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The Truth Is
Cover of The Truth Is
The Truth Is
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Named one of the best YA Latinx books of 2019 by Remezcla and HipLatina.

A Bustle Book Club Selection

A powerful exploration of love, identity, and self-worth through the eyes of a fierce, questioning Puerto Rican teen.

Fifteen-year-old Verdad doesn't think she has time for love. She's still struggling to process the recent death of her best friend, Blanca; dealing with the high expectations of her hardworking Puerto Rican mother and the absence of her remarried father; and keeping everyone at a distance. But when she meets Danny, a new guy at school—who happens to be trans—all bets are off. Verdad suddenly has to deal with her mother's disapproval of her relationship with Danny as well as her own prejudices and questions about her identity, and Danny himself, who is comfortable in his skin but keeping plenty of other secrets.

In her luminous, raw, and open-hearted exploration of identity, grief and first love, NoNieqa Ramos has created an unforgettable character in Verdad. The Truth Is offers a complex look at a brilliant, queer, neurodifferent girl, the mother who loves but doesn't understand her, and a fabulously drawn group of street kids who can't save themselves but just might save her. A brilliantly written breathtaking book. I couldn't put it down!
—Michelle Ruiz-Keil, author of All of Us with Wings

A brilliant, beautiful, moving story of ecstasy and loss and tragedy and hope, The Truth Is demands to be read. The fast-moving plot bristles with literary and classical references, but the deepest insights—and there are plenty—come from the unforgettable observations and conclusions of its main character, Verdad de la Reyna, an unforgettably brave and complicated heroine who confronts profoundly disturbing, real-world challenges with the help of friends, both present and past. Nonieqa Ramos follows up The Disturbed Girl's Dictionary with another superb novel guaranteed to break the reader's heart before trying to mend it."
—Tom Wilinsky and Jen Sternick, authors of Snowsisters

NoNieqa Ramos's un-flinching voice and writing style continues to cement her as a force to be reckoned with in the YA world.

—Mia García, author of The Resolutions

Named one of the best YA Latinx books of 2019 by Remezcla and HipLatina.

A Bustle Book Club Selection

A powerful exploration of love, identity, and self-worth through the eyes of a fierce, questioning Puerto Rican teen.

Fifteen-year-old Verdad doesn't think she has time for love. She's still struggling to process the recent death of her best friend, Blanca; dealing with the high expectations of her hardworking Puerto Rican mother and the absence of her remarried father; and keeping everyone at a distance. But when she meets Danny, a new guy at school—who happens to be trans—all bets are off. Verdad suddenly has to deal with her mother's disapproval of her relationship with Danny as well as her own prejudices and questions about her identity, and Danny himself, who is comfortable in his skin but keeping plenty of other secrets.

In her luminous, raw, and open-hearted exploration of identity, grief and first love, NoNieqa Ramos has created an unforgettable character in Verdad. The Truth Is offers a complex look at a brilliant, queer, neurodifferent girl, the mother who loves but doesn't understand her, and a fabulously drawn group of street kids who can't save themselves but just might save her. A brilliantly written breathtaking book. I couldn't put it down!
—Michelle Ruiz-Keil, author of All of Us with Wings

A brilliant, beautiful, moving story of ecstasy and loss and tragedy and hope, The Truth Is demands to be read. The fast-moving plot bristles with literary and classical references, but the deepest insights—and there are plenty—come from the unforgettable observations and conclusions of its main character, Verdad de la Reyna, an unforgettably brave and complicated heroine who confronts profoundly disturbing, real-world challenges with the help of friends, both present and past. Nonieqa Ramos follows up The Disturbed Girl's Dictionary with another superb novel guaranteed to break the reader's heart before trying to mend it."
—Tom Wilinsky and Jen Sternick, authors of Snowsisters

NoNieqa Ramos's un-flinching voice and writing style continues to cement her as a force to be reckoned with in the YA world.

—Mia García, author of The Resolutions

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Levels-
  • ATOS:
  • Lexile:
    610
  • Interest Level:
  • Text Difficulty:
    2 - 3

Recommended for you

About the Author-
  • Raised in the Boogie Down Bronx, NoNieqa Ramos is an educator and literary activist. She wrote the young adult novel The Disturbed Girl's Dictionary. She believes Halloween is a lifestyle, not a holiday. If you're in Virginia, you might catch NoNieqa getting motorcycle lessons from her soulmate Michael or going indie bookstore hopping with her preciosos Jandi and Langston. Connect with her works on www.nonieqaramos.com or on the Latinx collective www.lasmusasbooks.com.

Reviews-
  • Kirkus

    July 1, 2019
    A coming-of-age novel about coming out and overcoming. Verdad De La Reyna is having a rough time. Her best friend, Blanca, died when a white supremacist shot up a movie theater. Verdad has a scar from where a bullet hit her leg and post-traumatic symptoms like trichotillomania, but she still finds comfort in Blanca's ghostly visits. Verdad, who doesn't speak Spanish, also doesn't feel completely confident in her Boricua identity. The arrival at school of attractive white trans boy Danny makes her wonder if she's lesbian, or queer, or some other LGBTQ+ identity. Strong insightful prose, sometimes disjointed, showcases Verdad's unique voice, not shying away from her pain or her stubbornness. A lot of her growing up has to do with the question "How could you be so woke and so 'sleep at the same time?" as a queer woman of color who has to work through transphobic thoughts, anti-black racism, and other prejudices, which may help some readers in their own understanding while alienating or hurting others. A diverse cast of homeless queer youth provides a lot of catalyst for her growth, which at times verges on exploitative, but young people underserved in literature will find fully fleshed, mostly positive--though somewhat tragic--representation here. Teen banter about racism, cultural appropriation, police brutality, and transphobia showcases the complexity, brilliance, and power of young activists. Shaky at times but powerful. (Fiction. 13-18)

    COPYRIGHT(2019) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    August 1, 2019

    Gr 7 Up-Self-described Boricua Verdad, age 15, is a bundle of contradictions-sad and isolated since the murder of her best friend, Blanca, by a racist mass shooter; dryly funny when observing her classmates and family; and prone to blurting out pejorative terms just before or after lightbulb moments about the intersections of identity and privilege. In fact, Ramos has created a voice so authentic it may surprise readers used to teen characters sounding and acting like adults. The plot unfolds fast, with Verdad meeting and falling for sexy new student Danny (who is transmasculine) the same week she's involved in a poorly supervised classroom activity-turned-melee that results in the unfair expulsion of a Black classmate. Within days of realizing she may be queer, or questioning, or pansexual, Verdad leaves home, joining Danny and his culturally diverse band of friends, all queer and homeless. If this seems like a lot, it is, before even considering Verdad's burgeoning awareness of her OCD and PTSD or several sub-plots involving familial backstories. There are some well-realized and brief sex scenes, and flashbacks to the shooting are handled sensitively. Some aspects of the ending are a bit logistically neat, and not every character in the large cast feels fully realized. However, Ramos succeeds in portraying early adolescence in visceral emotional detail. VERDICT Ramos writes with intensity and poeticism in this fresh, painful, but ultimately optimistic coming-of-age novel. Notable for its up-to-the minute depiction of gender identity, sexual orientation, and race.-Miriam DesHarnais, Towson University, MD

    Copyright 2019 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    June 1, 2019
    Grades 9-12 Fifteen-year-old Verdad is done with friendships. After her best friend, Blanca, died in a mass shooting, she's decided to keep her head down and focus on school, not on making connections. But when Danny comes into her class, she can't help but notice him. As rumors swirl around his gender identity, Verdad begins to break her own rules about getting close and learns what can happen when you're true to yourself in the face of bigotry. Ramos (The Disturbed Girl's Dictionary, 2018) creates an #OwnVoices protagonist in Puerto Rican Verdad and weaves her many intense feelings together in a way that never feels forced, from Verdad dealing with PTSD after the shooting to falling in love to discovering and then defining her queer identity. Her voice, funny through the pain, carries what could have been an impossibly heavy story. A few plot points resolve a little too neatly, but it's nice to see teens who often face unending obstacles, in fiction and real life, get something close to a happy ending.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2019, American Library Association.)

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    Lerner Publishing Group
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