Author: Emily Barr
Series Number: 1
Publication Date: January 2, 2018
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
Where I received the book: I received a copy of this book from Penguin NZ in exchange for a honest review.
Summary: Ella Black seems to live the life most other seventeen-year-olds would kill for . . .
Until one day, telling her nothing, her parents whisk her off to Rio de Janeiro. Determined to find out why, Ella takes her chance and searches through their things.
And realises her life has been a lie.
Her mother and father aren’t hers at all. Unable to comprehend the truth, Ella runs away, to the one place they’ll never think to look – the favelas.
But there she learns a terrible secret – the truth about her real parents and their past. And the truth about a mother, desperate for a daughter taken from her seventeen years ago . . .
surprisingly, i didn’t like this book at all. i really enjoyed emily barr’s one memory of flora banks, but was let down by the truth and lies of ella black.
one of my biggest issues with the truth and lies of ella black is the use of mental illness to do “bad” things. page 12 is the first time this happens and is one of the worst. the “bad version” of ella (called bella) kills a bird with a hammer. later on, bella is used as an excuse for shitty behaviour towards her family.
throughout the whole book, only one thing kept me from putting it down: why had ella’s parents pulled her from her life and taken her to south america? this was answered about half way through, at which point i lost all interest. not to mention, the reason was really unsatisfying. something better could’ve happened. maybe some bad guys were after them? idk but anything is better than what actually happened.
from this point on, it’s one shitty event after another. ella gets even more annoying and nothing she does really makes any sense. it’s like the author decided to write a book about some things but didn’t actually research or talk to individuals in a similar situation.
all in all, i wouldn’t recommend this book. it’s the kind of book you’d expect to see on wattpad or some other site (not to imply that wattpad stories are bad or anything – i read quite a few tbh).