Friday, January 22, 2016

BOOK REVIEW: Truest by Jackie Lea Sommers

Silas Hart has seriously shaken up Westlin Beck's small-town life. Brand new to town, Silas is different than the guys in Green Lake. He's curious, poetic, philosophical, maddening-- and really, really cute. But Silas has a sister-- and she has a secret. And West has a boyfriend. And life in Green Lake is about to change forever.
Nope, I don't get it. 

I had such high hopes for this one because literally everyone I know loved it. While there were a few things that I liked, I had too many issues to rate this one higher than three stars. The true rating would probably be somewhere around 2.5 stars.

First, what I liked: Silas's sister, Laurel, is suffering from a mental illness and I do think the author handled it very well. I have a Master's degree in Counseling and I had never heard of her illness. When looking it up, it appears that it is not recognized (yet) as a mental illness, so maybe that's why. Anyway, I won't give away any spoilers except to say that it was very unique. I really wanted more of Laurel and her illness. Congrats to the author for teaching me something new. I also thought that Silas and his feelings regarding his sister's illness were so realistic. On one hand, he loves her and would do anything to protect her. On the other hand, he also gets frustrated by all the attention that her illness requires and the fact that he can't lead a normal life because of it. Laurel's feelings about her illness and her struggle was so real that I think that is why I gave this one three stars instead of two. 

Another thing I liked was Silas's shirts. He was always wearing shirts with funny slogans on them, like "Practice safe lunch: use a condiment." So yeah those were good for a laugh.

So let's talk about the characters. Silas was an ass. I kind of hated him for a good chunk of the book. Now I knew going into it that this storyline involved cheating. Cheating is not always a deal breaker for me, but it has to be handled well. I get that young people change their feelings all the time and they cheat. It happens. But I could not, for the life of me, understand what West saw in Silas. This was not a case of two people struggling with their feelings of friendship turning into attraction. Well, at least West was struggling. Silas didn't care at all. Silas had a girlfriend. West had a boyfriend. Yet, Silas continuously inserted himself between West and her boyfriend and he was just a jerk about it. West didn't help because she kept choosing Silas over her boyfriend (despite how awful he was) and she never, ever stood up to him. Why would she want to be with someone who didn't respect her relationship or his own? I picture a sequel where he does this to another girl and cheats on West. He strikes me as the type. Then of course, he blames West for something towards the end of the book that was not her fault at all. And I'm sure a lot of people would make excuses for him based on the circumstances, but I already hated him, so I didn't cut him any slack. Speaking of the ending, I really thought the author could have done better. I feel like she inserted this big dramatic thing that did NOT need to happen just to cause more drama between West and Silas. I don't really have much to say about West because she was kind of annoying.

I am sorry that I just could not love this book the way everyone else could.

Buy/Borrow/Skip: I would say skip this one, but some of you may love this one.


  1. But. But. We can't disagree! It isn't in our DNA, or something! I am sorry that this didn't work for you :( And I really hope your next book is better. And that we agree again- I am scared for us! ;)

    1. Shannon, I know, right?!? It's CRAZY!!! But since reading Truest, I have read Emmy & Oliver, Denton Little's Deathdate, and Underwater. And I've started Marked. I have pretty much had the same opinion as you on all those books. I am thinking that maybe Truest was a fluke. It just has to be!

  2. Oh boo! Sorry this didn't work for you. I have this on my to read soon list so we will see. Great review though!!

    1. I will be interested in seeing what you think Grace. There were just so many people who loved it, so I still recommend that you give it a shot. I had a couple of issues, but I can see why people loved it.