The Thing About the Truth

Lauren Barnholdt. Simon Pulse, $16.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-4424-3460-8
Kelsey and Isaac are facing possible expulsion for an offense that is slowly revealed over the course of Barnholdt’s sixth YA novel, which is told in flashbacks narrated alternately by the two teenagers. Both Kelsey and Isaac started the school year as new students at Concordia Public, having been kicked out of their respective prep schools. Kelsey’s wrongdoing comes out slowly, but readers know early on that Isaac, son of a state senator, has always been a troublemaker, at least until he falls for Kelsey. Kelsey is initially disdainful of Isaac, leading to much sharp banter between them, a Barnholdt (Sometimes It Happens) trademark. Once they get together, the countdown begins to the disaster that has brought them to the superintendent’s office. Kelsey’s self-deprecating honesty is endearing, and Isaac, while not always totally believable, is a satisfying fantasy of a bad boy with a heart of gold. Secondary characters like the teens’ parents and Kelsey’s best friend are comparatively one-note, but that doesn’t detract much from this well-paced and enjoyable confection. Ages 14–up. Agent: Alyssa Eisner Henkin, Trident Media Group. (July)
Reviewed on: 05/21/2012
Release date: 07/10/2012
Genre: Children's
Ebook - 304 pages - 978-1-4424-3462-2
Paperback - 285 pages - 978-1-4424-3461-5
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