Wednesday, September 29, 2010

ARC Review: Where the Truth Lies by Jessica Warman

Where the Truth Lies
(a companion novel to Breathless)
by Jessica Warman

This book was released yesterday! Go get it!

On the surface, Emily Meckler leads the perfect life. She has three best friends, two loving parents, and the ideal setup at the Connecticut prep school where her father is the headmaster. But Emily also suffers from devastating nightmares about fire and water, and nobody knows why. Then the enigmatic Del Sugar enters her life, and Emily is immediately swept away—but her passionate relationship with Del is just the first of many things that aren't quite what they seem in Emily's life. As the lies she's been told start to unravel, Emily must set out to discover the truth regarding her nightmare; on a journey that will lead her to question everything she thought she knew about love, family, and her own idyllic past.

This companion novel to Warman's critically acclaimed Breathless proves that sometimes the biggest lies are told to the people you love the most.

My review
I received this book courtesy of Good Golly Miss Holly ARC Tours.

This is one of those books that every teenage girl should read.

Emily is a good girl. Her father is the headmaster of her swanky Connecticut boarding school, and she has a pretty good life. It's not perfect - she could do without the night terrors or burning to death in a fire or drowning in the rain - but about as close as you can get. When a new boy is admitted to Stonybrook, Emily is naturally curious. The school has a long waiting list, and no one has ever been admitted after the beginning of the school year. Her dad won't give her any information about him beyond the fact that he's very smart.. and a warning to stay away from him. Really, you'd think parents would know better than to make a mysterious, good-looking, tattooed boy into the "forbidden fruit." Of course, the warning only makes her that much more curious.

Emily tries to stay away from Del Sugar at first, mostly because her best friend and one of her roommates, Stephanie, thinks she has a shot with him. but of course, as time goes on, Del pays more and more attention to her, and Emily is flattered that she is the only one that he is trying to get to know. They begin to date, and continue in secret after her father puts his foot down. After a few months, Emily discovers that she is pregnant with Del's child. The book from there on out is fantastic.

The other storyline in this book concerns Emily's night terrors. You can tell through her sessions with her school's psychiatrist and her parents that they are withholding information from her. I was rooting for Emily throughout the whole book to get to the end of the mystery. When all is finally revealed, it's easy to see why things unfolded the way they did, but nothing is black and white.

It's very refreshing to find a frank, not Juno-esque view of teenage pregnancy. Not everything is hunky dory. Decisions aren't as cut and dry as they seem. And Emily's life will never be the same. These are things young girls need to know. They think they understand, but they really have no idea of the emotional consequences of their actions. I grew up knowing why I was adopted, and the letter my birthmom wrote to me fully explained the situation and how difficult it was for her to make this decision. Warman does a good job in describing Emily's emotional state during this time. I do have to question where she did her research concerning closed adoptions, because most of that information was outdated by about 20 years. But the end result is still the same.

Where the Truth Lies deals with peer pressure, changing friendships, forbidden romance, teenage pregnancy, and long-buried family secrets. I would recommend this book for young girls in middle school through high school.

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