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Three Things I Know Are True

4.35  ·  Rating details ·  119 ratings  ·  56 reviews
This moving debut novel in verse about a teenage girl dealing with the aftermath of an accident that nearly takes her brother’s life is a stunning exploration of grief and the power of forgiveness.

The reminder is always there—a dent on the right side of Jonah’s forehead. The spot you’d press when you felt a headache coming on. The bullet tore away bone, the way dynamite
Hardcover, 480 pages
Published January 7th 2020 by HarperTeen
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Average rating 4.35  · 
Rating details
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Jenny Chou
Aug 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Three Things I know Are True by Betty Culley (HarperTeen, January 7, 2020, $17.99, 9780062908025)

I’m always dazzled by writers who can tell a story through verse, with each word fitted like the exact right puzzle piece into a landscape that is both sparse and complex at the same time. At the center of Three Things I know Are True, Liv struggles emotionally while her daredevil brother Jonah struggles physically with the new reality of his traumatic brain injury. Liv’s bond with her brother allows
This book is a truly stunning debut. Yes, it's a story about gun violence, but it isn't only a battle cry for reform. At the heart of it, it's a novel about the resiliency of siblings and the necessity of finding someone who understands what you're going through. This is a must-read story that will warm your heart and break it at the same time.
Blodeuedd Finland
Jan 15, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Yes, I do admit I like YA sadlit. It always feel so real and tragic.

Liv's brother shot himself by mistake, her mother is suing the family. And Liv is doing her best to stay afloat.

The mother seemed to have given up on her son at times, she was so focused on revenge, that she forgot about her son. But at the same time I get it, she was angry, and tired.

Liv helped take care of her brother (helped his nurses that is). And poor Jonah, what kind of life is that? The only thing he could do was open
Liza Wiemer
Nov 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc
I received an ARC through my local indie bookstore.

Goofing off. That's what Liv's brother was doing when he picked up a gun, held it up to his temple and pulled the trigger. Author Betty Culley takes a painful, tragic, heartbreaking situation and brings it to the reader in an eloquent, lyrical, and touching story. Using free verse poetry, Betty shares the journey that Liv and her family go through after her older brother Jonah makes a tragic mistake in judgment.
So many things left me in awe of
Katie (Kitkatscanread)
Oh my goodness!
What a beautiful story told in verse.
I was laughing, smiling, angry, sad and tearful.
It broke me and was so bittersweet at times.
This was amazing.
Definitely preorder this now!
Jun 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Liv is the kind of quirky and compelling character that will stay with the reader long after the book is closed. She is my favorite young female protagonist since Scout Finch! Like all good books, I was hooked from the first page and when I emerged hours later I was completely wrung out, full of heartbreak and hope, entering the world haunted by the experience. An excellent and well-crafted story!
Sep 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
Beautiful, haunting, heartbreaking. A novel in verse I know I won’t soon forget.
Kailyn Bettle
Dec 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Three Things I Know are True is a beautiful exploration of the impacts a tragic event has on everyone involved.

Liv’s life was completely changed the day her brother, Jonah, accidentally shot himself. It happened at his best friend Clay’s house with Clay’s father’s gun. After the accident, Liv’s mother blames Clay’s father and forces Clay and Liv apart in the process. Her mother’s grief also forces Liv to take on a tremendous amount of responsibility in caring for Jonah. While doing so, Liv
Alex Richards
Jan 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book consumed me from the first page to the last. My heart broke for Liv, the main character, and everything that she and the characters around her have endured. Culley's writing is exquisite and achingly beautiful; her story is told so quietly, so carefully, and so profoundly. As a novel-in-verse, it is a fairly quick read, but one that I will never ever forget. I still find myself thinking about it. About the small details of the friendship between Liv and Clay. About the pain and angst ...more
Gillian French
Dec 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
-bursting with compassion.
-driven by sheer narrative flow.
-shattering in the best possible way.
I tore through this arc in just a few days, and not because the subject matter is fluffy or easy; quite the opposite. Sophomore Liv's life has been ripped out at the roots by the tragic accidental shooting of her brother, Jonah, the risk taker of the family. Now, Jonah is wheelchair bound, reliant on machines and nurses to keep him alive; Liv is one hundred percent
Melissa (honeybee.reads)
First off I want to thank #partner @hccfrenzy, @harpercollinsca & @bettyculley for my advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

Let me start by telling you this book is written in verse, so if you're not a fan of that writing style this book may not be for you. I truly enjoyed this heartfelt emotional ride.

Culley really has a talent in creating such a beautiful story only in verses. Oddly enough the characters were so believable, relatable and easy to love. The story is very touching,
Parker Jensen
Dec 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
And I wonder if this is how
a heart sounds
when it’s full.

Oh boy. This was just fantastic. It was beautifully crafted! Such great writing, plotting, and characters! Betty Culley is an author to watch! I’m so sad this is her debut and I can’t go and devour a hundred more books by her.
Sep 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I got to read an ARC of this lovely book, and I feel so lucky to have seen it early. This book is moving and heartbreaking and so, so beautiful. I’m going to keep an eye out for more novels in verse.
Megan White
Dec 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am so grateful to have received an arc of Three Things I know are True by Betty Culley. Thank you @harpercollinsca and @bettyculley.

This book was so so sweet. I loved how it was written in prose. It flowed so naturally. I’ve learned that this style of writing really works for me. I felt more emotion where it needed to be.

This made me cry, laugh, angry and feel all the things in between.

I loved Jonah. I don’t know who possibly couldn’t.

There was nothing simple about this book, it was full of
Danny Noll
Nov 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Incredible book! I highly recommend. Betty Culley is a powerful writer and great storyteller.
Vickie Limberger
I loved reading Three Things I Know Are True. I loved the story in verse. It flows so easily it can be read in one sitting. A very moving and emotional story centered around a family that has experienced a tragedy. Liv, the main character, has powerful relationships with the other characters in the book, including one she feels she shouldn't but really wants to. While reading this story I laughed, cried, got angry, and cried again. This is a story of family, friendship, and community. There is ...more
Brenna Clark
Jul 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thank you so much to Edelwiess for this ARC! I think I've mentioned this in a review before but it couldn't hurt repeating; I absolutely love novels written in verse. There's just something about the medium that feels so incredibly personal and emotional, and I find it so direct and to the point because you don't have to wade through a lot of extra words to get to the heart of the thing. That's all this novel is; heart. We see the world through Liv's eyes as she attempts to adjust to life after ...more
Melanie Ellsworth
I love Betty's writing, her beautiful metaphors, quiet tone, and the way the verse flows. Her characters feel like people I'd want to have as friends, and their relationships with each other feel authentic. The verse format softens the traumatic subject matter and makes this very readable. It's an extremely compelling read about an incredibly important topic.
Jul 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was lucky enough to have read an early version of Betty Culley's, THREE THINGS I KNOW ARE TRUE. As a reader who is fairly new to novels-in-verse, this book really made me a believer in the format. The plot, pace and character arcs, move like the ebb and flow of a river—sometimes the words swish by in subtle ways, sometimes they rush and knock you over, until your heart is overflowing with emotions. The main character Liv, is well rounded and believable. She's a fierce protector, and oftentimes ...more
Nov 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really and truly loved this book with all my soul.

Wonderful novel-in-verse about a girl living in the aftermath of her brother's horrific accident. Culley did a wonderful job creating characters I will forever remember.

Note: this book made me sob on an airplane.
Sep 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow. This book has me so emotional. Liv is such a beautiful soul. Her love for her brother is so massive. Jonah’s state after the accidental gunshot that leaves him incapacitated is heartbreaking. The sweet, quiet relationship that blooms between Liv and the neighbor Clay who was present at the shooting is breathtaking. Liv’s friendships - with the nurses, with the homeschooled boy Hunter, with the girls at school - are so poignant and real. And the way that Culley undercuts all of it with the ...more
I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher through Edelweiss. All opinions expressed are my own.

Novels in verse are quickly becoming a new obsession. Liv is one of the loveliest characters I have read recently. I don't know if it was her compassion or her quirkiness that I loved most. It doesn't matter, she will be remembered.
I look forward to sharing this title with my students.
Sep 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Three Things I Know are True by Betty Culley is compelling and beautifully written. This first book I have read in verse distilled the ideas, descriptions and stories down to only the essential. It is readable- a page turner- with no extra words. The topic is timely and it tackles gun violence with compassion. I couldn’t put it down.
Rachel Ann
Jun 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the most beautifully-written book.
Courtney Lavallee
Dec 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs, owned
Thank you, Harpercollins for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own.

I normally don't read poetry or books written in verse. I have dabbled slightly this year in poetry, so I figured this book might also be a good place to dip my toes into the genre.

In this book, we follow Liv whose older brother accidentally shot himself while hanging out with his best friend. This book shows how there are two sides to every conflict, as well as how problems can
Nov 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review and more can be found on The Book Bratz.

I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review, as we have decided to start reaching out to 2020 authors and planning our interviews. So when I heard about Betty Culley's book, I knew that it was going to be something really hard-hitting and incredible, so I immediately reached out and knew I wanted to work with her. Before we conducted the interview, though, I wanted to give the book a read and get to know her project a little
Eric Boulton-Bailey
I loved this story. I was completely absorbed in the world as viewed by Liv. Her paradigm was brilliant, quirky, sad, profound, willfully self-deluded, and hilarious. Experiencing these events with her was profound. I laughed out loud several times and was brought to tears (happy and sad) a couple of times. The writing style was as engrossing as the story itself. If you’re looking for something simple and amazing to read do yourself a favor and open this book.
Renee Doucette
Oct 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019-reading
I received an ARC of this book. It's a moving story about Jonah, Liv, and Clay in the aftermath of a tragic accident. The story gained momentum and kept me hooked. For a novel in verse, I didn't find it particularly poetic. The characters and plot made up for it. I imagine young readers in Maine will enjoy the complexity of the issues presented in the text.
Dec 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ava Moon
Dec 25, 2019 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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