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 his friend, a boy, who lingers in his thoughts.
James’s secret letters are his safe space—but his truth can’t stay hidden for long. Will he come clean to his parents, his teammates, and himself, or is he destined to live a life of fiction?
This heartfelt debut novel explores the muddy landscape of truth and lies and lays bare the sometimes painful but often hopeful work of writing one’s own authentic story.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I agree with some of the other reviewers that this book will be a good learning tool for teens, parents, and teachers. It's a great pleasure to read, too. I hope it becomes a YA classic. I love the witty letters the main character writes and never means to send. I love that the supporting characters we've come to know turn out to be truly supportive (in different, realistic ways) to the protagonist. I hope they are at least partially based on real people. (There are some exceptions, of course--sadly, that's reality, as is teenage--and young adult--drinking.) I agree with a previous reviewer that the alcohol issue is a problem, but I think the author DOES deal with it by showing negative consequences. Yeah, hooray for Kenneth Logan and his first novel. May there be many more!
True Letters is at once engaging and enlightening. On one level it is a great YA coming-out/ coming-of-age novel with a compelling plot, interesting characters, and a vivid picture of high school culture. On another level, everyone, regardless of age, can learn something from this honest yet tender story. As a high school educator, who has made my share of mistakes with LGBTAQIA students, I can honestly say that True Letters of a Fictional Life should be required reading for all teachers, parents, students, and allies. Kenneth Logan has given us something very special here because his work is changing our world for the better!
This book is a funny and tender coming of age story that was also a great mystery. Once I started reading it, I couldn't put it down! All of the characters were so real, I was able to bond with them easily. The book handled the issue of coming out so honestly, and truly shows the pain and heartache that I imagine so many young gay and lesbian people go through. This book felt very personal to me, even though I am a heterosexual, married woman. Maybe it's because so many of the characters in Logan's book are so relatable and remind me of many of my friends from my teenage years. This is a great book for people of all ages and genders to read - teenagers, parents, teachers, gay or straight. My 14 year old will be reading it as part of his summer reading this year, and my daughter will read it as soon as she is old enough.
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