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Dare Truth or Promise

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  4,515 ratings  ·  153 reviews
When Louie and Willa first meet, they don't know their lives will soon be changed forever. Self-assured Louie is gearing up for another successful year in high school, starring in a production of Twelfth Night and running the Comedy Club. Kicked out of her last school and still stinging from a past relationship, Willa wants only to get through her final year at school quie ...more
Paperback, 170 pages
Published March 2nd 2009 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 1997)
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3.81  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,515 ratings  ·  153 reviews

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Sep 01, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
DNF! I just could not get into this story at all -- even tried up to chapter 3 but gave up. It's a lot of back & forth between each character which i find the content of these conversations were a bit boring -- misleading blurb!
Apr 27, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: glbt, romance, young-adult
I tossed with liking and disliking this book...The story from the outset was going to follow a 'predictable' kinda romance except it followed two girls..Maybe if I was younger I would of enjoyed the story a bit more BUT I did manage to read it all in a night (so you can take whatever you want from found the characters weren't that fleshed out..Like we knew who Willa and Louie were...They attended the same school, worked at the same place...One had an accepting family and one didn' ...more
Aug 27, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of YA and queer fiction
"'I'm in love with that girl,' she said out loud in amazement, because she knew that this was a life-changing thing and life-changing things should be said aloud, should have a moment in time, and a place in the air, some molecular structure to make them real. I'm in love with that girl, she heard as it reverberated inside her head. And it was a truth, she realized, as things are which you don't think, but discover have always existed."
Not really my sort of book - but recommended and I'm glad I read it - 40 years too late probably but who am I to argue. Realistic and worth it as I'd guess it was a difficult book to write. Thank you.
I read New Zealand author Paula Boock’s young adult lesbian novel Dare Truth or Promise (1997) in one day, practically in one sitting. I have a soft spot for queer YA anyway, but I really loved this book for its sweet, simple style. Boock writes in a very straight-forward, deceptively plain way that is reminiscent of New Zealanders themselves, at least what I learned about them when I was there for four months a few years ago. In fact, I’d say this book is a lot like Kiwis and Kiwi culture: humb ...more
May 27, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who like reading YA queer lit
Recommended to Evan by: Amazon
While I was reading this, I thought why do I keep doing this to myself? First love is so exciting. Your heart is so full. Sometimes other's interference brings you down. This can happen even if you're not a gay teenager. This story centers around two girls, Willa and Louie, who fall in love. Louie's mom forbids her daughter from seeing Willa. Louie has to deal with not being honest with her family and friends about the relationship and her relationship with the church. The latter is barely touch ...more
Jun 14, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: see above
This is another somewhat sad story with a happy ending. Louie (Louisa) and Willa meet each other at work, and later in school, and there is instant chemistry. Unfortunately Willa just ended a relationship with Cathy, a girl who despite her feelings for Willa could not find enough courage to come out. Not that Willa is 'out' herself, she just knows what she wants, and she's not afraid to say it if someone asks. These two girls begin to fall in love but Louie's mother isn't accepting and tries to ...more
Jul 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Parents and Young Adults from 6th grade and up.
Recommended to Darlene by: I can't remember
I wish every parent and every teen could read this and talk about it with love. God is Love. Bigotry and hatred is not of God. Love is Love. If you are going to thump Leviticus remember all the rules must be followed and not just those that support your own biases.

This is the story of two high school girls in Australia who happen to find themselves in love. They are both responsible girls wanting to do what is right and still unsure, especially when parents and society seem to condemn them at ev
Apr 26, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The style of writing did not appeal to me at all. I felt like I was reading a book report, something not "personalized" enough.

Parts of the story were confusing, whereas some lacked intensity. So girl meets girl, in a matter of pages, they're missing each other and proclaiming in love...Frankly, the author didn't give them enough time to get to that point.
Perhaps if the book had been longer than 100-some pages, I'd have read something truly profound and substantial. Instead, I got a lot of jump
Aug 14, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: o, q, fa
Pretty well written with likable characters. I kinda wish they could really stand against bigots for their belief for once or go underground for a while instead of throwing blames and being "saved" by some authority figures, but probably that hope is too unrealistic. Kind of remind me of those Chinese YA stuff I read in middle school (full of teenage angst and "forbidden love" - though in this book the school and general public is much more supportive).
Haylee C
May 23, 2012 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
The book Dare, Truth or Promise by Paula Boock is about two girls that love each other and everyone else trying to keep them apart. Willa is a new girl that just moved to town and she has a past with another girl that didn't end so good. The there is Louie who is just a girl who loves acting and her friends and family. When they meet they know that they want to be together. They love being together and they love each other so much. Louie's mom is not okay with they whole thing so they try to hid ...more
Oct 24, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Dare Truth or Promise bordered on boring. There just wasn't enough to make this book stand out for me. In fact, it fell prey to some of the typical romance stories that are in abundance.

One, the two main characters meet and practically fall in love with one another right off the bat. I, for one, enjoy a romance that blossoms from friendship. Instalove just doesn't cut it for me. Two, Willa and Louie don't have a whole lot of personality. In fact, none of the characters in the story have a whole
Mar 26, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, gblt
So I hated this book.

It was one of those books where I kept throwing it down in disgust and walking away from it. I considered not finishing it, but decided that while I hated it, it wasn't so poorly written as to be unreadable.

Which is not to say it was written well.

Maybe it's a New Zealand thing, but right from the start of the book, like the first page, there were passages where I couldn't tell who the author was talking about.

The first sentence of the novel was something like "Willa first
Ginny Swanson
Nov 26, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It was an excellent read, because it could really teach some people not to be so hasty to judge homosexuals. Love is the same even for them. the way it is for a man and women, it's the same with a man and man, or a women and a women. They fall in love the same way we do. So why do we judge? I don't , never did and this book just helped make that belief stronger that even two girls can love each other. No, I'm not a lesbian. i have a boyfriend and i love him very much, almost as much as Louie lov ...more
Mar 31, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's more of a 3.4 stars.
I was originally not interested to read this book until I noticed it was set in New Zealand and the writer was from New Zealand and I honestly have never really come across New Zealand YA. So I read it and it's pretty short and quick. The characters are okay, nothing special. They spark up a few times here and there. I do feel bad for the character of Willa as I think everyone except maybe her mom takes advantage of her and emotionally manipulate her. The book is from 19
Feb 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
After a bit of a struggle with the beginning, I ended up totally adoring this one. I've been looking desperately for f/f YA that has both cuteness and hotness and so far this is probably the one that most closely fits the bill. (I mean, not that it's particularly graphic or anything, but a subgenre that is supertame on that front, a couple of things pleasantly surprised me in this one.) The book is as old as its current audience, but it holds up pretty impressively well. The first pleasant surpr ...more
ah, i'm abandoning this, not because it's not a worthy, sweet, nicely written lesbian right-of-passage YA novel, but because one can read only so many girl-loves-girl, parents-persecute-loving-girls, girls-turn-out-battered-but-okay stories. or at least i can. this is better written and better developed that Keeping you a secret, but the story is basically the same. i never much went for romance.
Kiriaki Sandy
Nov 03, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgtb
I really liked the book in general. Never having read a book about such a theme before, I was intrigued and had high expectations that it didn't fail to meet.
The book was a little too fast-paced, though. Like a movie, it didn't spend nearly enough time on the characters or the events, and I'd have liked it to be longer.

And even with a rating of 4 stars(well, it's actually 4.5), this book is undoubtedly on my top five.
Louie (for Louisa) is a high schooler working at Burger Giant. New girl Willa starts working there, too, and romantic sparks fly pretty much immediately, although both girls are a bit shy about expressing their feelings. However, familial and societal pressures pull them apart.

The reactions of both friends and families to the girls relationship seem quite accurate; it does have quite a bit of teen angst in it but guess that is pretty accurate, too.
A good teenage read. Boock manages to capture the simplicity and yet the confusing complexity of the way that teens view the world creating a both enjoyable and occasionally uncomfortable read as you follow and empathise with the characters. This book also gives a great look at family interactions and cultural expectations.
Lady Avalon
Jun 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lesbian
No matter where you are from, we all go through the angst, the confusion, and the self-acceptance path (for some with too many bumps, for others a little smoother) when you realize you are attract to someone of the same sex... IMHO, Ms Book has found a nice balance of all those feelings and the result is an entertaining YA book with likeable MCs.
Ellen Shull
Jul 25, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The characterization was a little weak at the beginning; I had trouble keeping Willa and Louie sorted out. But the further I got into the book, the more it became a page-turner. What can I say? I'm a sucker for a love story.
Diana Prince
This was cute. A quick read; only took me an hour and a half, and not the best writing. But it was a cute story, and one with a blissfully happy ending.
Victoria Melita
Jan 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are very few books I will read in a day; this book is one of them.

Dare Truth or Promise is a wonderful little book, barely even 300 pages, by Paula Boock, from New Zealand. The version of the book that I have helpfully comes with a little glossary of terms in Kiwi that I might find difficulty understanding if I weren’t from there. The story revolves around Willa and Louie, two girls who attend the same school who notice that they’re very slowly falling in love with each other.

The book foll
Feb 04, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbt
(3.5/5 actually) it felt a little rushed at times and it made me really sad but it was so cute too :((((( but overall it was a pretty nice read i loved it <3 and basically girls deserve the world we been knew
Darlene Stericker
This book was compelling. It is not fair to judge in today's social circumstances because it was written in 1997. I hope, but it is probably not the case, that parents of gay teenagers would not react as Louie's mother does.
Just a very predictable girl meets girl coming of age story. I didn’t love the characters or feel they were well-defined. Pretty important chunks of the story are told in almost a dreamy, summarizing way rather than clearly explaining action. The third act dragged on too long and went the path of extreme melodrama.
Could have been better, but could have been worse.
Dr Jespersen
I enjoyed this book more than I anticipated I might. It's from when I was a teenager. I wish I had read it then, though in all likelihood I would have wished the characters were more similar to me. I was a tough customer for a while there. Reading it now, I had an eye out for the ways it feels dated and the ways it still feels relevant. I'm impressed by how subtly Boock lets both these protagonists deal with intense feelings time without making either of them spend too much page space worrying a ...more
May 18, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gay-ya, lambda-books
I love the angst of a 1990s gay young adult book. So much pain, so many heightened conversations, so much acceptance from unlikely places. In that way, this book didn't disappoint. If this was 2006, this book would have been a 5. But I have grown since then, I have read many different gay YA books, and grading on a curve, this one was middling. Everything happened a little too quickly, I didn't feel as connected to the characters as I should have and (view spoiler) ...more
Sam Geatches
Mar 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Paula Boock began writing when she was seven. 'There was this story of four brothers who were surprisingly like my four brothers... I illustrated the book as well — the characters looked sort of like the Beatles.'

'I've always been affected by books. As the youngest in a large, boisterous family, I developed early the ability to work — write even — amidst a racket. The library — school and public —
“I’m in love with that girl,” she said out loud in amazement, because she knew that this was a life-changing thing and life-changing things should be said aloud, should have a moment in time, and a place in the air, some molecular structure to make them real. I’m in love with that girl, she heard as it reverberated inside her head. And it was truth, she realised, as things are which you don’t think, but discover have always existed.” 15 likes
“Well, Louie, you’ll know then that Leviticus also tells us not to cut our beards, not to wear linen and wool together nor to eat crayfish or frogs or snails. I’m afraid that if we adhered to Leviticus the entire French nation would be an abomination in the eyes of the Lord.” 6 likes
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