Title: Tell Us Something True
Author: Dana Reinhardt
Publisher: Rock the Boat
Publication Date: 20 July 2016
Source: Review Copy
Synopsis from Goodreads
Seventeen-year-old River doesn’t know what to do with himself when Penny, the girl he adores, breaks up with him. He lives in LA, where nobody walks anywhere, and Penny was his ride; he never bothered getting a license. He’s stuck. He’s desperate. Okay . . . he’s got to learn to drive.
But first, he does the unthinkable—he starts walking. He stumbles upon a support group for teens with various addictions. He fakes his way into the meetings, and begins to connect with the other kids, especially an amazing girl. River wants to tell the truth, but he can’t stop lying, and his tangle of deception may unravel before he learns how to handle the most potent drug of all: true love.
REVIEW BY BETH
I love it when you enjoy a novel more than you expect! When I read the synopsis of Tell Us Something True it sounded vaguely interesting but once I got started I was completely drawn into River’s story. He’s definitely a bit of a dweeb in some of his behaviours are more than a little bit questionable but the story remains quite fun and light, even when dark elements are revealed.
River was definitely lost when he turned up at the addiction support group but without an addiction, it seemed to become a bit of an obsession for him to have somewhere to belong after his girlfriend splits up with him. Penny apparently leaves him because he never thinks for himself and so that’s what he sets out to do, think more.
River isn’t a really a nice guy, however hard we’re supposed to be convinced that he is, he is a jerk for a lot of the story. He comes from a seriously privileged background yet chooses to infiltrate a group of addicts rather than sort his life out. His obsession with his ex is borderline stalker territory and whilst he’s just an average guy who seems to be down on his luck (much due to his own decisions) he’s pretty irritating!
Despite this I found myself reading the book in just a couple of sittings. I needed to know what would become of this fraud in the support group and whether River would ever actually step back and look at himself. There’s a secondary plot which surrounds his absent father who is putting him through college but basically has nothing to do with him and I like the way that absent dad and step-father Leonard contrast throughout the novel, River’s family is one of the highlights of the book.
Despite not being River’s biggest fan I still really enjoyed this book and it kept me engaged due to the story and quality of the writing. Reinhardt is a fantastic story teller and I’d love to read something else by her with a more likeable protagonist.