Tell Us Something True by Dana Reinhardt, Wendy Lamb Books (June 14, 2016). ISBN: 9780385742597. Reviewed by John R. Clark, MLIS.
Penny dumps River. Well people break up every day, don’t they? They do, but when the guy never learned to drive or bother to get his license because the girl had both her license and a car, getting dumped, especially when you’re miles from home, hurts. For River, the hurt is double, it hits his ego and his heart. In response, he starts walking home, but on the way, notices a sign on a building that says “Second Chance”.
After entering the building, River discovers he’s about to join a self-help group for teens. His gut tells him it’s the right place to be, but he must scramble for an addiction so he can fit in. He fakes being a marijuana addict. Despite some of the members looking scary or different, River discovers a sense of ease being around them and one girl, Daphne, who is Latina, gets his attention. Can she be the cure for his Penny-induced heartbreak?
Discovering the answer to that question will take readers on a roller coaster. Daphne and River have a connection neither is aware of, one that rears up and bites him in the backside. That’s not a bad thing because it forces him to do some much needed growing up and in the process realize that while he’s not a drug addict, he does have issues that are bigger than he realizes. How he deals with them and what happens between him and Daphne made for a very satisfying read. It’s a book that will be a good addition to any library where realistic YA fiction is valued.