Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
August 02, 2016
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Lana used to know what was real.
That was before when her life was small and quiet.
Her golden step-brother, Ben, was alive, she could only dream about bonfiring with the populars, their wooded island home was idyllic, she could tell the truth from lies, and Ben’s childhood stories were firmly in her imagination.
Then came after.
After has Lana boldly kissing her crush, jumping into the water from too high up, and living with nerve and mischief. But after also has horrors, deaths that only make sense in fairy tales, and terrors from a past Lana thought long forgotten: Love, blood, and murder.
After her step-brother Ben was murdered, Lana almost din't knowhow to go on living. Now, in this after she thinks she's figured out how to try. She's being that fun, adventurous, daring girl she was always too afraid (or too bullied) to be before.
Then, things begin happening. Things that seem to belong more to the twisted fairy tales Ben used to tell her than to real life. The more that happens and the more that she and the friends she's spent so much of the summer with become ensnared in everything, the more questions there are. For Lana and readers alike.
The characters made it hard for me to really get into The Telling. I liked Lana fine, but it was hard to really be pulled in by her. I liked the background of who she'd been as a child, all that had happened to her, why she'd changed over the years and why she now had changed again. I think if he other characters had been fuller, I would have felt more a part of the story. We have what Lana thinks of them, what they've done to her in the past, and what they do now. The little mentions, though, of other sides to them: nicer, kinder, deeper, etc things had e wishing we got to know them better.
I liked the way the things that occurred made Lana question what was real. I didn't always understand the conclusions she came to or what she chose as the right course of action. I appreciated that she did acknowledge that they weren't always going about things the 'smart' way.
The explanation for everything seemed, in some ways, to just appear - not so much the actual ending as how we got there, the reasoning. It worked with the earlier parts of the story looking back, but didn't seemed hinted at and wasn't something you could figure out from clues given.
The Telling is a tense, creepy, disturbing, sometimes a bit weird tale that deals with love, grief, bravery, truth and lies. I do wish the characters (aside from Lana) had been more fully developed but it is a good read.
Other Books You May Also Enjoy: Tragedy Girl by Christine Hurley Deriso and Those Girls by Lauren Saft
digital review copy received from publisher, via NetGalley