Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Book Review: The Thing About The Truth

by Lauren Barnholdt

Book Description:
In this humorous love story from the author of Two-Way Street, an unlikely romance is the best sort of surprise—but the wrong secret can ruin everything. Kelsey’s not going to let one mistake ruin her life. Sure, she got kicked out of prep school and all her old friends are shutting her out. But Kelsey’s focused on her future, and she’s determined to get back on track at Concordia High.

Isaac’s been kicked out of more schools than he can count. Since his father’s a state senator, Isaac’s life is under constant scrutiny—but Concordia High’s his last stop before boarding school, so Isaac’s hoping to fly under the radar and try to stay put for a change.

When Kelsey and Isaac meet, it’s anything but love at first sight. She thinks he’s an entitled brat, and he thinks she’s a stuck-up snob. So it surprises them both when they start to fall for each other. Kelsey’s happy for the first time in months, and Isaac’s never felt this way about anyone before...But nothing’s ever completely perfect. Everyone has secrets, and Isaac and Kelsey are no exceptions. These two may have fallen hard, but there’s one thing that can ruin it all: the truth.

Book Review:
Review Grade: 3.5/5

“And that's when I realize the thing about the truth. It always comes out, no matter what you do.” 

I can't believe I finished two books in one sitting - Jennifer Echols' Such a Rushand this one. This one is shorter, and with more humor compare to the former - and this book made me cry. Argh!

I love Lauren Barnholdt because she can write a short novel that can shake her readers. You can finish The Thing About The Truth in one sitting, and reach for the next one, but her novel can stick inside your brain with nagging questions you'd want to know the answers. 

What happens when a prep-school drop out and a senator son's who has been kicked out of every private school he's ever been enrolled in, meet?Fireworks! 

Kesley - she's someone you'd love to hate in your local high school. She has been kicked out of the prep school because of the scandal she made when someone broke her heart. Her life was not the same afterwards - her relationship with her parents were strained and she's losing her best friend. After being enrolled in a public school, Kesley was willing to do anything to be back in her family's good graces at the same time be back on track with her college applications. She was planning to apply in Ivy League Schools and a scandal in her records is detrimental to her future, she needs something to overshadow it, thus she organized a club with Isaac.

Kesley has a type A personality, and a little bit of a control freak. She is the perfect example of how an intelligent person drops her IQ when in love. She hated being lied to, that's why I didn't understand (at first) why she lied to Isaac. 

Isaac - another bad boy being add to my list. He's the senator's son - so he's used to being treated nicely by most people (because of who his father is: The Senator). He was surprised when Kesley gave him a cold shoulder on their first meeting. This made him curious about her. He like her so much, that in impulse he made up an idea about an activity: Face It Down . This activity made them closer to each other. 

He and his father didn't have the best father-son relationship because his father was more interested in public opinion and the votes he will receive rather than his very son. He describes himself as mischievous rather than bad or naughty, but what I love about him is that he tells Kesley the truth - even if it hurts. Even if Kesley wouldn't like it. 

This book is alternating the voice of both Kesley and Isaac - the before and the aftermath of the big activity that both of them were planning. We see a budding relationship of two great people that was destroyed by a lie. Kesley didn't tell him the truth because she was scared, she wished it didn't happen and she broke his heart because it was the first time Isaac fell in love, and he gets lied to. So, I do understand why he's very angry with Kesley and why forgiveness is just far from reach. This chapter that belonged to the Before had me in tears. I hated Kesley for lying, but I can feel the panic and desperation when she new she'd be busted any minute from now (my heartbeat accelerated and my breathing got heavier #panicmode). Her secret was out, and Isaac was very mad at her for lying. And of course, Isaac fed the press its nightly news. The whole activity became a circus and they found themselves being called to the principal's office once again.

I like how Lauren Barnholdt emphasize the importance of telling the truth, of not keeping important secrets from the people that are important to you. Yes, the fact may not put you in the best light, but honesty will help you save your relationship, honesty builds trust

However... 

The BIG PROBLEM about this novel: the conflicts that I was dying to know the resolutions to were left open. 
1. The relationship with both their fathers: did they make up or it was still strained?
2. Kesley-Rielle friendship: what happens now?
3. The consequence of their actions during the Face It Down activity


The ending was a bit abrupt, and of course, I wanted more, more, more. I wish Ms. Barnholdt would extend another chapter to close all the conflicts that she opened which will help me get over this novel! 

That's why I couldn't give it a 5 even if I wanted to.

Favorite Quotes:
  • “I hate that about guys. At least girls have the decency to be fake and pretend everything’s okay when shit gets weird. Whenever guys get upset, they get all angry and scary” 
  • “Parents don’t get that, though. They don’t understand about the fragility of teen friendships. They don’t understand how easy it is for things to break apart, how someone you thought would be by your side forever can just disappear, or turn on you, or decide she likes someone more than she likes you. Parents always talk about romantic relationships being so ephemeral and fleeting in high school. What they don’t get is that friendships can be the same way.” 
  • “But now I’m thinking that wanting to end up with a great storyteller might have been a bad idea. Because girls who can tell great stories are also great liars.” 
  • “Because sometimes when someone is telling you something really important, it’s best to just let there be silence, to really think about what they’re saying. A lot of times people think they have to say something all insightful or wise or something to try and make the person feel better. But really, sometimes silence is best.” 
  • “And that's when I realize the thing about the truth. It always comes out, no matter what you do.” 
  • “Because the truth is, I wouldn’t care if she lied to me, except for the fact that I love her. And once you love someone, you can’t really put up with them lying to you. It just doesn’t work. It makes things into a big mess.” 

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