cover image Tell Us Something True

Tell Us Something True

Dana Reinhardt. Random/Lamb, $17.99 (208p) ISBN 978-0-385-74259-7

Once again, Reinhardt (We Are the Goldens) shows a deep understanding of adolescent attitudes and emotions in this novel tracing 17-year-old River’s recovery from a broken heart. The day River’s girlfriend, Penny, breaks up with him, he feels stranded in more ways than one. Without Penny to give him a ride home, he walks the streets alone, and that’s how he discovers the sign advertising “a second chance.” Intrigued, River joins the Second Chance group’s meeting, thinking he has found kindred spirits, but it turns out that the group’s members are struggling with various addictions. Rather than leave, River pretends he has a drug problem, a mistake readers will recognize as the beginning of his downfall long before the lie creates a mess of trouble. More than preaching the virtue of honesty, the book focuses on River’s growing self-awareness, his coming to terms with his failed relationship, his too-passive nature, and how his father’s abandonment has affected him. Intelligent and ironic, the narrative resounds with honesty, even as River himself is quite successful at inventing little white lies. Ages 14–up. Agent: Douglas Stewart, Sterling Lord Literistic. (June)