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The Truth Is

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A powerful exploration of love, identity, and self-worth through the eyes of a fierce, questioning Puerto Rican teen. Fifteen-year-old Verdad doesn't think she has time for love. She's still struggling to process the recent death of her best friend, Blanca; dealing with the high expectations of her hardworking Puerto Rican mother and the absence of her remarried father; an A powerful exploration of love, identity, and self-worth through the eyes of a fierce, questioning Puerto Rican teen. Fifteen-year-old Verdad doesn't think she has time for love. She's still struggling to process the recent death of her best friend, Blanca; dealing with the high expectations of her hardworking Puerto Rican mother and the absence of her remarried father; and keeping everyone at a distance. But when she meets Danny, a new guy at school--who happens to be trans--all bets are off. Verdad suddenly has to deal with her mother's disapproval of her relationship with Danny as well as her own prejudices and questions about her identity, and Danny himself, who is comfortable in his skin but keeping plenty of other secrets.


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A powerful exploration of love, identity, and self-worth through the eyes of a fierce, questioning Puerto Rican teen. Fifteen-year-old Verdad doesn't think she has time for love. She's still struggling to process the recent death of her best friend, Blanca; dealing with the high expectations of her hardworking Puerto Rican mother and the absence of her remarried father; an A powerful exploration of love, identity, and self-worth through the eyes of a fierce, questioning Puerto Rican teen. Fifteen-year-old Verdad doesn't think she has time for love. She's still struggling to process the recent death of her best friend, Blanca; dealing with the high expectations of her hardworking Puerto Rican mother and the absence of her remarried father; and keeping everyone at a distance. But when she meets Danny, a new guy at school--who happens to be trans--all bets are off. Verdad suddenly has to deal with her mother's disapproval of her relationship with Danny as well as her own prejudices and questions about her identity, and Danny himself, who is comfortable in his skin but keeping plenty of other secrets.

30 review for The Truth Is

  1. 4 out of 5

    Tucker (TuckerTheReader)

    i truly adore the fact that self-imposed homophobia is going to be explored in this book. Way before I started identifying as gay, I was drowned in anxiety and self-loathing. I tried to avoid the lgbt community because every time I saw them, i felt crushed. to me, they seemed so happy in their identity while i was down here drowning in my own self-hatred and insecurity. this book looks like a winner | Goodreads | Blog | Pinterest | LinkedIn | YouTube | Instagram i truly adore the fact that self-imposed homophobia is going to be explored in this book. Way before I started identifying as gay, I was drowned in anxiety and self-loathing. I tried to avoid the lgbt community because every time I saw them, i felt crushed. to me, they seemed so happy in their identity while i was down here drowning in my own self-hatred and insecurity. this book looks like a winner | Goodreads | Blog | Pinterest | LinkedIn | YouTube | Instagram

  2. 4 out of 5

    Gabi

    I really enjoyed this novel! Verdad is not a perfect protagonist, she's realistic. She's an intentionally problematic character who constantly puts her foot in her mouth. She's only fifteen, so she's figuring out who she is and beginning to realize that maybe it's time to question the values that have been instilled in her. This is a book that looks at identity, ingrained prejudice, and processing trauma. I really enjoyed this novel! Verdad is not a perfect protagonist, she's realistic. She's an intentionally problematic character who constantly puts her foot in her mouth. She's only fifteen, so she's figuring out who she is and beginning to realize that maybe it's time to question the values that have been instilled in her. This is a book that looks at identity, ingrained prejudice, and processing trauma.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jen Solak

    The story of Verdad is a story that could be labeled by some as overzealous because it deals with so many heavy topics, including gun violence, transphobia and homophobia, parental estrangement, gender and sexual identity, and racism. When you see that weighty list and the short number of pages you may think that this story can’t possibly fit it all in, but it does! To say that the book deals with too much would be to devalue the struggle so many of today’s teenagers are dealing with. This layer The story of Verdad is a story that could be labeled by some as overzealous because it deals with so many heavy topics, including gun violence, transphobia and homophobia, parental estrangement, gender and sexual identity, and racism. When you see that weighty list and the short number of pages you may think that this story can’t possibly fit it all in, but it does! To say that the book deals with too much would be to devalue the struggle so many of today’s teenagers are dealing with. This layering of experiences, inexperience, and constant change is the way that life happens and to see it reflected so well in writing is refreshing. The writing itself is authentic, full of language switching and slang as well as the vernacular of a Puerto Rican teenager telling her story. One of the bravest things in the novel is Verdad’s ability to see flaws within her own way of thinking, recognize her own learned racism, and try to better once she learns better. It is nice to see a teenager who doesn’t have it all figured out, and can realize that about herself. This book is short, and perhaps because of that the ending does wrap up a bit quickly and neatly. However, after delving so deeply into the lives of many it might be necessary to summarize their next steps because otherwise it would be too difficult to find a way to end the story. I think this book might be considered taboo in some schools, but would be a wonderful piece of literature to expose students to in order to demonstrate that their authentic voice matters and to give some of them a chance to see themselves in writing for the first time. Thank you NetGalley for an early copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Laura Tenfingers

    Wow! This was amazing! Brutal, heartbreaking, eye-opening, powerful. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. After reading The Disturbed Girl's Dictionary I was on a mission to read everything by NoNieqa Ramos. And so here I am. This is a story of a Latina girl who has experienced major trama after a mass shooting, is suffering from mental health issues as a result, and is discovering her sexuality, which isn't following the norms her mother has set out for her. There are a lot of intense iss Wow! This was amazing! Brutal, heartbreaking, eye-opening, powerful. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. After reading The Disturbed Girl's Dictionary I was on a mission to read everything by NoNieqa Ramos. And so here I am. This is a story of a Latina girl who has experienced major trama after a mass shooting, is suffering from mental health issues as a result, and is discovering her sexuality, which isn't following the norms her mother has set out for her. There are a lot of intense issues happening here. And they're amazingly well done, albeit heart wrenching. Such horrible things happen to kids that don't fit the mold. It breaks my heart. Definitely read this, but brace yourself for a dose of reality. NoNieqa delivers.

  5. 4 out of 5

    TBW

    A brilliant, beautiful, moving story of ecstasy and loss and tragedy and hope, The Truth Is demands to be read. The fast-moving plot bristles with literary and classical references, but the deepest insights—and there are plenty—come from the observations and conclusions of its main character, Verdad de la Reyna, an unforgettably brave and complicated heroine who confronts profoundly disturbing, real-world challenges with the help of friends, both present and past. Nonieqa Ramos follows up The Di A brilliant, beautiful, moving story of ecstasy and loss and tragedy and hope, The Truth Is demands to be read. The fast-moving plot bristles with literary and classical references, but the deepest insights—and there are plenty—come from the observations and conclusions of its main character, Verdad de la Reyna, an unforgettably brave and complicated heroine who confronts profoundly disturbing, real-world challenges with the help of friends, both present and past. Nonieqa Ramos follows up The Disturbed Girl’s Dictionary with another superb novel guaranteed to break the reader’s heart before trying to mend it.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca Washington

    This book. This gut wrenching, bold and risky book to write has more pen marks, highlighting and tear stains then I care to admit. You can't help but fall in love with the characters and how they navigate racism, sexuality, friendship, trauma and family dynamics. The Truth Is will challenge you to reconsider what you think you know about the intricate factors around sexual orientation. Be emotionally and mentally prepared because the characters will get in your head and your heart. You will want This book. This gut wrenching, bold and risky book to write has more pen marks, highlighting and tear stains then I care to admit. You can't help but fall in love with the characters and how they navigate racism, sexuality, friendship, trauma and family dynamics. The Truth Is will challenge you to reconsider what you think you know about the intricate factors around sexual orientation. Be emotionally and mentally prepared because the characters will get in your head and your heart. You will want to live in this story and love them, save them, fight them, know them, be them.... beautifully written. Kuddos to the brave author for touching on socially hard subjects to broach and doing it so well.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Brittany (whatbritreads)

    The writing here was very well done and I found it funny. Because it’s YA, there were some cringe moments within the speech I found but the protagonists are 15/16 so that was to be expected. I feel like this is such a relevant read for young adults right now, growing up in a toxic political climate and trying to find their place. Especially in young adult literature, it’s rare you find a book with so much openness and diversity explored. It captures the essence of being fifteen and trying to grow The writing here was very well done and I found it funny. Because it’s YA, there were some cringe moments within the speech I found but the protagonists are 15/16 so that was to be expected. I feel like this is such a relevant read for young adults right now, growing up in a toxic political climate and trying to find their place. Especially in young adult literature, it’s rare you find a book with so much openness and diversity explored. It captures the essence of being fifteen and trying to grow up and figure yourself out perfectly. I loved the characters, especially our protagonist Verdad she’s a very complex character as she has a lot going on in her life and she’s trying to navigate it all at once. She feels very out of place and lost within her own culture and community because she doesn’t speak Spanish and has never been to Puerto Rico – but at the same time, she doesn’t feel like she fits in very well with anyone else either and she’s in limbo. She’s also struggling with her home life. She goes through a lot of development as a character in this book. At the beginning, Verdad is very quick to judge others based on stereotypes and physical appearance. She begins questioning herself more and more as we read, noting that she hates it when people make assumptions about her so she needs to unlearn her hypocritical behaviour. It feels like we grow and learn with her, and she begins being more open minded and changing the language she uses when talking to and thinking about others. There is also a lovely moment in the book where she actually apologises to a classmate she did wrong by, and admits she was in the wrong. It demonstrates how easy it is to develop your thinking when you’re open to new ideas and stop judging people for what you see on the outside. Verdad is by no means a perfect character, but she makes consistent effort to grow from her little bubble she’s been in her entire life. As well as this, she’s also struggling mentally after she suffers a traumatic shooting in which her best friend died. This has a massive impact on her entire demeanour and it feels like she is just a shell of herself; throughout the first half of the book Verdad feels like a ghost. The grieving in this book was very delicate, and it broke my heart. I was absolutely in love with Blanca as a character even though we only meet her through brief flashbacks, I still felt like she was such a fun and fleshed out character. There were so much to unpack in this tiny book, from internalised homophobia to the double standards imposed upon us by society of growing us as a ‘man’ compared to growing up as a ‘woman’. I think because of the sheer amount it tries to deal with at once, this book could have either benefitted from being longer or being stripped back a bit. The author was juggling a million important discussions at once and I felt like only a couple were explored and I would’ve liked more conversation on other things too. This is more prominent in the second half of the book, which I felt was a bit rushed. Also, I love a happy ending but when things tie up a little *too* perfectly, it is a tad irritating. My rating reflects this, if the second half of the book was as enjoyable as the first half, this definitely would’ve been a four star for me. Overall though, I had fun reading this book. I would definitely recommend for those seeking a coming of age YA book, differing from the usual straight, white stories that have been told a million times already.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Mike

    Brilliant prose, intriguing plot, fully realized characters. I ordered a review copy because a colleague recommended Ramos as a writer/educator who is an ally/advocate for LGBTQ youth. I'm looking for material to use in schools because there is a dearth of literature representing these students. I was impressed by the social and emotional depth of this book. It goes deep while keeping the story engaging and entertaining. Perfect for students. This is one I will definitely use! Brilliant prose, intriguing plot, fully realized characters. I ordered a review copy because a colleague recommended Ramos as a writer/educator who is an ally/advocate for LGBTQ youth. I'm looking for material to use in schools because there is a dearth of literature representing these students. I was impressed by the social and emotional depth of this book. It goes deep while keeping the story engaging and entertaining. Perfect for students. This is one I will definitely use!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance

    Some of the best books I have read have made me feel very, very uncomfortable. The Things They Carried. The Bell Jar. In Cold Blood. Room. The Narrow Road to the Deep North. These books are very good. These books are very, very jarring. The Truth Is should go on this list. The Truth Is tells the story of Verdad de la Reyna, a fifteen-year-old with a full plate of troubles---Verdad has a moms that pushes her and pushes her and pushes her to excel, to achieve, to fill her future college application Some of the best books I have read have made me feel very, very uncomfortable. The Things They Carried. The Bell Jar. In Cold Blood. Room. The Narrow Road to the Deep North. These books are very good. These books are very, very jarring. The Truth Is should go on this list. The Truth Is tells the story of Verdad de la Reyna, a fifteen-year-old with a full plate of troubles---Verdad has a moms that pushes her and pushes her and pushes her to excel, to achieve, to fill her future college applications with triumphs...Verdad's dad left her and her moms years ago and has started over with a new family...Verdad has met Danny, a new person at school, and she is trying to figure out her confusing feelings for a person who identifies as trans. The truth is that The Truth is very, very good. And, for me, very, very jarring. I've never been a part of Verdad's world; I've never even visited until now. Verdad's world is the world of high school, full of the same sorts of cruelties that I experienced forty-five years ago, yet somehow wildly amplified. Verdad lives in a world where nothing is certain---even solid figures like parents can walk out or toss you out and cut you out of their lives...friends as close as family can be shot and killed and lost to you forever...to get a place to live and food on the table, adults have to work night and day...school is no safe haven but, instead, a hive of viciousness and vindictiveness. Verdad's world is unimaginably horrific. And, to add to the horror, Verdad's world feels deeply true. Would I have ever ventured into Verdad's world on my own? It's unlikely. I tend to squirm away from reading about worlds that appall me, though it's easier to read about worlds on the other side of the globe than to read about what is probably going on two blocks away at our local high school. Am I glad I read this book? I wouldn't use the word "glad." It was a horribly uncomfortable read. The graphic language. The homeless young teens. The people who abusively shun those who are different. Violence. Cruelty. No, I wouldn't say I was glad to read this book. But reading this book is something people should do, especially people like me, people who have never been in a world quite like this. The author NoNieqa Ramos vividly depicts this world for me; the language, the actions of the characters...I would swear it's an alternative universe did I not know enough about the wider world to know that it's what is going on as typical daily life for many. It's an opportunity for me and others to see what life is like there, to develop empathy for the struggles of lives being lived so far outside from my life and yet, in many ways, so close.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Laurie McLean

    NoNieqa Ramos has penned an incredible book about a 15-year-0ld Puerto Rican girl who is struggling to find her place and herself in the world. Timely. Honest. Raw. The Truth Is doesn't hold anything back. Dealing with issues of gender identity, first love and prejudice, Ramos' follow up to The Disturbed Girl's Dictionary shows that this author has the chops to create complex, real-world stories and the unforgettable characters that inhabit them. Bravo! NoNieqa Ramos has penned an incredible book about a 15-year-0ld Puerto Rican girl who is struggling to find her place and herself in the world. Timely. Honest. Raw. The Truth Is doesn't hold anything back. Dealing with issues of gender identity, first love and prejudice, Ramos' follow up to The Disturbed Girl's Dictionary shows that this author has the chops to create complex, real-world stories and the unforgettable characters that inhabit them. Bravo!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Gegrichreads

    The voice of Verdad reflects her PTSD and her ability to be “high functioning”- have the ability to attend school and be successful with violin. What I like is that despite all the issues, and there are many with her mental health challenges and questioning her sexual identity, she perseveres. I want more stories where people with mental health problems- learn to live w them and ultimately are happy like this one.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Mya

    NoNieqa Ramos does it again! Disturbed Girl's Dictionary was one of my top books last year and this is even better. A Puerto Rican girl named Verdad, reeling from the death of her best friend, finds her life getting a lot more complicated once she meets the mysterious and adorable Danny (gender unknown). As she grows closer to Danny, she learns to re-examine her biases about love, sexuality, gender, and even race and racism. I feel like we rarely see a teenager figuring certain stuff out in YA. NoNieqa Ramos does it again! Disturbed Girl's Dictionary was one of my top books last year and this is even better. A Puerto Rican girl named Verdad, reeling from the death of her best friend, finds her life getting a lot more complicated once she meets the mysterious and adorable Danny (gender unknown). As she grows closer to Danny, she learns to re-examine her biases about love, sexuality, gender, and even race and racism. I feel like we rarely see a teenager figuring certain stuff out in YA. They usually start out woke to racial issues, like Starr in Angie Thomas' The Hate U Give . Here, though -- we get to see Verdad unlearn toxic things and grow into a much more mature, more knowledgable human. I especially loved Verdad's complicated relationship with her heritage. As a fellow Puerto Rican who can't speak much Spanish -- I feel you girl. Also, the representation of a young queer group of friends is the most accurate I've seen probably ever. Everything felt believable. So, 10 out of 10. Can't wait to see what Ramos does next!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jana

    Thank you to NetGalley and Lerner for providing me with an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review **Content Warning: Racism, Homophobia, Transphobia, Mass Shooting, Sexual assault (brief mention), Animal Death (brief mention)** I was honestly surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. When I first started reading I was worried about what direction it would take, and how the trans character would be portrayed. But the book does very well with the characters, and the plot does get more interesting a Thank you to NetGalley and Lerner for providing me with an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review **Content Warning: Racism, Homophobia, Transphobia, Mass Shooting, Sexual assault (brief mention), Animal Death (brief mention)** I was honestly surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. When I first started reading I was worried about what direction it would take, and how the trans character would be portrayed. But the book does very well with the characters, and the plot does get more interesting and isn’t solely focused on the romance part. Verdad was an amazing character, simply because she was not perfect. She is just a teen who was slowly encountering things she had never dealt with before in her life. Verdad makes so many mistakes, constantly finds herself saying the wrong thing, but you get to see her grow and become more educated. I also really appreciated how her trauma led her to have all these specific coping mechanisms, and how easily they are brought up in the story. Even if at first it doesn’t click for the reader that that is why she does those things, you do connect the dots after a bit. Danny’s character was great, and I really love seeing a trans character who is so true and comfortable with their identity. I’m so thankful the whole “I hate myself for being trans” thing was fully avoided in this book. I also really adored the rest of the Underdogs too, and the diversity of their identities. So I was a tiny bit confused at first with some of the formatting. Since the parts where Blanca is speaking are different, at first I wasn’t fully aware on why the formatting had changed like that. I did really loved Blanca as a character, and enjoyed her chiming in on whatever was going on. Despite her not fully being there she becomes such a major part of the story. The plot itself definitely took a more interesting turn halfway through. This book deals with a whole lot of heavy subjects, and seeing Verdad having to navigate through all of that was good. Not only because she learns more about the world, but because it actively shows her changing her mind/opinions on a lot of things. You actively get to see her calling herself out when she thinks or says something that is wrong or privileged. Through all these experiences she also starts finding new parts of her identity. Overall I really enjoyed this book! It has some very sweet romance, but it also is balanced out with some very relevant social issues.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Aly

    I liked this book overall, especially the LGBTQ characters. I loved that Verdad was so open to Danny and his friends, she asked pronouns and realized that she liked Danny, no matter his biology or gender identity. Seeing these kids that have been pushed out of their family's lives because of who they are was sad, but also very real. So many issues were discussed in this book, which I liked, but I think it was a bit much. Not only LGBTQ, but also family drama, what it's like to be a POC, police b I liked this book overall, especially the LGBTQ characters. I loved that Verdad was so open to Danny and his friends, she asked pronouns and realized that she liked Danny, no matter his biology or gender identity. Seeing these kids that have been pushed out of their family's lives because of who they are was sad, but also very real. So many issues were discussed in this book, which I liked, but I think it was a bit much. Not only LGBTQ, but also family drama, what it's like to be a POC, police brutality, and mass shootings. It was a little overwhelming. I do appreciate this book and I liked that it seemed very real, like the author has been there and not imagining it.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Ernesto Cisneros

    Ernesto Cisneros: PRE-ORDER, EFREN DIVIDED! @Author_Cisneros THE TRUTH IS left me shook. IT WILL CHANGE MINDS AND OPEN HEARTS. It is a raw, brutally honest account of what LGTBQ teens are facing today—a reminder of the perils that students face today—often alone and unnoticed. Brilliant as it is apologetically real. If you are a librarian, please stock this important book. If you are a teacher, have it on your shelves. If you are a parent, read it with your teenager. If you are human... read it.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Graciella Delgado

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Trying way too hard to be woke about way too many things and the only likeable character is a minor character who barely has any dialogue. The dialogue is weird and flips back and forth between a standard way of writing dialogue and script/texting style of dialogue and it drives me crazy. The main character is not sympathetic at all and I can't stand her. I've never met a teenager that actually says "hashtag" anything out loud unironically and they say things like LOL out loud or to themselves i Trying way too hard to be woke about way too many things and the only likeable character is a minor character who barely has any dialogue. The dialogue is weird and flips back and forth between a standard way of writing dialogue and script/texting style of dialogue and it drives me crazy. The main character is not sympathetic at all and I can't stand her. I've never met a teenager that actually says "hashtag" anything out loud unironically and they say things like LOL out loud or to themselves instead of actually laughing. Nobody calls things "woke" in a casual way of speaking unironically and I don't think this author has met a teenager that exists currently. There are TOO MANY pop culture references that have already dated the story in a very specific point in time. The music references and pop culture moments are going to be awkward and out of place in three years time and it's only going to make things worse. We didn't need to know someone was wearing a Kanye t-shirt. We didn't need to know that someone is blasting Cardi B. We didn't need to know any of this and we don't know how relevant these random musicians are going to be next week. For a main character that seems to really hate racism when it happens to her she really does just slap "Chinese" on everything Asian related and was down to acknowledge that she used to be openly racist against Asians but then looked back on the memories and still found the racism funny? oh but she still acknowledged she shouldn't have done but oh well LOL "#mindfuck" There's no room to breathe in this story at all. The paragraphs flip between a million issues back-to-back with no time for anyone to process anything. It's colorism to catcalling to school shootings to white supremacy to transphobia to rape culture to racism to homophobia to catcalling to transphobia back to racism to white-washing history to school shootings to racism to PTSD to catcalling to transphobia to BLM back to gender - it's too much. The book is trying to be too woke about depression and mental health AND mourning AND transphobia and gender identity AND racism and cultural identity and the author should have stuck to only one or two things. This book is so overwhelming with sympathetic yet annoying and frustrating characters. This book pissed me off for all the wrong reasons. There were glimpses of real moments and real shit rooted into everyday life that people struggle with but it's sandwiched in-between a million other topics being thrown into every other paragraph.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Lost in Book Land

    I have been reading like crazy and loving every minute of it! Lately, I have been reading and listening to so many books it's insane. If you look at my Goodreads currently-reading shelf it's off the charts with the number of books on there. However, I have already finished many of those and just have not yet written the review yet because I have been busy reading more books! So I am going to try to get on a schedule (we will see how well I keep to this schedule), ideally I would like to post two I have been reading like crazy and loving every minute of it! Lately, I have been reading and listening to so many books it's insane. If you look at my Goodreads currently-reading shelf it's off the charts with the number of books on there. However, I have already finished many of those and just have not yet written the review yet because I have been busy reading more books! So I am going to try to get on a schedule (we will see how well I keep to this schedule), ideally I would like to post two graphic novel and two novel or book reviews a week with Friday being a special post day! I started the special posts last week and they are located on my homepage. I did the Pokemon book tag for my first special Friday post and I included this book in that post! So I am super happy to now finally be getting my review of this book up! SPOILERS AHEAD Verdad is really struggling with her life. Her best friend died almost a year ago and she almost died with her. Verdad's best friend was shot when they were at the movies one night and ever since her world has been changed. Her mother also has incredibly high expectations of her. She expects Verdad to take AP courses, get A's, take on extracurriculars and excel at them and more. On top of all that, her father left when she was a child and has a new family including another daughter that live not too far away. However, Verdad meets Danny at school one day and everything changes. Danny is trans and when Verdad brings Danny home for the first time her mother is not approving of their relationship. This not only brings a lot of problems for Verdad but also a lot of big life changes and questions for her about herself. Overall, I enjoyed this book. I will admit it took me a little while to get into the plot and fully understand the direction of where the book was headed. However, once I got into the plot and more of Verdad's story I enjoyed the book and her story. A non-plot related note I really love the cover of this book, the colors were bright and brilliant. The hands with the writing reflect a story point and were incredibly cool to look at! I am giving this book 3.75 stars on Goodreads which rounds to four.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Nursebookie

    🗣 B O O K R E V I E W 🗣 Thank you #netgalley, Lerner Publishing Group and author Nonieqa Ramos for an #arc ebook copy. TITLE: The Truth Is PUB Date: Sept 3, 2019 THOUGHTS: Nonieqa Ramos gives us a very poignant story about Verdad dela Reyna, a brave heroine, forced to face heavy issues - concurrent to what teens are currently facing today. The writing uses the vernacular of the young adult audience - through the use of hashtags, tag-handles, text conversations, all within the social media realm. Th 🗣 B O O K R E V I E W 🗣 Thank you #netgalley, Lerner Publishing Group and author Nonieqa Ramos for an #arc ebook copy. TITLE: The Truth Is PUB Date: Sept 3, 2019 THOUGHTS: Nonieqa Ramos gives us a very poignant story about Verdad dela Reyna, a brave heroine, forced to face heavy issues - concurrent to what teens are currently facing today. The writing uses the vernacular of the young adult audience - through the use of hashtags, tag-handles, text conversations, all within the social media realm. This is a story of love and exploration, sexuality and sexual orientation, single home life and homelessness, mental health and mental strength. The story intertwines beautifully the power of acceptance, forgiveness and love. Additionally, I love how this book touches on the LGBTQ issues and the challenges of how teens manage the complexities of daily life. Rating 4.5/5

  19. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca Balcárcel

    From an excellence-expecting Latinx mom to swaggering classmates at school, Verdad is juggling a lot. No wonder she turns to her dead best friend for advice and sometimes underachieves on purpose. Life gets yet more complicated when gender fluidity goes from being a concept to being a cute human who makes her heart flip flop. Tackling issues of homelessness, gun violence, and discrimination, this book bravely takes on the emotional work of accepting identities, disappointing loved ones when need From an excellence-expecting Latinx mom to swaggering classmates at school, Verdad is juggling a lot. No wonder she turns to her dead best friend for advice and sometimes underachieves on purpose. Life gets yet more complicated when gender fluidity goes from being a concept to being a cute human who makes her heart flip flop. Tackling issues of homelessness, gun violence, and discrimination, this book bravely takes on the emotional work of accepting identities, disappointing loved ones when needed, and turning tragedy into community. Gritty and humorous, the book changes fonts to signal social media messages and chats with the dead. This one is worth it!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    I wish the kids I went to school with understood the difference between gender and sexuality and respected everyone's pronouns, but most don't because they haven't learned to or they choose not to. I liked that Verdad made mistakes even though it was painful to read because a ton of kids I've come across are like this and never understand the hurt they cause. They don't even give it a second thought. I wish they spent time questioning themselves and pushing themselves to do better like Verdad do I wish the kids I went to school with understood the difference between gender and sexuality and respected everyone's pronouns, but most don't because they haven't learned to or they choose not to. I liked that Verdad made mistakes even though it was painful to read because a ton of kids I've come across are like this and never understand the hurt they cause. They don't even give it a second thought. I wish they spent time questioning themselves and pushing themselves to do better like Verdad does. I would have liked Verdad to figure out that learning and sharing pronouns isn't only for gay kids, but ALL kids.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Martina

    I found the writing to reflect the mindset of the character and the language beautifully poetic. Despite all the pain the characters endure because of cispeople's ignorance, the author let the characters play and experience joy and laughter and that's so important. Verdad's friends are complex and endearing and deserve so much better. My favorite conversation happens between Verdad and Prisha, where they talk about India and PR and the fact that they are sisters of the sol, a word play meaning t I found the writing to reflect the mindset of the character and the language beautifully poetic. Despite all the pain the characters endure because of cispeople's ignorance, the author let the characters play and experience joy and laughter and that's so important. Verdad's friends are complex and endearing and deserve so much better. My favorite conversation happens between Verdad and Prisha, where they talk about India and PR and the fact that they are sisters of the sol, a word play meaning they are connected by sun and soul. I think this book could have been longer to expand on Verdad, Danny, Priha, Sara, and Baldwin's fates. I would read more by this author.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Brooke

    2.5 I really appreciated all the topics discussed in this book. It takes about sexually, racism, gun violence,teen homelessness, and a lot more. I just didn't really understand if Blanca was a ghost or what? I just also didn't like Verdad as a character I thought she was kind of self-centered and a little clueless. I do appreciate that she came around and learned about certain things like people being non binary. Also her relationship with Danny just was rushed and didn't really make sense to me. 2.5 I really appreciated all the topics discussed in this book. It takes about sexually, racism, gun violence,teen homelessness, and a lot more. I just didn't really understand if Blanca was a ghost or what? I just also didn't like Verdad as a character I thought she was kind of self-centered and a little clueless. I do appreciate that she came around and learned about certain things like people being non binary. Also her relationship with Danny just was rushed and didn't really make sense to me. Like it was so quick and they had no chemistry.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Ressler Wright

    EXCELLENT! I loved Nonieqa's first book, The Disturbed Girl's Dictionary, but this is even better. The voice is more polished but still angry, dealing with important issues in a real-life way. Amazing how much was in the book-divorce, homophobia, gun violence, homelessness, and more. A great read for students and adults to remind us the issues we often aren't aware of and how many different teens and adults deal with them. EXCELLENT! I loved Nonieqa's first book, The Disturbed Girl's Dictionary, but this is even better. The voice is more polished but still angry, dealing with important issues in a real-life way. Amazing how much was in the book-divorce, homophobia, gun violence, homelessness, and more. A great read for students and adults to remind us the issues we often aren't aware of and how many different teens and adults deal with them.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Nicky

    I felt so seen, represented, and loved. When Verdad figured out what was wrong with her mother's homophobic arguments, and what was wrong with her church's homophobic religious arguments, I felt a release. None of that is truth. Danny, Prisha, Sarah and Baldwin show the power of the family we choose. Love wins. I felt so seen, represented, and loved. When Verdad figured out what was wrong with her mother's homophobic arguments, and what was wrong with her church's homophobic religious arguments, I felt a release. None of that is truth. Danny, Prisha, Sarah and Baldwin show the power of the family we choose. Love wins.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Tamika

    Thought-provoking elements: - What enables us to claim culture? Can you claim a culture for a place that you were not literally born into but you were raised in? - How do we reconcile the ills of the church, beliefs of your humanity, with your faith/walk with God? - How do we support our children in healing from trauma? - What does it look like to move forward while still remembering/honoring after loss? Wishing there was more of: - Development of the secondary characters

  26. 5 out of 5

    Olivia

    I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley. The Truth Is is such a great book. You can’t help but feel for Verdad as she tries to make sense in the complex issues of race, gender identity, belonging, sexuality, and sexual orientation, all white dealing with the violent death of her best friend. Ramos’s writing is raw and beautiful, and occasionally confusing, but that’s ok, because so are the things in Verdad’s head. I will definitely be recommending this book to others and checking out the a I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley. The Truth Is is such a great book. You can’t help but feel for Verdad as she tries to make sense in the complex issues of race, gender identity, belonging, sexuality, and sexual orientation, all white dealing with the violent death of her best friend. Ramos’s writing is raw and beautiful, and occasionally confusing, but that’s ok, because so are the things in Verdad’s head. I will definitely be recommending this book to others and checking out the author’s other work.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kat

    #TheTruthIs #NetGalley A realistic and edgy read. The author uses mental health, LGBT, homelessness to create a novel filled with the realities that a great deal of teens face today. The main characters have great chemistry on the page and the story pulls hard at your heart strings because many young people have these challenges in their lives. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the E-Arc copy of this novel.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Miriasha

    4.5 stars... it took a long time to trust this book but I’m so glad I did Addition 12/31: It’s raw and real and full of grief and trauma. The protagonist is flawed and gets to grow over the course of the book, and find her own place, and learn from the people around her, while they also learn to understand her and where she’s coming from. It’s got a gritty, harsh, and important portrayal of found family, messy queerness, and some breathtaking quotes.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Maya

    Intense authentic view into the mind of a teen suffering from PTSD and besieged by so many issues like the absence of her father, just trying to fit in with her peers, and more serious issues like cultural and sexual identity. We have to acknowledge that many kids are going through so many things at once and desperately need community. Verdad and so many kids like her need mental health support they are not getting.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Whitney

    This book was one I tore through like a storm - and that's also what this book was, a storm of beauty, love, and finding oneself. I love this book and the representation of both LGBTQ+, non-binary/genderqueer, and POC people (I know, I just said "people of colour people, but I didn't know how else to word it. Forgive the redundancy.). I'd recommend this book to anyone who is hurting (and queer). (or even a straight person, really, because DANG this is a good book!!!!) This book was one I tore through like a storm - and that's also what this book was, a storm of beauty, love, and finding oneself. I love this book and the representation of both LGBTQ+, non-binary/genderqueer, and POC people (I know, I just said "people of colour people, but I didn't know how else to word it. Forgive the redundancy.). I'd recommend this book to anyone who is hurting (and queer). (or even a straight person, really, because DANG this is a good book!!!!)

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