Title: The Thing About the Truth
Author: Lauren Barnholdt
In this humorous love story from the author of Two-Way Street, an unlikely romance is the best sort of surprise—but the wrong secret can ruin everything. Kelsey’s not going to let one mistake ruin her life. Sure, she got kicked out of prep school and all her old friends are shutting her out. But Kelsey’s focused on her future, and she’s determined to get back on track at Concordia High.
Isaac’s been kicked out of more schools than he can count. Since his father’s a state senator, Isaac’s life is under constant scrutiny—but Concordia High’s his last stop before boarding school, so Isaac’s hoping to fly under the radar and try to stay put for a change.
When Kelsey and Isaac meet, it’s anything but love at first sight. She thinks he’s an entitled brat, and he thinks she’s a stuck-up snob. So it surprises them both when they start to fall for each other. Kelsey’s happy for the first time in months, and Isaac’s never felt this way about anyonebefore…But nothing’s ever completely perfect. Everyone has secrets, and Isaac and Kelsey are no exceptions. These two may have fallen hard, but there’s one thing that can ruin it all: the truth.
Truth be told, because the thing about the truth is that is always shows its face, I had some high expectations for this novel. Not really because of the author, or because of the cover (it’s so awkward looking…). It was mainly ’cause I saw the synopsis and just got really excited, I was ready for this book to blow me away.
I’ll admit, I enjoyed the characters and the way the book was written. We are given four perspectives: Isaac before and after, and Kelsey before and after. Each chapter switched up between Kelsey and Isaac, as well as the time. It was an interesting way of getting through the story, as if the “before” parts were being told by the characters as they spoke in the “after” parts, as they had to tell the Superintendent about the ‘incident’, which was cool, and made you think a little more about the characters, really getting readers into their heads.
The characters were cool too. Isaac wants to defy his father. He wants to show that he can’t be controlled, not by his father, not by teachers, no one. On the other hand, we have Kelsey, who wants to be in control of everything: her marks, her future, her anger, and her past. However, both have been kicked out of their old prep schools and have been thrust into the world of public, government funded, education. As they aspire to create “Face it Down”, a club created mainly because Kelsey wanted to impress colleges and Isaac wanted to impress Kelsey, they fall for each other. However, one thing stands between them: the truth. And it reared its ugly head in the middle of their “Face it Down” event with Kelsey’s old school, and Kelsey’s old friends.
The one thing that really bothered me about this book was the end, honestly. There was a vague resolution, but there weren’t any punishments doled out, only a “we’ll think about it and we’ll let you know”. That kept me reading, only to find that there wasn’t anything else to read. This on the edge kind of ending didn’t feel finished. In fact, it made the end of the novel seem quite rushed, as if Barnholdt had run out of time before her deadline and never got the chance to really finish the book. Even Kelsey and her father’s relationship was left in the dark. Her father hated her for disappointing him, I guess, but it was so… harsh. I don’t know, I kind of wanted a resolution to that too, which I also didn’t get… hmph.
So yes, although the characters were well written and the truth was quite shocking and mildly funny as it referenced a song I quite like, the end disappointed me. Don’t get me wrong, I really liked this novel, but the ending left me wanting more, and I just didn’t get it.
(Because IT NEVER ENDED. Not to me at least.)
World Building: 4/5
GoodReads Rating: 3.65/5
The thing about me and books is that whichever one I’m reading always reminds me of whatever’s happening in my life during that time.
“You could tell I got kicked out?”
“Well, obviously something scandalous happened. You came in to school all, like, I don’t know . . . determined to make your mark. And I could tell you weren’t interested in making friends.”
-Kelsey and Chloe
I realized after I’d bought all those fucking drinks that it was going to make it really easy for her to throw a bunch of liquid at me. For a second I thought about maybe getting rid of at least a few of them since I wasn’t in the mood to get wet. But it was too late; she was there. And besides, if she had thrown a drink at me, I would have deserved it.
“What are you doing here?” she tries.
“What does it look like I’m doing?” I ask. I sound like an asshole, because even though I’m feeling better, I’m still in a horrible fucking mood. And to be asked what I’m doing when I’m obviously using the batting cages doesn’t exactly brighten up my night. It just annoys me.
-Isaac and Marina