Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Book Review: The Almost Truth

Author: Eileen Cook
Publication Date: December 4, 2012
Publisher: Simon Pulse

From the author of Unraveling Isobel and The Education of Hailey Kendrick, a smart, romantic novel about a teenage con artist who might be in over her head.

Sadie can’t wait to get away from her backwards small town, her delusional mom, her jailbird dad, and the tiny trailer where she was raised…even though leaving those things behind also means leaving Brendan. Sadie wants a better life, and she has been working steadily toward it, one con at a time.

But when Sadie’s mother wipes out Sadie’s savings, her escape plan is suddenly gone. She needs to come up with a lot of cash—and fast—or she’ll be stuck in this town forever.

With Brendan’s help, she devises a plan—the ultimate con—to get the money. But the more lies Sadie spins, the more she starts falling for her own hoax…and perhaps for the wrong boy. Sadie wanted to change her life, but she wasn't prepared to have it flipped upside down by her own deception. With her future at stake and her heart on the line, suddenly it seems like she has a lot more than just money to lose....

“If you wanted to get technical about it, I was a con artist. I’d learned the tricks of the trade from my dad. Then I taught what I knew to Brendan, who happened to have some sort of freakish natural ability in the area. He was like a con genius savant.” – Hardcover Copy pg. 5

“Brendan could tease me if he wanted, but I knew that while larger cons might pay off better, they also came with much bigger risks. My dad was a living, breathing example of that. For as long as I could remember, he had been in jail more often than he’d been out. I suspected the correctional officers knew him better than I did. One year when he was on probation, they sent him a birthday card.” – Hardcover Copy pg. 7

“You know what you never see embroidered onto a pillow? TRAILER, SWEET TRAILER. Of course no one calls them trailers anymore. Now they’re called modular housing. It’s like how garbage men are sanitation engineers, and instead of calling yourself short, you’re vertically challenged. I never understood the point of all of that. Calling it modular housing doesn’t change the fact that I live in a place that is basically a glorified tin can and can be moved by a really strong wind.” – Hardcover Copy pg. 10

“My dad always says the snake in the garden was the first con artist in history, sweet-talking Eve into taking a bite of the apple for his own gain.” – Hardcover Copy pg. 48

This story revolves around our main character, Sadie, and her struggle with finding herself or discovering her identity. I want to say from the start that I did not enjoy this book as much as I have enjoyed others by Eileen Cook, but I still liked the story and the plot. Sadie wants more than anything to get off the island she has grown up on, and to attend Berkley where she can finally make a new name for herself. Her father has been in and out of jail for most of her life and her mother can barely makes ends meet for her and Sadie. Sadie takes after her father and has become quite the little con artist herself. She has pulled small cons for as long as she can remember in order to save up enough money to go off to college and leave this small nothing town behind. Until one day Sadie learns that her mother spends every penny that she has saved in order to help her jailbird father, and Sadie has to start from scratch. This sends Sadie on a journey of self discovery and she learns more than she ever expects.

To be honest I really didn’t like Sadie’s character. I hated that she felt she had to con people out of money just to get ahead in life, and I hated that she let this define her. She related herself to her father a lot, and what got me was that her father was never around much because of all the cons he had pulled. Why relate yourself to someone like this? Sadie was easier to warm up to around the middle of the book when the story took an unexpected turn and the plot turned out to be something that I really was not expected at all. Sadie finds a picture in the hotel lobby where her mother works of the daughter of one of the wealthiest families on the island who went missing almost fifteen years ago. Sadie becomes interested because the picture of what the little girl would look like now surprisingly looked a lot like her. This sent chills up my spine and I was a little more interested in the story from this point on.

I really liked scenes where Brendan and Sadie interacted. Once I saw how Sadie really felt about Brendan I was able to open up to her more. I liked the relationship that they had developed as friends and I liked that there were complicated aspects involved as well. Brendan would do anything for Sadie and that was apparent from day one. He gets involved when Sadie finds this picture of the missing Ava McKenna and immediately sees that it is important to Sadie, so of course he tries to help her find out the information she wants and is there to comfort her when she does. Sadie had built up so many walls around her heart and only had her eyes set on getting the heck out of dodge, when all along Brendan was right in front of her and anyone could see how he felt about her.

Like I mentioned before this was not my favorite work by Eileen Cook, but there were some parts that I still enjoyed and this does not mean that I will ever give up on her as an author. I wish that I could’ve laughed more in this book like I remember doing with her previous works, but if you are a fan of Eileen Cook then I would say give it a shot!

***A copy of this book was provided by the publishers at Simon Pulse in exchange for my honest review***


  1. I hate when the main character is unlikable, and I don't get why she had to con people. I haven't read anything by Eileen Cook, but I think I'm going to read Unraveling Isobel instead of this one. Great review=)

  2. great review. This one is on my TBR but its been iffy for me. I think I may wait a bit, but still pick it up.

  3. I have got to read an Eileen Cook novel. I always see them in the stores but never pick them up.

  4. I've never heard of Eileen Cook and I'm not sure this book sounds like my type, but I do love the cover & I will check out this author now.