The Thing about the Truth

( 34 )

Overview

In this humorous love story from the author of Two-Way Street , an unlikely romance is the best sort of surprise—but the wrong secret can ruin everything.

Kelsey’s not going to let one mistake ruin her life. Sure, she got kicked out of prep school and all her old friends are shutting her out. But Kelsey’s focused on her future, and she’s determined to get back on track at Concordia High.
Isaac’s been kicked out of more schools than he can ...

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Overview

In this humorous love story from the author of Two-Way Street , an unlikely romance is the best sort of surprise—but the wrong secret can ruin everything.

Kelsey’s not going to let one mistake ruin her life. Sure, she got kicked out of prep school and all her old friends are shutting her out. But Kelsey’s focused on her future, and she’s determined to get back on track at Concordia High.
Isaac’s been kicked out of more schools than he can count. Since his father’s a state senator, Isaac’s life is under constant scrutiny—but Concordia High’s his last stop before boarding school, so Isaac’s hoping to fly under the radar and try to stay put for a change.
When Kelsey and Isaac meet, it’s anything but love at first sight. She thinks he’s an entitled brat, and he thinks she’s a stuck-up snob. So it surprises them both when they start to fall for each other. Kelsey’s happy for the first time in months, and Isaac’s never felt this way about anyone before….But nothing’s ever completely perfect. Everyone has secrets, and Isaac and Kelsey are no exceptions. These two may have fallen hard, but there’s one thing that can ruin it all: the truth.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

For Kelsey and Isaac, Concordia High feels like a final frontier. Both of them have been kicked out of prep schools, making this public school stop a critical crossroad. When these feisty teenagers first meet, each dismisses the other, but gradually they learn their share their love and their secrets. Told in flashbacks narrated alternately by these two protagonists, The Truth About the Truth moves towards a climax with suspense that keeps you hanging on. A new romantic novel with sympathetic characters by the author of Two Way Street and Love of the Party.

Publishers Weekly
Kelsey and Isaac are facing possible expulsion for an offense that is slowly revealed over the course of Barnholdt’s sixth YA novel, which is told in flashbacks narrated alternately by the two teenagers. Both Kelsey and Isaac started the school year as new students at Concordia Public, having been kicked out of their respective prep schools. Kelsey’s wrongdoing comes out slowly, but readers know early on that Isaac, son of a state senator, has always been a troublemaker, at least until he falls for Kelsey. Kelsey is initially disdainful of Isaac, leading to much sharp banter between them, a Barnholdt (Sometimes It Happens) trademark. Once they get together, the countdown begins to the disaster that has brought them to the superintendent’s office. Kelsey’s self-deprecating honesty is endearing, and Isaac, while not always totally believable, is a satisfying fantasy of a bad boy with a heart of gold. Secondary characters like the teens’ parents and Kelsey’s best friend are comparatively one-note, but that doesn’t detract much from this well-paced and enjoyable confection. Ages 14–up. Agent: Alyssa Eisner Henkin, Trident Media Group. (July)
From the Publisher
"Sharp banter... endearing... [a] well-paced and enjoyable confection." —Publishers Weekly

"Barnholdt's snappy dialogue and deftly woven flashbacks will keep readers turning the pages in comic suspense. Romance fans will find the conclusion satisfying even as it is refreshingly messy. —Kirkus Reviews

Children's Literature - Myrna Dee Marler
Kelsey and Issac have both landed at the same public for the very first time as juniors. With different reasons for trying to succeed at their new school, Isaac and Kelsey find themselves drawn together. The problem is that each is holding back a secret from the other one, and eventually, the truth does come out in the most awkward and humiliating way possible. Will they be able to solve their problems and overcome this bump in the road? Told from alternating points-of-view, and in-and-out of a strictly linear chronology, the book is well-written and engaging. While love is a major plot point, the alternating POV helps the book appeal to both girls and boys. Reviewer: Myrna Dee Marler
VOYA - Elizabeth Norton
Kicked out of her exclusive prep school, Kelsey Romano is determined to make a new start at public school and salvage her reputation enough to get into the Ivy League. On her very first day at Concordia Public, she meets Isaac, the son of a senator, and kicked out of many schools. The two do not get along at first, but when Kelsey starts a club to promote student unity, Isaac joins to get closer to her—and sparks fly. As their relationship progresses, Kelsey lies to Isaac about her ex-boyfriend, and when he finds out the truth at an inter-school rally, the consequences of her lie could get both of them expelled. Barnholdt's story moves slowly, told in flashbacks as Kelsey and Isaac argue their case in a disciplinary hearing with the superintendent. The two main characters share the narration, with chapters alternating between "Before" and "The Aftermath." The exact reason for Kelsey's expulsion from her previous school is not revealed until halfway through the book, and, when it is revealed, it is anticlimactic. Likewise, the cause of Kelsey and Isaac's current disciplinary issue is comparatively minor. Teens will likely relate to Kelsey's desire to start over at her new school and Isaac's strained relationship with his senator father; however, Kelsey's voice especially feels inauthentic. This book may find an audience with fans of the author's previous works, but it is a secondary purchase. Reviewer: Elizabeth Norton
Kirkus Reviews
A teenage he said/she said caper. With her opening line--"I am in so much trouble"--17-year-old prep school refugee Kelsey draws readers into her complicated existence, studded with white lies and whoppers. On her first day at the local public school, the gimlet-eyed heroine meets her match in Isaac, the hot, reckless son of a senator. Their sarcastic sparring, brimming with pride and prejudice and f-bombs, builds a Lizzy-vs.-Darcy chemistry as they each struggle to overcome their mistakes. The first-person narration alternates between them, providing insight into their separate journeys toward authenticity as they work together on a school project that is designed to save them both--and goes horribly awry. Although the chaotic aftermath is detailed early on, Barnholdt's snappy dialogue and deftly woven flashbacks will keep readers turning the pages in comic suspense. Romance fans will find the conclusion satisfying even as it is refreshingly messy. (Fiction. 14 & up)
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Kelsey and Isaac are new to Concordia Public. She is an honor-roll student who was expelled from Concordia Prep, with the why not revealed until well into the novel. The lie she tells Isaac about the reason is central to her later problems at school. Isaac is a classic bad boy rich kid, whose father is a state senator. He has his own problems with honesty. The story is told from alternating perspectives and chronologies. These narrative and plot devices make it a bit different from the run-of-the-mill high-school drama/romance. The language is sometimes crude, but the voices ring true partly because of that. Readers won't find any saints in this book. The pacing, plot, and voices make it a good choice for light reading.—Nina Sachs, Walker Memorial Library, Westbrook, ME
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781442434608
  • Publisher: Simon Pulse
  • Publication date: 7/10/2012
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 288,034
  • Age range: 14 years
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Lauren Barnholdt is the author of the teen novels The Thing About the Truth, Sometimes It Happens, One Night That Changes Everything, Two-Way Street, and Watch Me. She is also the author of the middle-grade novels The Secret Identity of Devon Delaney, Devon Delaney Should Totally Know Better, Four Truths and a Lie, Rules for Secret-Keeping, and Fake Me a Match. She lives in Waltham, Massachusetts.

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Read an Excerpt

The Aftermath

Office of the Superintendent, 11:26 a.m.

Kelsey

I am in so much trouble. So, so, so much trouble. Seriously, I cannot even begin to imagine the kind of trouble I’m in. It’s the kind of trouble you hope you’re never going to be in, the kind of trouble you hear people talk about, and you go, “Wow, what an idiot. I’m glad I’m never going to be in that kind of trouble.”

I’m probably going to get kicked out of school. My second school in three months. What will happen to me then? Where will I even go? The last school I got kicked out of was Concordia Prep, a private school, so of course I got put into public school. But where do you go when you get kicked out of public school? Reform school or something?

God, that would be horrible. I could never last at a reform school. I have a pink Kate Spade purse, for God’s sake. I got it at the Kate Spade outlet, but still. Reform school would eat me alive. I’d be like one of those girls on those shows on Spike TV, where they take the teen troublemakers and put them in jail for a day to show them where they’re headed, and they all break down and start crying and completely lose their shit.

I shift in my chair and look at the clock: 11:27. The meeting with the superintendent, Dr. Ostrander, is supposed to start in three minutes, and Isaac still isn’t here. Not that I’m surprised. Isaac is never on time to anything.

The clock’s hand ticks over to 11:28, and I start to think that maybe he’s not coming. That maybe somehow his dad got him out of it, and that I’m going to be left dealing with this mess on my own.

But then the door to the office opens, and Isaac walks in. His dark eyes scan the room, moving over the secretary, taking in the closed door that leads to Dr. Ostrander’s office, and then finally landing on me. Without even talking to the secretary or telling anyone he’s there, he walks over and plops himself down in the chair two down from me.

He doesn’t say anything, just keeps his gaze facing forward. I sneak a look at him out of the corner of my eye. He’s wearing pressed khaki pants, a light blue button-down shirt, and a red-and-blue tie. His black shoes are perfectly shined, his hair freshly gelled. He looks put together, in control, and, as always, completely gorgeous. There’s a slight scowl on his face, but it only serves to make him look more in charge of the situation, like he can’t believe what a total waste of time this whole thing is.

He turns to look at me, and when he does, he catches me looking at him, and my heart stops.

“Hey,” I say. I’m not sure if we’re talking, but the word is out of my mouth before I can stop it.

“Hey.” His tone is clipped. He’s still mad at me for what happened, still hurt, still upset. Still probably doesn’t want to give me another chance.

“I was starting to think you weren’t going to come,” I say. It’s a lame thing to say, but I’m desperate to keep the conversation going.

“Why wouldn’t I come?” He looks like he thinks I’m crazy for doubting he would show up.

“I don’t know. I thought maybe your dad . . .”

He rolls his eyes and looks away.

“Anyway,” I say, “I’m glad you’re here.”

He doesn’t reply, just pulls his cell phone out of his pocket. His fingers move over the screen, checking his texts, reading something, typing a reply. I wonder who he’s texting with. Marina? Doubtful, but honestly, at this point, nothing would surprise me.

“Mr. Brandano, Ms. Romano?” the secretary says. “Dr. Ostrander will see you now.” I take a deep breath and stand up. I smooth my skirt, a simple black pencil skirt chosen in an effort to make me look mature and trustworthy.

“Here we go,” I say to Isaac, and flash him a smile. It’s an attempt to show that we’re in this together, that we’re both heading into the lion’s den, but that maybe we can be okay if we just depend on each other.

But Isaac doesn’t say anything. He just turns on the heel of his superexpensive, supershiny black shoe and walks toward Dr. Ostrander’s office door. I stand there for a moment, blinking back the tears that are threatening to spill down my cheeks.

I’m upset because Isaac won’t talk to me, but mostly I’m upset because I know that this whole thing is my fault. The reason we might get kicked out of school. The reason everything’s so completely screwed up. And most of all, the reason we broke up. The reason I’ve probably lost him forever.

I’ve spent so many hours thinking about it, going over it again and again in my mind. If I start doing that now, I’ll drive myself crazy, letting my thoughts become a tangled mess. And I need to keep my mind clear for this meeting. So I wipe at my eyes with the back of my hand and then force myself to head into Dr. Ostrander’s office.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 34 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(15)

4 Star

(6)

3 Star

(5)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(4)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 34 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 2, 2012

    Prior to Reading: I love Lauren Barnholdt and I was really excit

    Prior to Reading: I love Lauren Barnholdt and I was really excited to read this one.

    Review: After being kicked out of her last school, Kelsey is determined to not let her one mistake ruin her life. Overall, I liked Kelsey. She's relatable in the sense that she just wants to get into a good college with good scholarships and is willing to work hard for it and not let anything get in her way. She was very closed off to everyone at first but learned to let up. Like I said, I liked her but she is not exactly a memorable character. And Isaac. He was funny and sweet, but I think he really over-reacted.

    I just found the book very anti-climatic. We spend the book knowing that something major went down and only getting clues as to what exactly happened. We know that Kelsey lied, but not about what. I was expecting something a lot more more dramatic and big. It seemed that everything was blown way out of proportion. And as far as the lie... Isaac had a right to be mad but like I said, he over-reacted.

    After everything was revealed and we found out what went down on Face It Down Day, everything was resolved rather quickly. Too quickly. It just that everyone made such a big deal out of everything, and then it was fine. I would have liked a little more struggle in the aftermath before the end of the book.

    Overall: I am a little disappointed by this edition the the Lauren Barnholdt collection. It's just that I love some of her other books and I wanted to love this one. It was still and enjoyable read; I just wanted more.

    8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 30, 2012

    Must read

    I absoultly love this book and would recomend it for all teens the story was so sweet and really nice and it even made me hopeful that one day i will find a guy who loves me the way issac loved kelsey thw only thing i hate about this book is that it dosent have a sequal please please please lauren barnholdt write a sequel to this book because i really want to find out what happens in there relationship

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 10, 2012

    I LOVED IT

    I loved the book.
    Great plot... check.
    Crazy hot guy character... check.
    Romance... check.
    Great book... DOUBLE CHECK!!!!

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 23, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    3.5 stars It was a simple read that i could not put down and the

    3.5 stars
    It was a simple read that i could not put down and the premise of the story was great...one little lie can change everything! However the writing style took some getting used to and i feel that the plot was lacking in some areas.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 10, 2012

    Like

    I like the book so far

    3 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 11, 2012

    Okay

    This was an okay book. It was kind of a let down in the end though. It hypes you up for this big event and it turns out to be a small issue. I thoughtthecharacters were very well developed and i did enjoy reading this book. (:

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 13, 2012

    GREAT STORY BUT LACKLUSTER ENDING

    I love laruen barnholdt. I have read all her books. This story was really fun and kept me wanting more. However the ending left the reader with WAY too many unanswered questions. Its almost like she just stopped writing in the middle of the book. Other then the ending (if you can even call it that.) Its a great read....just dont get your hopes up for an amazing ending.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 13, 2012

    Read it

    It is an amzimg book if you like romance read this

    2 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2012

    Huh Huh ? Huh

    The girl on the cover looks like a jerk if you love someone than be with htem i dont get it

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2014

    Amazing

    I loved this book. The characters were cute and understandable.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 23, 2013

    Love

    I loved this book i read it at the libary it was so breathtaking

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 10, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    ***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog*** The Thing About

    ***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***

    The Thing About the Truth by Lauren Barnholdt
    Publisher: Simon Pulse
    Publication Date: July 10, 2012
    Rating: 2 stars
    Source: Public library

    Summary (from Goodreads):

    In this humorous love story from the author of "Two-Way Street", an unlikely romance is the best sort of surprise—but the wrong secret can ruin everything. Kelsey’s not going to let one mistake ruin her life. Sure, she got kicked out of prep school and all her old friends are shutting her out. But Kelsey’s focused on her future, and she’s determined to get back on track at Concordia High.

    Isaac’s been kicked out of more schools than he can count. Since his father’s a state senator, Isaac’s life is under constant scrutiny—but Concordia High’s his last stop before boarding school, so Isaac’s hoping to fly under the radar and try to stay put for a change.

    When Kelsey and Isaac meet, it’s anything but love at first sight. She thinks he’s an entitled brat, and he thinks she’s a stuck-up snob. So it surprises them both when they start to fall for each other. Kelsey’s happy for the first time in months, and Isaac’s never felt this way about anyone before. But nothing’s ever completely perfect. Everyone has secrets, and Isaac and Kelsey are no exceptions. These two may have fallen hard, but there’s one thing that can ruin it all: the truth.


    What I Liked:

    This book was an interesting contemporary novel. There are some things that I liked in this book, such as the romance, characters, and writing. The romance was cute and sweet, but I saw it coming from a mile away. That is not a bad thing, but it immediate. I would not call it insta-love, but it was not slowburn and explored. Nevertheless, I really liked Kelsey and Isaac together. They made a cute couple, when they got along.

    The characters individually were a little intriguing. I really like Isaac, although I cannot figure out what makes him such a bad student. He does not act like a bad boy, or a bad student. He seems responsible and poised at times, and then at other times, relaxed and cheeky. Kelsey was snarky and assertive, and she handled herself well in a new environment. I liked that she would have compassion on a girl she never met, in a bathroom, and try and talk to the girl. 

    The writing style is pretty nice, in my opinion. I thought this book flowed pretty well, and it was paced slowly at the beginning and began to pick up quickly at the last quarter of the book. I liked the occasional switch between past and present, although in the beginning, I was so confused. But, I got into the book, and liked the switches.


    What I Did Not Like:

    Here's where things get confusing for me, and I do not want to spoil anything for anyone, so I will try my best. I was so confused about Face It Down Day. Honestly, I am still confused as to what it is. I do not think the author clearly explained to us what was going to happen on Face It Down Day. And when that day did come, I still did not understand what it was, because the whole day was eclipsed by some stupid fight. 

    I do not understand why Kelsey's lie is such ahuge deal. I do not understand why she could not tell Isaac to begin with. I do not understand what is up with Kelsey's parents. On that note, I can see the autor trying to show that Kelsey does not get attention from her parents, which may psychologically lead to her boy problems or something, but even that is a stretch. It did not make any sense. We get to see Kelsey's parents all of like, maybe four times. And they just ignore her. Which I get, and it impacts Kelsey, but we do not get to see HOW it impacts Kelsey. On Isaac's side, we kind of get to see how his cold father and robotic mother impact him.

    The ending was NOT resolved at all. I want to know what the administration decided. This was not explained in the end. All we get to see is how Kelsey and Isaac decide to go about things. I want to know the repercussions of their actions! Speaking of that, for what exactly are they being punished. I understand about Isaac, but I do not understand about Kelsey. So she lied about something. It did not directly hurt anyone. Isaac made his choice. So did Rex. I do not get why Kelsey would be in trouble, and what the school administration would have to do with any of that. This is NOT representative of the school administrations of which I know (not that I have ever gotten in trouble with school administrations). 


    Would I Recommend It:

    Probably not. There are better contemporary novels out there. 


    Rating:

    2 stars. In the end, I was just too confused by certain things in this book to really enjoy it. Some things needed to be fleshed out, and they were not. It really brought my liking and my rating of this book wayyy down.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2013

    Amazing

    Loved this book! :)

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2013

    Love it!

    I fell in love with this book fromm the start i loved the characters and found them really intersting to put together though i really hate how the author ended the book and im praying she is making another one

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 2, 2012

    Hmmm

    I debating whether to get the book or not i tried borrowing from the library but it wasnt there and ive read some negative comments and positive oh so confused

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 1, 2012

    Alright...

    This book is not at all like you think it be about and frankly a waste of time in opinion.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 27, 2012

    Recommend it for everyone

    This is a realy good book from the information it gave me before buying i knew i would love:):):)):):):):)<3

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 11, 2012

    Okay

    Havent read yet but i hopi will be goode

    0 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 8, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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