Samantha (WLABB)'s Reviews > The Size of the Truth

The Size of the Truth by Andrew  Smith
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really liked it
bookshelves: 2019, arcs, mentalhealth, contemporary, mg

When Sam was four years old, he spent three days trapped in an abandoned well. From that day forward, he promised himself, that he would never worry or disappoint his parents again. As he grew older, he found that promise harder and harder to keep, as his parents' and his idea of his future began to diverge.

I don't think anyone understands how excited I was to see that Sam was getting his own series. I met Sam in Stand-off, and was eager to read more about young Sam's life. As expected, Smith delivered a story that was odd and interesting, as well as heartwarming and thoughtful.

Smith touches upon a myriad of issues, but there were two which stood out to me - a child's need for autonomy and being true to themself. You see, Sam loves to cook, and aspires to train with great chefs and create food that makes people happy, but his parents want him to got to MIT and study science or math or BOTH. They push him in academic pursuits, pushing him two grades ahead, though he was not socially or emotionally prepared for it.

I often found myself frustrated with Sam's parents, especially his father, but some of that was Sam's own fault. He kept going along with their plans, while abandoning his own. Slowly, while remembering his time in the hole and developing an unlikely friendship with James, who he had always blamed for his accident, Sam began to assert his own desires and needs, and I was really proud of the way he handled it.

I have to say, Smith really knows how to write a great bromance. I wasn't always on board with the James and Sam friendship, because I wasn't so sure about James, but as Smith revealed more and more about him, I found myself liking him more and more, as well as empathizing with him about the box he was trapped in. Watching Sam realize that he and James are more that same than different was a big moment in the story, and from there, their friendship grew and grew. And you know what? I totally loved James by the end of this book.

The time in the hole was odd, but I expect something strange, when I read an Andrew Smith book. The purpose of flipping between Sam's time in 8th grade and his time in the hole was not obvious, but becomes clearer as the story wears on. I enjoyed those parts, but I loved the last few chapters. I think I wore a smile on my face the from the first chapter during the Blue Creek Days section all the way through the end of the book.

It was quite a treat getting to know Sam better, and I am excited to read more of this series, because it looks like he's heading to Pine Mountain Academy in the next book, and I am so ready to go back there.

*ARC provided in exchange for an honest review.

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Reading Progress

March 17, 2019 – Started Reading
March 17, 2019 – Shelved
March 18, 2019 –
page 233
85.66% "That's it! My heart just exploded."
March 18, 2019 – Finished Reading

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