Truthers
Katie Wallace has never given much thought to 9/11. She was only a year old when terrorists struck American soil. But now her dad has landed in a mental institution after claiming to know what really happened. He insists the attacks were part of a government conspiracy. And he claims that Katie is living proof: the lone survivor of a massive cover-up.Hoping to free her dad, Katie sets out to investigate his bizarre claims. Soon she's drawn into the strange and secretive world of 9/11 conspiracy theorists known as the "Truthers".Wading through a dangerous web of fact and fiction, questions and distortion, Katie no longer knows what to believe. But she does know that she's being followed -- and that someone is determined to stop her search for the truth.A novel for teens, exploring 9/11 & our conspiracy culture...

Truthers Details

TitleTruthers
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseAug 1st, 2017
PublisherCarolrhoda Lab
Rating
GenreYoung Adult, Thriller, Mystery, Teen, Realistic Fiction

Truthers Review

  • Amy's Book Reviews
    January 1, 1970
    If I could give this book negative stars, it would be a negative 5, but ask me how I really feel.WARNING: rant aheadInitially, I liked TRUTHERS, which I thought was a story about a girl dealing with her paranoid schizophrenic father's delusions about 9/11. About 10% into the book Geoffrey Girard used one of my least favorite phrases "radical Islamic terrorist". I believe that phrase is toxic, because it equates the infinitesimally small number of people who use religion as an excuse for terror w If I could give this book negative stars, it would be a negative 5, but ask me how I really feel.WARNING: rant aheadInitially, I liked TRUTHERS, which I thought was a story about a girl dealing with her paranoid schizophrenic father's delusions about 9/11. About 10% into the book Geoffrey Girard used one of my least favorite phrases "radical Islamic terrorist". I believe that phrase is toxic, because it equates the infinitesimally small number of people who use religion as an excuse for terror with that religion. We only do this with Muslims, not with radical christian terrorists like the guy who shot up the church and murdered 8 black worshippers in bible study. The media and certain politicians call black criminals thugs, Muslims terrorists and whites "mentally ill", I don't need to read the same rhetoric in YA fiction.Rather than making TRUTHERS a story about mental illness, Girard gives credence to conspiracy theorists with much of the story and the ending. In fact, much of TRUTHERS is Katie's quest to uncover the different theories. Granted, being raised by a paranoid father, I would understand why she was suspicious and doubted what she was told. It was her frame of reference. Since most YA readers are young people, many who weren't born or were too young to remember how the events unfolded, giving credence to such nonsense is irresponsible. One of the characters opined that if one percent of information was untrue, all the information was untrue (lies) since the truth wasn't 100%.I remember every moment of 9/11 unfolding before our disbelieving eyes and ears. Thinking not just of the lives lost and their loved ones, those injured physically and emotionally, first responders ill from helping out, but of the devastation to the psyche of nearly everyone in the world, I think TRUTHERS did not need to be told in the way it was so soon afterwards. I'm not against retelling history fictionally, but the replacement tower isn't even completed. Too soon.I'm so angry I spend money on this book, not because it was horrible (it was), but because I don't want a penny of royalties from the book going into Girard's pocket or that of the publisher. BTW, I also didn't care for the writing, the switching of POV's from Katie's to a mystery person didn't work for me.TRUTHERS did a good job of portraying foster care and social workers in a positive light. That was the only positive aspect for me.
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  • Tammy
    January 1, 1970
    The nitty-gritty: A fun, fast-paced thriller about the conspiracy theories behind 9/11, this contemporary YA will give teens (and adults!) plenty to think about.I don’t usually read YA thrillers, but when Geoffrey Girard asks you to read his book, you do! I have to admit I don’t know much about conspiracy theories—although my sixteen year old daughter tells me about plenty (I think it might be a teenager thing…)—but it sure was a blast reading about them, especially since Girard’s latest focuses The nitty-gritty: A fun, fast-paced thriller about the conspiracy theories behind 9/11, this contemporary YA will give teens (and adults!) plenty to think about.I don’t usually read YA thrillers, but when Geoffrey Girard asks you to read his book, you do! I have to admit I don’t know much about conspiracy theories—although my sixteen year old daughter tells me about plenty (I think it might be a teenager thing…)—but it sure was a blast reading about them, especially since Girard’s latest focuses on the conspiracy theories behind the events of 9/11. Truthers is definitely slanted toward the YA crowd—there’s some burgeoning romance and plenty of teen slang—but I can honestly say that it had some unexpected layers, and I ended up learning a lot. Add in some pulse-pounding action and you have a great mix.Katie Wallace’s father has just been committed to Ventworth Hospital, after attacking a coworker. Coupled with his PTSD from his time in the military and his rantings about conspiracy theories, Scott Wallace is being heavily sedated and the administrators won’t let Katie see him. When she finally gets a few minutes to talk to him, though, he barely makes any sense, repeating over and over the cryptic words “They killed all of them.” Katie is taken into foster care, since she’s underage, but even this drastic life change won’t deter her from trying to help her father and discover the mystery behind his puzzling words.A man from Veterans Affairs named Paul Cobb begins questioning Katie, trying to find out if her father has told her anything, and through these conversations Katie starts to realize that her father once worked for a company that may have had something to do with a 9/11 cover up. As she pieces together the confusing ramblings of her father and the suspicious actions of Paul Cobb, Katie begins to wonder if her dad might be telling the truth. Were hundreds of people who knew too much killed in order to hide the truth of what really happened that fateful day? How was her father involved? And even more unsettling, how does Katie herself fit into the picture? Her father mentioned something about a woman handing a baby to him in order to save her, and Katie suspects she might have been that child.Before she knows it, Katie is knee-deep in conspiracy theories and trying to find a lawyer who will agree to help her father get out of Ventworth. Along with a young law student named Max, her best friend Gianna and even her new foster siblings, Katie doggedly looks for answers, stepping out of her comfort zone in order to discover the truth. But someone is watching her every move, someone who doesn’t want to leave any loose ends.I personally have never paid much attention to conspiracy theories, and although I’ve heard the odd thing here or there about 9/11, I was never interested enough to read up on them. But it turns out there is a whole group of people who think that enough proof exists to present alternate stories of what might have actually happened, and I found it interesting that the title is based on a real group of people called “truthers” who literally spend their lives searching for the truth. Whether you believe it or not, it’s fascinating to read about, and Girard keeps a level head as he’s telling his story by presenting both sides and giving them equal page time. If you’re hoping for concrete answers by the end of the book, well I’m afraid you’ll be disappointed. Nothing is really resolved, although the characters do learn plenty. The author also drops tantalizing hints about other conspiracies throughout our country’s history that seriously made me want to do some Googling to learn more!I loved Katie as a character, she’s curious, loyal to her father, and determined to get to the bottom of what really happened during 9/11. She also dives headlong into dangerous situations, which made her character a bit less believable, but it certainly made for a fun story. While Katie is open-minded and prone to believe conspiracy theories in general, her friend Max is the opposite. He has a hard time believing that the U.S. government could ever lie to its people, especially when it comes to 9/11. Max jumps in and agrees to help Katie with her research, but he’s there mostly for moral support. He’s not buying the proclamations spouted by conspiracy nuts, and I liked that he balanced Katie out with his levelheaded attitude.The other thing I really enjoyed was the fact that Katie has to stay with a foster family while her father is in Ventworth. I honestly can’t remember ever reading a story that dealt with foster care, and while it certainly isn’t the focus of this story, it felt very real and honest. While Katie isn’t thrilled with the rules and curfews her foster parents set for her, it worked much better than if she had just been able to stay at home by herself. Plus she becomes good friends with one of her foster sisters!A couple of things didn’t work as well for me, but overall I consider them minor. As Katie is delving into the 9/11 conspiracies and trying to get her father released, we find out that someone seems to be watching her every move. Katie’s story is broken up by short scenes of “mystery” men talking about “stopping” Katie from finding out the truth, following her, and even using surveillance equipment to spy on her and Max. Although these scenes did add some suspense to the story, I found them a bit over-the-top for my taste. There is also something that happens to Katie’s cat that did not sit well with me. That whole scenario, although it did turn out better that I expected, just didn’t feel like it belonged in this story.But despite those issues, Girard certainly knows how to pace his story. There’s plenty of excitement throughout, especially the last few chapters when everything comes to a head. Several things are resolved, but the bigger questions aren’t, leaving lots of room for readers to draw their own conclusions. I loved the way Girard was able to add serious themes like PTSD, mental illness, foster care and even drug use to a fast-paced story that never felt bogged down by those things. Truthers is both entertaining and educational, which for me is a winning combination.Big thanks to the publisher for supplying a review copy. My interview with Geoffrey will be up tomorrow, don't miss it! This review originally appeared on Books, Bones & Buffy
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  • Ms. Just One More Book (Kris Miller)
    January 1, 1970
    Katie Wallace has long since been prepared for her dad's mental instability to come crashing down around her. What she was not prepared for was the truth within his words. As her father is taken to a mental institution he seemingly babbles "They killed them all". His insistence that the tragic 9/11 attack was not that of terrorists - but of conspiracy - leads Katie to the Truthers, and ultimately towards the road to the truth itself. Girard creates a mesmerizing and provocative read that intensi Katie Wallace has long since been prepared for her dad's mental instability to come crashing down around her. What she was not prepared for was the truth within his words. As her father is taken to a mental institution he seemingly babbles "They killed them all". His insistence that the tragic 9/11 attack was not that of terrorists - but of conspiracy - leads Katie to the Truthers, and ultimately towards the road to the truth itself. Girard creates a mesmerizing and provocative read that intensifies as the pages turn. Fast- paced, TRUTHERS is an exciting thriller that will leave you speculating long after the final page.
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  • Cheryl
    January 1, 1970
    The concept for this book is what drew me to it. I was curious about what theory Katie's father had about the true events of 9/11. After reading to the half way mark it was evident that this book was written more for the younger juvenile audience. Not that there is anything wrong with this. This just means for the older audience, like me, this book may not be appreciated. The theories being thrown around were unbelievable. Also, the intensity levels seemed to be muted for the younger crowd. Had The concept for this book is what drew me to it. I was curious about what theory Katie's father had about the true events of 9/11. After reading to the half way mark it was evident that this book was written more for the younger juvenile audience. Not that there is anything wrong with this. This just means for the older audience, like me, this book may not be appreciated. The theories being thrown around were unbelievable. Also, the intensity levels seemed to be muted for the younger crowd. Had these factors been improved on for all reading audiences, this might have been a pretty good book.
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  • Donna
    January 1, 1970
    My interest was piqued with TRUTHERS, however, when I started reading I was very afraid of where the book was going to go. I have huge problems with people capitalizing on 9/11 in the form of entertainment, like fictionalized books or movies. Same goes for other big tragedies, like the BP rig explosion and that movie with Mark Wahlberg. Gross. No. You’re making money on the backs of dead people with survivors still alive to tell you exactly what happened. No.So I was afraid because 9/11 is very My interest was piqued with TRUTHERS, however, when I started reading I was very afraid of where the book was going to go. I have huge problems with people capitalizing on 9/11 in the form of entertainment, like fictionalized books or movies. Same goes for other big tragedies, like the BP rig explosion and that movie with Mark Wahlberg. Gross. No. You’re making money on the backs of dead people with survivors still alive to tell you exactly what happened. No.So I was afraid because 9/11 is very close to me. I don’t like to call myself a survivor because I wasn’t downtown when it happened. I was in my dorm at 55th between 2nd and 3rd, having been dropped off eight days prior for my freshman year of college. I don’t feel like I actually survived anything being that far uptown, yet it’s such a monumental moment in my life that I’m still to this day grossly affected by it. I didn’t witness the planes crashing into the buildings or see the towers collapsing, but I can tell you how yellow the air was the next day when the wind shifted and what thousands of burning bodies and cement and steel and asbestos and office equipment smells like. How long it stuck to our hair and our clothes, how news anchors advised people to stay indoors. I can tell you it took between 7 and 8 hours to get a hold of my parents that day because cell services were jammed, pay phones were for emergency only, and no one had long distance on their dorm phones. So my parents had no idea whether I was alive or dead. I can tell you what a silent New York City feels like, what hordes of people walking across the Queensboro looked like because the island was locked down. What’s it like to walk in streets that were previously flat but were now rippled and bulging because of the underground force created by the falling towers. I can tell you what it’s like to have a fundraiser variety show for one of our friends whose dad, who didn’t work in the towers but were nearby, ran in to help people and never came out. They buried an empty coffin that November and in March his body was finally extracted from the wreckage, intact.I know our government’s down some really shitty things, but I can’t accept that they would allow something like this to happen let alone actually orchestrated it. So I had a hard time going into this book, and I had a hard time writing what I did above, and I was afraid of what Girard was going to do. My 18-year-old self was very directly affected by 9/11 and my 34-year-old-self now is very protective of that piece of me. But I gave it a chance.And once things started working out and cracks started to form, I stopped reading the book as if I were anticipating a hit. I waited until the very end to see how he would tie everything together just so I didn’t jump the gun and was like WHEW. TRUTHERS ended in a very satisfying place. Not one where I anticipated it ending, but a respectful place.The basic premise is Katie’s dad has been not well for a long time and at his last breakdown before being hospitalized he drops a bomb: that we was involved in a secret conspiracy to orchestrate 9/11 and Katie is really the daughter of a woman off of Flight 93 who handed her over to him to save before the woman was carted off and murdered by the government. This is at the front of the book, and it’s a very insulting conspiracy which was why I was so apprehensive going into it. I was really hoping the book would ultimately be a comment on mental illness, which is kind of ends up being. It just takes a while for that point to develop.So here’s the thing: conspiracies are not mathematically viable. Effectively the more people who know a secret the less amount of time that secret is going to stay a secret. That article effectively proves that based on prior real conspiracies that did come to light. The thing about covert operations is that very few people know about them. Exceedingly few. That’s to mitigate leaks. There is stuff that’s buried very deeply within the government that not even Julian Assange can get his hands on. The shit the government really doesn’t want people to know, they hide it well. Everything else . . . well, the government at large is terrible at keeping secrets, if you couldn’t already tell.One of Katie’s contacts, a guy with the handle Benevolus522, states that people who know too much and who are deemed a threat by the government get eliminated. That’s not untrue. However the government actually needs to think you’re a threat with the information you know. Ben here’s been working on his truther crap for more than a decade and he considers himself hunkered down under hacker protection from the government and in hiding. 1) Hubris to think his tech skills are better than the government’s when it comes to spycraft. Ha. 2) By that same logic if he was actually on to anything he’d already be dead. Since he’s not, by that logic, he knows jack shit. But, you know. Truthers aren’t logical so that concept flies right out the window.Max is a leveling factor throughout the story, poking holes in Katie’s logic the entire time and he really grounds it all out. He waters down every truther concept, picks it up and turns it around so it can be seen from the other side of the coin. He’s really the voice of reason as Katie devolves into this whole mess.As for Katie herself, she gets points for the research she does and the time spent. The crux of this whole thing, as outlined by one of the cases she found, it to prove that the truther conspiracies are believable by people of sound judgment and mind, not just by “crazies.” And this is brought up very early on in the story so if you hang on to this notion, keep it in the back of your mind, it’ll help you carry through everything, from the cut-aways to the “men in black” talking about spying on her to the questionable scare tactic moments that arise. She’s also a vaguely inconsistent character, but that’s just one mention that really stood out: considering 9/11 ancient history, however, she quotes the movie Se7en, which is even older than that event. Literally before her time. But whatever. Small hiccup, ultimately.There are a lot of hidden pieces in TRUTHERS that if I start talking about them they’ll just be outright spoilers. So I’ll just end it with this: it’s a book that ultimately keeps its distance. 9/11 is THE BIG THING in the book, but that’s not how it ends. Girard is respectful and ends up making various comments about the mentality around conspiracies, PTSD, mental illness, and persistence toward truth. It started off rough and ended quite well. I would recommend giving it a chance.He puts a note at the end, before the bibliography, just commenting on the sites and books he referenced when researching the book and how it’s not an endorsement, just a research list. InfoWars is on there and it made me twitch. Ugh. Talk about conspiratorial drivel. I’m sorry he had to go there, but I think it shows the lengths to which he went in order to understand the mentality of that side of thinking and even that isn’t presented in a mocking way in the book, but just as another way of thinking without being disrespectful to those directly affected by 9/11.So if you’re looking at the blurb and you’re skeptical in a way that I was, give TRUTHERS a chance. You might be surprised.4.5I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Jason Sizemore
    January 1, 1970
    *copy received from Girard's publicist in exchange for an honest review*First, a small bit about my head space going into Truthers by Geoffrey Girard. I was to dissect it and rip it apart. I have little patience or tolerance for the so-called truther movement.Geoff's previous efforts such as Project Cain convinced me to give this one a chance. I'm glad I did. This is outstanding YA fiction. You can sense the author's background as a teacher through the expressed realism of his female high school *copy received from Girard's publicist in exchange for an honest review*First, a small bit about my head space going into Truthers by Geoffrey Girard. I was to dissect it and rip it apart. I have little patience or tolerance for the so-called truther movement.Geoff's previous efforts such as Project Cain convinced me to give this one a chance. I'm glad I did. This is outstanding YA fiction. You can sense the author's background as a teacher through the expressed realism of his female high school protagonist. She has all the hallmarks of a great YA protag: smart, doesn't take crap, has initiative, and has a complicated love interest.The core mystery of the book is fulfilling. There are several conspiracy theory data dumps, but without them the reader would be in the dark as to all the plot machinations that are occurring. Plus, who doesn't like learning about conspiracy theories?This book feels like a step forward in Girard's writing. Project Cain was great. This might be even better.--Jason
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  • Niki
    January 1, 1970
    DNFI really tried to get through this novel, but it just is not for me. I think it may work better for teens born after the events of 9/11, but for me, although I think conspiracy theories are really interesting, I did not enjoy reading about real and tragic events possibly being something else. Like I said, it may be for someone else or maybe if I had continued on it would have gotten better but for now I'm not giving it a rating.
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  • Jennifer McGowan
    January 1, 1970
    TRUTHERS by Geoffrey Girard is the kind of book that stays with you long after you've read it. It's a fast-paced thriller featuring a young heroine faced with an impossible claim--that she's somehow tied to the tragic events of 9/11--and the even more impossible task of trying to determine what actually happened that fateful day. Katie's efforts to discover the truth behind all the smoke screens, false information, misdirection and genuine confusion surrounding 9/11 made for a terrific read, but TRUTHERS by Geoffrey Girard is the kind of book that stays with you long after you've read it. It's a fast-paced thriller featuring a young heroine faced with an impossible claim--that she's somehow tied to the tragic events of 9/11--and the even more impossible task of trying to determine what actually happened that fateful day. Katie's efforts to discover the truth behind all the smoke screens, false information, misdirection and genuine confusion surrounding 9/11 made for a terrific read, but I also found myself considering the reasons why conspiracy theories get started, and how quickly they can spin out of control. A compelling read for fans of thrillers, politics, current events, and recent history.
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  • R Z
    January 1, 1970
    Interesting read. I can understand why people would be uncomfortable reading it, but I also understand the author's intention of writing it. I knew most of the conspiracy theory surrounding 9/11 already (at least, what the novel delves into) as I've always been interested in conspiracy theory and whatnot, but am of the same belief of one of the characters in the novel: the US government perpetrated a cover up only to both cover their own incompetence and the involvement of Saudi Arabia, a US all Interesting read. I can understand why people would be uncomfortable reading it, but I also understand the author's intention of writing it. I knew most of the conspiracy theory surrounding 9/11 already (at least, what the novel delves into) as I've always been interested in conspiracy theory and whatnot, but am of the same belief of one of the characters in the novel: the US government perpetrated a cover up only to both cover their own incompetence and the involvement of Saudi Arabia, a US ally. That's it; not very exciting, I know. Despite the political issues that crop up in the reviews (understandable and some issues that even I had before reading) reading it was enjoyable. I felt the author shed light on the subject into the world of the truthers and shed light on the very human impact that 9/11 had not only for individuals, but for the country. Overall, I enjoyed it. Fine mystery, a little predictable, and interesting (view spoiler)[how, in the end, hat happened was a US atrocity, just not the one thought. (hide spoiler)]
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  • Carrie {The Butterfly Reader}
    January 1, 1970
    So, I've said before that for some reason I love conspiracy theories. Do I believe any of them? No. I don't but they are interesting to look up. So when I saw this one on NetGalley, I had to get it. I learned nothing new from it but someone who knows nothing about the the conspiracy that 9/11 was an inside job will learn lots. This actually leads me to the first problem I have: info dumping. It got pretty boring in some parts of this book for that reason. I get it, she would go look up all these So, I've said before that for some reason I love conspiracy theories. Do I believe any of them? No. I don't but they are interesting to look up. So when I saw this one on NetGalley, I had to get it. I learned nothing new from it but someone who knows nothing about the the conspiracy that 9/11 was an inside job will learn lots. This actually leads me to the first problem I have: info dumping. It got pretty boring in some parts of this book for that reason. I get it, she would go look up all these things and it made sense for the info dumping but it didn't make it any less boring.Also the drugs... I'm not a fan of drugs and her father was big into weed. I pushed past that because I'd never seen a YA book like this one before and it does make sense why he did it but I still don't like that. Overall, this is a good book for anyone who likes 9/11 conspiracy theories.
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  • Lauren Hanzelka
    January 1, 1970
    I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for a review. I really liked the idea of this book, and I wanted it to be a good one. Conspiracy theories fascinate me, so I was excited to dig in! Truthers intrigued me at first, but the further I got into the book, the more lost I became. The plot became hard to follow and in the end, really fell apart.
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  • sleepywriter
    January 1, 1970
    I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.There be spoilers and swearing ahead!3.5 stars. Truthers tells the story of Katie, who lives with her pothead, drunk-off-his-ass dad. Until, one day, she doesn't anymore. She comes home to see that the nice young men in their clean white coats have come and taken her dad away (does anyone get that song reference or am I just that old?). Katie goes into foster care and stays with a fabulous family. No, I'm serious about that. Ho I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.There be spoilers and swearing ahead!3.5 stars. Truthers tells the story of Katie, who lives with her pothead, drunk-off-his-ass dad. Until, one day, she doesn't anymore. She comes home to see that the nice young men in their clean white coats have come and taken her dad away (does anyone get that song reference or am I just that old?). Katie goes into foster care and stays with a fabulous family. No, I'm serious about that. However, when she finally gets to see her dad, her dad starts talking about knowing the Truth about 9/11 and how Katie is the key to figuring everything out. Katie ultimately decides to trust her father, and the journey she goes on is more twisted than you could ever imagine. To be honest, I quite enjoyed Truthers. Katie, our protagonist, is a likable character. She learns and grows. The author does a great job of making her sarcastic without turning her into a total bitch. The supporting characters in the text are, for the most part, also well fleshed out and believable. (Minus the one friend that keeps appearing and disappearing. Katie keeps mentioning having two best friends, however, we only spend time with one of them. Go figure.) The author does a great job of delving into the conspiracies that surround 9/11; the book is well-researched and the author even includes a bibliography for those who want to learn more. For the generation that this book is written for - those who were born after 9/11 occurred - will find this book interesting. I only have two real complaints about the book, and I'm hoping that one is because I read an ARC, is that the formatting is a bit wonky at time. The narration point of view switches occasionally, and there was no line breaks or any way to tell when the narration had jumped. Therefore, it often took me a minute or two to realize that jump had occurred.My second complaint is the resolution. I don't want to give too much away as it will lead to a huge spoiler for the book, but let's just say it wasn't very clear and left me feeling a bit confused. Overall, if you're into mysteries and conspiracy theories, chances are you'll enjoy this book. It's definitely a quick, easy read so it's worth a second glance.
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  • Sandy Reilly
    January 1, 1970
    Katie never believed in her dad -- he let her down too many times to count. His bad combination of drugs and alcohol left Katie picking up his responsibilities all throughout her childhood, forcing her to learn that the only person she could depend on is herself. When the police bring Child Services to her front door, Katie isn't shocked, knowing it was only a matter of time. What she didn't expect was to hear her dad has been admitted to a mental institution due to a violent encounter with cowo Katie never believed in her dad -- he let her down too many times to count. His bad combination of drugs and alcohol left Katie picking up his responsibilities all throughout her childhood, forcing her to learn that the only person she could depend on is herself. When the police bring Child Services to her front door, Katie isn't shocked, knowing it was only a matter of time. What she didn't expect was to hear her dad has been admitted to a mental institution due to a violent encounter with coworkers and claims of 9/11 conspiracies involving former vice president Dick Cheney. Katie remembers her dad spouting "truther" conspiracies sporadically, mostly when he was either drunk or high. But when her dad shares a dark secret with her, she finds herself thrust into a world of lies, half-truths, and corruption. Now Katie must figure out if her dad could be telling the truth -- which would shake up her world completely -- or if he really is in the place where he belongs.Thoughts: Girard's novel had me riveted and horrified all at the same time. Like many reading this review, I remember 9/11 very clearly -- I can tell you where I was when each plane crashed, how I felt when each tower crumbled before the world's very eyes, and how my friends, family, and students were directly affected by what happened that terrible day. To read this fictional character, Katie, explore all-to-real "truther" points-of-view, I was so upset by how plausible it all seemed. I have never given credence to the "truther" movement before and I cannot say this book has convinced me to believe in any way, nor was that the author's intent, however I can see how easily it would be to get caught up in it all, just like Katie was. I would recommend this to any high school teacher who is looking to get their students more involved in questioning the world around them, even if it means questioning their own government.
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  • Tara Noelle
    January 1, 1970
    [3.5 stars]Girard did it with his CAIN books, and he's done it again: made me extremely interested in a topic I normally wouldn't care much to delve into, let alone read an entire book about. Like the impact his earlier novels had on me, I was up researching about 9/11 conspiracy theories well into the night before I even finished TRUTHERS. It's fascinating to me. I mean, I believe people walked on the moon, but I enjoy reading about other theories that explore something even crazier.I appreciat [3.5 stars]Girard did it with his CAIN books, and he's done it again: made me extremely interested in a topic I normally wouldn't care much to delve into, let alone read an entire book about. Like the impact his earlier novels had on me, I was up researching about 9/11 conspiracy theories well into the night before I even finished TRUTHERS. It's fascinating to me. I mean, I believe people walked on the moon, but I enjoy reading about other theories that explore something even crazier.I appreciate the research that went into this book, as well as the courage and time it took to find the right publisher and get it on the shelves.Much like Katie, I was around three years old when 9/11 occurred. I've been to the memorial in NYC. And while it was chilling and eye-opening, I still had very little, I guess, "emotion" toward it because of the simple fact that I was young when it happened and had no real personal connection to it.Although, unlike Katie, I *do* surprisingly remember that day fairly vividly. But something I remember more is sitting in Kindergarten and witnessing a news broadcast on T.V. showing the Twin Towers on that horrible day. This was most likely being shown because it was the two year anniversary of 9/11 and supposedly the teacher "accidentally" turned it on. While the other kids hid their eyes, I remember my best friend and I staring wide-eyed at the screen.In all honesty, we wanted the teacher to leave that channel on. We wanted to know more. We still every once in awhile recall that memory and wonder if there was more behind the 9/11 disaster than what was unveiled to the public eye.This was, I later came to know, the only thing I ever learned in school about 9/11. I was, what, five years old? And it was by complete accident. Even later on, it wasn't really considered a subject that needed to be taught.TRUTHERS better informed me of the 9/11 disaster and overall fueled my curiosity and need to know more, which Girard states was exactly his intent. It was really interesting to find out that there really *is* such a thing as a "Truther." The immersive storyline is packed full of mystery and suspense with an incredibly relatable heroine. This is writing that will keep you intrigued and anxious and turning pages all the way to the end. It's fast-paced and educational, shedding light on real issues even beyond the world being filled with alternate facts--things like PTSD, depression, addiction, and parental problems.I found that Katie's journey hit home in more ways than one. Girard's writing from a female POV is exceptionally good. Katie is savvy, heroic and perfectly capable of holding her own. Basically, a total badass. I felt like I was standing right beside her the whole time--angry, torn, searching for answers in this web of fake truths and desperately trying to save her father even though he might be a complete lunatic. I was also pleasantly surprised to find the other characters as impactful as Katie. Max is brilliantly developed and his and Katie's contrasting opinions pair extremely well together. I loved Katie's best friend Gianna, Zoe and C.J., even the some-what motherly Ms. Dorsey (would've liked to see more of her actually) and the not-so-stiff lawyer, Wren. The bad guys are written as well as the good; I like, really wanted to punch them. There are some seriously creepy parts--hints of the genre I personally think Girard does best. The teen humor, modern "nods", and (especially the charming Max's) nerdy references (video games and Tolkien FTW!) are fantastic--something that really sets Girard's writing apart from the rest.I will say that, while the rest isn't at all bad, I liked the first half of the book better. The romance got a bit corny for me, and some of the informational passages about Katie's research and the court/governmental/political stuff was lengthy here and there. The events following the prom seemed like they were resolved too quickly, and I wasn't exactly sure how I felt about where Cobb stood at the end (Katie's views on him are sometimes unclear and seem to go back and forth). The biggest issue that sticks in my mind, though, is I wish there would've been more of a better--or, rather, more satisfying--wrap-up between Katie and her father; after all, this plays a huge part in the plot, and it ends up feeling a bit rushed. All things considered, I whole-heartedly understand why and would likely act the same as Katie acted toward her father, but somehow it feels like it falls short. There's some-what of a Scott Wallace in my life, and one particular scene irked me because I would've patched that better than Katie did. There's something so touching there, and it shimmers just beneath the surface throughout the book many times, but I guess I still found myself wanting more of that to break through--more of a focus on the changes (healing?) in their relationship by the end of all this turmoil.The smaller mysteries are resolved with proper closure and went above my expectations, and I deeply admire the fact that there's no real answer in the end to the big question here: What REALLY happened on September 11th, 2001? It is, of course, up to your own interpretation, speculation, pondering… which is exactly the point here: Do we ever learn the REAL truth in this world of fake news and delusional propaganda? This subject was approached tremendously well, with utmost respect, and will likely leave you questioning things with a more open mind.TRUTHERS isn't your typical YA novel, and that's something I love about Girard's writing: it's unusual. It's different--and trust me, it's the good kind. If I'm to pick up a book, especially a conspiracy thriller, I want it to be different, to test what I *thought* I knew, to really get me thinking. And, TRUTHERS did just that. This is necessary writing. Girard is boldly telling the stories the world needs, even if it's bound to cause controversy. He does his research, writes what he knows, does it damn well, and truthfully, that's what's going to keep me coming back (and why you should, too) for the books he publishes in the future.
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  • Be A Rebel
    January 1, 1970
    As the story opens Katie's father is taken to a mental hospital - this isn't all that surprising to Katie, her father's always been a little unhinged. What is surprising to Katie is that her father has seemed a little more unhinged than usual lately. He's been talking about 9/11, about how it was a cover-up by the government and how he was involved in that cover-up. Then he tells Katie that she is a survivor from one of the planes that crashed on 9/11. As shocking as all of this is to Katie, she As the story opens Katie's father is taken to a mental hospital - this isn't all that surprising to Katie, her father's always been a little unhinged. What is surprising to Katie is that her father has seemed a little more unhinged than usual lately. He's been talking about 9/11, about how it was a cover-up by the government and how he was involved in that cover-up. Then he tells Katie that she is a survivor from one of the planes that crashed on 9/11. As shocking as all of this is to Katie, she is more worried about getting her father out of the psychiatric hospital. Part of that process means learning more about 9/11 and the claims her father is making. But the deeper Katie gets the more people she finds that don't seem to want her to dig any deeper. This is a fun read. Part mystery/detective story, part historical fiction, part realistic fiction - and it works well.
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  • Eustacia Tan
    January 1, 1970
    "The vastness of the internet allows people - no matter what their views - to crawl into the world's smallest teapot of those exact same views. Visiting only the websites and people that agree completely with your take, everyone spouting the same stuff."I really don't know what to make of this book. I picked it up because the premise was interesting, but halfway through it felt like it was pro-conspiracy theorist. Then the second half had logic and it felt like the conspiracy-part was going to b "The vastness of the internet allows people - no matter what their views - to crawl into the world's smallest teapot of those exact same views. Visiting only the websites and people that agree completely with your take, everyone spouting the same stuff."I really don't know what to make of this book. I picked it up because the premise was interesting, but halfway through it felt like it was pro-conspiracy theorist. Then the second half had logic and it felt like the conspiracy-part was going to be proven wrong but the ending was (view spoiler)[sort of conspiracy theory-ish, although the conspiracy was not about 911 but about a massacre being covered up. (hide spoiler)]Let me start from the beginning. Katie's father is taken away after he made threats about Dick Cheney. When she goes to visit him in a mental hospital, he reveals the 'truth' that she is actually the lone survivor of 9/11, and that 9/11 was perpetuated by the American government so it could go to war. In order to prove that her father is sane (because apparently if she can prove that sane people can be truthers it means her father is sane), Katie starts to investigate his claims. And probably because it would make the book very short to just investigate and dismiss the claims, the reader is immediately informed that there is, in fact, a shadowy group of people following her, which lends credence to her father's claims. I suppose that the good thing about the book is that it really goes into the conspiracy theorist culture. Katie falls for it (despite what she says by the time that the book hits the halfway mark, it's clear that she either believes it or she's very close to believing in it) and it shows that the internet age hasn't reduced information. If anything, it's spread it. That said, it felt like the book was pro-conspiracy theorist/truther for most of the book. In fact, I deeply considered stopping the book because it didn't feel unbiased (I know that the author tried to be objective but at that point I just wasn't feeling it). If Max (the guy that helps Katie out - obviously you know where this is going) didn't start speaking up and countering all her 'facts' with logic, I probably would have just stopped reading. Max, by the way, is my favourite character. He and Katie are the only two that felt real to me (I know she has friends but they didn't make much of an impression) and his level-headedness was what saved the book for me. It's a pity that his relationship with Katie was extremely predictable, although on the bright side, it wasn't insta-love.On a completely random note, Max also speaks one line of really awkward Chinese. Luckily, they never claimed that he was fluent but just seeing it made me pause for a second. As for the ending, I found it a little confusing. I think I've gotten it, but I was really confused at first. Which, come to think of it, probably mirrors what Katie felt. All in all, this is a confusing book to rate. I obviously liked it enough that I finished it (and I find that I'm giving up on books more easily nowadays - perhaps I'm finally becoming more ruthless/protective of my reading time?) but it did give me a lot of sighing and 'why on earth are you buying into that' moments while I was reading it. Disclaimer: I got a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a free and honest review. This review was first posted at Inside the mind of a Bibliophile
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  • Kristin's Novel Cafe
    January 1, 1970
    My Review:  4.5/5I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started to read this book.  All I knew going in was it was about the travesty of 9/11 and a possible cover-up.  This book took me by surprise…a great surprise!I am going to start of by saying I am a proud American.  I’m a born and raised citizen, who has the utmost confidence in the country and those who run it.  I proudly wave the American Flag and the 4th of July is one of my favorite holidays.This book is about Katie, who tries to untangle My Review:  4.5/5I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started to read this book.  All I knew going in was it was about the travesty of 9/11 and a possible cover-up.  This book took me by surprise…a great surprise!I am going to start of by saying I am a proud American.  I’m a born and raised citizen, who has the utmost confidence in the country and those who run it.  I proudly wave the American Flag and the 4th of July is one of my favorite holidays.This book is about Katie, who tries to untangle the babble from her dad who has just been confined to a mental institution.  He mutters ‘they killed them all’.  She soon learns he is referring to 9/11 and starts her own investigation of the real truth that occurred on that day.  Her research leads her to one conspiracy theory to the next.  Was the government behind it?  Were certain Americans aware the tragedy was going to happen?I have to admit, I never looked into or have even ever heard of any conspiracies around 9/11.  Call me naive, but I believe it is the evil work of terrorists.  This book left me speechless and questioning.  It is very thought-provoking.  The author did an excellent job bringing light to a taboo subject in the telling of a fiction story.  I applaud him for challenging my way of thinking.  Great book, and one I recommend…especially if you want to be challenged.***Thank you to the author and publisher for my advanced copy in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.
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  • Alicia
    January 1, 1970
    For those that are reviewing the book negatively simply because it's a fictional story about the conspiracy theories around 9/11, I dismiss that because a library should have a book to offend everyone and in Girard's afterward he also discusses why he chose to write about the topic and that it's not to offend, but to lend a voice when those that were not born a voice in understanding the idea of conspiracy theories. We cannot outright dismiss it, we need to bring it to light. But I had issues wi For those that are reviewing the book negatively simply because it's a fictional story about the conspiracy theories around 9/11, I dismiss that because a library should have a book to offend everyone and in Girard's afterward he also discusses why he chose to write about the topic and that it's not to offend, but to lend a voice when those that were not born a voice in understanding the idea of conspiracy theories. We cannot outright dismiss it, we need to bring it to light. But I had issues with the book on a completely different level and that was the writing itself. I don't believe a teen would have the patience to get through a mystery like this. I think it's an adult book that might have YA appeal, but it's certainly not YA other than the fact that the female protagonist is a teen. The research element and her ability to start taking control and understand her father's view are the redeeming quality but I could not slog through it to get to the real meat of the story.
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  • Dana
    January 1, 1970
    When Katie's drug addict father is put into a mental institute after ranting about 9/11 conspiracies, threatening Vice President Dick Cheney and beating up a co-worker, Katie begins to research the 9/11 conspiracies in order to help get her father out of the mental institute. She is aided by a 17 year old boy genius who she meets at the law library where she is doing research. The more she learns about the Truthers, the conspiracy theorists, the more plausible some of their theories sound. Katie When Katie's drug addict father is put into a mental institute after ranting about 9/11 conspiracies, threatening Vice President Dick Cheney and beating up a co-worker, Katie begins to research the 9/11 conspiracies in order to help get her father out of the mental institute. She is aided by a 17 year old boy genius who she meets at the law library where she is doing research. The more she learns about the Truthers, the conspiracy theorists, the more plausible some of their theories sound. Katie, however, is in danger and is not sure who are the good guys and who are the bad guys. I found it interesting that the book ties the belief in conspiracy theories in with PTSD. The story is captivating and intriguing.
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  • Julie
    January 1, 1970
    Conspiracy theories abound in this thriller, but in the end, the focus does shift. This book will appeal to YA readers for its plethora of theories, and I'm hoping readers will dig more deeply into the ones portrayed here to discover where the truth lies. It was a little uncomfortable at times, as it felt as though the reader was being led down a dark path into some unpatriotic places.I couldn't help but like Katie for her strong will, grit, and incredible intelligence. She would make an interes Conspiracy theories abound in this thriller, but in the end, the focus does shift. This book will appeal to YA readers for its plethora of theories, and I'm hoping readers will dig more deeply into the ones portrayed here to discover where the truth lies. It was a little uncomfortable at times, as it felt as though the reader was being led down a dark path into some unpatriotic places.I couldn't help but like Katie for her strong will, grit, and incredible intelligence. She would make an interesting character study.
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  • Tfalcone
    January 1, 1970
    Thank You Net galley for the free ARC. One day Katie comes home and her dad has had a nervous breakdown and has been locked up in a hospital. He was never too good with reality ever since he served time in the war. When she visits him, he tells her that he is not her dad and that they killed them all. Is this her dad's fantasy or did something really happen all those years ago and did it have something to do with 9//11?
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  • Mandy Peterson
    January 1, 1970
    Truthers started out really strong. Katie is thrust into a new life when her veteran father is admitted into a mental health facility. With a great foster family, the change isn't so bad until she begins investigating her father's claim that Katie is the sole survivor of a 9/11 conspiracy theory event. Katie does a bunch of investigating, meets some interesting characters along the way, and teaches us all about conspiracy theories. Somewhere along the way (about 45% of the way through), the book Truthers started out really strong. Katie is thrust into a new life when her veteran father is admitted into a mental health facility. With a great foster family, the change isn't so bad until she begins investigating her father's claim that Katie is the sole survivor of a 9/11 conspiracy theory event. Katie does a bunch of investigating, meets some interesting characters along the way, and teaches us all about conspiracy theories. Somewhere along the way (about 45% of the way through), the book began to lose its luster for me. It just moved so slowly! I really had to force myself to come back to it just so I knew how it ended.
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  • Tara
    January 1, 1970
    Katie Wallace attempts to save her father from a mental institution by research his claims that he was involved in the coverup of 9/11. An interesting read, but one that won't appeal to a wide variety of high school students.I read an ARC from NetGalley.
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  • Sarah Z
    January 1, 1970
    It was honestly very confusing and I kept on not wanting to read it. The thing Katie and Max have is pretty cute and I liked the ending.
  • Katie
    January 1, 1970
    received the ARC through NetGalley
  • Jenny Ashby
    January 1, 1970
    Fairly early in the book Katie confesses that the events of 9/11 are basically the same as any other ancient history to her since she was a baby when it happened. I, however, remember it well and am still devastated by the attacks so I went into this book with caution and curiosity as to how Girard would handle things. I am not a truther so I was dismayed with the overwhelmingly persuasive arguments presented that seemed aimed at convincing the reader of a cover up. Despite my feelings, I was wi Fairly early in the book Katie confesses that the events of 9/11 are basically the same as any other ancient history to her since she was a baby when it happened. I, however, remember it well and am still devastated by the attacks so I went into this book with caution and curiosity as to how Girard would handle things. I am not a truther so I was dismayed with the overwhelmingly persuasive arguments presented that seemed aimed at convincing the reader of a cover up. Despite my feelings, I was willing to go along with the story in that direction so then I was dismayed again with the ending that seemed to completely negate all the previous conspiracy build up. It felt like a sell out to me or an attempt to appease both sides of the truther spectrum.
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  • Andrew
    January 1, 1970
    *I received a free copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 5I feel like up top I should probably throw out the fact that if you are going to be bothered by discussions of conspiracy theories about 9/11, this book is definitely not for you. The author does a wonderful job addressing this in the afterword (he discusses that teens who weren’t alive for 9/11 are often interested in the conspiracy theories and he wanted to ad *I received a free copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 5I feel like up top I should probably throw out the fact that if you are going to be bothered by discussions of conspiracy theories about 9/11, this book is definitely not for you. The author does a wonderful job addressing this in the afterword (he discusses that teens who weren’t alive for 9/11 are often interested in the conspiracy theories and he wanted to address those interests along with other information about it), but I think it’s important to know up front because it was the one thing that kind of bothered me throughout the book and tarnished it a little bit for me. I knew that would be part of the book but I guess I did not realize how much it would gnaw at me as I was reading that a lot of ideas brought up in the book had to do with the tragedy being a false flag or inside job and the like.That aside, I think that the book actually handles the issue relatively well. Truthers is about Katie, a girl trying to create a defense for her father who has been arrested for an outburst about 9/11 and threatening Dick Cheney. Only a high school student, she throws all she has into the task trying of to mount a defense that just because her father might believe in conspiracy theories does not mean that he is a threat to others and should therefore be let off. It is an interesting framing and does a nice job of taking Katie from being a skeptic to being someone who is much more doubting of the official story. As a character, Katie is quite earnest which I found to be important to make rooting for her feel appropriate. I felt that her best friend was not very well fleshed out but with that one notable exception, I thought most of the characters were fairly well developed.Max is a law student wunderkind who decides to help Katie out with her case. He is a nice foil for Katie as he remains more resolute in believing the official story of 9/11. He provided some much needed perspective both in the universe of the book and just to me as the reader, who almost had to put it down because (as mentioned above) the book dabbles with being disrespectful to the victims of 9/11. Also, Max being a complete and unabashed nerd referencing Tolkien immediately endeared him to me.Overall, if you are someone interested in conspiracy theories, I think you will quite enjoy this book. If you are neutral about them it’s a decent YA story that is worth a read but not essential. If you can’t stomach the suggestion of alternate theories about the events of 9/11, this is a hard pass.Also posted on Purple People Readers.
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