True, by Karl Taro Greenfeld

12 Feb
true karl taro greenfeld

TWO of 5 stars

This went from possibly interesting, to a trudge, then a nosedive down to 2 stars at the end.
There was an interesting start: a teenage soccer player, a severely autistic sister, dead mother, friend issues, boy troubles…
But then it goes… no where.

True is a fantastic soccer player who has absolutely zero personality. According to how she describes herself, her looks match her personality yet she manages to snag two boyfriends she describes as great looking and popular. We are left on our own to understand why. She has a group of best soccer friends, but in high school while still playing they grow apart until they end up enemies… but why? We aren’t told.

Nothing that happens in the book has any explanation, things just happen. We don’t know why, we don’t know how anyone felt, we don’t know the history, we are left with an outline with nothing filling it out.

By the time I had trudged through 90% of it I realized the story really wasn’t going anywhere and I was debating how many stars to give it, leaning toward 3. But the end result of her relationship with her father and sister was again so far outside the realm of logic that we had been told through the entire book, that it just wasn’t believable without SOME sort of explanation. Yet again, there is no explanation. The unbelievable outcome of the family relationship was so off the wall and disappointing I have no trouble giving this 2 stars. I simply cannot recommend it to anyone.

6 Responses to “True, by Karl Taro Greenfeld”

  1. indiefan20 February 19, 2019 at 9:21 pm #

    I’m quasi-interested in reading this book but I prefer novels where the person on the autistic spectrum is the main character. I heard the author of this book wrote a memoir about his severely autistic brother called ‘Boy Alone,’ have you ever read it? He probably was focused on the autism element of this novel because it’s personal to him and forgot about things like character development. :/

    • Cynthia February 19, 2019 at 9:56 pm #

      I have not read ‘Boy Alone’, but I would recommend to give it a try. He did well showing the really difficult issues that must be dealt with when you have an autistic family member. In this case the sister is severely autistic and probably would not do well as a main character, but she does play an important part in the story. But she is only a side character so you’d still have to slog through the rest of the story and then scratch your head at the ending.

      • indiefan20 February 19, 2019 at 10:02 pm #

        I understand that it would be really hard to write from a person with severe autism’s perspective as opposed to, say, a main character with Asperger’s. However, considering how brilliant some people with non-verbal autism actually are, I think that a character like that might be a very interesting protagonist with a story (although I certainly acknowledge that not all people with autism are intelligent or capable of having a strong understanding of what’s going on around them.) Overall, I think I might skip this novel, I’ve just got so many other books on my to-read list and a lot of them interest me more than this one. If I end up reading either this or ‘Boy Alone’ I’ll make sure to drop by and tell you what I think though. 🙂

    • Cynthia March 8, 2019 at 9:13 pm #

      I want to let you know about an upcoming book by Charlie Donlea called “Some Choose Darkness” – it stars TWO main characters with autism! They are more high-functioning, but each still suffers from symptoms, one more than the other. As well they are super intelligent. My review will come soon but it is a FIVE star book. It comes out May 28 of this year and I highly recommend!

      • indiefan20 March 8, 2019 at 9:36 pm #

        I just added it to my Goodreads to-read list! 🙂

  2. Cynthia February 19, 2019 at 10:08 pm #

    I would love to hear about your opinions! And I’d be thrilled even if you loved this book. I think every book has an audience, this book just had some plot issues and character development problems.
    ALSO, I think you are right that a book based on a severely autistic character would be great. In this case the sister’s vocabulary was around 100 words I think. But I can imagine that a great writer could really do a different kind of story that would have a great impact. Let me know if you ever find one!

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