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True Story

Kate Reed Petty
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About This Book

Petty’s innovative, genre-busting debut opens with a vignette set in Barcelona, in which an unnamed narrator addresses another unnamed character, telling her she’s sorry for standing her up. From there, the novel rockets through metafictional sections—a script for a horror movie, a first-person narrative, a set of revisions for a college essay, and more—which initially seem disparate but are inevitably connected. In the first substantive segment, a young lacrosse player named Nick Brothers explains what happened to him and his team in 1999. Two boys on Nick's team drove a private school student named Alice Lovett home, and rumors of assault swirled, but no one ever proved what really happened. The event’s repercussions ripple out through time, as Petty explores it from various perspectives until revealing a set of shocking truths. Alice gets to tell her side, too, but in a wholly unexpected way. Themes of friendship, abuse, reality, and trauma resonate in this puzzle box of a book, and readers will be unable to put it down until they figure it out.

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.