Three Things I Know Are True by Betty Culley

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*The book discussed in this blog post has been gifted by the publisher.

I was lucky enough to receive a copy of Three Things I Know Are True from Harper Teen a little while ago, and although this book isn’t out until January, i thought i’d get my thoughts out now and make ya’ll excited to read it!

Three Things I Know Are True is Betty’s debut novel, written in verse. It’s a story of a young boy who accidentally shoots himself with his best friends fathers gun, making him unable to move, speak or do anything for himself. He spends his life hooked up to machines in bed. The story follows this family as they fight for money to keep him alive happily for the rest of his life.

I wasn’t really expecting much going in to this, i don’t usually pick up debut books due to the fact i like to see what everyone else thinks before jumping in, but something intrigued me. I don’t know if it was the premise, the fact it was verse or something else but i couldn’t wait to have this in my hands. An absolutely stunning story it turned out to be.

The character of Jonah, who is shot, isn’t huge due to him being non-vocal, however you get a really good sense of who he used to be and what kind of teenager he would have become. It’s hard to write characters who cannot speak for themselves almost i’ve found and this was done perfectly. I also feel like the part of his sister, Liv was written incredibly realistically. She was not in denial, but very quiet about her brothers illness, and very matter of fact, it was quite refreshing and probably about correct for how a teenager would deal with such a disaster on their family.

I really enjoyed the writing of this book too. The verse was really good and quite impressive. I love verse novels anyway, but sometimes i need one to suck me in so i don’t feel like i’m reading, i’m exploring the characters, and that’s what i felt like with this. For a debut i thought it was absolutely stunning and i cannot wait to see what else Betty comes out with.

It’s a very interesting thing to discuss such big and heavy topics with teenagers, but i think it was done incredibly sensitively and didn’t hold back on any information. It didn’t hold the stigma of teenagers being unable to understand or handle any bad news or situations, i think it shows in the authors writing how much respect she has for teenagers, especially ones going through things like this.

I wouldn’t say this is my favourite verse book i’ve ever read, i wouldn’t say it’s something i’d constantly re-read, however i really enjoyed the reading experience and found it to be something that has definitely stuck with me since i finished it.

rating

3 and a half

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