Title: True Letters from a Fictional Life
Author: Kenneth Logan
Kindle, 336 pages
Published: June 7th, 2016
Genre: YA - Contemporary - Romance, LGBT
If you asked anyone in his small Vermont town, they’d tell you the facts: James Liddell, star athlete, decent student and sort-of boyfriend to cute, peppy Theresa, is a happy, funny, carefree guy.
But whenever James sits down at his desk to write, he tells a different story. As he fills his drawers with letters to the people in his world--letters he never intends to send--he spills the truth: he’s trying hard, but he just isn’t into Theresa. It’s a boy who lingers in his thoughts.
He feels trapped by his parents, his teammates, and the lies they’ve helped him tell, and he has no idea how to escape. Is he destined to live a life of fiction?
To be honest, I was really wary of reading this book at first. I try not to judge the book by its cover (literally), but I judged this book by its cover, and I thought it wouldn't be a great book. But I was reeled in by the fascinating synopsis, and a lot of people gave this one good reviews so I totally didn't listen to my gut and went ahead to request this one. Boy am I glad that I did because this book turned out to be amazing!
"... but I've always been told that I'm straight. And that's the story I was trying to make happen. I didn't come up with the lie. It wasn't mine. They handed the lie to me, and I tried like hell to make it work for a while."
The opening scene made me feel wary of this book when I started reading this because I thought Mark is part of James' close friends, and I just didn't want to read about an asshole friend throughout the hole book. Luckily, it turns out that that's not the case so I was safe. As I read the novel, the more that I liked it.
""If you ain't scared standing up for what's right, then you ain't standing up for much."
- Not Mark Twain"
True Letters from a Fictional Life is more centered on the coming out process of James, and also how he found himself in a relationship with Topher. This book featured the different reactions of the people closest to James, some being more accepting than the others. What's unique about this book is how James explained to Rex, his younger brother, what being gay is because apparently there's a huge misconception on his part. I really liked how the author included someone young in this book, and how he reacted. I also really enjoyed how supportive James' friends and brother were with his coming out.
"Right now it doesn't matter whether you feel courageous. Make them believe you are. You win this one by acting like you're a happy, calm, strong kid, even when you don't feel that way."
The romance of this book is just so cute! I don't know what it is about gay couples, but when done right, I get more feels from them than straight couples. The romance here is not overbearingly sweet or anything like that, but I just really enjoyed it. It's not really centered on the romance either, but I loved the small glimpses of it that the book offered.
"Well, you can always count on some people to be human and others to be monsters, right? That'll never change. That should never surprise you. So practice that smile you're going to flash when other kids insult you. Arm yourself with a few clever one-liners."
Honestly, I don't know what more to say about this book other than I really enjoyed this book. It was a quick and light read, even if it features an issue which usually becomes heavy because of the reactions of people when one comes out. Anyway, I read this mostly in just one sitting, and I really liked it!