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True Love Way

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  1,096 ratings  ·  241 reviews
The uncomplicated explanation: Penelope Finnel’s mind isn't to be trusted.

It’s betrayed her.

Unable to escape the imbalance she was born with, waking up in the morning is a never-ending game of Russian Roulette. After moving to a new town, she’s afraid no one will understand the cloud cover above Castle Rain, Washington isn’t the only reason everything’s gloomy.

Until she’s
Published April 14th 2015 (first published April 12th 2015)
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4.08  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,096 ratings  ·  241 reviews

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Oct 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
5 ‘Candy for smiles’ stars!

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True Love Way is a story of a first love, a true love, a once in a lifetime love. A love you would fight for, sacrifice for and do anything to keep. This, my friends, is an epic love story.

When Dillion Decker is just 12 years old, his entire life is changed forever. One moving truck next door. One glance at the girl his age wearing sunglasses and blowing bubbles. He’s a goner. This girl is something else. Her name is Penelope Finnel, and she is his new best friend.
Apr 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
4.5 Stars


This is my first book by this author and definitely it won’t be my last. A very touching story “True Love Way” is a book about finding your soulmate, finding ‘the one’, about true unconditional love. So...what is true love? How do you know what you feel is true love? How you recognize the signs of true love? Penelope and Dillon have been fortunate enough to find it, to find it when they were just kids.


Dillon and Penelope met when they were 12 years old. Since the moment Dillon laid eye
Jennifer Kyle
Aug 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
4.5 “Happiness on Handlebars" Stars

”I’ve loved her since bubblegum bubbles and moving trucks. I love her for red heart-shaped glasses. I love her because of the way she looks flying on my handlebars.
I love her.”


Mary Elizabeth delivered an enjoyable read that takes a young friendship of Dillon and Pen through middle school, high school and beyond. They face Penelope’s mental illness together although as young boy Dillon just wants to make her smile.

”Don’t you get it, Dillon?” she says, st
Arabella ~♡AB♡~
★★★★ 4 Stars ★★★★

Amazon UK:

This was an incredible story about two kids who are lucky enough to find each other, two souls who are meant to be. This is also a story about depression and how heartbreaking it is for everyone involved. Told in Mary Elizabeths' unique style of writing, it takes us on a journey from childhood to adulthood and all the trials and tribulations of young love when faced with something most kids never have to
Apr 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is my first book by Mary Elizabeth and I was warned that her writing is captivating, but a little angsty. Angst makes me a nervous wreck, so I was a little terrified to start this one, but I am so glad I did. True Love Way is such a unique story of unconditional, true love.

Since the day she and her family moved into the house beside mine, I’ve become obsessed with Penelope Finnel.

From the moment Dillon saw Penelope he knew she was different, special. He knew he shouldn’t like girls, th
Aug 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015-releases
3.75 - 4 Stars!

Finally a book in my beloved romance genre that I actually enjoyed after a terrible book slump. Praise Jesus!
Aug 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
"WHY AM I SO BROKEN? her note reads." "You're perfect to me."

Wow, what a beautiful journey. I absolutely loved this book, the writing was phenomenal. Dillon and Penelope have found a special place in my heart. The love they share is something people search for their whole lives. The qualities Dillon possess are so rare and such a joy to read about. I feel like I grew up with these two, almost as if I've known them my whole life. The trials and struggles they had to endure and overcome broke my
Dec 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
5 "she's all there is and everything I need." Stars
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It's been a couple days since finishing True Love Way and I'm still not over it. I refuse to read any other book for the next couple days. I just can't seem to part ways with these characters just yet. Already Dillon and Penelope have a special place in my heart.

I had no doubt in my mind that Mary
was going to blow me away with TLW. There is a reason why they call her The Realist and why she finds words in chaos. Read her books to experience w
Apr 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
5 True Love Stars!

Wow! This was my first book by Mary Elizabeth and the writing was amazing. Again, I didn't go back to read any reviews or the book blurb and went into this one without a clue as to what was going on. This was a captivating story about true love, but it was not an easy love story.

Dillion's life changed with a moving truck, bubble gum bubbles, and the new girl next door. Only twelve years old and riding his bike, he couldn't help but to notice Penelope. He was drawn to her even
M. ~ B&B
Aug 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
My own exhaustion has taken a backseat to the concern and heartbreak I experience whenever I look at this girl. How helpless I am around her has made a home deep inside my gut, and I can't shake how guilty it makes me feel.

There is so much I could say about the subject matter of this book. I have read a few that deal with depression, but True Love Way offers an insight to the other side of the battle. And despite this heartbreaking and serious subject that's present throughout the entire boo
Cranky - The Book Curmudgeon
Apr 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Five Extra Cranky Stars

Books like this don’t come along every day. You can find any number of novels written about this type of situation, to a degree, but the touch is usually feather light and gimmicky. People like to use “problems” with one character or another as a ploy to make them deeper.

This is not one of those stories.

If you want ugly truth and beautiful lies, then this is the book for you.

Pen is different. That’s all I’ll say about that. She’s as different a character as any I’ve eve
Melissa *Pervy*
"What are you looking at, boy?"

If Mary Elizabeth writes it, I will read it. Always! Her words are beautiful and so fucking soul crushing I don’t even know how I survive. I don’t know how she does it but she ruins me for all other books every single time.

True Love Way had my emotions running rampant, I swear. The first part of the book had me giggling and wishing Wayne Finnel was a permanent fixture in my life. But as the book went on, my heart cried for Penelope and Dillon.

There were ups and
Mar 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars!

Young true love. This book is about the journey a couple of kids have to make to get to a place where they know how to manage life the best they can.

I like the things this book showed. I liked how it displayed how a family/friends are affected due to an illness such as depression. It brought out the good the bad and the ugly. And I enjoyed going in this adventure half knowing and half wanting to learn more.

This was an unexpected sweet story!! :)

Pavlina Read more sleep less blog❤❤

Then the screen door opens and slams shut again, and standing beside the light Nazi is Penelope. Her hair is up now, and from what I can tell she’s not chewing gum anymore. Her knees are dirty, and her shoes are untied. The Discman isn’t on her hip, but her green sunglasses are still on her face, even though it’s nighttime.
Suddenly Mr. Finnel’s voice scares me out of my own head. “What are you looking at, boy?”
Definitely over six feet tall, the daughter Nazi isn’t leaning against the porc
Apr 21, 2015 rated it it was ok

★★ ! True Love Way, stand alone. New girl Pen instantly becomes the boy next door fascination. But first love and rollerblading quickly becomes complicated sadness. This story starts and ends with a boy and a girl with an unbreakable bond.

True Love Way. Wow. This was a story about true love alright. But don't let the catchy title fool you. It's so much more, so much deeper than your regular love story. As I said, this story starts with a boy and a girl. Dillon is 12 when Penelope moves in next d
Courtney {SmuttyBookLover}
Apr 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
5 "You're perfect to me" Stars

I am still 100% stuck in Castle Rain with Pen and Dillon!

This story was realistic, completely genuine & the writing was so beautifully poetic. I couldn't get enough!

Every girl in high school NEEDS a Dillon! He loved Pen so fiercely even when he didn't really understand what love was yet. Everyone needs to read this book NOW!

True Love Way made me completely nostalgic but in the best way.. High school is so emotional & the experiences that Pen & Dillon
Ari Reavis
Jun 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
While not as emotionally draining as Dusty, I loved this book. Pen has mental issues and Dillon loves her through every episode and day she won't get out of bed. If this is how a depressed person feels when they're down, then my heart goes out to them. To struggle and physically be in pain just trying to make yourself get out of bed in the morning was so sad to read. Pen and Dillon had a rough patch in their relationship and I wanted to shake them both and remind them of all they'd been through ...more
♔ Jaela ♊ Killer ⚔ QUEEN

This was a very good book. It should have been a Best Seller. It was unputdownable. (Thanks to the person who came up with this word. It must have been a reader, because only readers can perceive that kind of feeling and need). I stayed up till 3 am to finish it and this says a lot for me.

This is a book about a girl suffering from anxiety and depression since she was little. Penelope is 12 yo when she moves next to Dillon. She has a Pen/fragile box, where she puts her things whenever she moves.
I want to write and read stories like this forever...amazing. Review to come on 4/13 with my tour post...


When I signed on to this tour, I was beyond excited. After reading Dusty by The Elizabeths, I was curious about reading stories by each individual author know, to distinguish their individual style. I have yet to read another title by Sarah Elizabeth but THIS book, True Love Way, by Mary Elizabeth is flipping amazing! I really don't have the words to expr
Aestas Book Blog
Aug 25, 2014 marked it as to-read
Shelves: not-yet-released
Looking forward to this! I love the sound of it!

Some days are brighter than others, but Penelope Finnel has learned she can be invisible behind the colored lenses of her heart-shaped sunglasses.

Her mind is her own worst enemy, and simply waking up in the morning is risky. For a girl like her, staying in bed is easier. Especially when the day comes to start school in a new town with new kids who don’t understand that the clouds are not the only reason everything is so gloomy.

Dillon Decker is
Aug 25, 2014 rated it it was ok
Easily put, there were things I liked and disliked, areas I wanted less of and others I wanted more from.
The writing was great for the most part. I did have issues connecting and was never able to connect with the heroine.
The relationship between Dillon and Pen's dad was one I found most enjoyable. They were the only characters I had sympathy for.
I didn't always like the storyline, but I enjoyed reading the many epilogues and thought the 5th held the perfect ending.
All in all, it was an okay rea
Jul 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
A 100 colorfull glasses!

This book.. every damn book about bipolar disorder melts my cold heart. the way it was portrayed here was so real. even the ending was not rainbows and flowers but it was so beautiful.

I have no more words. I'll definitely read this again at some point in the future and cry and smile.
Apr 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Kei • lovelypagesreviews •
5 <3 stars!

Epic book hangover!!! There's nothing more to say, really. I had high expectations for this one, if you've read the Dusty series, so would you. To say that I devoured each page would be an understatement. Poetic, raw, emotional and true <3 way!


For Penelope, getting out of bed every morning is a true struggle. No one understands though. And then Dillon happens.

“Don't you get it Dillon? There's a reason why you're my only friend. Why haven't you figured this out yet?”

He's there ev
Wendy ⏃: ✦Cheeky Chicks Blogger✦

THIS BOOK. OMGGGGGGG THIS BOOK. I really have no freaking words but to say this book was unique and just ahmazinggggg! A maddening, beautiful coming of age story that had me basking in a pool of so many feels. A truly special story, with a special message that now owns my heart and soul. I'm forever a changed person after reading it. I can't gush enough about it. Mary Elizabeth will captivate you with her words.
4.5 "Heart Shaped Radishes" Stars

This was a sweet YA that built in to a bit of an NA romance between two people obviously meant to be together. As I read I could *feel* their connection even though they were so young. I loved that their relationship seemed to sprout and grow so organically. My heart hurt for them both as they struggled with the reality of Pen's illness and Dillion's need to be by her side. Ms. Elizabeth wrote such a realistic portrayal of mental illness. It wasn't easy but thei
Diana Ouma
Have you ever woken up one day and just felt sad? Not the everyday emotion but the deep rotted emotion that literally weighs tons on your back? It takes everything out of you. You are left feeling fragile, tired and bare. But you know what happens? We wake up the next day and we are reminded about all the love and light in our lives. The darkness slowly shies away and light becomes a dominant force. We forget about that sadness...

What happens when that sadness never leaves? Never gives you a br
* Sara Johns*
Oct 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars

This is such a beautifully, tragic story about a love with no boundaries or conditions that spans the test of time. I started this book at midnight and immediately regretted that decision after 1 or 2 chapters knowing it would be an all-nighter type of read. I found the story and characters easy to connect to and love. Each character (main and secondary) had such a clear identity that was as unique as the writing style, and added so much to the story. My emotions were all over the place
Oct 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
6 ‘Different Shaped glasses’ stars!


What an epic journey of young love, heartaches, struggles and one great love of a lifetime.

This book is so raw, full of angst and unyielding, phew! what more can i say ? it absolutely blew my mind-beginning till end.

And for Mary Elizabeth, you are so very brave to wrote this book. Mental disorders such a sensitive topic and you flawlessly delivered this one, your brilliant.





"A pearl is a beautiful thing that is produced by an injured life. It is the tear [
Lost Between the Pages
Apr 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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You do not truly understand the greatness of Mary Elizabeth's unique writing style until you have read one of her books.

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This book was beautiful heartbreak and one of the best books I have read in a long time. Love like this only comes around once in a lifetime.

Dillon's unwavering love for Penelope will make you cry and pray for your own Dillon. Who needs heart shaped glasses when you have that sweet man. He practically made me swoon the entire book.

This book left a huge mark on my heart and
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Mary Elizabeth was born and raised in Southern California. She is a wife, mother of four beautiful children, and dog tamer to one enthusiastic Pit Bull and a prissy Chihuahua. She's a hairstylist by day but contemporary fiction, new adult author by night.

Mary can often be found finger twirling her hair and chewing on a stick of licorice while writing and rewriting a sentence over and over until i
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“is her favorite color, even after I told her purple-orange isn’t a thing. She ties her left shoe the loop, swoop, and pull way, and the right with bunny ears. Pen opens her bananas from the end, and she eats her eggs with boysenberry syrup. The girl who wakes up and appears in her window every morning at six-thirty sharp, with insane bedhead, only uses cola-scented lip balm and loves grunge music. She has her mom cut the crusts off her sandwiches, sides first and then the top and bottom. Pen uses the same pink plastic thermos every day at school, even though the cup is cracked. She doesn’t blink an eye as fruit punch drips from the bottom, always staining her shirt.” 4 likes
“When Risa … had her—” He stops and stares at the band poster above my bed. “My mom had to help her, you know.” I shake my head. Dillon takes a breath so big his shoulders heave up and then fall down. “She read the directions to her or something. I can read.” 4 likes
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