Book Reviews · Contemporary · Fiction · Romance · Young Adult

Review: Tell Us Something True by Dana Reinhardt

Tell Us Something True by Dana Reinhardt
Published August, 2016 by Oneworld
RRP AUD $16.99

Seventeen-year-old River doesn’t know what to do with himself when Penny, the girl he adores, breaks up with him. He lives in LA, where nobody walks anywhere, and Penny was his ride; he never bothered getting a license. He’s stuck. He’s desperate. Okay . . . he’s got to learn to drive.

But first, he does the unthinkable—he starts walking. He stumbles upon a support group for teens with various addictions. He fakes his way into the meetings, and begins to connect with the other kids, especially an amazing girl. River wants to tell the truth, but he can’t stop lying, and his tangle of deception may unravel before he learns how to handle the most potent drug of all: true love.


Tell Us Something True was generally quite enjoyable, but there was nothing really outstanding about it to me. While I did enjoy Dana Reinhardt’s writing, the story itself kind of let me down. I didn’t really connect to the characters as much as in other stories, but I did enjoy the humour and wit, and was smiling to myself multiple times throughout the book.

River Dean is your average dramatic teenage boy, at the beginning I enjoyed seeing the story from his perspective, but I got a bit annoyed each time he lied. So much could have been avoided if only he owned up to the initial misunderstanding that started it all! Initially, I also was a little done with how hung up he was over Penny, but his attempts to win her back were so cringe-worthy, it was hilarious.

Generally, I’m not a big fan of the whole insta-love thing, and though the book technically didn’t have an insta-love, River definitely came very close to it. I wasn’t a big fan of how he seemed to fall in ‘love’ so quickly, I just felt that was kinda off. However, I was a fan of his relationship with his family! Especially that with his half-sister and step-father. I loved how much he cared for his half-sister, it was refreshing to see a teenage boy character be willing to spend time with his younger sibling.

I wish the supporting characters played a larger role in the story, although for quite a short book I did think it did pretty well in terms of character development, River becoming stronger and more independent. All in all, it was quite a good coming of age novel, and I will be back to read more of Dana’s works.

I received a review copy from the publisher




Dana Reinhardt lives in San Francisco and is the author of several books for YA readers. ‘I was a young adult when I fell in love with reading,’ she recalls, ‘and I can remember how books made me feel back then. How they provided both comfort and escape.’


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