Saturday 15 August 2020

2020 Reading Challenge | True Story by Kate Reed Petty

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True Story by Kate Reed Petty - 5/5 ★★★★★
After a college party, two boys drive a girl home: drunk and passed out in the back seat. Rumours spread about what they did to her, but later they'll tell the police a different version of events. Alice will never remember what truly happened. Her fracture runs deep, hidden beneath cleverness and wry humour. Nick - a sensitive, misguided boy who stood by - will never forget.

That's just the beginning of this extraordinary journey into memory, fear and self-portrayal. Through university applications, a terrifying abusive relationship, a fateful reckoning with addiction and a final mind-bending twist, Alice and Nick will take on different roles to each other - some real, some invented - until finally, brought face to face once again, the secret of that night is revealed.

Oh my goodness, what a book! I am the type of person who looks at the Goodreads reviews of a book before I start it and the first review I read said that True Story is "best enjoyed by going in blind". Once I saw that, I closed Goodreads and got stuck in. I have to say, I wholeheartedly agree.

The story is split into five parts.
Part one describes the backstory of a group of lacrosse players. One boy, Nick, has a bit of a thing for a girl called Haley who hangs around with them. After a party, two players (Max and Richard) drive Alice, a drunk girl, home and then brag to the group afterwards about performing a sexual act on her whilst she was passed out. Word gets around and she attempts suicide.

The rest of the book follows parts of Alice, Nick and Haley's lives in the fifteen years after that event. It is completely like nothing I have ever read before. There is a complete mix of genres and formats in there. It's written so unusually with a mix of prose, screenplays, a series of emails and interview transcripts. It is just fantastic and it makes for a very quick and easy read.

I really don't want to give too much away but the story is so deep and I honestly cannot recommend it enough. I was totally hooked throughout and the epilogue is just wonderful. I don't know how else to describe it. Amazing.

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