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The Truth Is

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  867 ratings  ·  160 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; an
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published September 3rd 2019 by Lerner/Carolrhoda Lab
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Average rating 3.77  · 
Rating details
 ·  867 ratings  ·  160 reviews

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Tucker  (TuckerTheReader)
May 17, 2019 marked it as not-released-tbr
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

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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. ...more
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 layer ...more
Laura Tenfingers
Nov 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: contemporary, ya
Wow! This was amazing! Brutal, heartbreaking, eye-opening, powerful.

I had no idea what I was getting myself into. After reading The Disturbed Girl's Dictionary I was on a mission to read everything by NoNieqa Ramos. And so here I am.

This is a story of a Latina girl who has experienced major trama after a mass shooting, is suffering from mental health issues as a result, and is discovering her sexuality, which isn't following the norms her mother has set out for her.

There are a lot of intense iss
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 Di ...more
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
Brittany (whatbritreads)
The writing here was very well done and I found it funny. Because it’s YA, there were some cringe moments within the speech I found but the protagonists are 15/16 so that was to be expected.

I feel like this is such a relevant read for young adults right now, growing up in a toxic political climate and trying to find their place. Especially in young adult literature, it’s rare you find a book with so much openness and diversity explored. It captures the essence of being fifteen and trying to grow
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! ...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 application
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! ...more
Jan 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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.
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.
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 a
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 b ...more
Ernesto Cisneros
Oct 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: best-books
THE TRUTH IS left me shook. IT WILL CHANGE MINDS AND OPEN HEARTS. It is a raw, brutally honest account of what LGTBQ teens are facing today—a reminder of the perils that students face today—often alone and unnoticed. Brilliant as it is apologetically real.

If you are a librarian, please stock this important book.
If you are a teacher, have it on your shelves.
If you are a parent, read it with your teenager.
If you are human... read it.
Graciella Delgado
Jan 05, 2021 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
Jul 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
🗣 B O O K R E V I E W 🗣

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. Th
Rebecca Balcárcel
Sep 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
From an excellence-expecting Latinx mom to swaggering classmates at school, Verdad is juggling a lot. No wonder she turns to her dead best friend for advice and sometimes underachieves on purpose. Life gets yet more complicated when gender fluidity goes from being a concept to being a cute human who makes her heart flip flop. Tackling issues of homelessness, gun violence, and discrimination, this book bravely takes on the emotional work of accepting identities, disappointing loved ones when need ...more
Sep 22, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wish the kids I went to school with understood the difference between gender and sexuality and respected everyone's pronouns, but most don't because they haven't learned to or they choose not to. I liked that Verdad made mistakes even though it was painful to read because a ton of kids I've come across are like this and never understand the hurt they cause. They don't even give it a second thought. I wish they spent time questioning themselves and pushing themselves to do better like Verdad do ...more
Oct 22, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found the writing to reflect the mindset of the character and the language beautifully poetic. Despite all the pain the characters endure because of cispeople's ignorance, the author let the characters play and experience joy and laughter and that's so important. Verdad's friends are complex and endearing and deserve so much better. My favorite conversation happens between Verdad and Prisha, where they talk about India and PR and the fact that they are sisters of the sol, a word play meaning t ...more
I really appreciated all the topics discussed in this book. It takes about sexually, racism, gun violence,teen homelessness, and a lot more. I just didn't really understand if Blanca was a ghost or what? I just also didn't like Verdad as a character I thought she was kind of self-centered and a little clueless. I do appreciate that she came around and learned about certain things like people being non binary. Also her relationship with Danny just was rushed and didn't really make sense to me.
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. ...more
Oct 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: queer-trans
I felt so seen, represented, and loved. When Verdad figured out what was wrong with her mother's homophobic arguments, and what was wrong with her church's homophobic religious arguments, I felt a release. None of that is truth. Danny, Prisha, Sarah and Baldwin show the power of the family we choose. Love wins. ...more
Jan 18, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thought-provoking elements:
- What enables us to claim culture? Can you claim a culture for a place that you were not literally born into but you were raised in?
- How do we reconcile the ills of the church, beliefs of your humanity, with your faith/walk with God?
- How do we support our children in healing from trauma?
- What does it look like to move forward while still remembering/honoring after loss?

Wishing there was more of:
- Development of the secondary characters
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 a
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.
4.5 stars... it took a long time to trust this book but I’m so glad I did

Addition 12/31:
It’s raw and real and full of grief and trauma. The protagonist is flawed and gets to grow over the course of the book, and find her own place, and learn from the people around her, while they also learn to understand her and where she’s coming from. It’s got a gritty, harsh, and important portrayal of found family, messy queerness, and some breathtaking quotes.
Nov 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Intense authentic view into the mind of a teen suffering from PTSD and besieged by so many issues like the absence of her father, just trying to fit in with her peers, and more serious issues like cultural and sexual identity. We have to acknowledge that many kids are going through so many things at once and desperately need community. Verdad and so many kids like her need mental health support they are not getting.
Nov 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was one I tore through like a storm - and that's also what this book was, a storm of beauty, love, and finding oneself. I love this book and the representation of both LGBTQ+, non-binary/genderqueer, and POC people (I know, I just said "people of colour people, but I didn't know how else to word it. Forgive the redundancy.).
I'd recommend this book to anyone who is hurting (and queer).
(or even a straight person, really, because DANG this is a good book!!!!)
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NoNieqa Ramos 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 THE TRUTH IS as a Bustle Book Club selection, and called it “a gorgeous nove ...more

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