Tell Me Something Real

Calla Devlin. Atheneum, $17.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-4814-6115-3
In a story of betrayal and unsettling change, set in the 1970s, debut novelist Devlin introduces Vanessa, a middle child who feels as though her sisters outshine her and whose mother is dying of cancer. Vanessa and her sisters regularly travel back and forth from their home in San Diego to Mexico with their mother as she undergoes experimental cancer treatments involving Laetrile, a controversial cyanogenic drug illegal in the U.S. Soon, Vanessa's mother invites Caleb, a teenage boy with lymphoma, and his mother to move into the family's home, joining them in the commute for Laetrile. Writing through Vanessa's intimate and perceptive perspective, Devlin unspools the teenager's story languidly as she copes with loss, new love, and the ways her family is falling apart, especially after disturbing revelations about her mother's condition come to light. It's transporting reading, with a powerfully evoked 1970s setting, and readers will eagerly sink into Devlin's richly detailed writing, accompanying Vanessa on a journey marked by moments of deep connection and equally profound pain. Ages 14–up. Agent: Faye Bender, the Book Group. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 08/22/2016
Release date: 08/30/2016
Genre: Children's
Open Ebook - 288 pages - 978-1-4814-6117-7
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-5082-2369-6
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-1-4814-6116-0
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