did really enjoy it as a bit of escapism, I just can’t bring myself to give it a higher rating.
Although I wouldn’t normally read this kind of thing, it did exactly what I needed it to do. I suppose you could call it a palate-cleanser! If anything else, this book definitely made me smile. It was heartfelt and charming, with great characters. I would definitely be interested in reading more of Dana Reinhardt’s books for a similar purpose in the future.
Tell Us Something True will be published by Rock the Boat on 20th July 2016.