Author: Eileen Cook
Release Date: December 4, 2012 (hardcover)
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Source: ARC provided by publisher
Overall: 4.5 Stars
From the author of Unraveling Isobel and The Education of Hailey Kendrick, a smart, romantic novel about a teenage con artist who might be in over her head.
Sadie can’t wait to get away from her backwards small town, her delusional mom, her jailbird dad, and the tiny trailer where she was raised…even though leaving those things behind also means leaving Brendan. Sadie wants a better life, and she has been working steadily toward it, one con at a time.
But when Sadie’s mother wipes out Sadie’s savings, her escape plan is suddenly gone. She needs to come up with a lot of cash—and fast—or she’ll be stuck in this town forever.
With Brendan’s help, she devises a plan—the ultimate con—to get the money. But the more lies Sadie spins, the more she starts falling for her own hoax…and perhaps for the wrong boy. Sadie wanted to change her life, but she wasn't prepared to have it flipped upside down by her own deception. With her future at stake and her heart on the line, suddenly it seems like she has a lot more than just money to lose....
Haven't we all fantasized at some point that we could lead a different life and be another person? After her mother completely clears out her bank account, Sadie forms an ambitious plan to earn back her college money in a short period of time which involves the disappearance of a rich girl named Ava McKenna who went missing 15 years ago. However, the more Sadie learns about the missing girl and their similarities, the more she begins to believe in her own con and spun lies...
I really liked Sadie as a protagonist! She's flawed and makes immoral decisions, but she's well-meaning and only trying to escape her trailer park life through the only solution she thinks she has available. Sadie's father has been in and out of jail her whole life and her Mom hasn't really bothered with any real mothering since Sadie was a little girl, so she's used to being independent and taking caring of herself.
Oh Brendan, how I loved your moments with Sadie and wished for more. Brendan and Sadie have been best friends ever since they were children, and have always looked out for one another. She may try to deny his feelings for her, but you can tell just how much he truly cares for despite his player reputation. He's the voice of reason in the novel, and while he tries to help Sadie pull off the con, he also doesn't want to see her lose herself in the process. Sadie may want to forget her past and reinvent herself when she leaves for college, but Brendan has always accepted her for who she is, never judging her far from perfect family.
The Almost Truth is Eileen Cook's best novel yet! Surprisingly unpredictable, The Almost Truth is far from being an average coming-of-tale tale and I would highly recommend the novel to fans of YA contemporary fiction in a heartbeat. I seriously didn't want the book to come to an end!
Thanks so much to Simon & Schuster Canada for providing this review copy! If you missed it before, you can read my Q&A with Eileen Cook on the Canadian blog tour for The Almost Truth!