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Dare Truth or Promise

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  4,196 Ratings  ·  139 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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(showing 1-30)
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Apr 27, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult, romance, glbt
I tossed with liking and disliking this book...The story from the outset was going to follow a 'predictable' kinda romance except it followed two girls..Maybe if I was younger I would of enjoyed the story a bit more BUT I did manage to read it all in a night (so you can take whatever you want from found the characters weren't that fleshed out..Like we knew who Willa and Louie were...They attended the same school, worked at the same place...One had an accepting family and one didn' ...more
Aug 27, 2008 rated it really liked it
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."
Sep 01, 2013 rated it did not like it
DNF!!!...was not getting in2 the story or plot..tried up until chapter 3 ...where all the bck n forth of the storytelling was very stressful n it really threw me for a loop,really boring also.....sorry to be such a harsh critic but this book piss me fooled by the synopsis and many so-call good reviews again(urgh!)
Jun 14, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
May 27, 2008 rated it liked it
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
Jul 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  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
Apr 26, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
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).
Lady Avalon
Jun 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lesbian
No matter where you are from, we all go through the angst, the confusion, and the self-acceptance path (for some with too many bumps, for others a little smoother) when you realize you are attract to someone of the same sex... IMHO, Ms Book has found a nice balance of all those feelings and the result is an entertaining YA book with likeable MCs.
Haylee C
May 23, 2012 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
Oct 24, 2012 rated it it was ok
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
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
Mar 26, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: gblt, ya
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
Ginny Swanson
Nov 26, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 31, 2015 rated it liked it
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
Feb 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 29, 2009 rated it it was ok
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.
Kiriaki Sandy
Nov 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgtb
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.
Feb 26, 2011 rated it liked it
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.
Jul 11, 2009 rated it liked it
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
Jul 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
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.
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.
Dr Jespersen
Jun 01, 2017 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this book more than I anticipated I might. It's from when I was a teenager. I wish I had read it then, though in all likelihood I would have wished the characters were more similar to me. I was a tough customer for a while there. Reading it now, I had an eye out for the ways it feels dated and the ways it still feels relevant. I'm impressed by how subtly Boock lets both these protagonists deal with intense feelings time without making either of them spend too much page space worrying a ...more
Jun 07, 2017 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Emily W
I vaguely recall reading this book many years ago, so I was interested to see what the re-read would be like.

Dare Truth or Promise is the story of two Dunedin girls who fall in love, and learn to navigate relationships, school, sexuality, and faith. Although this story was written during the late 1990s, it still resonates today.

I devoured this book, engaged with the characters, and don't doubt that I will likely re-read it again in the future.
It was good, just not great.
After a while alternating pov got boring. The girls didn't really have distinctive voices. As often with LGBT YA the main villain was somewhat flatly portrayed homophobic parental figure. (Then again Dare Truth or Promise is turning twenty this year, so maybe this observation belongs in the reviews of newer titles.)
Jun 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
You can tell this book is not written by an American author because the style is just slightly different in a good way. The characters are believable as is the story itself. I really felt for the characters as they were trying to love each other in a world that did not want them to. A quick, easy and fulfilling read.
Jul 23, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: l-b-ya
Willa & Louise; love can happen fast, but making it work can be tough (especially if your folks are against it)
May 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Cute read.
Jun 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Wow, this was really emotionally intense! A lot more intense than the blurb seemed to imply. I cried so much; there were some incredibly sad parts that make you hate homophobic people, but at the same time, you keep reminding yourself that their anti-gay attitude is likely due to ignorance, not malice. Still, the pathos was so deep that I wanted to scream. Louie and Willa get a happy ending, though, thankfully. Sorry if that sounds like a spoiler, but you could also see it as a reassurance, haha ...more
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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 about Paula Boock...

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“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 truth, she realised, as things are which you don’t think, but discover have always existed.” 14 likes
“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.” 6 likes
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