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Dare Truth or Promise

3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  3,257 ratings  ·  105 reviews
Willa and Louie could not be more different. Louie wants to be a lawyer and is an outstanding student. Willa lives in a pub and just wants to get through the year so she can graduate and become a chef. But they are completely attracted to one another when they first meet at a fast-food restaurant. Soon they fall in love fast and furiously, and everything the girls are sure ...more
Paperback, 176 pages
Published October 25th 1999 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 1997)
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Best Lesbian Fiction
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Amanda
So it seems that I’m alone in not liking this book since all of the reviews I’ve come across are overwhelmingly positive. Since I’m trying to read 100 LGBT books by the end of next year this one was high up on my to-read list because it came so highly recommended. Unfortunately, I found it incredibly dry.

My biggest problems consist of:

-The characters. Louie and Willa are caricatures cut out to walk across stage and play their little game. There are only a few distinguishing characteristics and
...more
Sarah
Apr 07, 2009 Sarah rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of YA and queer fiction
"'I'm in love with that girl,' she said out loud in amazement, because she knew that this was a life-changing thing and life-changing things should be said aloud, should have a moment in time, and a place in the air, some molecular structure to make them real. I'm in love with that girl, she heard as it reverberated inside her head. And it was a truth, she realized, as things are which you don't think, but discover have always existed."
Rebecca
Jun 14, 2009 Rebecca rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: see above
This is another somewhat sad story with a happy ending. Louie (Louisa) and Willa meet each other at work, and later in school, and there is instant chemistry. Unfortunately Willa just ended a relationship with Cathy, a girl who despite her feelings for Willa could not find enough courage to come out. Not that Willa is 'out' herself, she just knows what she wants, and she's not afraid to say it if someone asks. These two girls begin to fall in love but Louie's mother isn't accepting and tries to ...more
Evan
May 27, 2008 Evan rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people who like reading YA queer lit
Recommended to Evan by: Amazon
While I was reading this, I thought why do I keep doing this to myself? First love is so exciting. Your heart is so full. Sometimes other's interference brings you down. This can happen even if you're not a gay teenager. This story centers around two girls, Willa and Louie, who fall in love. Louie's mom forbids her daughter from seeing Willa. Louie has to deal with not being honest with her family and friends about the relationship and her relationship with the church. The latter is barely touch ...more
Darlene
Jul 24, 2011 Darlene rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Parents and Young Adults from 6th grade and up.
Recommended to Darlene by: I can't remember
I wish every parent and every teen could read this and talk about it with love. God is Love. Bigotry and hatred is not of God. Love is Love. If you are going to thump Leviticus remember all the rules must be followed and not just those that support your own biases.

This is the story of two high school girls in Australia who happen to find themselves in love. They are both responsible girls wanting to do what is right and still unsure, especially when parents and society seem to condemn them at ev
...more
Xdyj
May 24, 2014 Xdyj rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: o, q, fa
Pretty well written with likable characters. I kinda wish they could really stand against bigots for their belief for once or go underground for a while instead of throwing blames and being "saved" by some authority figures, but probably that hope is too unrealistic. Kind of remind me of those Chinese YA stuff I read in middle school (full of teenage angst and "forbidden love" - though in this book the school and general public is much more supportive).
Nella-rosmarino
It's more of a 3.4 stars.
I was originally not interested to read this book until I noticed it was set in New Zealand and the writer was from New Zealand and I honestly have never really come across New Zealand YA. So I read it and it's pretty short and quick. The characters are okay, nothing special. They spark up a few times here and there. I do feel bad for the character of Willa as I think everyone except maybe her mom takes advantage of her and emotionally manipulate her. The book is from 19
...more
Haylee C
Jun 04, 2012 Haylee C is currently reading it
The book Dare, Truth or Promise by Paula Boock is about two girls that love each other and everyone else trying to keep them apart. Willa is a new girl that just moved to town and she has a past with another girl that didn't end so good. The there is Louie who is just a girl who loves acting and her friends and family. When they meet they know that they want to be together. They love being together and they love each other so much. Louie's mom is not okay with they whole thing so they try to hid ...more
Ginny Swanson
It was an excellent read, because it could really teach some people not to be so hasty to judge homosexuals. Love is the same even for them. the way it is for a man and women, it's the same with a man and man, or a women and a women. They fall in love the same way we do. So why do we judge? I don't , never did and this book just helped make that belief stronger that even two girls can love each other. No, I'm not a lesbian. i have a boyfriend and i love him very much, almost as much as Louie lov ...more
PhobicPrerogative
The style of writing did not appeal to me at all. I felt like I was reading a book report, something not "personalized" enough.

Parts of the story were confusing, whereas some lacked intensity. So girl meets girl, in a matter of pages, they're missing each other and proclaiming in love...Frankly, the author didn't give them enough time to get to that point.
Perhaps if the book had been longer than 100-some pages, I'd have read something truly profound and substantial. Instead, I got a lot of jump
...more
Dahlia
After a bit of a struggle with the beginning, I ended up totally adoring this one. I've been looking desperately for f/f YA that has both cuteness and hotness and so far this is probably the one that most closely fits the bill. (I mean, not that it's particularly graphic or anything, but a subgenre that is supertame on that front, a couple of things pleasantly surprised me in this one.) The book is as old as its current audience, but it holds up pretty impressively well. The first pleasant surpr ...more
jo
ah, i'm abandoning this, not because it's not a worthy, sweet, nicely written lesbian right-of-passage YA novel, but because one can read only so many girl-loves-girl, parents-persecute-loving-girls, girls-turn-out-battered-but-okay stories. or at least i can. this is better written and better developed that Keeping you a secret, but the story is basically the same. i never much went for romance.
Anne
Louie (for Louisa) is a high schooler working at Burger Giant. New girl Willa starts working there, too, and romantic sparks fly pretty much immediately, although both girls are a bit shy about expressing their feelings. However, familial and societal pressures pull them apart.

The reactions of both friends and families to the girls relationship seem quite accurate; it does have quite a bit of teen angst in it but guess that is pretty accurate, too.
Kiriaki Sandy
I really liked the book in general. Never having read a book about such a theme before, I was intrigued and had high expectations that it didn't fail to meet.
The book was a little too fast-paced, though. Like a movie, it didn't spend nearly enough time on the characters or the events, and I'd have liked it to be longer.

And even with a rating of 4 stars(well, it's actually 4.5), this book is undoubtedly on my top five.
Didi
This was cute. A quick read; only took me an hour and a half, and not the best writing. But it was a cute story, and one with a blissfully happy ending.
Heather
A good teenage read. Boock manages to capture the simplicity and yet the confusing complexity of the way that teens view the world creating a both enjoyable and occasionally uncomfortable read as you follow and empathise with the characters. This book also gives a great look at family interactions and cultural expectations.
Ellen Shull
The characterization was a little weak at the beginning; I had trouble keeping Willa and Louie sorted out. But the further I got into the book, the more it became a page-turner. What can I say? I'm a sucker for a love story.
Liz Laughlin
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ariel Metzmeier
One of my favorite LGPT books. I read this in high school, it given to be by friend. Is a beautifully written story about two very different people falling for each other and a very interesting way. It's definitely not a PG book in some parts so I would not recommend it for anyone under the age of 15. There so much more I can say about the book but I don't want to spoil it for you.
I've never found this book anywhere I have the only copy I've ever seen so I hope you can find it.
Thank you Paula Bo
...more
Kayla
Dare Truth or Promise bordered on boring. There just wasn't enough to make this book stand out for me. In fact, it fell prey to some of the typical romance stories that are in abundance.

One, the two main characters meet and practically fall in love with one another right off the bat. I, for one, enjoy a romance that blossoms from friendship. Instalove just doesn't cut it for me. Two, Willa and Louie don't have a whole lot of personality. In fact, none of the characters in the story have a whole
...more
Fin
So I hated this book.

It was one of those books where I kept throwing it down in disgust and walking away from it. I considered not finishing it, but decided that while I hated it, it wasn't so poorly written as to be unreadable.

Which is not to say it was written well.

Maybe it's a New Zealand thing, but right from the start of the book, like the first page, there were passages where I couldn't tell who the author was talking about.

The first sentence of the novel was something like "Willa first
...more
Amy
This is a very well written book, which, thanks to its religious theme, I can recommend it to people of any age groups.

Louie has a new coworker at Burger Giant, a girl named Willa, who just moved to Dunedin. They become friends immediately and both feel something more to each other. But Willa just went through a very difficult time and Louie comes from a strongly religious family. Especially her mother is and she goes with everything she has at her disposal against their relationship.

The author
...more
Caseythecanadianlesbrarian
I read New Zealand author Paula Boock’s young adult lesbian novel Dare Truth or Promise (1997) in one day, practically in one sitting. I have a soft spot for queer YA anyway, but I really loved this book for its sweet, simple style. Boock writes in a very straight-forward, deceptively plain way that is reminiscent of New Zealanders themselves, at least what I learned about them when I was there for four months a few years ago. In fact, I’d say this book is a lot like Kiwis and Kiwi culture: humb ...more
Kageashi
(Really, about a 3.5, or waffling between 4 and 3).

Louie and Willa couldn't be much more different at a glance. But circumstances in Willa's life and a shared part time job at a burger joint bring them together. And with the flick of a knife and the threat of making a eunuch of their lecherous manager, Willa has unintentionally captured Louie's heart. But love is never so simple between two girls when one of them is raised in a doggedly Catholic home.

The story is good, and somewhat touching, alb
...more
april
I think I would have enjoyed this book more if I had read it at the time it was published. I'm not saying I wished I had read it when I was seven, but I think you know what I mean. Reading it almost 15 years later, I don't think it holds up as well as some other similarly themed books. The characters are interesting and likable. The plot is alright. At first, I was overjoyed, like Willa, that neither girl seemed to struggle with her identity. I was glad they didn't try to stay away from each oth ...more
Jessa
I appreciated that this was a simple, sweet romance story. I really did enjoy it, and I liked most of the characters.

I would argue that this was a bit too short though. It felt like scenes were cut, or we were just expected to take a lot of things for granted. While I really loved characters like Tony and Father Champion, other characters felt like they were more caricatures (Mrs. Angelo, Mo, Kevin). Cathy's presence in the novel at all, rather than just in the past, felt really weird, and I nev
...more
Alyssa
I really liked the story and how these two young women eventually found each other and fell in love. There were a few scenes in the book that were kind of confusing just because they were written..strangely I guess. I had to read them a few times to understand what was going on. However, even with that being said, it just goes to show the writer had quite a style I wasn't used to seeing. Definitely a book I'd recommend :)
Alexy Louisa
I loved this book. Finished it in one sitting and by the end of it was bawling my eyes out. There's just something so relatable about these characters, their struggles. You really root for them, wanting them to beat the odds and overcome the obstacles to their love. I guess it's always the case for any love story; you want the couple to make it. Such a beautiful book; I highly recommend it!
Morgannalegay
I really liked this book, though it's entirely possible that I'm biased due to the fact that it's set in my home country. Sometimes I felt like the writing was very slightly clunky, and the emotions of the characters sometimes felt less complex or real than they could have done, but overall I found it really enjoyable and would definitely recommend it.
Chelsea
While there are some nice bits of writing here, I never felt like the scenes or the story really propelled the characters anywhere interesting. The plot is very by-the-book, veering too often into melodrama, and the fact that we never get to know very much about the main characters doesn't help. A disjointed read, with a few nice moments.
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204868
Paula Boock began writing when she was seven. 'There was this story of four brothers who were surprisingly like my four brothers... I illustrated the book as well — the characters looked sort of like the Beatles.'

'I've always been affected by books. As the youngest in a large, boisterous family, I developed early the ability to work — write even — amidst a racket. The library — school and public —
...more
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“Well, Louie, you’ll know then that Leviticus also tells us not to cut our beards, not to wear linen and wool together nor to eat crayfish or frogs or snails. I’m afraid that if we adhered to Leviticus the entire French nation would be an abomination in the eyes of the Lord.” 1 likes
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