Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Truth or Dairy

Truth or Dairy

4.8 13
by Catherine Clark

See All Formats & Editions

She's humiliated, she's angry....and she's through with boys. Or least that's what she says.

This is the journal of Courtney Von Dragen Smith: middle child, product of divorce, would-be vegetarian. She writes the first mega-negative page the day after her boyfriend, "Such a Dave," breaks up with her because he's heading off to college. Angry and humiliated,


She's humiliated, she's angry....and she's through with boys. Or least that's what she says.

This is the journal of Courtney Von Dragen Smith: middle child, product of divorce, would-be vegetarian. She writes the first mega-negative page the day after her boyfriend, "Such a Dave," breaks up with her because he's heading off to college. Angry and humiliated, Courtney vows to survive senior year on the anti-guy plan. But can she really give up guys and focus on friends, school, and her job at the hip café Truth or Diary? Or will a stint in student government, an epileptic dog, and a guy named Grant ("like-the-lake") Superior turn her world upside down and prove her journal right?

It's true: life can get weirder.

2001 ALA Popular Paperback for YAs

Editorial Reviews

Teen People
It's a good thing Courtney has her cute friends, a job at the hip cafe Truth or Dairy and time to make sense of it all in her journal, which she shares with us.
Voice of Youth Advocates
Courtney is an extremely entertaining character. A breezy, contemporary story...this book will be a popular choice among teens.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In another entry in the burgeoning category of Bridget Jones's Diary-esque YA novels, Clark's (What's So Funny About Ninth Grade?) tale may lack the bite of Rosie Rushton's recent Fab Five series and the wit of this season's Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison (reviewed Mar. 20), but it still hits adolescent themes head-on and with self-deprecating humor. "I realize I may be psycho and also boyfriendless. And if so, I'm at risk of being a stereotype," writes heartbroken 17-year-old Courtney Von Dragen Smith, who finds solace in a diary after being dumped by her college-bound boyfriend, Dave, at the onset of senior year. Courtney's tendency to self-sabotage (such as straying off her soy mocha and tempeh burger diet for self-pity-induced hot-dog splurges) and her quest for self-improvement (e.g., her list of how to deal with the changes in her life: "1. Hate Dave. 2. Try to move on by getting involved with other things. Which I am already doing by getting involved in student council. 3. Stop obsessing about Dave. Which I will do this instant") also invoke her older British contemporary. Set in present-day Colorado, the novel (named for the ice cream vs. healthy smoothie caf where Courtney works) follows the protagonist through the first five months of senior year as she attempts to get over Dave, deal with a student council funds imbroglio and cope with trouble at her job, while trying to stay true to her oath not to date anyone before graduation. Popular and vain, the character of Courtney doesn't exactly encourage sympathy, but as with Bridget, it is in her flaws that her voice rings true. Ages 13-up. (May) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
The entries in Courtney Von Dragen Smith's diary illustrate the lifestyle of a modern high school senior. Courtney is unhappy because her boyfriend ends their relationship. He does not want a long-distance romance although he is only half an hour away. Courtney swears off men, deciding to go into school politics instead, but one or two of her male classmates seem interested in her. Her job making smoothies at the local Truth or Dairy is boring; her mother is doing public battle with telemarketers; and her epileptic dog keeps disappearing. Also it is hard to be a vegetarian when one cannot resist the lure of hotdogs smothered in cheese. Courtney's younger brother is dating her best friend, and her older sister is close to being perfect. Life is very challenging, but nothing weighs too heavily on Courtney as she recounts her fast-paced adventures with a self-absorbed humorous edge. The diary entries are short, about two pages long, and there is a lot of white space. This story is a quick read both due to the format and to the fact that Courtney is an extremely entertaining character. The references to alcohol and sex are matter-of-fact and fit the story line. Courtney's family and friends all have their quirks that add to the fun. Truth or Dairy will appeal to those looking for a breezy, contemporary story that is more surface than depth. This book will be a popular choice among teens for recreational reading. VOYA CODES: 3Q 4P J S (Readable without serious defects; Broad general YA appeal; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2000, HarperCollins, 268p, $6.95 Trade pb. Ages 13 to 18. Reviewer: Judy Sasges

SOURCE: VOYA, December2000 (Vol. 23, No. 5)

This lighthearted book written in diary format should appeal to the middle school and younger high school audience, and will be a good addition to the public library for YAs who want a light, fast read. It has a similar feel to Bridget Jones's Diary, with some strained humor, lots of goofy misadventures and a dog named Oscar that is the hit of the book. Courtney Von Dragen Smith is a vegetarian and the middle child of divorced parents. When her off-to-college boyfriend Dave tells her they need some space and dumps her, Courtney decides to swear off dating for her senior year. Believing she will have more time on her hands without a boyfriend, she plans to work more at the Truth or Dairy, an ice cream and health food snack shop, and to get involved with student government. But as Courtney obsesses about her lost love Dave and deals with her best friend's secret romance and her father's new marriage, as well as coping with her attraction to Dave's best friend, she spins from one involved situation to another. The story leaves you feeling that possibly we have not heard the last of Courtney Von Dragen Smith. KLIATT Codes: JS—Recommended for junior and senior high school students. 2000, HarperTempest, 268p, 18cm, 99-96351, $6.95. Ages 13 to 18. Reviewer: Jamie Lyn Weaver; YA Libn., Geneva P.L., Geneva, IL, September 2000 (Vol. 34 No. 5)
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up-Courtney Von Dragen Smith's senior year gets off to a terrible start. Her boyfriend has broken up with her because he is going to college 30 minutes away and doesn't want to have a long-distance relationship. Also, she's bored with her job at the local Truth or Dairy caf and confounded by her family's quirkiness. She decides not to date, even though there are a couple of attractive guys who show interest in her, and decides to run for vice president of the student council. Written in diary format, the novel has a strong narrative voice that gives readers insight into the protagonist and her feelings. This is especially evident after Courtney gets drunk at a party, which is reflected in her writing. The teen's quick wit gets her into many predicaments, all of which are humorously described. In the end, her family members resolve all of their issues. Her mom ends her conflict with the telephone company, the family's missing dog returns, and her sister comes out of the closet while at college, all of which make for a very pat ending. Courtney realizes how unfair she has been to a boy who has tried to befriend her, to her best friend, and to her brother. Her misadventures will appeal to slightly brainy girls who sometimes need to be reminded that life is a journey. An ephemeral paperback for those who take their literature "lite."-Karen Hoth, Marathon Middle/High School, FL Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
Kirkus Reviews
Told in diary format, this lightweight, faintly amusing slice-of-life novel chronicles the ups and downs of a confused, lovelorn high-school senior. After being dumped by her off-to-college boyfriend, who is looking to begin campus life "free and clear" of emotional entanglements, Courtney is so upset that she decides to spare herself future heartbreak by swearing off boys for the rest of the year. To take up the slack, she decides to concentrate on her academic career, getting involved with student government while continuing to work at the Truth or Dairy, an ice-cream-cum-health-food snack shop. But the course of true non-involvement does not run smoothly either, and complications on the work, home, and student government fronts soon ensue. Moreover, it's clear that fellow student Grant is romantically interested, and eventually, Courtney must decide if the involvement is worth the risk. While Clark deserves kudos for her delivery of a pitch-perfect, self-absorbed teenage voice, her protagonist has little emotional range, and the wafer-thin secondary characters that surround her similarly lack depth. Wearisome in spots and straining for laughs, this novel's main strength is its hip, airy tone and accessible subject matter. (Fiction. 13-15)

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 7.00(h) x 0.00(d)
600L (what's this?)
Age Range:
13 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One


How hurt do you have to be to sue for emotional distress?

Do you have to be completely devastated? Or can you just be extremely mad?

What about "really, really pissed off "? Does that hold up in court? I need to call Judge Judy. I need to be on Judge Judy. She'd rule in my favor. She would. After I made a devastating case against him. Which I think would be easy, even though I haven't exactly gotten into law school yet.

Is it bad form to drink a diet Squirt at 9 in the morning?

Well, I don't know, and I don't care. I don't even know why I'm writing this down�I don't keep a diary. But I have to jot this down�for history's sake. The History of Jerks.

Nothing I do could be in as bad form as what Dave did last night. I haven't even slept. Well, except from 4-8.

I can't believe I'm about to write this down. Dave actually broke up with me.

Broke up with me!

Sorry if I'm writing in really bad form, what Mr. Arnold calls "choppy" in my essays. But I feel a bit chopped up.

What was even worse than the fact he dumped me was how he did it. So tacky. Over the BBQ, while I watched my veggie burger burn, tempeh breaking down into flames like my life. I invite him over for a cookout, so we can plan how we're going to move all his stuff to Boulder next weekend. And he has a soda and some chips and then proceeds to tell me he's going to move on with his life now, thank you very much. Like I'll ever be able to eat again. He comes to my house and does this. Doesn't he know anything about how to break up with someone?

Oscar was running around the yard, yelping, like he does before a bigthunderstorm and during fireworks every July 4th. Animals can sense these kinds of things coming�why didn't I?

What follows is actually what he said. I'm not making this up. I wish I were.

"We'd probably break up in October anyway, so we might as well do it now, start the year free and clear."

Free and clear�that's like a deodorant, right? No, wait�that's a cell phone plan. Are you listening to the words coming out of your mouth, I wanted to say. Do you realize you are rhyming really offensive words, like "year" and "clear"?

"Yeah, and we'll probably die one day, so we might as well kill ourselves now," I said, following his brilliant logic.

"Courtney. Don't be like that," he said.

"Me? You're going to tell me how to be now?" That was when I got a little hysterical. Like he had the right to stand there and calmly eat barbecue-flavor potato chips and tell me my personality needed work. He's about as sensitive as a day-old hamburger bun. Which I wish I had served him. Maybe with nails inside the bun. He had orange-red powder on his lips from the chips and a speck or two on his soul patch. I was going to make fun of him, but I started thinking really depressing things like how I'd never kiss him again.

Then he thought he was getting through to me, because I was crying. So he went into his "this is really for your benefit" speech. "It'll be so different, with me away at college, I don't want to burden you or hold you back�"

"You're the one who doesn't want to be held back!" I said. "You don't want a high-school girlfriend. You want to go to frat parties and pick up girls�"

"I do not!" he said. "That's not why I'm doing this at all."

"Then why are you breaking up with me?" I said.

Ha. He didn't have a comeback for that.

But unfortunately I got caught up in staring at him while I waited for his comeback and I realized he was wearing that T-shirt I bought him when we went on that trip to Phoenix and Taos last spring and it's all faded now and looks really good on him because the washed-out blue kind of matches his eyes. And I got so furious at him for being able to look good while being such a jerk that I told him to leave.

"I'll call you," he said.

"Don't," I said, indignantly, like you're supposed to. Then he drove off, just like that, and I started bawling like a two-year-old. Okay, like Bryan when he was two years old.

People warned me about this. Said it might happen. Alison (supportive big sister as always) said we should break up, because "that kind of relationship never works."

"What kind?" I said.

"Long-distance," she said.

"He'll be in the next town," I said. "It's a half hour drive. When the traffic's bad." From Denver to Boulder is nothing, people do it every day as a commute. They have buses on the half-hour. Crowded ones. And we even live slightly on the west side of the city, which is that much closer. He could get here by bike, even.

"Same thing. You're not in school together anymore. It wouldn't work."

Well, sure, it definitely wouldn't work now. After all the stupid things he said, about how we needed to grow and how we might find out we wanted to get back together, but we'd cross that bridge when we came to it.

I'm not crossing that bridge. I'm not even looking for it on a map. As far as I'm concerned, I was on that bridge, and he cut the rope on the other side, and now I'm hanging over a raging river, and people are going by in their kayaks and laughing at me. You know, those people who are really good at kayaking and never take off their sandals, not even in the winter. I hate those people. I think kayaks should be banned, except that extremely buff guys seem to paddle them bare-chested a lot.

Meet the Author

Catherine Clark is the author of Picture Perfect, Wish You Were Here, So Inn Love, The Alison Rules, and many others. She lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

Truth or Dairy 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was about a girl named Courtney Von Dragen Smith a twelfth grader. The book is in journal form. Courtney starts her journal the day after her boyfriend Dave broke up with her, so she is very angry. She decides to vow to spend senior year single. Courtney and her friend work at a hot smoothie shop called Truth or Diary. Her friends persuade her to run for vice president and she wins. Her dog is epileptic and gets scared easily. Her dog runs away a few times and Grant, a guy from school, helps her find him. She eventually falls for Grant. I really liked this book. I like how the author wrote in journal form. I like reading books like that I have read a few in that style and I really liked them. I also liked it because we can almost relate since we are almost in high school.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was great. I read it in one day because i got so into it that i couldn't bear to put it down. This book was so funny and it also relates to a teenager's life. I highly reccommend it to girls 13 to 19.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was great! I just picked it off the library shelf and didn't expect much but it was hilarious. Most teens can relate to what this teen goes through. A good, light book to read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a extremely cute book! Through out the book it keeps your wondering whether or not she will find the right guy for her and break her pact. You can't put the book down and once you are finished you're craving another. It is a wonderfully cute book! It truly is a fabulous book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
the author was really able to put the problems of todays youth into writing, you could almost see all the events unfolding like a movie playing inside your head
Guest More than 1 year ago
this book was so good..it was funny and entertaining while giving a message to teen girls that they can move on with there lives after being dumped..hope there is a second..great read 4 summer or whenever
Guest More than 1 year ago
i actually got the book on accident. i thought i grabbed a different book.but, lucy for me! it was one of the best books that i ever read! I was also sad when i finished the book. (wasn't the 2nd one called Wurst Case Senario?)
Guest More than 1 year ago
Truth Or Dairy is a great book! I read it in 1 sitting, at least the first time. I've read it about 20 times since. It's awesome! Oh, and to whoever asked, there is a sequel, WHATS THE WURST THAT COULD HAPPEN?. That is almost as good.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I can't help but read this book over and over again. I see myself in each of the characters. I read the book in one sitting; It kept me laughing the whole way through.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A hilarious book that keeps you reading for hours! I really enjoyed this book! Once I started reading it I couldn't stop! This book is a must read for teenage girls! It is a diary of a teenage girl that has broken up with her boyfriend and is trying to stay single for the rest of her senior year. Can she prove herself and her friends right by keeping her promise? I diffiantly give this book 5 stars!
Guest More than 1 year ago
well i got the book for christmas and i thought it was a nutrition book at first so i wasnt so interested. but then i started reading it and it just kept reminding me of me! courtney talks like me and acts like me it was just too good. when i was done reading it i wished i wasnt so then i could keep reading it. and i also wished there was like a sequal to the book. is there????? PLEASE let me know. i really really enjoyed it. i give it 5 stars!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I would give Truth or Dairy 5 stars ! Its a great book ! I think it teaches you a thing or two. Its one of those books where you don't ever want the story to end. Its about a girl who gets dumped right before she starts her senior year of High School. Her boyfriend is going to a college about a half a hour away. So he tells her that he thinks they will brake up soon so they should brake up now. Courntey (the girl that gets dumped is so upset about what happens). She can't get over the fact that her boyfriend dumped her . She works in a cafe called Truth or Dairy. She also thinks about running for student council to make her college application look good and also to get her mind off Dave (her ex). When you read her journal (the book) it will be about her trying to give up guys because she so mad at Dave. Also her friends, school , and her job at Truth or Dairy.