Book Review: Truest

Published By: Katherine Tegen Books
Publication Date: September 1, 2015
Page Count: 384
Source: ARC Kindly Provided by Publisher via Edelweiss
Audience: Young Adult - Contemporary

West Beck lives in the small town of Green Lake, Minnesota. It's the sort of small where everyone knows everyone else's business. Life moves at a slower pace in Green Lake and its residents seem to be content with their lot in life, but when the Hart family moves to town, everything in West's life will change.

The story focuses deeply on finding one's true self, navigating the tricky waters of faith, and dealing with the effects of mental illness. It was a lofty goal to cover so many issues in one novel, but Sommers does a beautiful job with it. She makes the issues relevant to her characters in a compelling way that speaks volumes. West's perceptions and interactions with the issues in one of the strengths of this novel. There is romance and sweet moments, but I wouldn't say this is one of those contemporaries that is all cotton candy fluff. I wasn't truly in the mindset to deal with heavy issues when I started this one so it took me a little longer to settle into Green Lake.

A significant focus of the novel are the relationships between West and the other characters. She struggles with her romantic entanglements, her friendships, and her role as a daughter and sister. West is truly a character afloat. She doesn't know where to find solid ground, but as the novel progresses she starts to work through the pitfalls in her relationships. I had empathy for her in most of these relationship struggles. Being a teen and trying to figure out who you are and what you want from life is a difficult feat. It only makes sense that as you evolve, your relationships must also shift or be lost in the process. By the end of the novel, West has a stronger heart, in spite of a few bruises.

I also thought the commentary on mental illness in this novel was well done and relevant. I had never heard of Solipsism Syndrome before reading Truest. It would be a terrifying thing to experience.

I would recommend picking this one up if you're a fan of contemporaries with a bit of meat to them or you're interested in reading about a character trying to find her way. 

One Last Gripe: Cheating is a pet peeve of mine.

Favorite Thing About This Book: I love West's relationship with books and reading.

First Sentence: The swans on Green Lake looked like tiny icebergs, only it was the first weekend of my summer vacation.

Favorite Character: Gordon

Least Favorite Character: I didn't have one, but it did take me awhile to warm up to West.

Silas Hart has seriously shaken up Westlin Beck's small-town life. Brand new to town, Silas is different than 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.


  1. I just googled "Solipsism Syndrome" and it sounds fascinating. The cursory research doesn't give me a very good understanding of it, but it does sound like the perfect seed of internal conflict for a character. I think I would like this story just because of the setting...too many "small town" books are all about how terrible it is to be trapped there where everybody "does know your business" but this sounds like it gives a more comprehensive picture of what it's like to be getting by in a tiny town and calling it home. I can only imagine how all these issues you mention weave together into a cohesive plot!


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