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The Thing About the Truth

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In this humorous love story from the author of "Two-Way Street", an unlikely romance is the best sort of surprise—but the wrong secret can ruin everything. Kelsey’s not going to let one mistake ruin her life. Sure, she got kicked out of prep school and all her old friends are shutting her out. But Kelsey’s focused on her future, and she’s determined to get back on track at Concordia High.

Isaac’s been kicked out of more schools than he can count. Since his father’s a state senator, Isaac’s life is under constant scrutiny—but Concordia High’s his last stop before boarding school, so Isaac’s hoping to fly under the radar and try to stay put for a change.

When Kelsey and Isaac meet, it’s anything but love at first sight. She thinks he’s an entitled brat, and he thinks she’s a stuck-up snob. So it surprises them both when they start to fall for each other. Kelsey’s happy for the first time in months, and Isaac’s never felt this way about anyone before. But nothing’s ever completely perfect. Everyone has secrets, and Isaac and Kelsey are no exceptions. These two may have fallen hard, but there’s one thing that can ruin it all: the truth.

285 pages, Hardcover

First published July 10, 2012

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Lauren Barnholdt

72 books2,707 followers

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 520 reviews
Profile Image for Reynje.
272 reviews962 followers
November 13, 2012
Cover Story:

As Kelsey approached, Isaac held his arms open. She was walking slowly, slightly unsteady on her non-designer heels and swinging a (bought on consignment) Kate Spade purse in her left hand. A gentle breeze ruffled her long blonde hair – wait, wasn’t her hair brown? - around her shoulders. Isaac began to smile, anticipating the warmth of her lean body in his arms. He briefly wondered whether he should check that the coast was clear and Marina Ruiz wasn’t going to make one of her patented bat-shit crazy appearances (because all hot girls are crazy, amiright?), and start stirring up trouble again. The tight black shirt and stiletto boots should have been a tip off. Girls who wear clothes like that are obviously unbalanced stalkers. But who could blame her, really. He was pretty irresistible. He was a senator’s son! He drove a. BLACK. BMW. He’d become accustomed to girls flinging themselves in this path, like so many moths to a flame. (Because he was hot, get it?!)

Kelsey didn’t say anything, she just staggered forward, glass-eyed, apparently as eager as he was to lose herself in a passionate tangle of arms and mouths. But at the last moment she turned her head slightly so that his kiss glanced off her cheek. Isaac didn’t see it but she was raising her left arm behind him, hefting the weight of the brick in her Kate Spade purse, gathering the momentum required to bash his skull in. As she did so she was opening her mouth, and to a casual observer it might have appeared that she was whispering his name into his ear tenderly. They wouldn’t have heard her throaty rasp as she voiced the only word she could: ”Brraaaaaaaaaiiinnnssss”

Well, that’s how I think it should have gone.

The thing about The Thing About the Truth is that it feels like Lauren Barnholdt is just phoning it in. It follows the Barnholdt “he-said-she-said-past-and-present” formula, but ultimately there’s no real heft to this story. The plot essentially hinges on a lie; what happens one character conceals a truth from another. But the characters’ motivations and the issues raised are so superficially explored that it all feels a bit anti-climactic at the big reveal. I read this book and all I got was a “huh?” to show for it.

This is a flimsy contemporary romance that relies too heavily on tired clichés and stereotypical characters to extract any real investment from the reader. All the usual suspects are wheeled out: the hot rich boy, the guarded heroine nursing a previous heartbreak, the passive-aggressive mean girl, and the “crazy” hot (more on this later) villainess. Isaac and Kelsey, both kicked out of their previous private schools, find themselves enrolled in a public high school (the horror!). Determined to redeem her scholastic reputation and get into a good college, Kelsey comes up with the idea of forming an extracurricular club. Determined to pursue a burgeoning attraction to Kelsey by annoying her (as you do), Isaac muscles in on her plans and ends up co-organiser of “Face It Down Day”, an event for private and public students to talk through their differences and foster communication. The problem is, Kelsey’s ex-boyfriend and ex-but-possibly-reinstated best friend attend the private school. Can Kelsey move on in a healthy relationship with Isaac while attempting to conceal the truth about her past?

Ultimately, I didn’t care.

Neither of these characters elicited much of a sympathetic response from me, because Isaac was a petulant and entitled jerk and Kelsey’s backstory felt perfunctory and thinly developed. The lie that ostensibly results in Face It Down Day devolving into punching and hair-pulling just didn’t seem to warrant the outcome. I expected this part of the story to be much more substantial, and for the characters’ reasons for their reactions to be better developed. This was not the case.

To make this story work, the characters – including the supporting cast – needed to feel authentic, with believable motivations. They didn’t. Many of the secondary characters seem to exist purely as window dressing for the angst between Isaac and Kelsey. We’re presented with difficult relationships with fathers, a best friend who seems to act out of resentment, but none of the reasons for these situations are particularly well explored. They exist purely to complicate the story, and readers are given no real insight into their motives.

And this brings me to an issue that’s been playing on my mind a lot since reading The Thing About the Truth: authentic voice and the perpetuation of stereotypes. And while I feel this involves many of the characters, I want to talk about it specifically as it pertains to Marina Ruiz. Marina’s sole purpose in this novel is to create conflict, to antagonise the main characters. When we first meet her, we’re made well aware of the fact that she dresses to emphasise her body, that she’s assertive and flirtatious. She’s referred to as “skanky” by Kelsey. Isaac makes ongoing comments about Marina’s hotness, and later the fact that she’s crazy and a stalker. After drunkenly kissing her he avoids her, at pains to discourage her from pursing him. I assume we are meant to find Isaac’s snide commentary humorous. Here’s one of his hilarious observations:

That chick is certifiably out of her fucking tree. It’s to be expected, really, because she’s so hot. All hot chicks are crazy. It’s almost like they’ve been able to get away with being insane because they’re so good-looking. No one care that they’re completely crazy, because they’re nice to look.

Isn’t he delightful?

Quite likely Isaac’s voice is accurately rendered and Barnholdt is realistically portraying the casual sexism and judgement of high school. But frankly, it feels lazy. Marina is a flat, one-note character with no development beyond her appearance and demeanour being used as shorthand for the fact that she’s the villain. There is a blatant dichotomy between Marina and Kelsey that makes me uncomfortable, and there’s absolutely no discussion of why pigeonholing female characters this way is damaging. No, I don’t expect Barnholdt to moralize on this, but I do expect more from authors than relying on an offensive cliché to progress the plot. When in doubt, send in the crazy chick? Where’s the line between authentically presenting the high school experience complete with double standards, and propagating the idea that the girl in the low-cut top is obviously a hysterical bitch who probably makes out with everyone?

No thanks.

This is increasingly my problem with Barnholdt’s novels, in that the characters feel typecast, like something out of a bad 90s teen movie. The fact that this entire book essentially hinges on some really ridiculous characterisation tipped me over the edge. There’s potential here, but Barnholdt barely even scratches the surface.

* * * * *
The only humorous thing about this "love story" is the zombie-face cover.


* * * *

Awkward covers FTW!
Profile Image for M.
675 reviews31 followers
August 17, 2012
Oh, Lauren Barnholdt, you’ve done it again: you’ve managed to write two-dimensional stereotypes. I didn’t think it was possible after Two-Way Street and Sometimes it Happens. But here we’ve got girl with low self esteem who still manages to be an “uptight” snob. That’s Kelsey, who looks down at everyone in her public school for either being dumb, for having an ugly purse, for being a “bimbo”, or for just not living up to her standards. Oh, or just for being at public school to begin with. What a fantastic narrator to follow around, someone with absolutely no redeeming qualities.

Then we’ve got the guy. There’s this funny little thread woven through all of Lauren Barnholdt’s books, and that’s that the dudes are unforgivably awful. They are sex-obsessed assholes whose inner commentary ranges from slut-shaming to victim-blaming to just plain gross. Like the guy in Two-Way Street, Isaac has little to offer but a mind focused on boobs, boobs, and more boobs. In fact, in one of his earliest sections, he comments on how a girl’s “boob story” is boring, and that’s hard, because after all, it’s boobs. Great. Oh, and he goes off and kisses the “slutty bimbo” when he’s in the middle of trying to form a relationship with Kelsey, and casts it off as no big deal because there was no contract. Right. Honorable, Isaac.

Put them together with verylittle chemistry, some minor obstacle, and something blown completely out of proportion, and look what you’ve got: a novel by Lauren Barnholdt! Great.

The Thing About the Truth rotates viewpoints between Isaac the Asshole and Kelsey the Snob. They’re both jerks, and we see it right off the bat. Isaac’s dad is a politician who sends him to public school to make a point that public schools are just as good as private schools -- or at least that’s what we’re told in the beginning. Kelsey got herself kicked out of prep school. We find out that Isaac actually got kicked out, too.When we find out why, it’s kind of hard to sympathize with either of them -- if anyone did in the first place.

When Kelsey tries to make it clear that she is not interested in Isaac, instead of walking away like a good person, he pursues her further. And yet he makes reference to Marina Ruiz (the “slutty” bimbo, of course) stalking him. She won’t take his indirect “no” as an answer, just like he won’t take Kelsey’s direct no as an answer.

But of course, they wind up on a date, and Kelsey just so happens to enjoy it! And then they start working on a project together, and what else but romance could possibly happen? They fall “in love,” lies happen, and in the end, they both use violence to express their emotions. We sure needed another young adult book that showcases violence as a proper emotional outlet.

Lauren Barnholdt’s simplistic writing will appeal to the younger set of YA readers, while the plot lines might appeal to the older ones. It’s a great way to interest the younger set in an older group’s problems (being hell-bent on getting into an Ivy, sex, overbearing parents, etc), if you feel it’s necessary to stick with such bare bones writing. Falling back on overdone phrases such as “white-hot anger” tells the reader that Barnholdt doesn’t care so much about language or style, she just wants these two characters to clash. But once in a while, there’s an awkward, out-of-place thought by Kelsey or Isaac. It's mostly Kelsey, whose character really wants to be perceived as intelligent. The attempts at sounding deep or thoughtful are the only funny part about this book.

It’s not just her writing style, but the format of the book that makes it difficult to read. Non-linear storytelling can be done very well -- in fact, Barnholdt’s previous book, Sometimes it Happens, she handled it decently. But The Thing About the Truth goes with such short “chapters” that are supposed to act as Kelsey and Isaac telling the story of what happened to the principal. But for that to be realistic, did we really need to know the details of what’s happening with Kelsey and her parents, of the first time she meets Isaac’s dad, or even of their “romance” building? What principal is going to sit there and think, yes, I want to hear this story of how these two students fell in love, this is the best use of my time.

The ending is just as disappointing as the rest of it. There's this entire build-up we've been waiting for, and then it's over. The resolution is as quick as five pages, and it turns out nothing actually mattered. This is not a book I would recommend to anyone, unless you're in the mood for some really cookie cutter characters and plot points. Barnholdt's previous book, Sometimes It Happens, while shrugging off infidelity as no big deal, was a step above this one.
Profile Image for Fred.
274 reviews302 followers
Want to read
November 6, 2011
That's an interesting look on her face, no? Something seems to be on her mind besides the whole kissing thing.
28 reviews
September 11, 2012
When I began reading The Thing About the Truth, I was looking for, well, fluff. I wanted romantic high school drama as a respite from the more serious books I had been reading recently, so it's not like I was expecting a life-altering read or anything. But even with relatively low expectations, this book was a huge let-down for me.

I had read Two-Way Street a few years back, and although I didn't particularly love it, I do remember wanting to know what the twist was and to see the relationship between the two protagonists develop. With The Thing About the Truth, however, I had a lot of problems getting drawn into the story at first. Off the bat, I disliked both Kelsey and Isaac, which obviously makes caring about anything that happens to them really difficult. They were such stereotypical characters, that not even their quasi-self-awareness saved them for me. On top of that, their voices felt strained, and I kept weirdly switching between thinking "this is exactly the type of writing style I would use in my high school creative writing assignments" (although obviously Lauren Barnholdt is much better at it than I ever was at fifteen) and "this is what an adult thinks teenagers talk and think like, except they don't at all."

Once I forced myself to continue reading, I started getting a bit into the story, but only because I wanted to know what cataclysmic event had made their relationship take such a sharp turn for the worse. I won't spoil what the event was, but I will say that it was a huge let-down. I was actually pretty insulted by it, both as a reader and as a woman. So by the end, I wasn't exactly happy that I had stuck it out to find out what had happened.

I'm struggling to come up with a redeeming quality, and I guess I would just say that perhaps teenagers would actually enjoy this book (this is definitely not a book for adults who read YA). And still, I hesitate to say even that because I feel as though a teenaged me would have had the same issues with it that adult me did, and I just don't think teenagers will gain anything from reading it.
Profile Image for ♥ Sarah.
539 reviews127 followers
December 31, 2013
The thing about this book was that it lacked any real conflict.

The big lie and the catastrophic outcome of Face it Down Day was a huge letdown.

The "conflict" was so stupid that it was laughable, and kind of offensive. Basically, Kelsey and Isaac meet as new kids on their first day at a public high school (hooray for originality!). They start off as frenemies, and then turn into BF-GF (definitely haven’t seen that before!). The narrative switches back and forth from Kelsey’s POV from "BEFORE" and then with the "AFTERMATH." Both characters alternate in their narrations, so you get a glimpse of what's going on in their heads.

Like I said, the buildup was fantastic, and the story started off great. I just couldn't get on board though, with the empty dialogue, unnecessary scenes, filler characters, and the LAME outcome.

Honestly, I didn't mind that the characters were a bit flat and sometimes one dimensional. I just wanted to get to the meat of story; I wanted a huge grand revelation with something more than a punch here, and a hair-pull there. I wanted chaos, consequences, and the fall out to just be more. But in the end, the fact that I didn't really care about what happened to the characters, kind of already suggests this book was just a huge disappointment. Then to add insult to injury, the whole "conflict" was easily resolved in a couple paragraphs. But then again, there was barely any "conflict" to begin with. Ugh. You see my dilemma?

Even if I was younger, I probably wouldn't have liked this book.
Truth of the matter is: this book needed more meat – real substance; sadly, there wasn't any here.
Profile Image for Shanyn.
375 reviews141 followers
May 24, 2012
One of my favorite things about life (yes LIFE) are the contemporary YA writers that put out great book after great book. You know the ones - Elizabeth Scott, Sarah Dessen, Jennifer Echols. I haven't been on the Lauren Barnholdt train for very long (her book last year was the first I've read), but after reading The Thing About the Truth I am fairly certain she can be put on this epic list as well.

Full Review: http://chickloveslit.com/2012/06/revi...
Profile Image for Tania (Real-Listen-Feel).
483 reviews80 followers
December 30, 2013
Mon avis sur le blog: http://read-listen-feel.skyrock.com/

Même plus d'une semaine après avoir terminé ce livre, je suis toujours aussi incertaine de la critique que je dois en faire. The thing about the truth est le deuxième livre de Lauren Barnholdt que je lis et j'avais adoré le premier qui était Two-way street (ma chronique). Je l'avais totalement dévoré et je me disais que ce serait sûrement la même chose pour tous les livres de cette auteure. Je m'étais malheureusement trompée.
Kelsey et Isaac ont tous les deux été viré de leurs écoles respectives et ils doivent maintenant intégrer la même école publique, puisqu'il n'y a aucune autre option qui s'offre à eux. Kelsey est prête à tout pour avoir un bon dossier pour sa candidature à l'université et elle décide donc de présenter un nouveau projet au directeur de l'école qu'elle souhaite mettre sur pied. Seulement, c'est à contre cœur qu'elle se retrouvera jumelée avec Isaac. Ensemble, ils devront travailler sur ce nouveau projet, mais ni un ni l'autre n'avait prévu l'imprévisible. Pour la première fois de sa vie, Isaac est attiré par une fille qui ne veut rien savoir de lui. Quel défi! Mais même avec toute la bonne volonté sur cette terre, il y a une chose qui pourrait venir tout gâcher : la vérité.
Comme je le disais, je ne sais pas trop ce que je dois penser de ce livre. Oui, je l'ai bien aimé, mais il y a plusieurs choses qui ont fait que je n'ai pas réussi à entrer dans l'histoire. Premièrement, les personnages ne m'ont pas vraiment touché. Kelsey et Isaac sont attachants, mais sans plus. Contrairement à son autre roman, Lauren Barnholdt ne s'est pas attardée à décrire les personnages dans toute leur complexité. On les a survolés, sans plus. Je vous jure... À un certain moment, Kelsey n'en peut plus et se laisser finalement aller à pleurer. Ce n'est pas du tout venu me chercher. On veut faire paraître Isaac comme un bad boy au grand coeur, mais je ne l'ai perçu que comme un goss de riche avec un cœur tendre, et encore, il n'a vraiment pas le cœur sur la main. Ils sont mignons d'accord, mais qui peut bien tomber amoureux aussi vite? Comme ce roman fait moins de 300 pages, les choses sont souvent beaucoup trop précipitées. On ne prend pas le temps d'analyser les sentiments, d'avoir le point de vue des deux personnages ou d'avoir une belle déclaration d'amour enflammée. Rien! Heureusement que les personnages secondaires sont là pour sauver la mise. Marshall est tout simplement hilarant. Je n'ai jamais su s'il était imbécile de nature ou s'il le faisait seulement par exprès. Dans tous les cas, il m'a vraiment fait rire, surtout avec son gâteau au chocolat. Et Chloe est tout aussi marante. Elle a une personnalité pétillante, exactement comme je les aime. Ses histoires de cœurs sont à mourir de rire tellement elle s'invente des montagnes avec des riens. J'aurais bien aimé en savoir plus sur elle.
C'est malheureusement la même chose pour l'intrigue. Tout y est bien expliqué, mais on ne va pas plus loin. Tout se passe trop vite et je n'ai vraiment pas accroché. Attention, j'ai apprécié cette lecture, mais ce n'est tout simplement pas ma préférée. Ceux qui me connaissent savent que j'aime les histoires bien développées, où les sentiments sont approfondis et décortiqués. J'aime les intrigues qui vous tiennent en haleine et qui vous tiennent éveillée jusqu'aux petites heures du matin. J'aime être absorbée par ma lecture, ce qui n'a pas été le cas avec celle-ci.
Je tiens quand même à dire qu'il y a un point positif à ce livre que j'ai été très heureuse de retrouver, soit la façon dont le livre est divisé. On le point de vue des deux personnages dans cette histoire en alternant d'un chapitre à l'autre. Mais ce n'est pas tout. On alterne également entre passé et présent. On nous raconte l'histoire à partir de leur premier jour de classe, mais aussi le lendemain du terrible désastre. Quel désastre? Ça, c'est un secret. Vous ne pensez quand même pas que je vais tout vous dévoiler? C'est une lecture très facile et plaisante. Parfaite lorsqu'on ne veut pas se prendre la tête avec un livre de 500 pages et plus. Il se passe toujours quelque chose et on veut savoir la suite, mais pas assez à mon goût.
Alors, somme toute, j'ai bien apprécié cette lecture, même si j'en attendais beaucoup plus. Je le voyais un peu partout sur les blogs anglais et il me tentait beaucoup à cause de sa magnifique couverture. Les couvertures et moi ! Je crois que je n'apprendrai jamais ma leçon.
Profile Image for Magan.
352 reviews88 followers
July 6, 2012
[Review Originally Posted on Rather Be Reading]

The Thing About the Truth revolves around the tense, abrasive relationship between Kelsey and Isaac. Kelsey is, at heart, a really good girl. Isaac acts out to capture the attention of his self-centered politician dad. Isaac and Kelsey’s meeting is nothing short of awkward. They’re both new to the public school, but upon seeing Isaac, Kelsey makes quick judgments about the type of guy he is and writes him off. She wants to fly under the radar so she can focus on getting into an Ivy League school. She’s lost the trust and respect of her parents after what she did to get herself kicked out her prep school.

To prove she’s still got her act together, her solution is to start a new organization on campus. While she’s presenting her ideas, Isaac saunters into the room and throws out an idea the principal salivates over. Thus Kelsey and Isaac become the leaders and founders of the new group – spending more time together than either of them would have hoped for. The back and forth banter and constant arguments between these two are so good (so good so good). Clearly Kelsey is attracted to Isaac, but come on. She can’t be that girl and fall at the feet of this wealthy boy who has girls tripping over him. Isaac is drawn to her confidence and screw you attitude. The biggest dilemma is that while they’re pretty candid and honest with each other, Kelsey refrains from telling Isaac something pretty big.

The story navigates the past with chapters from both character’s perspectives, but sprinkled in are chapters that focus on flash-forwards, present day. There’s this sense of them falling in love and falling hard, but then we see that somewhere along the way, things got screwed up and Isaac and Kelsey are on non-speaking terms sitting in the superintendant’s office. While trying to figure out what happened between these two, I fought the urge to jump ahead to discover Kelsey’s big secret.

Oh, the secret.

Usually, characters in young adult books have “big secrets” that don’t really seem to shock me very much and things sometimes feel a little anticlimactic.

Not Kelsey’s secret.

The girl did something that made my jaw drop. It was no wonder her parents had her on a short leash and that she was trying to redeem herself. I didn’t exactly connect with Kelsey in the way that I wanted to because I didn’t fully understand her actions. What she did wasn’t something I would ever find myself doing (I hope). Her character was really great – she’s a wonderful girl who could obviously go places – but her decision-making skills were complete crap. I wanted to have a face-to-face conversation with Kelsey to snap her out of it.

Isaac was definitely more relatable for me; I’m not sure that I have connected as much with a male character as I did him. I understood why he acted out, why he was arrogant. He was so likable and kind to Kelsey (once they called a truce) and their kissing scenes definitely made my toes curl. I could see the growth in him and wanted to be a cheerleader for his team. When Kelsey’s secrets were revealed, my stomach was in knots on his behalf.

There were a few things I wish had been further explored. (slight spoilers ahead) I understood her parent’s reaction to what she did, but Kelsey mentioned daddy issues a few times. I didn’t really see that or understand why she felt the way she did. There also didn’t seem to be a lot of resolution with Kelsey’s (ex) best friend. There were lies and a semi-big misunderstanding and nothing ever seemed to be resolved.

Although there are a few things I would have hoped for, I definitely recommend you check out The Thing About the Truth. Kelsey and Isaac are sure to make you laugh out loud or wish you were smack dab in the middle of their steamy kissing scene.
Profile Image for Joanna.
727 reviews25 followers
July 12, 2012
He’s so hot that it kind of takes my breath away. Of course, I’ve probably been reading too many romance novels.

that is Isaac Brandano for you. :) if he was in my high school i would probably have a crush on him too. I mean he's kind of a jerk but a very sweet jerk. He's nice to look at too.

I really like this story! You know the feeling of some kind of cozy rain inside your system and it's making you blissful or something? That's how i felt. Also, i couldn't stop reading it. I wanted to know the whole aftermath and what really went down. I also want to know more about how Isaac and Kelsey had gotten really close. I like how it was written. Like Barnholdt's other books she always introduces the main conflict then makes her readers figure out how the hell it happened. Well, that's how i understand it anyway. :) The cause of the fight is pretty simple and stupid as per Kelsey but they feel like it's a really big thing. For some it might be like that anyway.

It's always like this every time i read a Barnholdt book. Two good things: 1. It's always interesting and make me tingly all over it's male character. 2. You can't really put the book down because it's so addicting.

This book is 3.5 or 4 i can't decide. I just know it's still a good read. :)
Profile Image for Abbie.
1,976 reviews582 followers
March 24, 2016
Actual rating - 2.5

It took me ages to get into this, so I felt bored for the majority of it unfortunately. I wasn't a fan of the characters either, which didn't help.

Overall, Not a read I enjoyed.
Profile Image for Chu.
1,459 reviews72 followers
August 1, 2012
“And that's when I realize the thing about the truth. It always comes out, no matter what you do.”

I can't believe I finished two books in one sitting - Jennifer Echols' Such a Rush and this one. This one is shorter, and with more humor compare to the former - and this book made me cry. Argh!

I love Lauren Barnholdt because she can write a short novel that can shake her readers. You can finish The Thing About The Truth in one sitting, and reach for the next one, but her novel can stick inside your brain with nagging questions you'd want to know the answers.

What happens when a prep-school drop out and a senator son's who has been kicked out of every private school he's ever been enrolled in, meet? Fireworks!

Kesley - she's someone you'd love to hate in your local high school. She has been kicked out of the prep school because of the scandal she made when someone broke her heart. Her life was not the same afterwards - her relationship with her parents were strained and she's losing her best friend. After being enrolled in a public school, Kesley was willing to do anything to be back in her family's good graces at the same time be back on track with her college applications. She was planning to apply in Ivy League Schools and a scandal in her records is detrimental to her future, she needs something to overshadow it, thus she organized a club with Isaac.

Kesley has a type A personality, and a little bit of a control freak. She is the perfect example of how an intelligent person drops her IQ when in love. She hated being lied to, that's why I didn't understand (at first) why she lied to Isaac.

Isaac - another bad boy being add to my list. He's the senator's son - so he's used to being treated nicely by most people (because of who his father is: The Senator). He was surprised when Kesley gave him a cold shoulder on their first meeting. This made him curious about her. He like her so much, that in impulse he made up an idea about an activity: Face It Down . This activity made them closer to each other.

He and his father didn't have the best father-son relationship because his father was more interested in public opinion and the votes he will receive rather than his very son. He describes himself as mischievous rather than bad or naughty, but what I love about him is that he tells Kesley the truth - even if it hurts. Even if Kesley wouldn't like it.

This book is alternating the voice of both Kesley and Isaac - the before and the aftermath of the big activity that both of them were planning. We see a budding relationship of two great people that was destroyed by a lie. Kesley didn't tell him the truth because she was scared, she wished it didn't happen and she broke his heart because it was the first time Isaac fell in love, and he gets lied to. So, I do understand why he's very angry with Kesley and why forgiveness is just far from reach. This chapter that belonged to the Before had me in tears. I hated Kesley for lying, but I can feel the panic and desperation when she new she'd be busted any minute from now (my heartbeat accelerated and my breathing got heavier #panicmode). Her secret was out, and Isaac was very mad at her for lying. And of course, Isaac fed the press its nightly news. The whole activity became a circus and they found themselves being called to the principal's office once again.

I like how Lauren Barnholdt emphasize the importance of telling the truth, of not keeping important secrets from the people that are important to you. Yes, the fact may not put you in the best light, but honesty will help you save your relationship, honesty builds trust.


The BIG PROBLEM about this novel: the conflicts that I was dying to know the resolutions to were left open.
1. The relationship with both their fathers: did they make up or it was still strained?
2. Kesley-Rielle friendship: what happens now?
3. The consequence of their actions during the Face It Down activity

The ending was a bit abrupt, and of course, I wanted more, more, more. I wish Ms. Barnholdt would extend another chapter to close all the conflicts that she opened which will help me get over this novel!

That's why I couldn't give it a 5 even if I wanted to.
Profile Image for Tiffani.
337 reviews33 followers
July 10, 2012
Well, I'm kind of... disapppointed in this one.

Sure, it's a cute, quick read, but it's kind of superficial. It was fun, but there are too many open ends, problems left unsolved. Their relationship went way too fast, too. One minute, they're all about hating on each other, and suddenly they're kissing. Next, they suddenly know things about each other, can read each other like they've known each other for ages and then they start 'loving' each other which is just strange.

Isaac is supposed to be this major playboy and has never loved a girl before, but we see nothing of his playboy-ism in this book, LB just says it is so and goes staight to changing him into a one-woman-man.

I would also have liked to see the outcome of Chloe's relationship. I thought that maybe she and Marshall would get together since Kelsey once pointed out that they were flirting, and because the Dave-thing didn't work out. Why would she spend that much time on writing about Dave-Chloe-Marsh and just leave it like she did? Unless she's planning on writing a book where they will be te main charachters.

Another thing that bothering me, like the Chloe-romance thing, is the daddy-issues. Both Kelseys as Isaacs. Barnholdt just put is out there that Senator Brandano is fake and an ass and that there are some major issues between him and his wife and son and just leave it like that. Same with Kelsey's parents. Her dad thinks of her as this huge disappointment and he doesn't like Isaac at ALL (without reason) and that's just it. No futher explainations, no problems being solved.

And Kelsey is kind of screwed up. I get that she got her heart broken (though she wouldn't have gotten over is so fast is that was really the truth), but why get all emotional with no reason and lie about losing your virginity? The virtinity has NOTHING to do with anything.

And that's another thing, I really liked the build-up and the suspense of 'Before' and 'The aftermath' and it turns out that all the drama is about one little lie? Really?

AND at first Isaac's all 'oh no i can never forgive her and she's the first girl i loves so i won't ever get over it, i just don't get why you'd lie' and literally five minutes later he all 'oh well, whatever, i get why you lied, it's all forgiven and forgotten i love you'.

Like I said, quite the disappointment.
April 11, 2016
I don't know why I even bothered.


I read Sometimes It Happens which is by the same author and I gave it 1 star. I really didn't like the novel but when this book came in from the library I thought I would give the author another chance. But I really shouldn't have bothered because I hated this one even more!

First off, when you absolutely HATE the main love interest, it really destroys a romance novel. It was like reading Lola and the boy next door all over again but at least Cricket was essentially a nice guy. Issac is actually a total asshole. I would NEVER be interested in a guy like him. And he is sexist! He talks about how women are just bad drivers like it's a fact. Wow, way to stand up for women Lauren. I am actually an awesome driver and so is my mom and female friends so you can just suck it! And Issac cheats on Kelsey right away in the novel, if I was her that would be a big red flag. Oh yea, sure he was drunk but that is NO excuse for any guy to treat you like crap. The plot was utterly boring on top off all of this...Kelsey's big secret? Yeah, not so exciting or dramatic. I was actually thinking in my head "is this it?" when it was revealed what Kelsey lied about.

Also it was written in both Kelsey's and Issac's point of view which was unnecessary and made me hate Issac even more.


I just really hated this book. I was going to read Two-Way Street but now I am turned off forever by this author.
Profile Image for Figlet.
482 reviews59 followers
December 26, 2012
I love this book so much that I am not going to admit how upsetting it is that the "villain" (not really but I can't think of anything else to call her) has my name. It was disconcerting as hell and caused serious identity problems for me, but, I loved this book nonetheless. I loved the dueling POVs, I loved Isaac, I loved Kelsey, I loved Marshall, I loved Chloe, I loathed Marina Ruiz *cough, cough* and Rielle.

This is one of the funniest and most romantic YA reads ever.

No lie.
Profile Image for Helena.
140 reviews18 followers
July 24, 2015
This is the second book I've read by this author and I feel like both times the endings are left so open that there is enough room for a sequel. This time especially. I don't mind an ending left a little open for you to decide for yourself which way the characters go but this felt almost as if parts of the plot were left unresolved.
That's my rant. Otherwise, I liked it. Fast paced, funny, realistic dialogue between teenagers. Good.
Profile Image for Jessica.
160 reviews21 followers
October 22, 2012
3.5 stars
It was a simple read that i could not put down and the premise of the story was great...one little lie can change everything! However the writing style took some getting used to and i feel that the plot was lacking in some areas.
Profile Image for Meghan.
561 reviews66 followers
March 31, 2018
It always continues to amazing me how much I enjoy Lauren Barnholdt as an author. Every time that I read one of her books it makes me so happy. This is now the third book by her that I have read and honestly they just continue to be more and more amazing. I loved Issac and I loved Kelsey, their relationship brought a smile to my face throughout the book, even when there was conflict between the two of them. I loved the way Barnholdt chose to tell this story! One of my new favorite YA romances that I have read since the summer without a doubt!

Longer review coming soon! :)
Profile Image for Alyssa.
1,069 reviews838 followers
August 8, 2014
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***

The Thing About the Truth by Lauren Barnholdt
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: July 10, 2012
Rating: 2 stars
Source: Public library

Summary (from Goodreads):

In this humorous love story from the author of "Two-Way Street", an unlikely romance is the best sort of surprise—but the wrong secret can ruin everything. Kelsey’s not going to let one mistake ruin her life. Sure, she got kicked out of prep school and all her old friends are shutting her out. But Kelsey’s focused on her future, and she’s determined to get back on track at Concordia High.

Isaac’s been kicked out of more schools than he can count. Since his father’s a state senator, Isaac’s life is under constant scrutiny—but Concordia High’s his last stop before boarding school, so Isaac’s hoping to fly under the radar and try to stay put for a change.

When Kelsey and Isaac meet, it’s anything but love at first sight. She thinks he’s an entitled brat, and he thinks she’s a stuck-up snob. So it surprises them both when they start to fall for each other. Kelsey’s happy for the first time in months, and Isaac’s never felt this way about anyone before. But nothing’s ever completely perfect. Everyone has secrets, and Isaac and Kelsey are no exceptions. These two may have fallen hard, but there’s one thing that can ruin it all: the truth.

What I Liked:

This book was an interesting contemporary novel. There are some things that I liked in this book, such as the romance, characters, and writing. The romance was cute and sweet, but I saw it coming from a mile away. That is not a bad thing, but it immediate. I would not call it insta-love, but it was not slowburn and explored. Nevertheless, I really liked Kelsey and Isaac together. They made a cute couple, when they got along.

The characters individually were a little intriguing. I really like Isaac, although I cannot figure out what makes him such a bad student. He does not act like a bad boy, or a bad student. He seems responsible and poised at times, and then at other times, relaxed and cheeky. Kelsey was snarky and assertive, and she handled herself well in a new environment. I liked that she would have compassion on a girl she never met, in a bathroom, and try and talk to the girl.

The writing style is pretty nice, in my opinion. I thought this book flowed pretty well, and it was paced slowly at the beginning and began to pick up quickly at the last quarter of the book. I liked the occasional switch between past and present, although in the beginning, I was so confused. But, I got into the book, and liked the switches.

What I Did Not Like:

Here's where things get confusing for me, and I do not want to spoil anything for anyone, so I will try my best. I was so confused about Face It Down Day. Honestly, I am still confused as to what it is. I do not think the author clearly explained to us what was going to happen on Face It Down Day. And when that day did come, I still did not understand what it was, because the whole day was eclipsed by some stupid fight.

I do not understand why Kelsey's lie is such ahuge deal. I do not understand why she could not tell Isaac to begin with. I do not understand what is up with Kelsey's parents. On that note, I can see the autor trying to show that Kelsey does not get attention from her parents, which may psychologically lead to her boy problems or something, but even that is a stretch. It did not make any sense. We get to see Kelsey's parents all of like, maybe four times. And they just ignore her. Which I get, and it impacts Kelsey, but we do not get to see HOW it impacts Kelsey. On Isaac's side, we kind of get to see how his cold father and robotic mother impact him.

The ending was NOT resolved at all. I want to know what the administration decided. This was not explained in the end. All we get to see is how Kelsey and Isaac decide to go about things. I want to know the repercussions of their actions! Speaking of that, for what exactly are they being punished. I understand about Isaac, but I do not understand about Kelsey. So she lied about something. It did not directly hurt anyone. Isaac made his choice. So did Rex. I do not get why Kelsey would be in trouble, and what the school administration would have to do with any of that. This is NOT representative of the school administrations of which I know (not that I have ever gotten in trouble with school administrations).

Would I Recommend It:

Probably not. There are better contemporary novels out there.


2 stars. In the end, I was just too confused by certain things in this book to really enjoy it. Some things needed to be fleshed out, and they were not. It really brought my liking and my rating of this book wayyy down.
Profile Image for Debbie.
295 reviews128 followers
October 21, 2012
The Thing About The Truth is told from the perspectives of Isaac and Kelsey. It’s told before and after the incident (Face It Down Day) in both of their perspectives. It was pretty cool that there were four mini stories in one book. But the idea was typical and boring, nothing stood out. The characters were choppy and annoying, I felt like Lauren Barnholdt didn’t develop her characters well and that the main characters were contradicting themselves as well as boring. Without many facts about their past. Out of the two of them, I disliked Kelsey the most because she was just plain annoying and whiny.

Kelsey Romando was the worst character out of the two of them with her trying to be a good student at the public school. The character of Kelsey wasn’t as good as she was trying to be, she wasn’t a bad ass either because she was kind of uptight. She was very annoying, whiny, and stupid for the most part. She told stupid lies and became attracted to Isaac because he was a ‘bad boy’.

Isaac Bernardo was not a bad ass. Yes, he did punch a few people but that was it. Lauren Barnholdt was trying to get the point across that Isaac was dark and mysterious but instead he was just a guy who listened to everything Kelsey told him to do (what kind of bad boy listens to what other people say?). Isaac quickly lost his interesting qualities once him and Kelsey got too comfortable with each other. He turned into a lovesick puppy too quickly and too suddenly that it annoyed me a lot.

The writing style was really annoying because it was written as if it was a diary, so they both talked a lot about things that didn’t matter. For most of the story, whenever it switched to Kelsey’s point of view, Lauren Barnholdt would start the chapter with the word, “okay”. Almost every time and I get pretty irritated about it. After reading the synopsis, this sounded pretty good but the story is almost completely different from what I thought it would be in a bad sense because the story was boring. Also, I wished that there was more drama and action surrounding “Face It Down” day. The whole story surrounds what happened that day but it really let my hopes down because only two things happened and then they almost got expelled. The sad part was, no one would have gotten into as much trouble as Kelsey or Isaac did for throwing a punch.

“Face It Down” day was a huge disappointment full of snobby girls acting like they were royalty and boys getting jealous over one girl. The ending of The Thing About The Truth was very typical. I honestly knew what was going to happen when I was only halfway done the book. There were no surprises, not very much action, and they were angry at each other over petty mistakes. And do not be fooled by this amazing cover because it doesn’t go with the characters at all. They look completely different which irritated me a bit because they cover of books always helps me to visualize the characters better.

There was very little that I actually enjoyed about this book. One of those things was that the story went back and forth between the two characters as well as told the story before and after the incident. I thought that was really cool because you got the whole entire story that way. Even though I didn’t like The Thing About The Truth very much, I’m still very excited to read Two Way Street.
Profile Image for Alaa.
38 reviews
September 12, 2012
The thing about the truth was an unexpected choice for me…
It was a very promising book, with good plot, and likeable (ish) characteristics…
It's just that the ending was a BIG disappointment, and the main problem that you eventually find out about was blemish….
I was expecting something bigger, and more of a dilemma that leaves your mouth hanging for about an hour, or two
To me, the dilemma that the author created, was a little bit childish,
And if I really wanted to read a book like that, I would go to 'wattpad'….. Wait, scratch that, wattpaders have better book dilemmas then this book does.
And the ending, wow the ending, was soooo vogue, to the point you start asking yourself, LATERLY "what just happened???????? O_o!!!"

I liked the whole, "I'm sooo confused, do I like you, or hate you" thing.
But the author didn’t go all the way with it, I wanted forbidden(ish) love for god's sake, I wanted to scream and be like "OMG it’s about effing time man. Hook up and leave me in peace" but nooooooooooooo
That not what happens, their "im sooo confused, do I like you, or hate you" was kind of irritating,
Kelsey and Isaac are the main source of my static irruption
And here is why, 1st let me start with Kelsey

Kelsey form the get go, acted as a stuck up bitch, just because a guy walks a certain way, doesn’t mean you have to be bitchie about it,
I mean come on "if a hot guy marches up to you, and asks you for direction, you act cool about it, and give it to him"
May be he reminded her of her ex-boyfriend (btw her ex-boyfriend is nothing like the main love interest (Isaac)), and even though I feel the way she rejected him, was ludicrous and yeahhhh …… very very childish, I was going for more reasons for her to deflect him… I wanted more of this book
And Isaac,
Isaac was supposed to be this super big player dude, who doesn’t give an eff about what people think, and has a lot of unasserted issues with his dad, that he needs to over come, But really even though there was unasserted issues between the father and the son, nothing happens to there relationship, at the end of the book,
There was no "I will be the better person and forgive my son/ dad)
There are no "I will not take your bullshit anymore"
There are no "respect my wishes"
There was nothing, no asserting issue,

Hell at the end of the book I felt like nothing happened and I felt like going up to a random person, and punching them
There were some parts that I did like, but not as much as the things that I hated 
But I think, it's because, I heard a lot of good review about this book, that in my mind I put this really high hopes for it,
And I have to admit, my hopes were crushed, SEVERELY!!!!!……
I'm sorry if you liked Lauren Barnholdt , or liked this book or liked another book by her, but I was not a fan of this book….
But you could like it, so just go read it, and see for yourself……..
I just wouldn’t recommend it

Profile Image for a.
1,168 reviews
July 26, 2012
This review also appears on my blog: World of Books

Review: Initially there was two reasons I picked up this book: I liked the title, and while the cover looked a little awkward, I really liked it. I try not to base what I'm going to read purely because of a cover but in this case I'm happy I did.

“The thing about me and books is that whichever one I’m reading always reminds me of whatever’s happening in my life during that time.”

I really liked Kelsey but there were something about her that stopped me from really connecting with her at first. I loved that she enjoyed reading romance novels and wasn't ashamed of it either. A lot of people try to put romance novels down, as if they don't mean as much as other books just because it involves love and I'm happy that she brought that up. But here's the thing about Kelsey that I didn't like: sometimes I felt like she was kind of fake. Not all the time, but enough for me to notice and start to wonder what she really wants. Especially when it comes to Isaac. I don't doubt that she has feelings for him but sometimes she acts like she's not really into him. Maybe I'm just putting too much into it but in my head she was one of those girls that has the perfect boyfriend but doesn't realize it till its too late. And that's exactly what happens, and it all starts with one lie.

"Hello, sir" I say, deciding to play the politeness card because parents love that shit. "I'm Isaac Brandano." I emphasize the Brandano part because parents love that shit too. "Is Kelsey home?"p.165

Is it weird that I felt like I connected easier with Isaac? Because I think he's my favorite character in the book. Yes, he's a bit conceited but what I love about him is that he's truthful and doesn't play game with people. The book is in both Isaac and Kelsey's perspective about what happened at a school event that ultimately could get them kicked out of school. I really loved reading things from both perspective and it was great to be able to get to really know both characters so well. If there was any doubt about how Kelsey felt for Isaac, there was none for how Isaac felt about Kelsey. And I loved that. I loved that Isaac wasn't the dark, brooding type that left Kelsey wondering how he felt. From the beginning he told her he liked her and throughout the book he continued to show just how much.

“And that's when I realize the thing about the truth. It always comes out, no matter what you do.”p.218

I've always been a big fan of contemporary but lately it feels like these authors are really bringing their A game. This is my first book from Lauren Barnholdt but it certainly won't be my last.
Profile Image for Ana.
22 reviews15 followers
April 15, 2019
About the book
The Thing About the Truth tells us the story of a teenage couple and how telling lies and speaking the truth can affect our relationships. The main characters are Isaac Brandano, son of a famous politician and Kelsey Romano a girl who is overcoming a broken heart and the consequences of her actions at her past school, the main characters somehow credible, and I’m going to go back there later.
The book is all about the way the both meet and how they build up the relationship, written in first person, each chapter is telling the story though the perspective of one of the main characters, divided by what happened “before” and “aftermaths”.

My opinion

I worked with a Literature teacher who used to say that some books are like “complete meals”, they’re tasty and nutritive by their contents and writing, on the other hand, some books are just “burger and fries” which are good to eat sometimes but not so elaborated, and that’s my opinion about this book, it’s a “burger and fries” kind of book, easy to read, nice story but nothing deep or “nutritive”.
I like to feel like I am friends with the characters after finishing a book, as I know everything about them, and it didn’t happen here, I feel like I don’t know enough about the characters, I just know the essential for their teenage romance, and I would change it if I could.

If you like easy readings, this is the right book for you, nice, easy and cute, we all need books like that sometimes.
Profile Image for Isamlq.
1,578 reviews709 followers
July 13, 2012

I was on the fence about this one, thinking that maybe the pair of them were written the way they were in a play to make it more “edgy,” but not too edgy. You know, edgy in the way that neither of the leads is that sympathetic?

Let’s face it. She’s too uptight; he’d act like an entitled ass. Plus, he could say some of the most atrocious things, while she could behave in equally insensitive manner. I felt that there really wasn’t anything to dig deep for; that they’d eventually prove themselves to be exactly what the other was saying. For a while there that’s what I felt I was getting: time and again, either one would say the most unexpected thing. Like her throwing out “guys like you” comments. Or, him thinking things that ran along the lines of “when you wear a skirt like that…” etc., except reading on, one finds that there’s actually some extra stuff under it all; stuff that doesn’t necessarily excuse their respective behavior, but explains it away (a little). As with Kelsey and her father, or her and her best friend; its aspects that make her a slightly sadder lead. Isaac’s part of it left me feeling short changed. So your daddy’s an ass? Deal with it, dude.

Yet, for all my moaning, I have to admit that the guy was actually pretty funny… funny even when I didn’t want to laugh, because he’s so full of himself and he could say some of the most ridiculous things! At one point he goes, “Not to sound like a pompous asshole, but I’ve had girls stalking me before. And it’s not a pleasant.” Not to sound pompous?! Too late. So I’m split over how funny he could be given him being so full of himself, and how douche-y some of his a lot of his thoughts were.

A lot of the way he was accounts for the way she was too. Picture it: when he’s all smooth, confident… and in her face, she reacts... ergh... 'remarkably' too. To his uber-douche, she’s uber-something else. The biggest positive in this for me at least is how he would spark something in her and she in him. Basically, they were funny together.

THE THING ABOUT THE TRUTH was funny with the both of them acting the way they did… but honestly, they could get exasperating too!
254 reviews
July 23, 2012
Actual Rating: 3.5

So Lauren Barnholdt has this way of making characters who can act extremely ridiculous at times yet you still love them. Kelsey and Noah are no exception. Their adventure never failed to make me laugh. I was quite entertained while reading this novel and I didn't want to put it down!

The story is told in "Before" and "Aftermath" chapters. I really liked this style because (a)not a lot of books are told this way and (b)it made it feel like a t.v. show or something. B probably doesn't make sense but I felt like it was more entertaining this way. The "Before" parts were as if the characters were explaining the incident to us in a story mode while the "Aftermath" was when there's a break from the story and the characters start to argue about all of the details. Does it make sense now? Probably not...

Anyway, I have always found Barnholdt's writing style to be unique. She writes in a "stream of consciousness"-esque kind of way. You're reading all of the characters thoughts and everything that they feel. It's kind of weird because it seems like it takes away the serious atmosphere yet it makes the characters voice more realistic. Sometimes I wish more authors would right like this but then that would take away the unique quality of it. It reminds me of Meg Cabot's Princess Diaries series but it's still different because it's not a diary. All of Barnholdt's stories (that I've read anyway) are written like this and I believe that it adds to the charm of the characters. No matter how annoying they can get, knowing their personal thoughts makes them likable because of the honesty of it. You can't get any deeper than that unless the characters are also lying to themselves.

I'm not going to spoil anything, but man these characters need to learn how to be truthful. They got into a huge mess for nothing. I've always believed that telling the truth is key. It saves you a lot of trouble. And that is the ultimate message from this story. (Yes, there is a lesson, but what Contemp doesn't have one?)

Overall, I found it to be a very charming and entertaining read. Probably the best book I've read from Barnholdt so far.
Profile Image for Tabitha.
420 reviews27 followers
February 9, 2015
Read more reviews like this at http://lovelybooksblog.blogspot.com!

From page one I was completely enthralled with The Thing About the Truth. I could hardly put this book down, the story switching back and forth between the “Aftermath” and the “Before” as well as alternating points of view between Isaac and Kelsey, kept an otherwise mundane plot line fresh and exciting.

My favorite part of the novel was the alternating perspectives between Isaac and Kelsey, I love being able to see into more than once characters head. Both Isaac and Kelsey were great characters, I adore love stories where the main characters start off hating each other and then end up falling in love and the interactions between Kelsey and Isaac made me smile.

I didn’t really understand the big deal that was made about Kelsey’s secret and her past relationships. While I could understand Isaac being upset I think that it was taken a little far for what the secret actually was. I don’t want to give anything away but I just feel like the plot was built on a bit of a weak foundation.

Despite feeling like the root of the novel was a bit weak I still really enjoyed the rest of the novel. Marshall, Isaac’s first friend at Concordia Public, never failed to make me laugh and Chloe, Kelsey’s friend, made me laugh as well. I loved the characters and their interactions with each other. As each of them struggle through their own problems and work together to make them right I loved each of the characters a bit more.

Fans of realistic fiction will no doubt love this novel, full of romance and secrets The Thing About the Truth is an entertaining read. I would highly recommend this novel, even to those who don’t enjoy realistic fiction. This book may just change your mind.
Profile Image for Linsey.
43 reviews1 follower
July 11, 2012
First of all I was completely intrigued with the description of this book and the cover so I immediately added it to my wishlist. The whole story was established around one lie and the misunderstandings of the two kind of stuck up teens. Don't get me wrong I love a little teen drama (obviously), but they (Kelsey and Issac) were bent out of shape over relatively small issues (daddy and anger problems) that never get resolved. Sure Kelsey beats the mess out of an almost-award-winning smart car that her ex MADE as in his own hands kind of made, but other than that she is a little shallow and self-centered. I suppose I was expecting her to have some bigger secrets in her closet than the one she did. I just did not feel that connected to Kelseys character. My two favorite characters were Chloe and Marshall. Marshall and the part about the cake is hysterical, and the fact that he keeps wanting to go to Chilis really had me cracking up. Chloe to me, had more depth and character than any of the others, and I wish I knew how her story ended. Chloe, Marshall, and the cover are the only real saving points for me. Another disappointment is the ending. I know our two shallow main characters got their relationship resolution but what about their punishment? That was one of the things the entire story was built around. Overall, nowhere near what I thought it was going to be. It was okay when I was thinking it was goning to be great.
Profile Image for Amber.
150 reviews5 followers
July 10, 2014
Maybe I'm getting old (I'm 23 but I still read a lot of teen stuff), or maybe I'm getting too picky. It was okay, but I felt we were really lacking a lot in character development and plot. The characters were interesting, even if the style of writing threw me off at first. Very informal, but I think a lot of people like that. It's relatable.

That said, the story is really just about these two kids who start dating and their first fight. There's other stuff that happens, but we don't care about that because when the book ends we haven't resolved anything else. We didn't resolve any issues with either set of parents or with the friends who aren't really good friends, or about the 'debacle' that was Face Down Day. I liked the way the author set it up - with chapters as BEFORE and AFTER - that was cool, but I felt like it was leading up to some big reveal - and it wasn't that big of a deal afterall.

It kind of reminded me of Laurie Halse Anderson's book SPEAK. That was a book that kept you wondering what had happened the whole time, and I felt a touch of that with this. I felt like she was teasing the reader and I liked that, but I wanted the reveal to be worth the tension and I didn't think it was.

Still, it wasn't a bad read. I finished it in about two hours, but it left me wanting more in the sense that I felt something was missing. I really like resolutions in books, and I just didn't get that here.
Profile Image for Wendy ⏃: ✦Nerdy Book Reviews✦.
897 reviews278 followers
February 27, 2015
I loved 'Two Way Street' but I got to say I wasn't too happy with how this book ended (disappointed). I dk I feel like there were moments where it just dragged. There wasn't as much angst & action throughout the book. it went from one moment to another real fast. I was happy to get into both Kelsey & Isaac's minds to see their perspectives on the situation though, so that was a plus. I really thought this book could have been better. I am happy though that Kelsey was finally able to move on from her ex & gain some confidence in herself. I definitely did not agree that she should have lied to Isaac & there really wasn't trust in communication from the start. I think they went into it too fast & they should have taken it slow & have gotten to know each other better. I feel the book started off as suspenseful & made you want to know more but at the end when you finally discover what Kelsey lied to Isaac about, it was really stupid. Isaac didn't even care about it, all he cared about was the fact that she lied. Sure I would be angry but I feel Isaac's anger about it was over the top. It was an issue that could have easily been talked about in private, but he walked away instead & acted cold & mean towards Kelsey. So, I give this book 2 & half stars & advise you (fellow book lovers) to read it at your own risk.
Profile Image for Jen.
1,073 reviews92 followers
November 13, 2012
I have been looking forward to reading this book for months, so you can imagine my frustration when it turned out to be a lot different than I expected. I'm usually a sucker for a pretty cover but this one is a little off putting, especially the look on the girl's face. Also, their hair color is all wrong and that irked me. Kelsey isn't blond and Issac isn't brunette.

The book jumps back and forth between Before and Aftermath and is told from alternating POV's (always a win for me) and alludes to this big huge "thing" that happened, but once you get past the first couple of chapters, it's just "meh". Kelsey is a real witch-with-a-b and I found myself getting bored with her. The relationship between she and Issac is one-sided and lacked chemistry and I kept wondering what he saw in her?

It isn't until roughly the last 15 pages where we find out what happened and honestly, I was like, "Is that all?" Don't get me wrong, honesty always trumps lying but I was totally expecting there to be a dead body involved and there wasn't.

The one thing this story did try to stress is that it's always better to tell the truth because no matter how hard you try to hide it, the truth always comes out, always.
Profile Image for Akanksha❤ Søren♰.
654 reviews2,612 followers
August 7, 2012
It was a good read, Kept me engrossed till the end waiting to know the 'Truth'
I liked how the book was written in a flashback-today-flashback kinda way.

Frankly speaking, The book ended pretty abruptly.. The whole book was pretty lost, Nothing got straight to the point in the end, About Chloe and Dave, Marshall and I Chloe (according to me, he was crushing on her.. haha) Even Kelsey Isaac nothing much happened in the end.. Even the whole thing between Kelsey and her best friend and Kelsey and her father.. THERE WAS NO CONCLUSION.

Isaac was pretty hot, swoon worthy hot!
Marshall was pretty funny.. I liked him
I hated Kelsey's best friend.. Some bitch she was.. I'd never call a person like her my best friend
I kinda understand Chloe's stuff but nothing much happening about it in the end.. When I had like the last 10 pages of the book, I was hoping the stuff about Kelsey's father, Her best friend, Chloe would all get sorted but as I said.. the book ended abruptly.. Anyways, Overall the book was cute read, I read it in one sitting, I liked it for all the Kelsey-Isaac parts, appart from its flaws
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