ARC Review: THREE THINGS I KNOW ARE TRUE by Betty Culley

Title: Three Things I Know Are True
Author: Betty Culley
Publisher: HarperTeen
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Hardcover, 480 Pages
Publication Date: January 7th, 2020


Summary: Life changes forever for Liv when her older brother, Jonah, accidentally shoots himself with his best friend Clay’s father’s gun. Now Jonah needs round-the-clock care just to stay alive, and Liv seems to be the only person who can see that her brother is still there inside his broken body. With Liv’s mom suing Clay’s family, there are divisions in the community that Liv knows she’s not supposed to cross. But Clay is her friend, too, and she refuses to turn away from him—just like she refuses to give up on Jonah.

I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review, as we have decided to start reaching out to 2020 authors and planning our interviews. So when I heard about Betty Culley's book, I knew that it was going to be something really hard-hitting and incredible, so I immediately reached out and knew I wanted to work with her. Before we conducted the interview, though, I wanted to give the book a read and get to know her project a little more. And let me tell you, the story I got definitely shocked me in the best of ways.

As the summary explains, Liv's older brother, Jonah, accidentally shot himself in the head with a gun that belongs to his best friend's father. Now, Jonah can't eat or speak or stand on his own, needs constant care, and their mother is taking Clay's family to court to seek some justice for the horrible tragedy. The story is told from the point of view of Liv, as she sees Jonah's struggles, the court trial, and all of the little victories and tragedies that come along with it.

I really, really enjoyed reading this book. I wasn't sure how I was going to like it at first, since I don't really read many novels in verse, and I wasn't sure if it was going to affect how I understood the story. However, I'm glad to report that my worries were unfounded, because I very quickly fell in love with the story and had a really hard time putting it down. I read over 300 pages in a single one-hour sitting (!!!) because I was just FLYING through the story, always wanting to know what was going to happen next. It was such a gripping, emotional story that gutted me, but also filled me with little flutters of hope and love at the same time.

Overall, I really enjoyed reading Three Things I Know Are True. I absolutely tore through the book and just couldn't put it down -- the novel-in-verse format adds an even more emotional thread into the story, and you really get into Liv's mind to witness the tragedy from her own experience, but also all of the little victories, too. If you're looking for an incredible debut to try out and a new author whose writing you want to explore, I definitely recommend checking this one out!

Be on the lookout for my interview with author Betty Culley (and an ARC giveaway!), coming later this month!



 

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