The Thing About the Truth

The Thing About the Truth by Lauren Barnholdt

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. (Goodreads)

The Cover:

We need to get this out of the way now. The girl on this cover looks like she may kill this boy in his sleep. She’s unstable.  It’s awful. And kinda creepy.

The Story:

Kelsey has been kicked out of her snooty prep school because of her involvement in a scandal concerning her ex-boyfriend and some serious cray cray style (and by that I mean awesome) vengeance. Kelsey wants to leave her past behind. She starts at her new school, Concordia Public, ready to set her future on the right track.

Isaac is also headed to Concordia Public after getting kicked out of every school imaginable.  His father, a state senator, has spun his latest school problems as a political move to show his faith in the public education system, but Isaac knows it’s really his last chance to get his act together.

When Kelsey and Isaac meet, it’s pretty much hate at first sight.  And when Isaac somehow weasels his way into being co-leader of a new club Kelsey is running at the school, neither expects it to work. They have find common ground in order to bring Concordia Prep and their new school together, to seek to understand each other and in turn, they end up liking each other.  Of course, Kelsey hasn’t been entirely honest about her past, and Issac has a little something he’s hiding as well, each afraid that what they have to tell will damage their new romance.

My Take:

Meh.

This story had some really cute elements. I loved that it was told from Isaac and Kelsey’s alternating perspectives, because it’s so refreshing to hear the guy’s side. I love when authors do that.  Barnholdt has a simple writing style that’s easy to follow and she nails the dialogue perfectly.

I instantly related to Isaac, who was fun and likeable and seemingly harmless. I had a harder time with Kelsey. The girl could not relax. She was so uptight that she came across as mildly b*tchy, and it was hard to see why Isaac would be interested in her at all.  She definitely has her own issues, including a best friend who’s anything but loyal and a dad who barely acknowledges her. These were interesting elements, but they were never really properly developed. Her bestie had some good moments, but otherwise, she had no depth and there was really no explanation about Kelsey’s  dad beyond the fact that he was disappointed in her for getting kicked out of her previous school.

As far as the secrets both Isaac and Kelsey have, though they really weren’t a huge deal, I can see why, at that age, they would feel like the end of the world.  They still had some really cute moments together, but overall, as a couple they lacked that zing I’ve felt in other Barnholdt novels.  This book wasn’t bad (if you’re a fan you should definitely check it out), but it was easily forgettable.

Crush Intensity: 2.75/5

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