Cross My Heart and Never Lie

Cross My Heart and Never Lie
Co-Authors / Illustrators
Age Range
Release Date
September 19, 2023
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In this fresh, sensitive, diary-style graphic novel, 12-year-old Tuva's questions about becoming a teenager are confusing—so when her first crush turns out to be on another girl, it feels absolutely wonderful--so why does it become so complicated?

Perfect for fans of The Girl from the Sea by Molly Knox Ostertag, HeartStopper by Alice Oseman, and Jen Wang's The Dressmaker and the Prince.

Tuva is starting seventh grade, and her checklist of goals includes: writing out a diary, getting a trendy look, building the best fort in the woods with her BFFs, and much more. But when she starts school, nothing is how she hoped it would be.

Seventh grade has split her friends into rival factions: TEAM LINNEA and the girls who fall in love and TEAM BAO and the girls who NEVER fall in love. Linnea has a BOYFRIEND, Bao hates everything related to love. Worst of all, Linnea and Bao expect Tuva to choose a side!

In this delightfully hand-lettered coming-of-age graphic diary, Tuva gets caught between feeling like a kid and wanting to know HOW to become a teenager. Then Miriam shows up and suddenly Tuva feels as if she’s met her soulmate. Can you fall in love with a girl, keep it from your friends, and survive? For Tuva, it may be possible, but it's definitely not easy.

Editor review

1 review
Perfectly Captures the Tween Years
Overall rating
Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
Cross My Heart and Never Lie captures that period between adolescence and the teen years so perfectly.

Tuva is a twelve-year-old girl living with her dad in Norway. She is looking forward to starting 7th grade with her best friends Bao and Linnea. Earlier in the year, they had planned how they were going to build a fort in the bog near the school. When the first day of school arrives Tuva soon learns that things have changed over the summer. Linnea has a boyfriend and has matured. Now she prefers to go shopping rather than play in the bog. Bao is anti romance and Tuva is caught in between her two best friends. There is a part of Tuva that is curious about romance and wants to experience what Linnea has with her boyfriend, but none of the boys in their class interest her. Tuva has feelings for the new girl Miriam and wonders if they are soul mates. Tuva deals with friendship drama and her feelings for Miriam all while learning to be true to herself and what she enjoys.

What I Liked: The story is told in diary format with doodles and drawings helping Tuva express her emotions. It truly makes the reader feel like they are reading the diary of a twelve-year-old girl. Tuva is such an authentic character and I felt immediately connected to her. Her emotions and reactions brought me back to my tween years. I also really enjoyed Tuva's dad and what a supportive parent he is.

Cross My Heart and Never Lie is a heartfelt coming-of-age story and a must-read for all tween/teens.
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