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Dare Truth or Promise

por Paula Boock

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346673,737 (3.66)8
Louie Angelo, a Woodhaugh High prefect who plans to be a lawyer, falls in love with a girl who lives in a pub and just wants to get through her exams so she can become a chef.
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Mostrando 1-5 de 6 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
There are very few books I will read in a day; this book is one of them.

Dare Truth or Promise is a wonderful little book, barely even 300 pages, by Paula Boock, from New Zealand. The version of the book that I have helpfully comes with a little glossary of terms in Kiwi that I might find difficulty understanding if I weren’t from there. The story revolves around Willa and Louie, two girls who attend the same school who notice that they’re very slowly falling in love with each other.

The book follows the simple rhythm of most every other LGBT-themed novel out there: two people meet, fall in love, deny it for a few pages and then decide to risk it all and be together. They start coming out – to friends and to family – and then, inevitably, comes the homophobia from somewhere. It’s a pretty predictable and set way of a story being told, and it doesn’t really differ much from anything else I’ve ever read. The main exception with this book I think – and probably one of the most important things about it – is how real the characters and their experience feels.

The problem with novels that follow a predictable pattern, like most other novels in their genre, is that sometimes characters seem to fall short of being more than just two-dimensional, 8-bit characters who could be anybody if you just imagined yourself in their shoes. Willa wants to be a chef; she’s a well-rounded character with her own insecurities and personality flaws that she acknowledges. She’s a fencer and a damn good stagehand. Louie is a brilliant actress who’s popular and has a great sense of humor (you can tell she does whenever she narrates a portion of the story herself). Louie is also very much entrenched in her family life, to the point where it can become rather toxic for her, and it is something that she learns to combat and deal with, and even grow from.

Another element I liked to this story is the way that the narration isn’t told simply through one point of view, or through an omniscient narrator. There are two narrators in this story – Will and Louie – and each one gets an almost equal amount of time telling her side of the story through her own point of view (third person, rather than first, but still). It’s a refreshing look at the often used first person narrative that we find a lot in LGBT fiction, and can get rather boring.

So why do I like this book so much? Because it somehow feels different from all the other LGBT narratives out there. Sure, there’s the formula that it follows, but it isn’t afraid to actually try and do something new with it. From a critical standpoint, I love how it attempts to tell the story through more than one point of view, and actually manages to do it. From a personal standpoint, I love how simple yet satisfying it is to read it, with great characters and brilliant one-liners.

Final rating: 4/5. It’s not a literary masterpiece but it’s worth a shot, especially if you need something to read while on a plane ride or something! ( )
  viiemzee | Feb 20, 2023 |
Louie and Willa fall for each immediately after meeting at Willa's new school and their evening jobs at the Burger Giant. But Willa is wary, having been hurt in a previous relationship, and Louie's mother is suspicious of her and hostile from the start. The end got a bit overdramatic, but mostly this was a book that engaged you from the start. ( )
  mari_reads | Oct 13, 2021 |
Willa and Louie could not be more different. Louie wants to be a lawyer and is an outstanding student. Willa lives in a pub and just wants to get through the year so she can graduate and become a chef. But they are completely attracted to one another when they first meet at a fast-food restaurant. Soon they fall in love fast and furiously, and everything the girls are sure of - their plans, their faith, their families, their identities - is called into question..
  Cultural_Attache | Jul 29, 2018 |
Similar to Gravity by Leanne Lieberman which deals with homosexuality in an Orthodox Jewish environment, Dare Truth or Promise takes the same premise to a Catholic upbringing. When Louie (Louisa) meets Willa, it is love at first site. While Willa has been in a relationship before, albeit an unhealthy one., this is new to Louie. She knows her parents won't approve and she knows, after some research that the Bible looks at homosexuality as a sin. As a result, she and Willa keep their relationship a secret from Louie's parents. Willa's single mom, on the other hand, is fully aware and accepting of her sexual orientation. So while there is the push and pull of Louie's religious beliefs, as well as the push and pull of two different sets of parents.

As with Gravity as well, it is somewhat predictable. Also, as with Gravity, the ending is too pat.

The one big difference is that Dare Truth or Promise was written in 1999, thus making it a fledgling book dealing with lesbians (Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden, published in 1982, being an older classic in the field) and so I would expect more of a pat ending than I would expect in Gravity. Having said all of this, both Dare Truth or Promise and Gravity are both worth reading. ( )
  EdGoldberg | Sep 12, 2016 |
I read New Zealand author Paula Boock’s young adult lesbian novel Dare Truth or Promise (1997) in one day, practically in one sitting. I have a soft spot for queer YA anyway, but I really loved this book for its sweet, simple style. Boock writes in a very straight-forward, deceptively plain way that is reminiscent of New Zealanders themselves, at least what I learned about them when I was there for four months a few years ago. In fact, I’d say this book is a lot like Kiwis and Kiwi culture: humble, charming, quietly proud, and not inclined to boast of its own merits but rather to simply display them as if reassured of its own value. (Side note: for those readers not familiar with Kiwi culture or English, there is a glossary of terms at the beginning of the book).

Dare Truth or Promise is essentially a teenage love story. Willa is the bold red-headed daughter of a former-country star-turned-pub-owner, an aspiring chef, and a loving dog owner. Louie is a charismatic, self-assured actress, stellar student, and frequent poetry quoter from a well-off Italian family.

See the rest of my review here: http://lesbrary.com/2012/09/21/casey-reviews-dare-truth-or-promise-by-paula-booc... ( )
  CaseyStepaniuk | Sep 21, 2012 |
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Louie Angelo, a Woodhaugh High prefect who plans to be a lawyer, falls in love with a girl who lives in a pub and just wants to get through her exams so she can become a chef.

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