Posted in Book review

Review: Sometimes We Tell the Truth

Sometimes We Tell The Truth by Kim Zarins

Genres/Themes: Young Adult, High School, Retelling (The Canterbury Tales), Contemporary, Romance

★★★★★

This was an absolutely AMAZING read!


Synopsis from Goodreads:

In this contemporary retelling of The Canterbury Tales, a group of teens on a bus ride to Washington, DC, each tell a story—some fantastical, some realistic, some downright scandalous—in pursuit of the ultimate prize: a perfect score.

Jeff boards the bus for the Civics class trip to Washington, DC, with a few things on his mind:
-Six hours trapped with his classmates sounds like a disaster waiting to happen.
-He somehow ended up sitting next to his ex-best friend, who he hasn’t spoken to in years.
-He still feels guilty for the major part he played in pranking his teacher, and the trip’s chaperone, Mr. Bailey.
-And his best friend Cannon, never one to be trusted and banned from the trip, has something “big” planned for DC.

But Mr. Bailey has an idea to keep everyone in line: each person on the bus is going to have the chance to tell a story. It can be fact or fiction, realistic or fantastical, dark or funny or sad. It doesn’t matter. Each person gets a story, and whoever tells the best one will get an automatic A in the class.

But in the middle of all the storytelling, with secrets and confessions coming out, Jeff only has one thing on his mind—can he live up to the super successful story published in the school newspaper weeks ago that convinced everyone that he was someone smart, someone special, and someone with something to say.


I’ve never read the Caunterbury (?) Tales and probably only heard of it a few times so, I can’t say much about how these two stories relate to one another. I do know that as a a modern high school setting book I thought this was done really well.

For starters, I thought it was cool how the cast was -somewhat- diverse. Really, we only know the skin colors of a few of the teens and I think that is cool because it leaves everyone else open for interpretation. Also, in terms of sex and gender I thought this was good. AND much talk on feminism and how women are portrayed in media. BLESS!!!
The way our narrator reacted, and that of most of the teens seemed really realistic and the times when things were exaggerated made the story interesting and thought provoking.

I really enjoyed the stories the teens told because it seemed to represent them, how some teens act, and give depth to them all.

I picked this book up and really did not want to put it down. It is one of those books where things are not intense yet, I just had to know what would happen next or who would tell the next tale. The love story, I was NOT expecting and it is only a small part of the book yet, it added so much especially since it was not a part of the synopsis so it was able to blossom without me knowing it would. I really enjoyed it.

This book has so many great qualities and lessons I think should be taught. After I finish this review I will be telling my friends about this book and how they need to read it! This is a book I think I will even want to read again later down the line.

Recommend?! YES!! Go read this book, all of you!

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