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The Truth Is

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  493 ratings  ·  100 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 3.80  · 
Rating details
 ·  493 ratings  ·  100 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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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 cant 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 todays teenagers are dealing with. This ...more
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.
Laura Tenfingers
Nov 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, contemporary
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
The writing here was very well done and I found it funny. Because its 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, its rare you find a book with so much openness and diversity explored. It captures the essence of being fifteen and trying to grow
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 insightsand there are plentycome 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
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
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.
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
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
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.
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!
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. ...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.
Jul 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, 2019
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.
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!
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
kailey 💫
dnf @ 31%

i tried really hard to get into this book because i love the representation in it but i just couldnt.

the writing style was way too choppy for my liking and i just had zero interest in continuing further with the story.
Aug 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Thank you NoNieqa for depicting the realities of internalized homophobia/queerphobia. Lots of queer folks spend years questioning and exploring themselves and there is no dramatic moment of coming out. I also appreciate the depiction of LGBTQ+ homelessness, which is sadly common. Verdad is not born woke, as none of us are, and I saw familiar internal struggles in her journey.
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 cant 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. Ramoss writing is raw and beautiful, and occasionally confusing, but thats ok, because so are the things in Verdads head. I will definitely be recommending this book to others and checking out the
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.
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!
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 didnt really work for me and made it hard for me to connect to what is an important story to tell. I appreciated the author
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
lori light
Oct 24, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I dont have the bandwidth for anything but precious YA novels right now. Loved this.

The last paragraph was the sweetest.
Oct 14, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Important topics and character development in the book that is very relevant to our times, but the whole thing felt very rushed. And certain things were just so clearly ripped from the headlines that they felt boring and unoriginal and honestly made me cringe. The timeline was also pretty obnoxious. Choppy and manic were descriptions I read in other reviews that I feel fit it well. She was trying to invoke the feeling of the main character Verdad, but it fell short. Waaaaayyyyy too much happens ...more
Sep 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was very touching, and brings to light some of the problems our society is battling against from an unexpected viewpoint. I would recommend this to any young adult who is or has friends struggling for acceptance of their gender or race.
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NoNieqa Ramos is an educator, literary activist, and writer of intense literature. She wrote the THE DISTURBED GIRLS 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 ...more

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