A breathtaking debut brings us the unforgettable story of a small-town love, big dreams, and family drama. Silas Hart has seriously shaken up Westlin Beck's small-town life. Brand-new to town, Silas is different from the guys in Green Lake. He's curious, poetic, philosophical, maddening—and really, really cute. But Silas has a sister—and she has a secret. And West has a boyfriend. And life in Green Lake is about to change forever. Truest is a stunning, addictive debut. Romantic, fun, tender, and satisfying, it asks as many questions as it answers. Perfect for fans of The Fault in Our Stars and Ten Things We Did (and Probably Shouldn't Have).
TRUEST is the quintessential coming-of-age contemporary novel. Westlin's summer is a period of transition. She feels a growing distance with her ever-busy pastor father, her best friend is bonding with someone else, and she meets a brother and sister who she feels instantly close with. And throughout all of these changes, she tackles her uncertainty with both her faith and her future. I loved how realistic all of West's struggles were.
I also loved the characterization in the novel. The reader gets a clear sense of who each person is, even if they're only present for short scenes and interactions. At first it seems like some of the characters are stereotypes (beloved pastor, jealous jock boyfriend), but every character expands beyond the simplest description.
What Left Me Wanting More:
While I feel like I know the characters really well, I still wasn't able to connect with them as much as I would like. West and Silas go through something heart-breaking, but it didn't have the emotional impact I was expecting from a story like this.
The Final Verdict:
TRUEST is an emotional coming-of-age story that explores faith, first love, and family.
I wasn’t too sure what to expect going into this book. The synopsis was pretty light on detail and I was worried I wouldn’t be able to get too into the book if there was a lot of cheating and excuses being made. But I ended up really getting into it and enjoying it.
There were two things that really stood out for me about the book. The connection some of the characters had to books was one of them. They were fellow bookworms and it was great to see them so passionate about it. The second was Silas’ relationship with his sister. I won’t say much because it would be spoiling but I really liked the way it was handled.
I really liked West. She made some bad decisions, and I definitely don’t agree with how she handled her growing feelings for Silas when she was still with her boyfriend, but it provided her with an opportunity to grow as a character and start expressing her opinion more. I could empathize with her feeling left behind when her best friend left for camp for the summer and her boyfriend was too busy on the farm to have much free time.
I was surprised at how much I liked West and Silas as a couple. Usually it’s hard for me to enjoy a couple’s interactions when one of them is seeing someone else, but I enjoyed watching their partnership turn to friendship into an eventual relationship. I also really liked how involved both West’s and Silas’ families were in the plot. I liked the interactions and that they seemed like good families going through rough times.
By the cover and synopsis, I was expecting more of a light, fluffy summer read type of a book, and the book did have its more lighthearted moments, but there were a lot of issues that the plot brought up as well. Growing up, growing apart, faith, how different people express their faith, family, mental illness, alcoholism, friendship, grief, and it did it all without feeling overwhelming or loosing the main plot.
An expected light summer read turned out to be a lot deeper than expected and I couldn’t be happier about that.