True Letters From a Fictional Life by Kenneth Logan
Publication Date: June 7, 2016 by HarperTeen
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
[Special thanks to the publisher for the review copy!]
If you asked anyone in his small Vermont town, they’d tell you the facts: James Liddell, star athlete, decent student and sort-of boyfriend to cute, peppy Theresa, is a happy, funny, carefree guy.
But whenever James sits down at his desk to write, he tells a different story. As he fills his drawers with letters to the people in his world–letters he never intends to send–he spills the truth: he’s trying hard, but he just isn’t into Theresa. It’s a boy who lingers in his thoughts.
He feels trapped by his parents, his teammates, and the lies they’ve helped him tell, and he has no idea how to escape. Is he destined to live a life of fiction?
The first chapters were not what I expected. I found myself reading for the sake of finishing the first quarter of the book, and that’s not a good sign. I was actually afraid of DNF-ing this book. But something bad happened in the book, and it caught my attention, raising the tension, making me want to read more and give the book a chance.
There was a letter I didn’t like because I felt uncomfortable reading it. I continued reading because of the action. I kept guessing who sent the letters. The succeeding events influenced my choices and changed them. I was surprised to find out who really sent the letters. The chapters towards the end made up for the early chapters of the story.
I believe this book screams acceptance. James wrote the letters because he’s living a life demanded by the people in his life. He’s expected to be this son, this boyfriend, this person that he isn’t. He wanted to be accepted by the people he loves, but he’s scared to tell them the truth so he wrote the letters.
However, when the letters got sent, that’s when we see who his real friends are. I especially admire one character for being open-minded. Understanding of the situation is vital when it comes to acceptance.
True Letters From a Fictional Life is a book for those hiding behind a mask. For those living a fictional life. We’re living in a real world, and the mask you’re wearing is imperfect. The real you will show but there are people out there who will love you no matter what. Turning written letters to spoken word takes a lot of courage, but here’s to hoping that mask comes off soon. 🙂
Initial Rating: 3.625/5
Final Rating: 3.56/5