Monday, March 09, 2009

Nothing But The Truth (and a few white lies)

by Justina Chen Headley

-note: I realized that I'm overusing the words "love," "like," "enjoy," "really," and "interesting" in my book reviews. So I'm going to attempt writing this review without using any of these words. (expanding my vocab...)

Patty Ho has always been teased- teased for her name, her Asian background, her mother, her bad breath (due to the stinky Tonic Soup her mother makes her drink), and basically everything having to do with her. All this changes when her authoritative mother sends her to math camp at Stanford, where her whole perspective on herself and her life changes.

Nothing But The Truth (and a few white lies) is pretty similar to North of Beautiful in terms of its overall message (learning to appreciate yourself), but the method of conveying that message was very different. After reading the first few pages, I was immediately intrigued by the story plot. Patty seemed like a honest, down-to-earth person, and I felt like I was reading her book of truths (which I was metaphorically, not but literally). Also, Patty, being a half-Asian who has to live up to her mother's high expectations and constantly be compared to others, is a highly relatable character--I could totally sympathize with her feelings all throughout the book.

In addition, I was fascinated by Patty's discovery of herself, her friends and family, and the whole world around her. Her friend Jasmine related in many ways to Jacob (from North of Beautiful) in that she challenged Patty to look beyond other people's opinions of her and embrace her inner geek and bravery. Patty's math coach Brian silently helped her by revealing her true potential and just being a good friend to count on in times of need. All of these characters were well-thought-out and developed, and they were woven neatly into the story. Overall, Nothing But the Truth was heartwarming, touching, fun...kudos to Justina for her awesome writing!

* And by the way (after much thought), I decided not to go with ratings on my reviews. My reviews kind of speak for themselves. But if you're interested in seeing my ratings, I have all of them up on Goodreads. *


Maya Ganesan said...

I need to read this. ASAP.

Vivian said...

This book was one of my favorites last year. Glad you enjoyed it!

Beth Kephart said...

You've done an admirable vocabulary expansion job!! And I've read Justina's other two books but not this one, so it's great to get your perspective.

cuileann said...

I'm in the middle of North of Beautiful and I keep thinking that I NEED to get my hands on another of her books. *scurries off to check library catalog for this one*