The Truth About Leav­ing

Natalie Blitt

Foreword Reviews - - Spotlight Young Adult Fiction - KAREN RIGBY

Am­ber­jack Pub­lish­ing (JAN­UARY) Soft­cover $12.99 (260pp), 978-1-948705-09-7

In Natalie Blitt’s ro­mance, The Truth About Leav­ing, high school se­nior Lucy Green dis­cov­ers that things sel­dom go as planned.

Fresh on the heels of a breakup, Lucy meets Dov Meiri, a new Is­raeli stu­dent whose fu­ture as a con­script in the Is­raeli army sets a tense frame­work for a sur­pris­ing plot. De­spite Lucy’s de­ter­mi­na­tion not to fall in love with some­one who will only leave, she does. Lucy has to nav­i­gate parental ex­pec­ta­tions and per­sonal dreams while ev­ery­one around her plans for col­lege.

The plot touches on time­less high school themes, from forg­ing an iden­tity to nur­tur­ing pas­sions—which, for Lucy, trans­lates to bal­let and po­etry. These es­capes, along with Dov, keep Lucy afloat de­spite a com­pli­cated home life. Her mother’s out-of-state job proves more of a chal­lenge than the Greens imag­ined, leav­ing Lucy in the role of a sur­ro­gate mother for her broth­ers. Un­der­cur­rents of am­bi­tion and self­ish­ness don’t en­tirely sur­face.

Only the wise in­ter­ven­tion of teach­ers, a child­hood friend, and Lucy’s eclec­tic grand­mother push Lucy to start defin­ing her bound­aries. The work is not di­min­ished by the fact that oth­ers in­flu­ence Lucy’s de­ci­sions; the courage is hers, along with the wis­dom to know when to lis­ten.

Lucy and Dov’s en­coun­ters move from their meet-cute into an idyl­lic, sweet, and mem­o­rable con­nec­tion. Dov is a reg­u­lar teen with some­times greater than ev­ery­day bur­dens, and Lucy’s in­ter­est in his na­tive He­brew stems from a gen­uine place. Dov’s love for her deep­ens with care­ful con­sid­er­a­tion. The book nav­i­gates the di­vide be­tween Lucy’s Evanston and Dov’s Jerusalem with skill­ful, del­i­cate turns.

The Truth About Leav­ing is an al­ter­na­tive map to the fu­ture and a heart­en­ing re­minder to take love and life day by day.

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