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Everything I Knew to be True

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  54 ratings  ·  24 reviews

How do you accept love when everything around you is falling apart? 

It was never easy for Cassie and her mother, struggling to make ends meet in their tiny apartment in the Bronx, but they had each other and that was enough. When her mother dies suddenly from cancer, Cassie is forced to finish high school in California with a wealthy friend of her mother's.

Living with

Kindle Edition
Published May 12th 2019 by Toad Tree Press
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Average rating 4.02  · 
Rating details
 ·  54 ratings  ·  24 reviews

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PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
T.H. Hernandez
EVERYTHING I KNEW TO BE TRUE is a powerful story about finding your inner strength even when everything around you seems to be falling apart. When Cassie’s mom dies of cancer, she moves from New York, the only home she knows, to the west coast to live with a family she barely remembers, a family that is not her own. Barely scraping by in New York, Cassie’s new life in Northern California couldn’t be more different, from the large sprawling homes to the intact nuclear family she comes to live wit ...more
Anne (The Reading Life)
I received a free copy for an honest review.

I really do love the book's concept. When I first read the synopsis, I was so excited because it seems to include so many of my personal favorite tropes (hate-love, starting a new life, etc). But I am quite disappointed with the results because there were several things in the book that ruined the reading experience for me. However, I would not give it a 1/5 because despite me not enjoying the book, since the writing was still acceptable and I apprecia
Jun 30, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2019
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Seventeen-year-old Cassie is forced to leave her home, her city, and school after her mother’s death and live with a family friend in California. The trauma of leaving everything behind is too much to bear, but when shocking secrets from her mother’s past surface, they bring chaos in Cassie’s life. Struggling to make sense of the things, Cassie can’t help but fall in love with her childhood friend.

York puts a quirky spin on the familiar story of a teenager’s struggles to fit in and the feelings
Laura L
May 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book was a great read, filled with endearing characters and some you would like to hate. My daughter suggested that I read it because she loved it so much. It has everything to draw you into the unfolding life of a young teenager who has to cope with the death of her mother and live with strangers. Cassie discovers that the mother she knew and loved had a secret past that brought up mixed emotions and feelings of betrayal. The twists and turns of unexpected circumstances, kept me interested ...more
Alexandra Simones
Jan 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant debut novel. The plot is great, cool characters that are relatable to both, teenagers and parents. The story was realistic and had a great love story with enough twist and turns to keep it suspenseful right to the end. A refreshing read which I devoured within two sittings. I look forward to seeing more work of this author in future.
Indie Book Reviews
Mar 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Cassie’s teenage world is turned upside down when her mother dies, entrusting her care to old friends from California whom Cassie has no memory of. The affluent and comfortable lifestyle of her new family is in stark contrast to the financial difficulties she has experienced for as long as she can remember, having spent her childhood sharing a tiny New York apartment with her mother and working at an Italian restaurant to help make ends meet.

Her new guardians are very supportive, and she is als
Aug 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Have you ever read a book and it just clicked? This is one of those books. The characters, the plot line, and the theme are written so superbly.

"No one at school will say anything against him—fear of retribution and all. No one wants to be on the wrong side of popular."

Cassie’s life changed in an instant from losing her mother to cancer, to moving across the country living with strangers and completing her last year of high school at a new school. But that isn’t all, a boy she trusts attacks her
Dr. Leanna Floyd
Feb 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Everything I Knew to be True is a compelling and thrilling story about a girl who has to overcome the death of her mother and her new life with people she doesn’t know. More specifically, the main character, Cassie, is a well developed and complex character that has to put the pieces of her life back together as she tries to fit in and adjust to the new life she’s thrown into. There are unexpected twists and turns throughout the story that will have the reader trying to figure out what Cassie wi ...more
gwendalyn _books_
Aug 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Rayna York, tackles the difficult subjects of death, alcoholism, and teen sexual abuse with effectiveness and polished skill. I highly recommend this excellent book for young adults and parents! One of my top picks for 2019.

After losing her mother, Cassie is forced to leave the only life she's ever known and travel across the country to live with her mother's close friend, a women Cassie only recently met. It doesn't take long for Cassie to realize she didn't really know her mom like she thought
Dawn Steenken korzekwa
Apr 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
It's totally a 4.5

Wow, for a first novel this is a terrific book!! It had me sucked in right away and I couldn't put it down. The pages just flew by in no time at all. It hit on some very real, very difficult situations without being too detailed or grotesque. And it also taught quite a lesson about these situations and how to handle them. It says it's a YA book, but really I think anyone YA and above will enjoy it. I'm 40 and highly enjoyed it. This book left me wanting so much more too!! I wou
Brooke Lundgren
Aug 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I truly loved this book, I was unable to put it down for one second - so much so that I finished it all in one day! One thing I loved about it was how unique each character in this book was, the author writes in such a way that automatically invests you in the story from start to finish. I really liked how you had to pay attention while reading, as sometimes it would pick up in a new place. As someone who reads fast and often skims, this allowed me to take my time and make sure I got every word. ...more
Harper Cole
Mar 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is vivid YA fiction, faithfully exploring both light and dark episodes in the life of Cassie, the main character. The author skilfully weaves together disparate themes such as first love and friendship on the one hand and bereavement and abuse on the other.

Both characters and setting are clearly established, with the two leads being three-dimensional, and realistic - they're good people, but capable of messing up.

Excellent work!
Mary Ann
Mar 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book checks all the boxes: upbeat and humorous while tackling serious themes; engaging page-turner; believable love story that tactfully depicts hormonally-charged teenage love without engaging in cringe-inducing descriptions; at least one unexpected plot twist just when I needed it; and smart, well-defined characters that come alive, thanks to the author's gift for dialogue and scene building. I would highly recommend this book to older teens and parents of older teens.
Feb 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Fast-paced, intense YA debut novel that engages with difficult issues.

After the death of her mother, Cassie leaves the Bronx to move in with her mother’s friend in Southern California and starts learning the truth about her parents When Cassie experiences a crisis, she finds out who her friends are and what she must do to find her strength.
Jul 10, 2020 rated it liked it
Rayna York’s debut indie novel has a lot of promise. Teen drama and angst, romantic tension and navigating complicated relationships. Cassie’s journey to understand the past her mother kept from her which includes a father she never knew amidst the dangers of an unhinged classmate make this story a twisty path.

There are story issues I would love to have seen tightened (Cassie’s motivation isn’t ever very clear, and parts of the storyline, at times, feels extraneous because of that missing drive
Aug 10, 2019 rated it liked it
This is a heavier, emotional contemporary that I think is great for YA readers. 

We are thrown into a tragic situation when the main character's mother passes causing her to move with a strange, family friend. But when her mother's secret past comes to light, everything she thought she knew is thrown into the air. 

I think this is a great story that encompasses grief, discovery, and a bit of romance. The writing is engaging and will tug at your emotions throughout the book. 

I gave this one 3 out o
Ali Macquisten
Jul 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Everything I Knew To Be True was a great read! Rayna York did an excellent job writing about intense topics such as love, loss, and sexual abuse. I felt connected to the characters, and I finished the book wishing for a sequel! Once I started reading this book, I couldn’t stop. I am looking forward to reading more novels from Rayna York.
Oct 14, 2019 added it
Shelves: dnf
Apr 27, 2020 rated it did not like it
An attempt to tackle so many huge issues and failing miserably.
Lelia Taylor
Aug 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: full-reviews
Being a teenager is hard enough but how much worse must it be when you've lost your mom, the only parent you had, and then get shipped off to people you don't know in a place that's so different from your home? Cassie is---was---a normal teen but now she doesn't even understand what "normal" is.

I had so much sympathy for this young girl who is faced with more upheaval than anyone can take gracefully and then even more is piled on when Cassie learns about secrets in her mom's past that affect her
Oct 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Everything I Knew to be True" was a captivating novel that perfectly portrayed the challenges of navigating through some very tough times.

Between the death of Cassie’s mother, moving to a new city with people she didn’t know, the difficulties of going to a new school and the topic of teen sexual abuse, Rayna York was able to keep the story a perfect mix of light-heartedness and intensity.

I was quickly entranced by the book with Rayna York’s skill of describing the characters in a way that was
Connor Clouston
Jul 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
While typically reading non-fiction books, I thoroughly enjoyed the character development and enticing storyline that consistently had me turning pages until the very end. Would highly recommend to all young adults and anyone beyond!
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Jun 11, 2019
Sara Sanchez
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Jun 29, 2020
Keti Kvaratskhelia
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Sep 09, 2019
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Jun 21, 2020
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Rayna York grew up with hippie parents that liked to adventure. Where change was the norm, books were her constant—a way to escape. As an adult, many careers came and went, but writing has always been her passion. Everything I knew to be true is her first published novel.

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