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Truest by Jackie Lea Sommers
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FTC: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. Find the full review here: http://onecurvyblogger.com/2015/09/17/a-gif-review-truest-by-jackie-lea-sommers/

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WARNING! This review is physically killing me to write, so if its terrible and completely random, I apologize. Even weeks later, these feelings are spilling out of me and I can’t seem to put them into words to form a cohesive sentence. Just know that I freaking loved Truest even if my review is a jumbled mess. Got it?

This freaking book. I just can’t ddhfdjvlhdjv

Though I have read several books since Truest (and some of them were wonderful), I have been unable to pump up some inspiration to review anything. This is why I have eight reviews I have yet to write and 0 completed this week. So while I want to shout to the world that EVERYONE MUST READ THIS BOOK AT LEAST ONCE, I’m cursing Sommers for writing such an intense, amazing, emotional roller coaster of a story that I can’t get past. But I’m going to try to, just for you guys, *takes deep breath*
The characters are addictive

Our main character, West, is so relatable. She’s seventeen-years-old and stuck in Green Lake for the summer while her best friend is off working at a summer camp. She’s got a nice boyfriend that she wants to love but doesn’t, a father that spends all his time looking after the town and not enough with his own family, and she has no idea what she wants to do with her life after high school. And she’s soooo in denial about her feelings for Silas, its amusing.

“What?” He deadpanned. “What are you staring at?”

“Your windbreaker is just so…”

“Fetching?” he interjected. “Voguish? Swanky?”

“Hot,” I said, playing along. “The nineties neon just exudes sex appeal.”

West’s life is spinning out of control and it’s all Silas’s fault. I mean, I don’t like to point feelings, but it’s kind of true. He arrives in town and the poor girl’s life is never the same. Don’t get me wrong, the boy is loveable and gorgeous and dreamy and but he truly makes an impact. How could he not?

Silas, unruffled, sighed unhappily.

“What’s wrong?” I asked, frowning, chancing a glance at him.

“I finally made it into the backseat with a girl,” Silas cracked, looking hard at the Dirt Devil. “This is not all I was hoping it would be.”

He’s seventeen-years-old but he seems so much older than his age. But at the same time, he’s like a little kid. He’s an oddball. He rocks dorky shirts like “practice safe lunch: Use a condiment” and “South Korea has Seoul” but he’s also a genius, intuitive man who has an outlook on life and religion that is more mature than anybody (fictional or otherwise) I’ve met. I am seriously crushing on Silas.

All of the characters are astoundingly well-developed

Sommers left no stone unturned in developing her characters. Every character I met in Truest had layers of personality and I was suitably impressed. In a character driven book like Truest, character development is vastly important, so I was grateful to find a wonderful cast that made Truest an intense roller coaster of a novel. I laughed, fell in love, sobbed until snot ran down my face, and I loved every inch of it!

Basically, I recommend Truest to anybody that breathes. Or just anybody who enjoy contemporary, realistic fiction. I cannot wait to see what Sommers comes up with next! ( )
  One_Curvy_Blogger | Sep 17, 2015 |
I wanted to read Truest because I liked the sound of the dynamics between the characters, and especially the hinting at Silas's sister's secret. He sounded like a character that I would like too, eccentric, charming, and a fit for West that she didn't know she needed.

Their friendship started out antagonistic, he was in a mood and West's pastor dad threw them together since West needed help detailing cars, her summer job. One that she used to do with her best friend, who is off to camp. Silas was moody, and cryptic, though there was an underlying chemistry and tension there from the beginning. Even though West has a boyfriend. One who seemed really sweet, and like he cared for her. But Elliot, the boyfriend is beyond busy, working for his dad, and practicing for football.

Silas is lonely, feeling like her dad is too busy for her with his parishioners and in bed with migraines the rest of the time from working too hard. So on top of her best friend and boyfriend not having time for her, when Silas asks to hang out after work, she accepts. Their conversations are weighty and intense at times, and then others, they laugh together. They share interests in books, and her radio program, things that Elliot has no interest in.

So of course, I was a little upset because her heart got more and more into the friendship with Silas, and it felt like cheating. Elliot was jealous, and he wasn't unjustified. But I think that it took so long for West to admit her real feelings, and their depth.

I also liked getting to know Silas' sister. She definitely had a secret/problem that I have never encountered before. But I like that West just accepted her like she was, and tried to help her when that secret caused disruptions, and problems for Lauren.

The last half was really complicated and messy and I saw one of the things coming, although I wish that it were different just because it breaks my heart. I wish that everyone could find the mental health person that will fight for them when they can't. I feel like I have found someone that is okay, but times I wish they could see through the walls I put up, and dig a little deeper. But the way the storyline was set up, and being informed in some things mental health, I saw the sad signs.

The rest of the plots though managed to turn hopeful in some ways. All of the characters and relationships whether family, friends, or romance is really tested and stretched, and I was glad of those things. There weren't any easy resolutions, and I appreciate that because it feels realistic. But it still managed to bring the themes together, and get the characters on the road to realization, growth, and continuing to live their life, and fight for those around them while facing that life will always have something hard to face, and things that aren't easy, people are messy and complicated, but worth it.

Disclaimer: I received this book as an ARC (advanced review copy). I am not paid for this review, and my opinions in this review are mine, and are not effected by the book being free.

Bottom Line: Complicated characters and emotional situations. ( )
  brandileigh2003 | Aug 10, 2015 |
The summer before her senior year brings big changes to Westlin Beck. Her best friend Trudy is off being a camp counselor and her boyfriend Elliot is working full time on the family farm to save up enough money for a car. West is feeling kind of lost and at loose ends.

She tags along when her minister father brings communion to the new family in town. She takes one look at Silas and things start to change. First, her father invites him to join with West in her car detailing business. Then they start hanging out together. Silas in turns intrigues and annoys her but he always fascinates her. But West has a boyfriend, a boy she married under the jungle gym when they were in second grade.

Despite holding on with both hands, West can't stop the changes that are happening to her this summer. Her older friend Gordon is losing his memory. Her father is putting everyone else's needs ahead of the needs of his family. Her friend Whit is drinking more and more.

And then there is Silas's sister Laurel. Silas's twin has severe mental issues. She has Solipsism Syndrome which means that she believes that she is living in a dream. Some days she's all right but other days she has screaming fits. This disease has caused problems for her whole family but it seems especially hard on Silas because he's her twin.

This was an amazing story are falling in love, growing up, and deciding what to believe in. Both West and Silas are readers so there are lots of references to great thinkers and poets. Silas also writes poetry of his own and some of his work is in the book.

This was an excellent, touching story. I can't wait to share it with my students. ( )
  kmartin802 | Jul 12, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0062348256, Hardcover)

A breathtaking debut brings us the unforgettable story of a small-town love, big dreams, and family drama.

Silas Hart has seriously shaken up Westlin Beck's small-town life. Brand-new to town, Silas is different from 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.

Truest is a stunning, addictive debut. Romantic, fun, tender, and satisfying, it asks as many questions as it answers. Perfect for fans of The Fault in Our Stars and Ten Things We Did (and Probably Shouldn't Have).

(retrieved from Amazon Fri, 10 Jul 2015 21:54:18 -0400)

"Westlin Beck's summer is turned upside down when the Hart twins move to town: aggravating, intriguing, and quirky Silas and his mysteriously ill sister, Laurel"--

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