Review, The truth and lies of Ella Black

YA is not necessarily my favourite genre so maybe I’m missing a nuance or too but I just can’t help feeling that this book is so full of teen cliches that it’s hard to wade in further to find the author’s actual meaning.

The story is about the ‘dark side’ of a teenager who finds her life boring and wants to escape while not letting that dark side out.

I’m a bit spoilt having read Patrick Ness who manages to find the human condition beyond ‘teenage-ness’ but still speaks true to the younger experience of looking for purpose and meaning.

The character thinks in an immature tone even for someone meant to be young and immature.

“Flying to Brazil, for the three of us, can’t be cheap. Is it from my parents’ savings? Is it embezzled? Stolen? Laundered? I can’t imagine any of those things. It can only be money they had in the bank.”

The constant references to her parents as ‘boring’ and ‘annoying’ aren’t particularly endearing even as they play to type. Adults do think that teenagers consider them boring but the boring part is the lack of interest in the other person’s priorities. It’s the lack of understanding that is the main issue and that holds true across all ages. The thought of ‘boring’, however limits any interest. It’s a cliche.

The storyline is limited. There is a traumatic event that is discovered. I think that’s about it. The dramatic event in the past and the uncontrollable rage of the teenager lead to a dramatic change in a way of life. It could have been interesting if Ella wasn’t written as ‘teenage-y’ and ‘angsty’ as she was.

This was not a book I enjoyed and it might be because it was just too caught up in all the drama of every single thing that happened even when what happened was trivial. It’s a simple story that becomes overdramatic but not interesting.

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