Saturday, January 1, 2011

Where the Truth Lies by Jessica Warman

Story Summary for Where the Truth Lies
Emily Meckler has an idyllic life on her New England boarding school campus—except for her severe suffocating nightly dreams about fire and water.   She feels fortunate to have her parents in close proximity and to live in the dorms with her three best friends.  Everything changes though when a new student transfers to campus.  Emily is swept off her feet by this mysterious and wild guy, Del Sugar.   Her previously solid and honest relationships with her parents and her friends crumble as she begins to sneak around, keep secrets, and rebel sneakily.  Under Del’s gripping spell, Emily shuts out everyone else from her life except for her new found friendship with Renee, a free-spirited girl across the hall. 
Everything changes when Emily finds out she is pregnant.  Emily struggles with hiding her pregnancy and conflicting feelings about Del who has been kicked out of school (unrelated to the pregnancy).   Renee supports Emily emotionally and gives her a place to spend the summer as her delivery date nears.  As Emily’s dreams intensify, she feels frustrated with a lack of progress in understanding them.  When she returns to school for her senior year, she develops a healthy relationship with a dynamic, caring guy, but not before the secrets from her past trickle out, including the origins of her dreams and her decisions about Del and the baby. 
Where the Truth Lies (by Jessica Warman) is a good read.  Even though it took me a little while to become enraptured in the narrative, once I did I could hardly put the book down.  There are a few situations that rely on chance and coincidence or wrap up a little too nicely, but the story also illuminates some genuine human emotion and internal conflict.  Emily is a complex-character who falls into a dysfunctional romantic relationship (a prevalent occurrence with teen girls).  Fortunately though, she learns from her mistakes with her first “love” and goes on to make some better choices. 
Parental Advisory:
In this book, the main character, Emily, has sex and there are a few other references to other characters having it.  There is no explicit language or descriptions.  Irresponsibility, Emily only uses protection some of the time.  She gets pregnant.   There is also some casual drug use with no real consequences.  A sexual relationship between an 18 year old student and a staff member is brought up.  This relationship is not a focal point of the book, but it is justified as being acceptable because the couple is of age and in love.   Finally, Emily starts out loving and respectful to her parents which turns disrespectful and disobedience.  Eventually, she does make amends with them though.  While I hate seeing teens make these poor choices, I also realize that these decisions are commonplace.  In order to reflect real life, stories do need to imitate these undesirable choices.   I would suggest this book for ages 16 and up. 

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