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Dare Truth or Promise by Paula Boock
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Dare Truth or Promise

by Paula Boock

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Willa and Louie could not be more different. Louie wants to be a lawyer and is an outstanding student. Willa lives in a pub and just wants to get through the year so she can graduate and become a chef. But they are completely attracted to one another when they first meet at a fast-food restaurant. Soon they fall in love fast and furiously, and everything the girls are sure of - their plans, their faith, their families, their identities - is called into question..
  Cultural_Attache | Jul 29, 2018 |
Similar to Gravity by Leanne Lieberman which deals with homosexuality in an Orthodox Jewish environment, Dare Truth or Promise takes the same premise to a Catholic upbringing. When Louie (Louisa) meets Willa, it is love at first site. While Willa has been in a relationship before, albeit an unhealthy one., this is new to Louie. She knows her parents won't approve and she knows, after some research that the Bible looks at homosexuality as a sin. As a result, she and Willa keep their relationship a secret from Louie's parents. Willa's single mom, on the other hand, is fully aware and accepting of her sexual orientation. So while there is the push and pull of Louie's religious beliefs, as well as the push and pull of two different sets of parents.

As with Gravity as well, it is somewhat predictable. Also, as with Gravity, the ending is too pat.

The one big difference is that Dare Truth or Promise was written in 1999, thus making it a fledgling book dealing with lesbians (Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden, published in 1982, being an older classic in the field) and so I would expect more of a pat ending than I would expect in Gravity. Having said all of this, both Dare Truth or Promise and Gravity are both worth reading. ( )
  EdGoldberg | Sep 12, 2016 |
I read New Zealand author Paula Boock’s young adult lesbian novel Dare Truth or Promise (1997) in one day, practically in one sitting. I have a soft spot for queer YA anyway, but I really loved this book for its sweet, simple style. Boock writes in a very straight-forward, deceptively plain way that is reminiscent of New Zealanders themselves, at least what I learned about them when I was there for four months a few years ago. In fact, I’d say this book is a lot like Kiwis and Kiwi culture: humble, charming, quietly proud, and not inclined to boast of its own merits but rather to simply display them as if reassured of its own value. (Side note: for those readers not familiar with Kiwi culture or English, there is a glossary of terms at the beginning of the book).

Dare Truth or Promise is essentially a teenage love story. Willa is the bold red-headed daughter of a former-country star-turned-pub-owner, an aspiring chef, and a loving dog owner. Louie is a charismatic, self-assured actress, stellar student, and frequent poetry quoter from a well-off Italian family.

See the rest of my review here: http://lesbrary.com/2012/09/21/casey-reviews-dare-truth-or-promise-by-paula-booc... ( )
  CaseyStepaniuk | Sep 21, 2012 |
Brandon Warburton
Book Review- Dare, Truth or Promise
EDCI 4120/5120
Dr. Leslie Rush

Boock, P (1999). Dare, truth or promise. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.

Grade Levels: 9-12
Category: Realistic Fiction

Read-Alouds: pp. 34-36 (Willa and Louie discuss religion) pp. 56-59 (Willa and Louie’s first date) pp. 67-68 (Will and Louie’s first intimate encounter).

Summary: Willa is a new student at a New Zealand high school. When she meets Louie, a hardworking female drama student, there is an instant attraction between both of them. Willa, who has been in a lesbian relationship before, is scared to take another chance, while Louie struggles to come to terms with feelings that bring into question everything she has even known. The novel focuses on the secret relationship between the two, and the struggles that come when they are finally discovered by Louie’s straight-laced, Christian parents.

Themes: Boock’s novel focuses on a relationship that goes against conventional ideals and beliefs, and the struggles and pressures that come along with maintaining such a relationship. And couple that with maintaining said relationship in a high school setting where everyone is watching and judging. But, aside from the lesbian aspect of the novel, Boock also tries to key on the idea of true love and the power of the human connection. I believe that Boock’s purpose in writing Dare, Truth or Promise was to erase conventional wisdom of love and relationships and draw Louie’s and Willa’s love as something beyond the physical, stretching into the spiritual realm of human connection. This novel will push students to see love as not just something to be shared between a man and a woman, but something that can be shared between any two humans.

Discussion Questions:

Think about your definition of love. Do you believe that Willa and Louie are in love? Or does their relationship exist only in the physical realm of lust?
The setting of this novel takes place in New Zealand. Imagine that Louie and Willa go to our school here in the states. How would our reaction here be different?
Religion is a key theme in this novel. How does religion play a role in your life and on your decisions?

Reader Response: The first think I noticed about Boock’s novel was that she chose to write in a third person point of view, rather than adopting the point of view of one of her central characters. I thought his style served well in providing a balanced perspective from both girls, one of whom had already felt the ramifications of a lesbian relationship and one of whom who was brand new to these feelings. I love reading books that push the boundaries of human connection and force us to take a look at how other, less represented groups live. I also loved how Boock did her best to eliminate the lesbian aspect of the relationship and focused solely on their connection as human beings.
  bhyphenlo9 | Jun 23, 2008 |
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For Terry, with love
– and for all of those for whom
it was too hard
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There was a moment, later, that was a lightning strike.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0395971179, Hardcover)

"When Willa turned and kissed her, Louie thought in her head, this is my first kiss. It wasn't, of course, she'd kissed a number of boys, and done more too, but she'd never, ever felt as if she were falling off a cliff."
Dare Truth or Promise, a turbulent love story by New Zealander Paula Boock, recalls Nancy Garden's Annie on My Mind and Good Moon Rising in its portrayal of two young women caught up in sexual passion for each other. Louie is the talented daughter of wealthy and cultured parents, and Willa is a strong-minded redhead who lives over the pub. They come from different worlds, but when they meet working at Burger Giant, lightning strikes--soon they are frantically in love. Willa has had a previous affair that was undermined by denial, but this time it feels inevitable and right, even when Louie's mother banishes Willa after discovering them in an embrace; even when Willa is threatened by hostile anonymous notes; even when they avoid each other in confusion and pain. Thanks to the acceptance of her tough bartender mother, Willa gains the strength to wait it out, but a psychologist tells Louie that her feelings are a passing phase, a fundamentalist promises her sins will land her in hell, and her best friend is supportive but embarrassed. The healing words that finally enable Louie to believe in herself and return to the relationship come at last from a young priest: "You see, I think love comes from God. And so, to turn away from love, real love, it could be argued, is to turn away from God." (Ages 16 and older) --Patty Campbell

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:00:34 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Louie Angelo, a Woodhaugh High prefect who plans to be a lawyer, falls in love with a girl who lives in a pub and just wants to get through her exams so she can become a chef.

» see all 2 descriptions

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