I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.True Letters from a Fictional Life by Kenneth Logan
Published by HarperTeen on June 7, 2016
Genres: Bullying, Homosexuality, LGBT, Young Adult
Buy on Amazon
A thoughtful, authentic coming-out story about a high school boy who can only deal with his own truth through secret, unsent letters.
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 just isn’t into Theresa. It’s his friend, a boy, who lingers in his thoughts.
James’s secret letters are his safe space—until someone leaks them, and words he never meant to share are being broadcast all over school. Will he come clean to his parents, his teammates, and himself or is he destined to live a life of fiction?
*Jumps up and down* Oh you guys, this book, this book. I was so intrigued by the synopsis that I read it as soon as I received it, in December 2015. Then I had to wait to share and it was awful as you all need to read it! True Letters from a Fictional Life by Kenneth Logan is just phenomenal. James is your average high school jock. He has a sortof girlfriend, decent friends and a secret. See James is gay and is deeply afraid to come out. He is afraid to express himself to those around him as they might not be okay with who he really his. His way of expressing himself is to write letters to those around him. Letters he never plans to send, that say the things he wishes he could say. Then things start happening. A fellow student is gay bashed, James meets a guy and his letters disappear. What will happen when his truth gets out? Will James be able to handle the outcome of his private thoughts?
Kenneth Logan crafted an amazing story. Full of emotions and heart, I couldn’t put it down. The world created was very real, and the story made sense within it. The pacing was great, not too fast and no dragging. The plot was unique and layered; it was not a standard coming out story, it dealt with social issues as well as emotional issues. The characters were special. It is rare to see high school characters depicted with such emotional depth. The writing is what set this apart. Logan was able to layer emotion, social issues, humor and heart in a YA novel. I normally do not see this combination of feels in one book, especially a book that leans towards a teen audience.
Books like True Letters from a Fictional Life are so important. As people read about the pain and struggle with coming out, I hope it will normalize it. Sexual orientation is an intrinsic part of who a person is, it is not a choice. The more exposure people, especially young people, have to this information, the better and more open I hope each generation gets. Kenneth Logan has amazing depths and a true future as an author. I hope he continues to write books with such amazing story lines. I will sign up to read anything Logan writes and will champion True Letters from a Fictional Life to everyone I meet.
Favorite lines – As much as I was scared to come out, part of me figured that everything would get better when I told the truth. But now that some of what I feared is actually happening, now that I’m actually getting hit and cursed at, I keep thinking: it was supposed to get easier. Coming out was supposed to make life easier.
Biggest cliché – “Everyone will love you for who you truly are.”
Have you read True Letters from a Fictional Life, or added it to your TBR?