BOOK REVIEW – The Lies About Truth by Courtney C. Stevens

BOOK REVIEW – The Lies About Truth by  Courtney C. StevensThe Lies About Truth by Courtney C. Stevens
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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.

“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.”

LIE : This novel was an instant favorite of mine.
(hard) TRUTHS : a) There’s nothing really original about this synopsis : a teenager overcoming grief, been there, done that.
b) The first 30% bored me to death.
Yet the multiple layers of this story drew me in little by little – email by email, flashback by flashback, envelope by envelope. The unraveling of all the little things we call our life, of all the little lies we use as a blanket protection every day gradually won me over.

: Sadie May is an easy character to relate to.
: I’m not gonna lie, I spent most of the book feeling disconnected to the MC : not out of hate or from a lack of understanding on my part, but I couldn’t shake off the unpleasant impression that I didn’t really know her, and it took me a while to realize that the reason lay in the way her characterization was handled. Indeed throughout the novel Sadie is defined by her relationships with others (her parents, her friend, her ex, Max) rather than as an individual, and I had a hard time to connect with her at first. Yet if I can’t say when I started to care, it did happen. She let me in and from that moment, I couldn’t stop the flow of my emotions.

: The Lies About Truth is a fast-paced, feel good novel.
: It captures perfectly how messy grief is. How appealing the numbness is. How closed-off our heart can be. I strongly believe that life sometimes offers us moments where there’s no such thing as understanding.
There’s no such thing as selflessness.
There’s no such thing as empathy.
There are blame and anger and despair.
There are shame and guilt and confusion.
Yet somehow, someday, our heart starts beating again, and it’s so beautiful.

“Step one : Change happens. (The wreck.)
Step two : Pretend the change doesn’t exist. (What wreck?)
Step three : get angry the other person can’t be who they used to be. (You’re a wreck.)
Step four : Create change. (Wreck this.)
I wish I could hate them and mean it”.

LIE : Grief is a solitary process.
: I’m not saying that introspection isn’t needed, because it is, and Sadie understandingly goes through lonely phases. Yet the strength of this novel lies in the truthful way relationships are portrayed, without sugar-coating anything but always showing how support is important, whether from her parents or her friends : Family ties are rarely well-done in young adult, that’s why I can’t stress enough how much I appreciated the endearing relationship between Sadie and her parents. Moreover, friendship was pictured in a honest manner without hiding the pain and resentment, and I found it really refreshing. Gray, Trent, Max, Sonia, Gina… I cared for every one of them.

“It took millions of years for that ocean to beat rocks into sand.
We’re not that broken.”

LIE : Love heals all.
: What bothers me in books that imply that we need a love-story to overtake a traumatic event is the fact that it considerably (and falsely) simplifies what is complex by essence : we humans beings. I can’t accept a story in which sex heals everything and where some huge issues are dealt with by the mere presence of some man (and his big dick). This being said, I do believe that the love of someone can help, and that’s why the romance between Max and Sadie moved me : no instalove, but a slow growth that we are unconventionally following backwards, mostly through the emails they sent each other the year before. It doesn’t hurt that Max is supportive, sweet, and all kinds of adorable.

Forgiveness (n.) releasing the toxins of bitterness.

The Lies About Truth is a very character driven novel that took its time in making me feel invested, but from the moment I started to care, it never wavered.

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  1. Catherine

    Wow this is an amazing review Anna! 🙂 I absolutely love the way you set it out. I am so glad to hear of a YA novel that believes in family and friendship and not in male love will conquer all. That thing about a guy coming to save you from everything through his kisses totally ticks me off, it gives such a wrong impression. So, this sounds really good. 🙂

    • Anna

      Thank you, that’s adorable ♥ I really appreciated how her parents supported her, really 🙂 It wasn’t a perfect book by any means, but these aspects saved it for me.

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