The Compulsive Reader: Nothing But the Truth (and a few white lies) by Justina Chen Headley

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Nothing But the Truth (and a few white lies) by Justina Chen Headley

Patty Ho is sick of not belonging. As a very tall half Asian, half white teen, she doesn't fit in with her mother's potluck group of Asian overachievers, and she certainly doesn't blend in at her white-washed school, where even her best friends sometimes make fun of her Asian-ness. But, the last thing Patty wants is to be the stereotypical Asian kid at math camp...not that she has any choice in the matter when her mom forces her to go, and Patty reluctantly acquiesces—anything to get away from home after a humiliating last day of school. So she's shocked when she finds that math camp is kinda fun...and there is one guy in particular that is not only hot, but mom-approved Taiwanese. Patty's newfound freedom is liberating...but will it all come crashing down thanks to her crazy, overprotective mother?

Nothing But the Truth (and a few white lies) is a hilarious and fun read that isn't afraid to delve into some of the tougher subjects, like bullying, racism, and long-buried family issues. The book is just a tad slow at first as Patty resists going to math camp, but once she gives in and goes, her story definitely picks up as many of her misconceptions are proven wrong and she finally loosens up and has fun. She hits her stride, makes new friends, and slowly begins to embrace who she is. But before long, Patty's mother bursts onto the scene and causes her to take a good, hard look at her family life and uncover secrets from the past that change her perception of herself and her mother, who has always seemed like the certifiably insane villain in the past. This is an excellent and realistic book about looking past stereotypes, finding the people who truly understand you, and seeing people in a new light. Headley's clever use of language and wordplay evens out the darker parts of the story, makes the book smart and comedic, and ultimately leads Patty to a happy new beginning. Nothing But the Truth is a fantastic, important book.

Cover Comments: I adore this cover! It's so pretty and pink, and I love the model on the cover--she's exactly as I pictured Patty. The thought bubble is cute, and I think it does an excellent job at conveying just what sort of book this is to potential readers!

Review copy purchased.

I also adored Girl Overboard (read my review here) and North of Beautiful (read my review here), both also by Justina Chen Headley.


Jessi E. said...

I was able to hear Justina Chen speak and meet her this past weekend, and she is really amazing as is the inspiration for this story... I really want to read it.

Anonymous said...

I just got this one because I loved both Girl Overboard and North of Beautiful. I hope to get time to read it soon.

Thanks for the awesome review

jayme said...

This one has been on my list ever since I read North of Beautiful (which I LOVED). Will have to read soon.

Vicky Alvear Shecter said...

I LOVED North of Beautiful so I'm excited to learn about her newest!

The Compulsive Reader said...

Vicky: This is actually Justina's first book! Her second is Girl Overboard, and then North of Beautiful is the latest. I haven't heard a peep about anything new from her yet!

Literature for Lunch said...

Umm...first of all. Completely jealous of Jessi E. who got to see Justina speak. Wow. I just love Justina Chen Headley's work but have not read this book yet!

Great review. I am going to pick this up as soon as possible.

Maggie said...

I love how the cover model looks like a real person ... sorry I've just been reading stuff about most models being ridiculously beautiful ... also sounds like a great read!

Jenny said...

Oh I didn't realize Justina Chen Headley had a new book out! I'll have to be on the look out for this book. Based on what you said it sounds like it will be a great read!

The Compulsive Reader said...

Jenny: Actually, this is the first novel she published, not a new one!