True Letters from a Fictional Life by Kenneth LoganTrue Letters from a Fictional Life by Kenneth Logan

True Letters from a Fictional Life

byKenneth Logan

Hardcover | June 7, 2016

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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 his friend, a boy, who lingers in his thoughts.

James’s secret letters are his safe space—but his truth can’t stay hidden for long. Will he come clean to his parents, his teammates, and himself, or is he destined to live a life of fiction?

This heartfelt debut novel explores the muddy landscape of truth and lies and lays bare the sometimes painful but often hopeful work of writing one’s own authentic story.

Title:True Letters from a Fictional LifeFormat:HardcoverDimensions:336 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 1.09 inPublished:June 7, 2016Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0062380257

ISBN - 13:9780062380258

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing! Ahhh this was so good. It's like a combination of To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han and Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli. In order to sort out his feelings, James writes personal letters to the different people in his life. He's coming to terms with accepting his sexuality and he never intends to send these letters, but rather writes them as a way to cope. Of course, the letters end up getting send out and James is forced to come out. “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.” There was a lot of casual homophobia in this book by classmates, family members and people in the community. It kind of shocked me but it's set in a small town in Vermont and I have no idea what it's like to grow up in a small town like that. I liked how the book also discussed the struggles that James's friends have to face as well. He has an important conversation with his best friend Derek who explains to him how hard it is to be black and religious in such a small town where almost nobody else is black or religious. His friend Hawken struggles with a reading disability and it's mentioned how much harder English class can be for him since he has to read the material through audiobooks. I think this book really sheds a light on how important language is. Growing up James heard gay slurs used as insults countless times. He even admits to saying them himself to cover up for his own struggle. With this kind of environment James is worried how people will react when they find out; he's worried that his family could kick him out of the house or that his friends and teammates won't accept him. Using this type of language really contributes to a negative and unsupportive environment. If anyone is looking for a great LGBTQ+ book I highly recommend this one and I don't why it isn't more popular!!!
Date published: 2018-07-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Super cute! Super cute and a great read! Would recommend.
Date published: 2017-05-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Wonderful Read I picked this book up on a whim because I thought the cover was cute. I know, I know - never judge a book by its cover. But in this case, it definitely worked out! I finished this book in just a little over two days; every time I had to put it down, I really wished I didn't have to. James' issues are definitely ones that I feel like most teens can relate to, whether or not they are going through a sexuality crisis. The writing was good, and I felt the characters were very well portrayed. Would recommend this to any teen in high school, there's a lot of great lessons to be learned within the pages.
Date published: 2017-01-21

Editorial Reviews

“[James’] painful, funny experiences with family, love, and friends will resonate with many teens.”