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One Speck of Truth

3.59  ·  Rating details ·  136 ratings  ·  38 reviews
A heartwarming and poignant story that explores the bonds of family and the importance of knowing your own history, from the critically acclaimed author of My Life with the Liars and the ALA Notable Book Forever, or a Long, Long Time

Alma has everything she needs, except answers to her questions. Her mother won’t tell her why her beloved stepfather, Adam, is suddenly gone t
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published March 5th 2019 by Quill Tree Books
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Average rating 3.59  · 
Rating details
 ·  136 ratings  ·  38 reviews

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Jun 28, 2019 rated it liked it
There's a lot that Alma's mother isn't telling her: where her father is buried. Why her stepfather left. Why Alma isn't allowed to ask questions. Why the furniture is disappearing, piece by piece, from the house. It's only days before they get on an aeroplane that Alma learns the answer to that last question: they're moving. (But her mother doesn't tell her where, or why, or for how long.) So Alma's left to figure it out: what happened to her father, and what happened with her stepfather, and ho ...more
I don't really know what to say about this book. I just genuinely didn't like it. The only thing that I enjoyed about this book was the best friend. The best friends was so nice to read about, she brought to interesting conflicts to the story without it being too contrived. Besides her the mother was despicable, the daughter was irritating and selfish, all the other characters we bland. They sometimes said things and all I could think was "you can't be this dumb". I started to enjoy it near the ...more
3.5 stars. I liked a lot about this story, but the mother was extremely frustrating and infuriating past the point of believability. Decent resolution and a small glimpse of Portugal made it more enjoyable.
Max B
Sep 18, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fiction lovers
One Speck of Truth- A Speck-ial Title Indeed

 One of my favorite books from the viewpoint of theme and character development of all time is Betty Smith’s A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. I think this book is a masterpiece that successfully understands the delicate balance between keeping the book intriguing and making it a deep story with character growth and a developed theme. So when I heard reviews of Caela Carter’s One Speck Of Truth (published by HarperCollins LLC on March 5, 2019) recommend this b
Ms. Yingling
Jan 09, 2019 rated it liked it
E ARC from Edelweiss Plus

Alma has been raised by her single mother since the death of her Portuguese father when she was young. Her mother had attended college in Lisbon, where the two met, and has steadfastly refused to answer any questions about Alma's father. She won't even say where he is buried, which has led to an obsession with finding this out. Alma's best friend Julia always sticks by her. Recently, the mother has split from Adam, her husband, who was very fond of Alma but will not tell
Aug 23, 2019 rated it liked it
Okay so like. I realise this was the entire point of the story, but why the HELL did someone not tell this child the truth much sooner? Like, sure, parents make mistakes. But there were four or five OTHER people who could have told Alma the truth. Plus, WHAT is wrong with her mom! There were obviously some significant mental health issues going on but nothing is addressed or really dealt with? I'm so unsettled by how deeply Alma internalized that asking questions made her a Bad Child and yet thi ...more
Feb 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reading One Speck of Truth was like climbing the old, narrow stairs in Lisbon; Caela Carter offered glimpses of beauty along the climb, but obscured the full truth until the end. Like Alma, I missed seeing some of the truth that should have been visible and thought I knew what had only been implied.

Alma was a compelling character with a strong motivation and the fault of short-sightedness (and not the kind that could be fixed by her big green glasses). Only later in the story did I recognize ho
Jan 15, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: middle-grade

When I started this book, after the first 30 or so pages, I was very nervous because I didn't really like any of the characters? The mother was pretty terrible, and while I can't fault Alma too much for her behavior given who her mother is + her age I wasn't really feeling connected to her either. Now, characters I can't relate with I can usually handle but the writing wasn't really adding anything to the story. It felt dull, and sometimes forced. It was disappointing since Forever, or a Long
Jun 15, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: new-in-2019
I found One Speck of Truth at the library, on the shelf for the new books. The cover looked like something I'd like, and at the time I didn't have any other books to read, so I took it out and started reading. Unfortunately, the first half of the book or so was very boring and slow-going. I lost interest in it and started reading other new books I had just gotten.
But then I was left without books again. So I decided to just keep reading.
I'm glad I did.
Once Alma and her mom get to Lisbon, it get
May 07, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Clover White
Jun 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well, if there was ever a story to hammer home the idea that “honesty is the best policy”... Very interesting story, but I find it hard to believe that the mother in the story consistently refused to answer questions, or failed to see the daughter’s need for answers. Other characters try to explain it away with the excuse that she was such a young mother, but that, in and of itself, does not make a person so wedded to secrecy. I would have needed to hear more backstory to make that a convincing ...more
Feb 10, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was filled with questions and the answers were too few or too late. Alma was a sympathetic character and I found her understandable. Her mother Mercy was off the charts unbelievable. How could you not tell a 12-year-old she is switching schools and moving out of the country before the first day of school, especially when you are farming her out to the home of her best friend most of the summer. Don't even get me started on the American grandparents. The only adult characters I liked we ...more
Jan 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I appreciated the real, flawed characters in this story. For me, it was a page-turning, tear-jerking thriller, and my heart connected with Alma as she obsessed over finding her dad. Lots of complex relationships and bumpy self-discovery that resolve in a middle grade-appropriate way when Alma learns that being vulnerable with the people you love is the way to create true familial bonds.

The only downside was I felt like the Mom’s behavior in Pittsburgh flirted with mental illness in a way that wa
Becky Shaknovich
This is the second book I’ve read by this author (My Life With the Liars was the first), and I’m starting to think I really like Caela Carter! Other reviews complain about the unlikeable mother, but that’s actually the whole point. Children with unreliable, dishonest, and otherwise bad parents are the ones who truly need comfort from a book. Ms. Carter has a talent for writing about children with parents who have let them down. Reading her books feels like a hug from the author and a reassurance ...more
Jul 02, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book is basically a copy+paste of another J book that I just read recently where the mom is a manipulative liar and the father is a deadbeat and so the protagonist (a twelve year old girl, mind you) now has to be the person to somehow 'fix' her family even though she's literally 12 and there are adults who don't have their shit together that should be doing that for her. Fast and easy read, but ridiculous. Is this the overly used J fiction trope? I hate it.
Mrs Heidrich
4.5 stars
This is about a girl going into Grade 6 that lives with her mum and was told her Dad passed away when she was very young, so she has no memories of him. It's a story of friendship, growth, truth, love and its complications on many levels, family, and figuring out who you are. I really enjoyed this one and it has more of the "grit" factor that I personally like. I also felt like there was a bit of a mystery throughout, but I won't say any more about that... a great read!
Apr 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: new-read
Cute but frustrating real-life type book for middle grade readers. About a little girl who lives with her crazy, divorced mother who is constantly lying and withholding information from her because she doesn't want her to "worry". I kept getting so mad at that very confused mom! The main character has to learn a lot and have an adventure on her own to make peace with her life. Good writing, interesting story.
Shirley Freeman
Twelve year old Alma's life has been consumed by questions - primarily about her apparently deceased father. Alma's mother and grandparents excel at prevarication and never answer her questions. Both Alma and her mother grow up a bit in this coming-of-age story about discovering family, practicing and trusting good communication, and aligning reality with expectations.
Wendy Thomas
This was probably one of the most frustrating books I have read in a long time. Nobody tells the truth and many of the adults act in very unpredictable and inconsistent ways. But the things I hated about it also made it hard to put down. I was disappointed when I learned the truth because it was a bit too convenient and the real story was uninteresting and not well developed.
Chloe Kingston
Aug 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sometimes i get really bored of books but this book made me want to keep reading it. i really suggest this book for 9 and up! for some kids it easy to compare to and for others it makes them aware of other peoples situations. I really love this book and plan to read it again!❤️Caela Carter ...more
Dec 30, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was given an advanced copy from Edelweiss for my honest review, here it is. The fact that there was not one single adult who would stand up to her mother for this poor girl's sake really made me angry.
Aug 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Carter draws the reader through a story with simple mystery as she explores the cost of distancing ourselves from the pain of the truth. This is a sweet story of acceptance and finding love where it actually is. Though it is YA, I found it relatable as an adult.
Nov 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great story about a young girl's search for the truth. Perfect for middle-school and high school girls/boys who question their identity and/or feel like the world has been lying to them their whole lives.
Judi Burns
Nov 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When children are old enough to ask a question, they are old enough for an answer.
This book was well written and parents of children with absent parents could learn from secrets kept from said children. All feelings matter.
May 09, 2020 rated it it was ok
Just eh. I didn't like any of the characters and found the plot to be choppy-- perhaps because that's how the main character experienced life, but even so, it wasn't enjoyable or very moving.
Touches on family, adoption and the long lasting impact of lies.
Apr 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: middle-grade
I enjoyed this midde-grade book about a girl's search for her father.
Apr 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I hope this book is good
Kendall Chandler
I love Caela Carter, and once again, I loved this book. It had a great story, and I just couldn't put it down.
May 12, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Eh. It was just a very eh book.
May 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019-20-sequoyah
Good book, took awhile to get into it.
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Caela Carter grew up in Basking Ridge, NJ and Baltimore, MD. She's been writing since she learned how to pick up a pen but before the writing thing got serious she spent six years teaching English to middle and high school students in Jacksonville, FL and Chicago, IL. Her debut novel, ME, HIM, THEM AND IT was published in 2013 by Bloomsbury. When she's not writing, Caela is a teacher of some aweso ...more

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