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review 2015-03-20 10:19
This Much Is True: This book made me angry.
This Much is True - Katherine Owen

This Much Is True is a story about Tally Landon. An aspiring ballet dancer whose only focus is not to fall, fail, or lose. On Valentine's Day, her twin sister, Holly, talks her into taking her to see Rob Thorn, Holly's boyfriend, so they can work things out after a break-up. They end up getting back together and Holly is ecstatic. On the drive back home, Tally, once again, lets Holly know she's not too fond of Rob. This is what they are discussing when Tally's life changes forever.

A black SUV, driving too fast on the wet roads, clips the front of her car. The next thing Tally knows, she's covered in blood. She looks over to Holly, who tries to give her an encouraging smile. Holly tells Tally to run. She surprises herself by doing exactly that, when she normally doesn't listen to what anyone says. When she gets out of the car to get help, her knight in shining armor (more like a boy in a baseball hat), grabs her and runs with her away from the car. She looks back and sees the fire engulfing her Mercedes with her twin sister still trapped inside. She hears her sister's screams and then silence.

Lincoln Presley has a good future ahead of him, one that involves playing baseball in the major leagues and following in his dad's footsteps. He can't seem to stop thinking about the beautiful dark-haired girl he rescued from a burning car. While attending a party at his cousin's house, he sees her. For a moment, he thinks she remembers him. She called him Elvis, just like she did the day he saved her. It doesn't take him long to realize that she has no clue who he is. And he doesn't tell her, not yet anyway.

Tally lies to Linc. She thinks they are only going to be together for one night, so why does it matter? She struggles with losing her sister. She has to be perfect for ballet. She doesn't have time for a relationship and neither does he. They are both driven and focused on their soon-to-be careers. So she tells him her name is Holly. She tells him she's twenty years old. She tells him she's fine. They spend the night together. She sneaks out and leaves a note that says Thank you, Elvis.

Linc knows he needs to focus on his future, but he cannot let go of Holly, who he later finds out is really Tally. He is going to LA, she's going to New York. He asks her to wait for him. She agrees. She thinks maybe now she can be happy, because he does make her happy. But then his PR rep tells him he has to break it off with Tally, completely. She's seventeen, he's twenty-two. It wouldn't look good. He has to think about what it would cost him. There is no room for argument. So...Linc breaks Tally's heart. They go their separate ways.

Months later, Tally is living in New York with her best friend Marla. Her hard work has paid off and her dreams are starting to come true. Then life throws her a curveball she never saw coming.

I received the second book in this series from Netgalley. It says it can be read as a stand alone, but I was glad when I saw this book free on Amazon because I like to read the books in order. The writing style was different than what I'm used to. I don't think I ever really got the hang of it.

This book made me so mad. Mostly because of Tally, whom I didn't have a problem with until she decided that it wasn't important for Linc to know about something that could make him take a second look at his priorities. From that moment on, it seemed like every decision she made was a stupid one. It was nothing but lie after lie with her and that one was the biggest one of all. She was trying to protect his baseball career, but she should have let him decide for himself what he wanted to do.

I kept thinking why does Linc put up with this? He may have chosen his job over her, but he had more reasons to not want to stick around. There was one part in the book where Kimberley, his PR rep, said he got tired of Nika's lies. Well, hello? What about Tally's lies? I tried to be understanding, because she lost her twin sister and she felt major pressure from her ballet, but there's really no reason for her to be constantly lying. It wasn't just to Linc either. She strung Rob along too.

I didn't get what Rob's part was in this anyway. At first, I thought it was because he missed Holly so much. He was trying to replace her with Tally. And I'm pretty sure that him and Marla hooked up too. He must be hard to resist, especially since he looks like Sawyer from Lost. He must be just as screwed up at the rest of them. Actually, that is a proven point when him and Tally did what they did on her twin's grave. That was probably the worst part in the whole book.

The last few chapters were the best part of the story. Even with this web of lies, they may just get their HEA. All things considered, a 3-star rating is good. It made me feel so much emotion, mostly anger, but it deserves three stars just for that.

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text 2014-11-25 03:13
Reading progress update: I've read 20%.
This Much is True - Katherine Owen

Wow, hooked within the first chapter. What a tragic beginning to the read. Slow going, but addictive none-the-less.

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review 2014-11-10 00:00
I Know This Much Is True
I Know This Much Is True - Wally Lamb I usually avoid family saga books because they're often

A. 1000 pages long
B. Plotless
C. Insufferably boring
D. All of the above

Because of my bias against these books, this one sat on my shelf for nearly a year before I picked it up. I shouldn't have waited so long to read it. I actually liked it a lot. Up until the last 300 pages, it was probably the most interesting family saga I've ever read. I know that a book is good when I start neglecting things in my life in order to spend more time reading it. I neglected a lot of stuff while reading this book. And, when I wasn't reading it, I was thinking about it.

I Know This Much Is True tells the story of Dominick and his struggle to free his schizophrenic twin brother from a mental institution.

All of the characters are amazingly well-developed and realistic. Dominick was the most intriguing for me. He's an ass, and I disliked him. For most of the story, he's an angry, homophobic bully. But, the weird thing is that I felt like I completely understood him. I think almost everyone who has siblings can relate to Dominick's love/hate relationship with his twin. It takes a very talented author to create characters this complex. I didn't know that I could stand reading a 900 page book about a character who I didn't like.

If you don't enjoy depressing books, then you should avoid this one. I'm pretty sure that every bad thing that can happen to a human happens to someone in this story. There's murder, suicide, baby death, illness, rape, racism, homophobia, war, job loss, child abuse, animal abuse, spousal abuse, bullying, accidents, divorce, adultery, drug addiction, incest, poverty, sibling rivalry, abandonment, evil magic, curses, and probably some other things that I'm forgetting. There's so much trauma that I kind of became numb to it by the end. I just expected the worst to happen. (And the worst almost always did happen.)

Even though it was depressing, I loved the gritty realism until I got to the last 300ish pages. Then the author lost me. The ending is slow and seems to drag on forever. I understood the point of Dominick reading his grandfather's history, but the history itself is boring. I was very tempted to skip over it. Finally, I thought the ending was wrapped up too neatly. I was grateful that the book had a happy ending, but everything worked out a little too conveniently.

Even with all of my complaints, this is one of the best books that I've read in a long time. I'd recommend it to anyone who is interested in complex, unlikeable characters.
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review 2014-09-02 00:00
This Much is True
This Much is True - Katherine Owen This was an emotionally draining book. I have never met two characters who were as f'd up and emotionally closed up as Lincoln and Tally. Their story was heartbreaking, frustrating and sometimes leaving me at the point of telling both characters, "why bother". But fate had a different plan for these two. As drained as I was, I eagerly jumped right into book 2 this morning.
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text 2014-06-28 15:54
I Know This Much Is True By Wally Lamb $1.99
I Know This Much Is True - Wally Lamb
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