Almost True - Keren David

Title: Almost True

Author: Keren David

Publisher: Frances Lincoln Children's Books

Release Date: 2010

Category: Young Adult

Source: From UK Book Tours

Hardback: 368

Summary from Amazon:
Ruthless killers are hunting Ty so the police move him and his mum to a quiet seaside town. But a horrific attack and a bullet meant for Ty prove that he’s not safe. On the road again, Ty’s in hiding with complete strangers . . . who seem to know a lot about him. Meanwhile he’s desperate to see his girlfriend Claire, and terrified that she may betray him. Ty can’t trust his own judgement and he’s making dangerous decisions that could deliver him straight to the gangsters. A thrilling sequel to When I Was Joe, shot through with drama and suspense.


Almost True is the sequel to When I Was Joe (my review here). I can't review Almost True without writing some tiny spoilers for When I Was Joe so go read the wonderful first book and then come back to read my review of the even-more-wonderful second one!

The thing about sequels is that most of the time, you never get the same rush of emotions you felt while reading the first book in a series for the first time. You already know the characters and you see the plot coming so it hardly feels the same way, and at worse, you might even be disappointed.
I loved When I Was Joe so much that I was a bit worried when I started to read Almost True. I should not have wasted one second worrying because the plot of Almost True goes in the most unexpected direction at the beginning of the book and we follow Tyler/Joe in another thrilling adventure. We meet new characters, who are as interesting and lovable as the ones in the first book and we rediscover characters we know in a new light. I could list all the characters I love and why but that would lead me to talk about all of them! I like the evolution of Tyler and what he goes through in this book. 

In this new book, Tyler is on the run and tries to hide in various places (that is me not telling you the plot as opposed to me forgetting what the plot is - in case you were wondering!). The rhythm is fast-paced and the story gripping, you won't be able to let go of this book until you reach the end, and what a conclusion to Ty's story it is!

At the centre of this new story is Tyler and his past. As much as he tries to get away from things, he ends up digging deeper and deeper in his own life story. He learns a lot about his family and realises that most of the things he assumed were true about himself were in fact not exactly true (or almost true - yes, I did just write that horrendous pun). If, like me, you are a sucker for complicated family stories, you will love this book! I just truly loved learning more about Tyler's origins and how he was brought up and how everyone related with each other.

I am going to repeat what I said in my When I Was Joe review, but I love how real this book felt. It is very British in the cultural aspects of the story but also brings forward universal themes on youth and violence. My terribly formulated opinion won't give the book justice so go read it to see what I mean! :) I love how brilliant the more serious themes are interwoven in a very thriller-y (and romance-y!) plot. You really do feel as if this is a real story and where we are following real people in today's United Kingdom. The setting is not only set in today's world but also related to very cultural and generational aspects of today's life. It gives a new meaning to young adult "contemporary novel". 

As I said in my review of When I Was Joe, I *love* the title and how it is so important to the story. The sentence in which the title is written has become very important to me while reading and it made me think about the meaning of truth and how this meaning changes depending on who you are talking to. I don't know how and at which stage it was chosen but I simply love the title (for both books)!

I would advise everyone to read this book, but I cannot fathom why anyone *wouldn't* read it after reading the brilliant When I Was Joe. Books like this are the very reason why I read. There can't be any other words describing how utterly essential they are for me as a reader and as a person. I love learning things in books and I love it even more when they challenge my convinctions and make me think. 

Fascinating characters, gripping plot and brilliant story-telling.... what else do you need in a book?* Now go read this book!

* To the bunch of girls who actually answered by "nice abs in a male character and all scenes shirtless", it was rhetorical question and we don't need anymore of *that* in books! :D

You can follow Keren on her blog and on Twitter: @kerensd

Thanks to Lynsey from UK Book Tours and Narratively Speaking for sending me the book!


  1. Ooh awesome review! I read When I Was Joe last year and loved it so I really need to get started on Almost True soon. Glad you enjoyed it so much :) x

  2. Hilarious and adorable review of a brilliant book. I love reading your reviews. They make me feel like you are sit across the table from me.

    So yeah... this book is awesome of course! I loved that you notice the Britishness of the book. For me it just speaks "of our time". Love.

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