Three Things I Know Are True
This moving debut novel in verse about a teenage girl dealing with the aftermath of an accident that nearly takes her brother’s life is a stunning exploration of grief and the power of forgiveness.The reminder is always there—a dent on the right side of Jonah’s forehead. The spot you’d press when you felt a headache coming on. The bullet tore away bone, the way dynamite blasts rock—leaving a soft crater.Life changes forever for Liv when her older brother, Jonah, accidentally shoots himself with his best friend Clay’s father’s gun. Now Jonah needs round-the-clock care just to stay alive, and Liv seems to be the only person who can see that her brother is still there inside his broken body.With Liv’s mom suing Clay’s family, there are divisions in the community that Liv knows she’s not supposed to cross. But Clay is her friend, too, and she refuses to turn away from him—just like she refuses to give up on Jonah.

Three Things I Know Are True Details

TitleThree Things I Know Are True
Author
ReleaseJan 7th, 2020
PublisherHarperTeen
ISBN-139780062908049
Rating
GenreYoung Adult, Contemporary, Poetry, Fiction, Realistic Fiction

Three Things I Know Are True Review

  • Jenny Chou
    January 1, 1970
    Three Things I know Are True by Betty Culley (HarperTeen, January 7, 2020, $17.99, 9780062908025)I’m always dazzled by writers who can tell a story through verse, with each word fitted like the exact right puzzle piece into a landscape that is both sparse and complex at the same time. At the center of Three Things I know Are True, Liv struggles emotionally while her daredevil brother Jonah struggles physically with the new reality of his traumatic brain injury. Liv’s bond with her brother allows Three Things I know Are True by Betty Culley (HarperTeen, January 7, 2020, $17.99, 9780062908025)I’m always dazzled by writers who can tell a story through verse, with each word fitted like the exact right puzzle piece into a landscape that is both sparse and complex at the same time. At the center of Three Things I know Are True, Liv struggles emotionally while her daredevil brother Jonah struggles physically with the new reality of his traumatic brain injury. Liv’s bond with her brother allows her to communicate better than his caretakers or her mother, who cannot even bring herself to say his name. Across the street is Clay’s family, owners of the gun Jonah used to shoot himself in the head. But who was the careless one? Jonah for yet another one of his reckless acts or Clay’s father for keeping a gun where a 17-year-old could find it? The small Maine town is divided, and a judge will have the final say. As the verdict weighs on both of them, Liv and Clay must find a way to navigate back to the friendship they’d always had and the something more that was just beginning to spark. This thought-provoking book asks readers if forgiveness is possible in a world changed forever by grief and loss, but it’s the strength of Liv’s cleverly written voice and sharp-edged wit that keep the pages turning.
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  • Layla (Between the Lines)
    January 1, 1970
    But trust your handsand they'll lead youwhere you need to go.Three Things I Know Are True is a story told completely in verse, which only makes it so much more impressive when you consider the heavy subject matter. Heartbreak and hope are simultaneously splattered on every page, line after line, thought after thought. This is a book you can read quickly—but you won't want to. You'll want to take your time.Disclaimer: I received this ARC from HCC Frenzy because I requested it. All thoughts and But trust your handsand they'll lead youwhere you need to go.Three Things I Know Are True is a story told completely in verse, which only makes it so much more impressive when you consider the heavy subject matter. Heartbreak and hope are simultaneously splattered on every page, line after line, thought after thought. This is a book you can read quickly—but you won't want to. You'll want to take your time.Disclaimer: I received this ARC from HCC Frenzy because I requested it. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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  • Meliss
    January 1, 1970
    This book is a truly stunning debut. Yes, it's a story about gun violence, but it isn't only a battle cry for reform. At the heart of it, it's a novel about the resiliency of siblings and the necessity of finding someone who understands what you're going through. This is a must-read story that will warm your heart and break it at the same time.
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  • Liza Wiemer
    January 1, 1970
    I received an ARC through my local indie bookstore.Goofing off. That's what Liv's brother was doing when he picked up a gun, held it up to his temple and pulled the trigger. Author Betty Culley takes a painful, tragic, heartbreaking situation and brings it to the reader in an eloquent, lyrical, and touching story. Using free verse poetry, Betty shares the journey that Liv and her family go through after her older brother Jonah makes a tragic mistake in judgment. So many things left me in awe of I received an ARC through my local indie bookstore.Goofing off. That's what Liv's brother was doing when he picked up a gun, held it up to his temple and pulled the trigger. Author Betty Culley takes a painful, tragic, heartbreaking situation and brings it to the reader in an eloquent, lyrical, and touching story. Using free verse poetry, Betty shares the journey that Liv and her family go through after her older brother Jonah makes a tragic mistake in judgment. So many things left me in awe of this story:1. Liv is the kind of sister anyone would be fortunate to have. She's loyal, protective, compassionate, and present. Although Liv is devastated by this tragedy, she doesn't place the blame on her brother's best friend, Clay, who was with Jonah when it happened. 2. Jonah's caregivers. The love and devotion show these nurses not as people who are just doing their job, but as members of the family. It's beautiful and should be a measure for anyone who has to have people home care.3. Clay has to deal with a tremendous amount of guilt and with a father who refuses to accept responsibility for leaving a loaded gun. I can't even imagine such pain, but the way Clay takes charge of his life will be inspiring to others.4. What amazed me about Betty's novel is that she shows the impact and responsibility of guns in a way that allows teens to think about the issues. 5. This book takes place in a small town in Maine. Jobs are scarce and Betty shares the history of the town, the Kennebec River, and the industries that used to rely on that river. I love how this is incorporated into the story, giving readers a "breath" of air from the tragedy that befell Jonah and his family. With its free verse poetry, this book is a fast read and will appeal to boys and girls, especially reluctant readers. This book is what makes YA great—tough issues handled in a straightforward, thoughtful, realistic, and compassionate way. Definitely going on my top YA books list! Highly recommend!
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  • Susan's Reviews
    January 1, 1970
    This story is written in free verse style. I really liked the flow of this narrative style.Liv, her older brother Jonah and their neighbour Clay are friends. One day, Jonah is playing around with one of Clay's dad's handguns when it goes off and severely injures him.This time, Jonah's typical tom-foolery changes all of their lives. Liv and Clay have deep feelings for each other, but Liv's mother is suing Clay's family and blames his entire family for the fact that Jonah had access to a loaded This story is written in free verse style. I really liked the flow of this narrative style.Liv, her older brother Jonah and their neighbour Clay are friends. One day, Jonah is playing around with one of Clay's dad's handguns when it goes off and severely injures him.This time, Jonah's typical tom-foolery changes all of their lives. Liv and Clay have deep feelings for each other, but Liv's mother is suing Clay's family and blames his entire family for the fact that Jonah had access to a loaded gun in their home. Jonah was always a foolhardy risk taker, but Clay's father had left the gun on the window ledge in the attic. Clay's father was shooting at squirrels that kept raiding the bird feeder.The civil action against Clay's parents stirs up controversy in the town regarding gun control. Lines are drawn. At one point, Clay leaves home and takes a job on a local organic dairy farm. Liv and Clay find their way back to one another, once all the anger and guilt feelings have had a chance to cool. Even Liv's Mom accepts Clay's place in Liv's life.I highly recommend this quiet, but deeply emotional recounting of a tragic event that changed the course of two families' lives in the town of Maddigan, Maine. Just a beautiful read!
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  • Em
    January 1, 1970
    DNF a 56% I'm not even going to waste my time writing a fully coherent review, but I please know this: I was not a fan of this one, at all. I really shouldn't have read it. After all, its a novel in verse, and the only one I've ever enjoyed is Laurie Halse Anderson's Shout. The problem is I didn't even know it WAS a novel in verse until I began reading it. I was hoping for a relevant, worthy discussion on gun violence, but what I got instead was a very boring, repetitive story which thought it DNF a 56% I'm not even going to waste my time writing a fully coherent review, but I please know this: I was not a fan of this one, at all. I really shouldn't have read it. After all, its a novel in verse, and the only one I've ever enjoyed is Laurie Halse Anderson's Shout. The problem is I didn't even know it WAS a novel in verse until I began reading it. I was hoping for a relevant, worthy discussion on gun violence, but what I got instead was a very boring, repetitive story which thought it was "heartwarming" and "important" just because it discussed relevant subject matter. Really, it was hard for me to find an ounce of enjoyment from this story. The main character is extremely immature for fifteen and behaves more like she's ten, perhaps younger. She made incredibly poor decisions throughout the story to the point where it was just unrealistic. The writing, also, was dry - nothing grabbed me or made me interested in the story the way I had anticipated, and although I was intrigued by the storyline, I had to skim to the end to figure out what happened. This book would've taken me maybe thirty minutes to read in a single sitting, but I was so uninterested I decided it wasn't even worth that much. Just not my thing, I suppose.
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  • Kelly Hager
    January 1, 1970
    You should know going in that this is a novel in verse. It would've worked as prose, too, but the fact that it's also poems gives a sort of sense of unreality to what's going on (this isn't quite right phrase, but it's closest to what I mean). It's perfect for Liv, who keeps losing the ability to hear since her brother shot himself. When I say that, I don't mean that she's ever deaf. But when people talk, it's sort of like in the Peanuts cartoons where adults talk but they don't really make any You should know going in that this is a novel in verse. It would've worked as prose, too, but the fact that it's also poems gives a sort of sense of unreality to what's going on (this isn't quite right phrase, but it's closest to what I mean). It's perfect for Liv, who keeps losing the ability to hear since her brother shot himself. When I say that, I don't mean that she's ever deaf. But when people talk, it's sort of like in the Peanuts cartoons where adults talk but they don't really make any sense and it's like "wah wah wah wah wah" in varying inflections. She's not doing it on purpose usually; it just happens.She's also the person who can communicate with Jonah the best. Her mom's not coping very well (her dad has died) and the nurses start to rely on Liv because she's there and because she can understand him and calm him down when no one else can. I love the way Liv works to keep her family together but also to get back some semblance of her own life. She doesn't resent Jonah, but she also doesn't hate Clay, his best friend. There's a part later on where she thinks about how tornadoes can completely destroy one house while leaving the one next to it unharmed, and how random it all is. It's not like the person who owned one house deserved it or that the other owner is better. It's just a matter of luck. That's a hard thing to accept (as proof, look at basically any comments section after a woman is assaulted or murdered).This is a debut novel but doesn't read like one. I hope Betty Culley has a lot more books to write; I'm reading then all. Highly recommended.
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  • Crystal
    January 1, 1970
    Liv is the kind of quirky and compelling character that will stay with the reader long after the book is closed. She is my favorite young female protagonist since Scout Finch! Like all good books, I was hooked from the first page and when I emerged hours later I was completely wrung out, full of heartbreak and hope, entering the world haunted by the experience. An excellent and well-crafted story!
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  • Lauren
    January 1, 1970
    Beautiful, haunting, heartbreaking. A novel in verse I know I won’t soon forget.
  • Katie (Kitkatscanread)
    January 1, 1970
    Oh my goodness!What a beautiful story told in verse.I was laughing, smiling, angry, sad and tearful.It broke me and was so bittersweet at times. This was amazing.Definitely preorder this now!
  • Marzie
    January 1, 1970
    "I know how expensive it isto be helpless.How many things don't countas necessary.A wheelchair rampA wheelchair vanclothes, air-conditioning, prayer cards.Everything has to be for my brother now.Jonah doesn't ask for anything,but he needs everything."Three Things I Know Are True is a powerful novel about Liv, her brother Jonah, their friend Clay, and the day that, while horsing around, Jonah finds a gun in Clay's house. And it's about the many days, weeks, and months after. After Liv's mom is "I know how expensive it isto be helpless.How many things don't countas necessary.A wheelchair rampA wheelchair vanclothes, air-conditioning, prayer cards.Everything has to be for my brother now.Jonah doesn't ask for anything,but he needs everything."Three Things I Know Are True is a powerful novel about Liv, her brother Jonah, their friend Clay, and the day that, while horsing around, Jonah finds a gun in Clay's house. And it's about the many days, weeks, and months after. After Liv's mom is forced to sue Clay's family for Jonah's care, after Liv seems to lose both her brother and one of her closest friends with a single, fateful shot, and about what a pro-gun culture isn't really ready to deal with in terms of responsibility. Betty Culley, who is an R. N., has crafted a powerful debut novel, all in verse, letting us see Liv's world in which at least three things are true at the start: she's all but lost her brother, she's all but lost her friend, and her world will never be the same. Liv, Jonah, and Clay used to play the three things game, but now... all the games are over now."This is what I learn, too.When you wait and hopefor the thing you think will solve everything,it doesn't always happenthe wayyou imagine."A poignant and powerful novel about all that can be lost in a moment's carelessness when you have access to guns.I received an Advance Review Copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Gillian French
    January 1, 1970
    THREE THINGS I KNOW ARE TRUE is:-bursting with compassion.-driven by sheer narrative flow.-shattering in the best possible way.I tore through this arc in just a few days, and not because the subject matter is fluffy or easy; quite the opposite. Sophomore Liv's life has been ripped out at the roots by the tragic accidental shooting of her brother, Jonah, the risk taker of the family. Now, Jonah is wheelchair bound, reliant on machines and nurses to keep him alive; Liv is one hundred percent THREE THINGS I KNOW ARE TRUE is:-bursting with compassion.-driven by sheer narrative flow.-shattering in the best possible way.I tore through this arc in just a few days, and not because the subject matter is fluffy or easy; quite the opposite. Sophomore Liv's life has been ripped out at the roots by the tragic accidental shooting of her brother, Jonah, the risk taker of the family. Now, Jonah is wheelchair bound, reliant on machines and nurses to keep him alive; Liv is one hundred percent devoted to his care, at the expense of her own; and her small Maine town is divided as to where to lay the blame.Betty's spare, lyrical verse packs such a punch, you will find yourself weeping and laughing on the same page. I was swept away by the current of Liv's grief, her intense love for Jonah, and her fearlessness as she refuses to deny the one boy who bore witness to what really happened to Jonah that day in the attic with the loaded gun.I'm brimming with gratitude to my fellow Maine writer friend Betty Culley for sharing her beautiful story with me. THREE THINGS I KNOW ARE TRUE hits shelves 1/7. Don't miss this one, guys.
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  • Melissa (honeybee.reads)
    January 1, 1970
    First off I want to thank #partner @hccfrenzy, @harpercollinsca & @bettyculley for my advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.•Let me start by telling you this book is written in verse, so if you're not a fan of that writing style this book may not be for you. I truly enjoyed this heartfelt emotional ride.•Culley really has a talent in creating such a beautiful story only in verses. Oddly enough the characters were so believable, relatable and easy to love. The story is very touching, First off I want to thank #partner @hccfrenzy, @harpercollinsca & @bettyculley for my advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.•Let me start by telling you this book is written in verse, so if you're not a fan of that writing style this book may not be for you. I truly enjoyed this heartfelt emotional ride. •Culley really has a talent in creating such a beautiful story only in verses. Oddly enough the characters were so believable, relatable and easy to love. The story is very touching, but at the same time field with the acceptance of grief and forgiveness. This is a thought provoking novel that makes you question your emotions and how you'd react with every page turn. Once you start this novel you can't stop.•The ending gives the reader hope that there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. That letting go after grieving is also okay. This is a wonderful YA novel that is straightforward and based on realistic, believable issues. If you like novels written in verse that give you all the emotions, definitely pick this one up.
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  • Parker Jensen
    January 1, 1970
    And I wonder if this is how a heart sounds when it’s full.Oh boy. This was just fantastic. It was beautifully crafted! Such great writing, plotting, and characters! Betty Culley is an author to watch! I’m so sad this is her debut and I can’t go and devour a hundred more books by her.
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  • Courtney Lavallee
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you, Harpercollins for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own.I normally don't read poetry or books written in verse. I have dabbled slightly this year in poetry, so I figured this book might also be a good place to dip my toes into the genre. In this book, we follow Liv whose older brother accidentally shot himself while hanging out with his best friend. This book shows how there are two sides to every conflict, as well as how problems can Thank you, Harpercollins for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own.I normally don't read poetry or books written in verse. I have dabbled slightly this year in poetry, so I figured this book might also be a good place to dip my toes into the genre. In this book, we follow Liv whose older brother accidentally shot himself while hanging out with his best friend. This book shows how there are two sides to every conflict, as well as how problems can divide a community. This book has many serious issues touched on and handled perfectly in my opinion. The character of Liv was so realistic, she was a teenager going through something extremely tough. Her attention wasn't at school when it should've been, she didn't want to go out all the time. She wanted to be home and help with her brother whom she was close with. She talked about how she was feeling, and how her brain didn't seem the same either. These are all things that people go through when they experience grief. She sometimes seemed like an outsider looking in, which is something I can relate to due to grief. She didn't want to hate anyone over what had happened, though she felt like maybe she should choose a side. The way the other characters were written was beautiful as well. They were all so realistic and caring, even when they didn't show it. They were well fleshed out and everyone had their own personalities and their own voices. Never once did I wonder who someone was talking about, you just knew right away. Even with dealing with something as severe as this topic, the teens still found ways to relax at points and try to just be kids.This novel handled everything in a very professional manner, it was well researched and discussed. I do know that the author is an RN and boy did it show! It definitely helped with the reading experience and making it more enjoyable, everything was described and explained properly. There was no guessing, it was all there and in some ways, a person outside of the medical field could understand as well. There was no medical jargon that would have people confused.This book made me shed quite a few tears, they were tears that were definitely worth the read though. I loved every second of this novel, and even though I knew it would break my heart I would reread it over and over. There is just something about a novel that is realistic in all forms that tug at my heart and makes me want to reread. This is definitely something you should not enter into lightly as it will break your heart into tiny little pieces, then it will throw them around the room to make it difficult to pick yourself up again. This is definitely a book I recommend if you are in the right headspace it can help you feel better about grief. It can help you know that you are not alone and others are feeling or dealing the same way that you are. This is a healthy representation of teenagers, as well as grief and the medical family you may or may not come to know. This is definitely a new favourite of mine and I will recommend it to anyone looking for a hard-hitting contemporary, or just a book about grief. Check it out!
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  • Amy
    January 1, 1970
    Brilliant debut. I loved it.
  • Kailyn Bettle
    January 1, 1970
    Three Things I Know are True is a beautiful exploration of the impacts a tragic event has on everyone involved. Liv’s life was completely changed the day her brother, Jonah, accidentally shot himself. It happened at his best friend Clay’s house with Clay’s father’s gun. After the accident, Liv’s mother blames Clay’s father and forces Clay and Liv apart in the process. Her mother’s grief also forces Liv to take on a tremendous amount of responsibility in caring for Jonah. While doing so, Liv Three Things I Know are True is a beautiful exploration of the impacts a tragic event has on everyone involved. Liv’s life was completely changed the day her brother, Jonah, accidentally shot himself. It happened at his best friend Clay’s house with Clay’s father’s gun. After the accident, Liv’s mother blames Clay’s father and forces Clay and Liv apart in the process. Her mother’s grief also forces Liv to take on a tremendous amount of responsibility in caring for Jonah. While doing so, Liv begins to lose focus on her own life. I loved so many different things about this story. First, I think verse was the best mode for this story to be told. The emotions conveyed in each poem truly got at what grief feels like. It was explored in a few shorts lines instead of being forced into paragraphs of detail if it had been written as a novel. The poems themselves also contained poetic devices, something that can often get lost in novels written in verse. What stood out the most to me were the amazing symbols throughout the novel such as the river, beavers, and other things Liv becomes fascinated by throughout the story. Three Things I Know Are True is an extremely emotional book. It explores a controversial topic, and while subtle commentary is made on the different sides of the gun control argument, it focuses more on Liv’s story and the process of forgiveness. While most readers will not have experienced the extreme of what Liv is going through, everyone can relate to the emotions of this story.
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  • Alex Richards
    January 1, 1970
    This book consumed me from the first page to the last. My heart broke for Liv, the main character, and everything that she and the characters around her have endured. Culley's writing is exquisite and achingly beautiful; her story is told so quietly, so carefully, and so profoundly. As a novel-in-verse, it is a fairly quick read, but one that I will never ever forget. I still find myself thinking about it. About the small details of the friendship between Liv and Clay. About the pain and angst This book consumed me from the first page to the last. My heart broke for Liv, the main character, and everything that she and the characters around her have endured. Culley's writing is exquisite and achingly beautiful; her story is told so quietly, so carefully, and so profoundly. As a novel-in-verse, it is a fairly quick read, but one that I will never ever forget. I still find myself thinking about it. About the small details of the friendship between Liv and Clay. About the pain and angst felt between Liv and her mother. About the view from her house to the neighbor's, and the serene walk down to the river. You don't just read this book, you feel it deep in your soul, and come out stronger for it.
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  • Emily Fox
    January 1, 1970
    I had not realised going in to this book that it was written entirely in poems, and it was gorgeous. The development of the plot was so intricately woven through the verses and the style really worked well to convey the emotions the main character was experiencing.
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  • Brenna Clark
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you so much to Edelwiess for this ARC! I think I've mentioned this in a review before but it couldn't hurt repeating; I absolutely love novels written in verse. There's just something about the medium that feels so incredibly personal and emotional, and I find it so direct and to the point because you don't have to wade through a lot of extra words to get to the heart of the thing. That's all this novel is; heart. We see the world through Liv's eyes as she attempts to adjust to life after Thank you so much to Edelwiess for this ARC! I think I've mentioned this in a review before but it couldn't hurt repeating; I absolutely love novels written in verse. There's just something about the medium that feels so incredibly personal and emotional, and I find it so direct and to the point because you don't have to wade through a lot of extra words to get to the heart of the thing. That's all this novel is; heart. We see the world through Liv's eyes as she attempts to adjust to life after the accident.Liv's brother, Jonah, was a daredevil. Never once did he consider his own mortality; instead he lived each moment to the fullest and pulled his best friend, Clay, along for the ride. This lead to tragedy as the two boys discovered a gun in Clay's attic, and Jonah picked it up for a laugh. Not believing Clay's dad would leave a loaded firearm where anyone could grab it, Jonah brought it to his own head with a smile and pulled the trigger. The rest happens in a blur. Jonah lives, but has irreparable brain damage, and has caused a rift between the two families. Liv's mother sues Clay's father, and battle lines are drawn.Liv is torn. Clay is her friend too, and she can see how much their family is suffering. She is also by her brother's side almost 24/7, caring for him more than their own mother. She strikes up a friendship with Jonah's nurses and doctors, and gives nicknames to all the various machines working hard to keep him alive. She's there to hear him speak her name and to feel the warmth of life still radiating from who her brother has become. She is his protector and advocate, and as such, the rest of her life, like school and friends, start to fall to the wayside.This book handles grief in such a beautiful way, and shows the importance of a healthy support system. I can't say that I've experienced anything close to this kind of tragedy, so I can only imagine how alone and angry someone must feel. Liv is such a strong individual, and she wears the mask of Normal very well, but when she is found out, the people in her life rally around her to make sure she remembers that she is alive and has permission to be happy. I also love how this experience teaches her so much about herself. As she cares for her brother a spark is ignited within her that tells her she might be meant to be a nurse or even a doctor.Liv even bridges the gap between the warring families, and finds a grieving mother outside of her own household. She brings joy to everyone she can, not really saving any for herself. She finds love, and reconnects with her friends. She actually sees the person her mother is, removing the woman's own mask that has obstructed her own pain from view. She is a stubborn and dedicated girl, and I love her so completely for knowing the struggles and faults of those around her and loving them anyway. Her heart is so big, and you can't help but be swallowed up by it. I loved hearing Liv's story in her own, poetic words. Betty Culley did such an amazing job at creating her and the rest of these characters, and making us care about each one as Liv does. I cried at multiple points throughout, and even though it was a very devastating novel, it was also full of hope. There are endings, but also new beginnings, and a whole slew of adventures in between. It's a lovely debut, and I really hope she does more works in verse in the future.
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  • Shana
    January 1, 1970
    Beautifully rendered poems tell the story of Liv's life in the aftermath of a gun accident that renders her brother paralyzed. Real, measured exploration of a timely issues of guns and home health-care in a way that will no doubt provoke thoughtful discussion in classrooms that will help people get into the gray areas of issues often rendered in black and white. The setting is expertly rendered and real, small towners the world over will recognizes themselves in Culley's characters and those Beautifully rendered poems tell the story of Liv's life in the aftermath of a gun accident that renders her brother paralyzed. Real, measured exploration of a timely issues of guns and home health-care in a way that will no doubt provoke thoughtful discussion in classrooms that will help people get into the gray areas of issues often rendered in black and white. The setting is expertly rendered and real, small towners the world over will recognizes themselves in Culley's characters and those from larger areas will come to understand more of rural living through these pages.
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  • Megan White
    January 1, 1970
    I am so grateful to have received an arc of Three Things I know are True by Betty Culley. Thank you @harpercollinsca and @bettyculley.This book was so so sweet. I loved how it was written in prose. It flowed so naturally. I’ve learned that this style of writing really works for me. I felt more emotion where it needed to be. This made me cry, laugh, angry and feel all the things in between. I loved Jonah. I don’t know who possibly couldn’t. There was nothing simple about this book, it was full of I am so grateful to have received an arc of Three Things I know are True by Betty Culley. Thank you @harpercollinsca and @bettyculley.This book was so so sweet. I loved how it was written in prose. It flowed so naturally. I’ve learned that this style of writing really works for me. I felt more emotion where it needed to be. This made me cry, laugh, angry and feel all the things in between. I loved Jonah. I don’t know who possibly couldn’t. There was nothing simple about this book, it was full of nuances about life, friendship, family, grief, and love. Happy pub day Betty Culley!! This is going to be a hit I know it.
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  • Tanya
    January 1, 1970
    I was lucky enough to have read an early version of Betty Culley's, THREE THINGS I KNOW ARE TRUE. As a reader who is fairly new to novels-in-verse, this book really made me a believer in the format. The plot, pace and character arcs, move like the ebb and flow of a river—sometimes the words swish by in subtle ways, sometimes they rush and knock you over, until your heart is overflowing with emotions. The main character Liv, is well rounded and believable. She's a fierce protector, and oftentimes I was lucky enough to have read an early version of Betty Culley's, THREE THINGS I KNOW ARE TRUE. As a reader who is fairly new to novels-in-verse, this book really made me a believer in the format. The plot, pace and character arcs, move like the ebb and flow of a river—sometimes the words swish by in subtle ways, sometimes they rush and knock you over, until your heart is overflowing with emotions. The main character Liv, is well rounded and believable. She's a fierce protector, and oftentimes caregiver to her older brother, Jonah, who was injured in an accidental shooting incident that transformed him into a near comatose state. But even then, she's able to see beyond the tragedy, putting no blame on Clay, her brother's best friend who was there that fateful day, and his mother who is barely able to cope, asking for forgiveness with trays of homemade fudge. Liv also finds solace in her surroundings—her dead end street, and her small town, which in a way is also left in a near comatose state after the mills close down. The river itself also plays a huge part in the book, almost a character in itself; it's where Liv meets Clay to hang out and play their "Three Things" game, and it's also where she goes out on her canoe, to find the peace she needs in her life—something that ultimately leads to a pivotal scene in the story. This is a beautifully written story that navigates the journey from grief, heartbreak and forgiveness with so much thought and sensitivity. I highly recommend it for YA readers looking for an emotional, thought provoking and hopeful read.
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  • Vickie Limberger
    January 1, 1970
    I loved reading Three Things I Know Are True. I loved the story in verse. It flows so easily it can be read in one sitting. A very moving and emotional story centered around a family that has experienced a tragedy. Liv, the main character, has powerful relationships with the other characters in the book, including one she feels she shouldn't but really wants to. While reading this story I laughed, cried, got angry, and cried again. This is a story of family, friendship, and community. There is I loved reading Three Things I Know Are True. I loved the story in verse. It flows so easily it can be read in one sitting. A very moving and emotional story centered around a family that has experienced a tragedy. Liv, the main character, has powerful relationships with the other characters in the book, including one she feels she shouldn't but really wants to. While reading this story I laughed, cried, got angry, and cried again. This is a story of family, friendship, and community. There is so much going on in this book but it is all interconnected and comes together beautifully in the end.
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  • Melanie Ellsworth
    January 1, 1970
    I love Betty's writing, her beautiful metaphors, quiet tone, and the way the verse flows. Her characters feel like people I'd want to have as friends, and their relationships with each other feel authentic. The verse format softens the traumatic subject matter and makes this very readable. It's an extremely compelling read about an incredibly important topic.
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  • Jamie
    January 1, 1970
    Wow. This book has me so emotional. Liv is such a beautiful soul. Her love for her brother is so massive. Jonah’s state after the accidental gunshot that leaves him incapacitated is heartbreaking. The sweet, quiet relationship that blooms between Liv and the neighbor Clay who was present at the shooting is breathtaking. Liv’s friendships - with the nurses, with the homeschooled boy Hunter, with the girls at school - are so poignant and real. And the way that Culley undercuts all of it with the Wow. This book has me so emotional. Liv is such a beautiful soul. Her love for her brother is so massive. Jonah’s state after the accidental gunshot that leaves him incapacitated is heartbreaking. The sweet, quiet relationship that blooms between Liv and the neighbor Clay who was present at the shooting is breathtaking. Liv’s friendships - with the nurses, with the homeschooled boy Hunter, with the girls at school - are so poignant and real. And the way that Culley undercuts all of it with the realities of poverty and life in a dying industrial town is deftly done. Loved this.
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  • Dante
    January 1, 1970
    I really and truly loved this book with all my soul. Wonderful novel-in-verse about a girl living in the aftermath of her brother's horrific accident. Culley did a wonderful job creating characters I will forever remember. Note: this book made me sob on an airplane.
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  • Laura
    January 1, 1970
    I got to read an ARC of this lovely book, and I feel so lucky to have seen it early. This book is moving and heartbreaking and so, so beautiful. I’m going to keep an eye out for more novels in verse.
  • Danny Noll
    January 1, 1970
    Incredible book! I highly recommend. Betty Culley is a powerful writer and great storyteller.
  • Blodeuedd Finland
    January 1, 1970
    Yes, I do admit I like YA sadlit. It always feel so real and tragic.Liv's brother shot himself by mistake, her mother is suing the family. And Liv is doing her best to stay afloat.The mother seemed to have given up on her son at times, she was so focused on revenge, that she forgot about her son. But at the same time I get it, she was angry, and tired.Liv helped take care of her brother (helped his nurses that is). And poor Jonah, what kind of life is that? The only thing he could do was open Yes, I do admit I like YA sadlit. It always feel so real and tragic.Liv's brother shot himself by mistake, her mother is suing the family. And Liv is doing her best to stay afloat.The mother seemed to have given up on her son at times, she was so focused on revenge, that she forgot about her son. But at the same time I get it, she was angry, and tired.Liv helped take care of her brother (helped his nurses that is). And poor Jonah, what kind of life is that? The only thing he could do was open his eyes. He would never get better and every day was a struggle to keep him alive.I liked Liv, she was wonderful, she put him before herself (not the best way, but still).This review is turning out like the book itself. The book has short chapters that worked really well. Heartbreaking, great and just a wonderful book.NarratorI really liked her voice, it was perfect for an almost 16 year old.SHe also did well with the other characters, and brought real emotion into the story
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