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The Truth Is

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  139 ratings  ·  44 reviews
A powerful exploration of love, identity, and self-worth through the eyes of a fierce, questioning Puerto Rican teen.

Fifteen-year-old Verdad doesn't think she has time for love. She's still struggling to process the recent death of her best friend, Blanca; dealing with the high expectations of her hardworking Puerto Rican mother and the absence of her remarried father;
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published September 3rd 2019 by Lerner/Carolrhoda Lab
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Average rating 3.94  · 
Rating details
 ·  139 ratings  ·  44 reviews

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May 17, 2019 marked it as not-released-tbr
Shelves: reviewed
i truly adore the fact that self-imposed homophobia is going to be explored in this book. Way before I started identifying as gay, I was drowned in anxiety and self-loathing. I tried to avoid the lgbt community because every time I saw them, i felt crushed. to me, they seemed so happy in their identity while i was down here drowning in my own self-hatred and insecurity. this book looks like a winner
Aug 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this novel! Verdad is not a perfect protagonist, she's realistic. She's an intentionally problematic character who constantly puts her foot in her mouth. She's only fifteen, so she's figuring out who she is and beginning to realize that maybe it's time to question the values that have been instilled in her. This is a book that looks at identity, ingrained prejudice, and processing trauma.
Jen Solak
Jun 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story of Verdad is a story that could be labeled by some as overzealous because it deals with so many heavy topics, including gun violence, transphobia and homophobia, parental estrangement, gender and sexual identity, and racism. When you see that weighty list and the short number of pages you may think that this story can’t possibly fit it all in, but it does! To say that the book deals with too much would be to devalue the struggle so many of today’s teenagers are dealing with. This ...more
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Some of the best books I have read have made me feel very, very uncomfortable. The Things They Carried. The Bell Jar. In Cold Blood. Room. The Narrow Road to the Deep North. These books are very good. These books are very, very jarring.

The Truth Is should go on this list. The Truth Is tells the story of Verdad de la Reyna, a fifteen-year-old with a full plate of troubles---Verdad has a moms that pushes her and pushes her and pushes her to excel, to achieve, to fill her future college
Lost in Book Land
Sep 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
I have been reading like crazy and loving every minute of it! Lately, I have been reading and listening to so many books it's insane. If you look at my Goodreads currently-reading shelf it's off the charts with the number of books on there. However, I have already finished many of those and just have not yet written the review yet because I have been busy reading more books! So I am going to try to get on a schedule (we will see how well I keep to this schedule), ideally I would like to post two ...more
Aug 23, 2019 marked it as dnf-lost-interest
DNF 45%

I really like what this book is. It's a story about a questioning 15-year-old Puerto Rican teen as she falls in love with a trans boy, and learns more about herself just as she unlearns a lot of toxic things she believed before. It's a story that has a realistically messy, confused protagonist who says a lot of bigoted things because she's still figuring out the world, and the book handled this aspect of her perfectly. I also really liked how this talked about culture, and feeling
May 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A brilliant, beautiful, moving story of ecstasy and loss and tragedy and hope, The Truth Is demands to be read. The fast-moving plot bristles with literary and classical references, but the deepest insights—and there are plenty—come from the observations and conclusions of its main character, Verdad de la Reyna, an unforgettably brave and complicated heroine who confronts profoundly disturbing, real-world challenges with the help of friends, both present and past. Nonieqa Ramos follows up The ...more
Mya Alexice
NoNieqa Ramos does it again!

Disturbed Girl's Dictionary was one of my top books last year and this is even better. A Puerto Rican girl named Verdad, reeling from the death of her best friend, finds her life getting a lot more complicated once she meets the mysterious and adorable Danny (gender unknown). As she grows closer to Danny, she learns to re-examine her biases about love, sexuality, gender, and even race and racism.

I feel like we rarely see a teenager figuring certain stuff out in YA.
Jul 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing

Thank you #netgalley, Lerner Publishing Group and author Nonieqa Ramos for an #arc ebook copy.

TITLE: The Truth Is

PUB Date: Sept 3, 2019

THOUGHTS: Nonieqa Ramos gives us a very poignant story about Verdad dela Reyna, a brave heroine, forced to face heavy issues - concurrent to what teens are currently facing today. The writing uses the vernacular of the young adult audience - through the use of hashtags, tag-handles, text conversations, all within the social media realm. This
Aug 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Thank you to NetGalley and Lerner for providing me with an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review

**Content Warning: Racism, Homophobia, Transphobia, Mass Shooting, Sexual assault (brief mention), Animal Death (brief mention)**

I was honestly surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. When I first started reading I was worried about what direction it would take, and how the trans character would be portrayed. But the book does very well with the characters, and the plot does get more interesting
Jul 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019, netgalley
I liked this book overall, especially the LGBTQ characters. I loved that Verdad was so open to Danny and his friends, she asked pronouns and realized that she liked Danny, no matter his biology or gender identity. Seeing these kids that have been pushed out of their family's lives because of who they are was sad, but also very real. So many issues were discussed in this book, which I liked, but I think it was a bit much. Not only LGBTQ, but also family drama, what it's like to be a POC, police ...more
Sarah Ressler Wright
Jun 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
EXCELLENT! I loved Nonieqa's first book, The Disturbed Girl's Dictionary, but this is even better. The voice is more polished but still angry, dealing with important issues in a real-life way. Amazing how much was in the book-divorce, homophobia, gun violence, homelessness, and more. A great read for students and adults to remind us the issues we often aren't aware of and how many different teens and adults deal with them.
Lizett (lizettylreads)
DNF @ 43%

The Truth Is is a YA contemporary following our main character, Verdad, who is a Puerto Rican teen faced with a great deal of struggles. She is grappling with the recent death of her best friend, coming to terms with her own sexuality, and falling in love with a trans boy.

I would normally not review a book that I did not finish, but I received an ARC of this book through NetGalley, and felt the need to give my thoughts on at least what I did manage to read.

To start, I will say that I
Rebecca Washington
Jan 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book. This gut wrenching, bold and risky book to write has more pen marks, highlighting and tear stains then I care to admit. You can't help but fall in love with the characters and how they navigate racism, sexuality, friendship, trauma and family dynamics. The Truth Is will challenge you to reconsider what you think you know about the intricate factors around sexual orientation. Be emotionally and mentally prepared because the characters will get in your head and your heart. You will want ...more
Jun 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley.
The Truth Is is such a great book. You can’t help but feel for Verdad as she tries to make sense in the complex issues of race, gender identity, belonging, sexuality, and sexual orientation, all white dealing with the violent death of her best friend. Ramos’s writing is raw and beautiful, and occasionally confusing, but that’s ok, because so are the things in Verdad’s head. I will definitely be recommending this book to others and checking out the
Laurie McLean
Sep 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
NoNieqa Ramos has penned an incredible book about a 15-year-0ld Puerto Rican girl who is struggling to find her place and herself in the world. Timely. Honest. Raw. The Truth Is doesn't hold anything back. Dealing with issues of gender identity, first love and prejudice, Ramos' follow up to The Disturbed Girl's Dictionary shows that this author has the chops to create complex, real-world stories and the unforgettable characters that inhabit them. Bravo!
Jul 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.5 but rounded up to 4! This was such an amazing story! I honestly considered giving it a lower rating just because I'm not really sure how I felt about the writing, but I decided to round up because I liked the story. I appreciated the emphasis put on Verdad catching herself thinking in learned prejudices and showed her process of trying to unlearn them and educate herself. This book was a lot of material and messages packed into 251 pages, but nevertheless I enjoyed it!
Jun 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
#TheTruthIs #NetGalley
A realistic and edgy read. The author uses mental health, LGBT, homelessness to create a novel filled with the realities that a great deal of teens face today. The main characters have great chemistry on the page and the story pulls hard at your heart strings because many young people have these challenges in their lives.
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the E-Arc copy of this novel.
Jun 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant prose, intriguing plot, fully realized characters. I ordered a review copy because a colleague recommended Ramos as a writer/educator who is an ally/advocate for LGBTQ youth. I'm looking for material to use in schools because there is a dearth of literature representing these students. I was impressed by the social and emotional depth of this book. It goes deep while keeping the story engaging and entertaining. Perfect for students. This is one I will definitely use!
Sep 08, 2019 rated it did not like it
she got annoying and i also was struggling with something i've struggled before,,,
just because your parents are puerto rican that doesn't make you LATINA! yes!! you do get some cultural descendence from your parents but you were rAISED in amerICA and you don't even speak spanish well?? PLEASE!!!!! SHUT UP
you are AMERICAN
a person like myself, being born and raised in a latin american country with a socialist regime, i left my country (for obvious reasons) and it makes me incredibly MAD that
Feb 07, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
TW: homophobia, transphobia, sexism (all challenged), arophobia (as far as I read, completely unchallenged), shooting, grief, death of a close friend.

It took me a while to actually finish this book. It has a hectic writing style that takes getting used to. I think it is supposed to reflect the confused & “messy” state of mind of the 15 year old main character, Verdad. It didn’t really work for me and made it hard for me to connect to what is an important story to tell. I appreciated the
Jan 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
The voice of Verdad reflects her PTSD and her ability to be “high functioning”- have the ability to attend school and be successful with violin. What I like is that despite all the issues, and there are many with her mental health challenges and questioning her sexual identity, she perseveres. I want more stories where people with mental health problems- learn to live w them and ultimately are happy like this one.
John Clark
Nov 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The following is on page 236. "Funny how homophobic people think being gay or transgender leads to misery but never consider that they're the ones who cause it. Never consider that they are the ones who separate God from their kids.
"Hell is now, saying it happens later is a power play."
That struck me as the essence of this powerful story distilled into three sentences. Verdad has been carrying huge scars for nearly a year. One is visible, where the bullet passed through her leg when a white
Hannah Roselyn Bloczynski
I loved this book. I was a realistic story of queer multicultural family and love and how wonderful and beautiful and complicated it all is. I felt it was relatable no matter how you identify or who you love. It's a story of first love, loss, family, mental illness, acceptance, self-discovery and forgiveness. I highly recommend it for everyone.
I was given a free copy of this book by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Olivia (SupernovaWrites)
Special thank you to Netgalley for the opportunity to read this book early!
I just can’t with this book or the MC Verdad. Full review on my blog:
Jenny Ashby
Nov 17, 2019 rated it liked it
As with her debut, Ramos weaves so many plot points together seamlessly. There's A LOT going on here: mass shooting, grief, coming out, self-hate, being transgendered, homelessness, parent relations, stepfamilies... I'm pretty sure there's more than that but you get the idea. And yet it's not until I'm reflecting on the book and trying to make this list that I realize just how much happened. That's all due to Ramos' skill in writing complex characters and stories that reflect all the shit of ...more
May 24, 2019 rated it liked it

**Disclaimer: I received a free electronic ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.**

Honestly, I quite enjoyed this. It did take awhile for me to get into the story because the writing/format was kind of a bit much for me. For example, the way the people were labeled or referred to by their appearance kind of annoyed me (i.e. White Girl 1, White Girl 3, etc.) because it was confusing. I understand there was a reason for it because Verdad never had a reason to learn their names,
Jan 14, 2020 rated it liked it
So much of this book is very, very good. Some of it irritated me. That might be a personal preference.
I picked up the book because it sounded interesting. I expected Verdad's relationship with Danny and the identity questions that stem from that to be the focus of the book. I wound up being pleasantly surprised to find another, possibly more thought provoking layer in here surrounding Verdad's identity as Puerto Rican. Add the questions she has about her own interpretation of femininity and th
Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for an advance review copy of this book!

THE TRUTH IS by Nonieqa Ramos is the story of Verdad, a girl who is “book smart but emotionally - challenged”, navigating life after losing her best friend, Blanca, to gun violence. The truth is, Verdad doesn’t really know WHO she is without Blanca. That is, until Danny shows up at school. He (which Verdad eventually learns are his pronouns) suddenly makes Verdad see herself clearly... but not everyone is okay with
3-1/2 stars, rounded up just because.

I liked this book a lot more than I thought I would. I picked it up on a whim at the library because the premise sounded interesting and I kind of miss just picking up books at the library because they sound interesting.

It follows the story of Verdad, who lost her best friend Blanca almost a year ago to gun violence. Verdad is trying to figure out life without her best friend when she meets Danny, a trans boy who turns her world upside down.

Verdad is not a
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NoNieqa Ramos is an educator, literary activist, and writer of “intense” literature. She wrote the THE DISTURBED GIRL’S DICTIONARY, a 2018 New York Public Library Best Book for Teens, a 2019 YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults Selection, and a 2019 In the Margins Award Top Ten pick. It earned starred reviews from Booklist, Voya, and Foreword. Lilliam Rivera, author of DEALING in DREAMS, selected ...more
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