REVIEW| When the Truth Unravels

BLURB:

When the Truth Unravels follows four friends as they confront their greatest hopes and darkest secrets in one life-changing night.

Disclaimer: I received an ARC from Sky Pony Press in exchange for an honest review.

Review

RuthAnne Snow’s debut novel begins on the evening of Jenna, Elin, Ket, and Rosie’s prom. Readers immediately learn that Elin recently tried to kill herself. After some time in a treatment facility, and prescription meds, Elin’s parents want things to return to normal and pretend she never attempted suicide. Her friends keep her secret and plan for the best prom ever to convince Elin to keep living. Things are going well until midway through prom, Elin disappears.

The story is told in rotating POVs as each girl deals with Elin’s disappearance and all four friends band together to find her. Elin’s POV switches between past and present to show readers why she tried to kill herself. As the truth unravels, one thing is clear: nothing is as it seems with these girls. Author RuthAnne Snow shows that the way a person presents him or herself to the world isn’t always the truth of who they are.

To the public, Ket is the scandalous, sexualized friend; Elin, the mysterious one; Jenna, the perfect overachiever; and Rosie, the socially-inept bookworm. Readers will find, as happens in real life, that these girls have more bubbling under the surface.

The Bad

The ending is rather anticlimatic, underwhelming, although I understood the reason why the big reveal was the way it was.

The Good

Regardless of its flaws, this book is riveting. The plot swerves from mystery to thriller-esque — because you have no idea where Elin is — while paying homage to female friendships with a sweet touch of romance. Jenna, Elin, Rosie, and Ket are fully formed teenage characters who you’ll never confuse for each other because the author did her characterization homework. I enjoyed reading the book from each of their perspectives, and while all four girls are unique, I never wanted to skip ahead to a different POV.

When the Truth Unravels especially shines at its authentic portrayal of teenage worries -- grades, reputation, boyfriends -- and the chaos of prom night. Click To Tweet

When the Truth Unravels especially shines at its authentic portrayal of teenage worries — grades, reputation, boyfriends — and the chaos of prom night. Perhaps my favorite part of this novel is the friendship these girls share. They irritate each other, and are occasionally resentful of various aspects of each other’s personalities, but in the end, their love is unshakeable.

It doesn’t hurt that Snow references books by Chinua Achebe, Zora Neale-Hurston, and Jodi Picoult — I’m a sucker for books that mention other books.

Overall

RuthAnne Snow’s When the Truth Unravels is an ode to teenage female friendships. This young adult novel manages to address mental health, suicide, identity, and the uplifting power of female friendships. If you enjoy books with strong female characters, mystery, and a touch of romance, When the Truth Unravels is for you.

If you enjoy young adult novels with strong female characters, mystery, and a touch of romance, When the Truth Unravels is for you. Click To Tweet

When the Truth Unravels is out Jan 8.

Does this sound like a book you’d be interested in reading?

– Afoma

Want more reviews? Check out my review of Kathy Wang’s Family Trust.

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