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Month in review

Reviews
Azalea, Unschooled by Liza Kleinman
Because of the Sun by Jenny Torres Sanchez
Birds Art Life: A Year of Observation by Kyo Maclear
Bisbee, Arizona, Then And Now by Boyd Nicholl
Blood and Circuses by Kerry Greenwood
Born with Teeth by Kate Mulgrew
The Bubble Wrap Boy by Phil Earle
CatStronauts: Mission Moon by Drew Brockington
CatStronauts: Race to Mars by Drew Brockington
Drunk Tank Pink by Adam Alter
The End of Mr. Y by Scarlett Thomas
Finding Fortune by Delia Ray
Glimmerglass by Jenna Black
The Great Shelby Holmes by Elizabeth Eulberg
The Green Mill Murder by Kerry Greenwood
Head, Body, Legs: A Story from Liberia by Won-Ldy Paye
Hello, My Name is Octicorn by Kevin Diller
Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride
The Honest Truth by Dan Gemeinhart
How the States Got Their Shapes by Mark Stein
In the Footsteps of Crazy Horse by Joseph M. Marshall III
"It's a Good Life" by Jerome Bixby
Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile by Bernard Waber
Pantomime by Laura Lam
Pippi Moves In by Astrid Lindgren
Road Trip by Gary Paulsen and Jim Paulsen
Stef Soto, Taco Queen by Jennifer Torres
The 39-Story Treehouse by Andy Griffiths
The Unforgotten Coat by Frank Cottrell Boyce
The Upper Mississippi: A Wilderness Saga by Walter Havighurst
Weetzie Bat by Francesca Lia Block

Miscellaneous
Crossing the Cornfield
January inclusivity reading and shortening the gap in reviewing
On reading your own books and moving

Previous month

Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2017 February - January 2017-8



The Honest Truth: 01/04/17

The Honest Truth by Dan Gemeinhart

The Honest Truth by Dan Gemeinhart is about a boy in a losing fight with cancer and decided he'd rather climb Mt. Rainier with his dog. So he buys a ticket on Amtrak and back tracks from Seattle to mountain. Along the way he gets beat up and has all sorts of other bad things happen to him but he continues on.

The book has numerous positive reviews but from the very first chapter it just didn't work for me. First and foremost given how close the boy is to the mountain he wants to climb I find it extraordinary that he'd take a train so far out of his way. There are municipal buses that share overlapping routes that would have been cheaper and probably something he'd be more familiar with.

Then there are the bullies popping out of nowhere. Because of course kids instantly know when a kid from somewhere else is coming into their territory. Of course they are compelled to beat up all strangers. They are reacting to a need of the plot, not by any actual observed teen behavior.

Then there's the mountain itself. Although the thing is MASSIVE it's not as abandoned as it's portrayed. I doubt he'd get as far up the mountain as he did by himself. And yet, when things are finally dire enough that he literally needs rescuing, his dog is able to run back down the mountain to get help in time! Remember how I said Mt. Rainier is MASSIVE? Again, this is a plot driven convenience.

The Honest Truth reads like a late 1970s, early 1980s After School Special. If you like that sort of story you will like the book. If you want something with a little more realism, read something else.

Two stars

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