The Truth Right Now by Kara Lee Corthron (279 pages)
Overview: Dari and Lily meet at school one day. Dari's an outcast, and Lily is a pariah after news of her affair with her sophomore English teacher comes out. She's still recovering from the suicide attempt that came after, and Dari is struggling with his father's abusive behavior and his mother's absence. In each other, they find hope. Their relationship morphs and changes as they both try to heal their broken pieces. Overall: 4
Notes: I became very conflicted when trying to review this book. I found the beginning intriguing, but difficult to really get in to. I'd finished about twenty pages of it earlier in the year before I chose to put it down. When I did read it through, I absolutely fell in love with the story. The middle, which happens to be the vast majority of the story, is wonderful. Unfortunately, I felt betrayed by the ending. While it certainly made a statement, I felt like it wasn't well developed, and threw in some shock value that really took away from the beautiful narrative of healing Lee Corthron had developed.
Characters: 5 I loved Dari and Lily and their view of the world. They both experience situations that no teenager should have to face, and do so with grace, yet honest confusion. I also thought that the author did a beautiful job with Lily's mom and painted an accurate picture of Dari's family. Her characters and development was the highlight of the story for me.
Plot: 4 I enjoyed the plot as a whole. As I said above, I loved the middle. The beginning had its intriguing moments. I felt like the end was too desperate for a final, major statement and then it was wrapped up hastily. Sadly, that gave me a sloppy final impression of a book that had, till that point, amazing development.
Writing: 3 The major problem I found throughout the novel was in the point of view. Most of the novel switches (unmarked) through Lily's first person and Dari's third person, which, admittedly, bugged me. I felt like chance to follow both characters down avenues the other main character didn't get to see added to the story, but doing multiple points of view, in different points of view was too much to not get distracted. Then, towards the end, the points of view started to blend together, giving Dari a first person chapter with no warning, then switching back and forth in the same conversation. It made me feel like I was on a spinning carnival ride and took away from the story that unfolded.
Links of Interest:
Ten Miles One Way: http://www.readingwritingandme.com/2017/12/ten-miles-one-way.html
I See London, I See France: http://www.readingwritingandme.com/2017/12/i-see-london-i-see-france.html
Who's That Girl: http://www.readingwritingandme.com/2017/12/whos-that-girl.html