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Book Review: Three Things I Know Are True by Betty Culley

 * I am reviewing this book which I was gifted for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own. *

Title: Three Things I Know Are True 
Author: Betty Culley
Publisher: Harper360
Source: From Publisher

(Bookshop UKHiveGoodreads | Storygraph)

Book Summary:

This moving debut novel in verse about a teenage girl dealing with the aftermath of an accident that nearly takes her brother’s life is a stunning exploration of grief and the power of forgiveness.

The reminder is always there—a dent on the right side of Jonah’s forehead. The spot you’d press when you felt a headache coming on. The bullet tore away bone, the way dynamite blasts rock—leaving a soft crater.

Life changes forever for Liv when her older brother, Jonah, accidentally shoots himself with his best friend Clay’s father’s gun. Now Jonah needs round-the-clock care just to stay alive, and Liv seems to be the only person who can see that her brother is still there inside his broken body.

With Liv’s mom suing Clay’s family, there are divisions in the community that Liv knows she’s not supposed to cross. But Clay is her friend, too, and she refuses to turn away from him—just like she refuses to give up on Jonah.

Book Review:

I have been really into verse novels for the last couple of years so when I saw that Three Things I Know Are True was up for review I knew that I had to review it. Three Things I Know Are True was a great and memorable novel that is highly under-read.

While I did enjoy the book overall, I did think that for a verse novel it was a bit on the longer side which meant that I did have a period where I wasn't completely in the story. For the most part, though I did enjoy the prose and the verse which was quite lyrical and for the most part meant that I kept reading.

I also think that the book is different from other verse novels in the topics that it covers, mainly gun violence and gun control. I do think that this topic is handled well and I was surprised at the way that it was placed in the book as I had not seen this way before.

Betty Culley does not shy away from the consequences of the situation and I think that it was really complicated in the way that it was dealt with. No character in the situation is seen as completely bad and the nuance is really strong throughout. This is seen even more when the relationship between two characters develops in the story into a romance. I did enjoy this element and think that overall it was done well.

I also like the characters especially Liv as she wasn't the most likeable but I think under the circumstances in the book it makes sense. I also did enjoy this element and I think that it made the book as a whole more believable.

I did enjoy the rest of the characters even though they all complicated in their own way. Also, money and poverty are not seen widely in YA and the fact that this is an element in the book was also really important.

I do recommend that you pick up Three Things I Know Are True as it is underrated and is perfect for those who read verse novels but have read the most popular ones! 

The Verdict:

Three Things I Know Are True is a heart wrenching and heartbreaking story that tackles grief and the true power of love.  

Have you read Three Things I Know Are True? If so, what did you think? Let me know in the comments.


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