This Much is True by Katherine Owen
Series: Truth in Lies #1
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Publication date: August 11, 2013
Format: eARC, 432 pages
How I got it: From the author
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Fate brings them together
Fame & lies keep them apart
One truth remains…
She’s become the Paly High girl with the most tragic story…
At 17, Tally Landon just wants to graduate and leave for New York to pursue ballet. Her best friend Marla convinces her to attend one last party—a college party—where she can be among strangers and evade the whisperings about her heartbreaking loss of her twin that follows her everywhere she goes. She meets Lincoln Presley, Stanford’s famous baseball wonder and has a little fun at his expense—when she lies about her age and who she really is—intent on being someone else for the night and escaping her tragic story.
His only focus is baseball, but he can’t forget the girl he saved on Valentine’s Day…
At 22, Lincoln Presley’s star is on the rise—about to finish at Stanford and expected to be taken early in Major League Baseball’s upcoming draft—his cousin’s party serves as a welcome distraction. But then, he sees the girl from Valentine’s Day that he saved from that horrific car accident and can’t quite hide his disappointment when she appears to look right through him and not remember him at all. He vows to learn her name at least before he leaves. What’s the harm in getting to know this girl? What’s the worst that can happen?
They share this incredible connection, but fate soon tests these star-crossed lovers in all kinds of ways…
And yet, despite the lies being told to protect the other, and the trappings of fame that continually separate them, and in lieu of the deception by those they’ve come to trust the most; one truth remains.
This much is true.
Katherine Owen’s bio states “if you love angst, unpredictable love stories, I’m yours.” Boy, she’s not kidding. This is the first of her books that I’ve read. I will certainly be looking into her previous works. I didn’t know what to expect when I picked this book up. I hadn’t read any reviews. The blurb on NetGalley caught my eye and I decided I would give it a go. I’m beyond wowed with her writing. The characters, the dialogue, the plot, the twists – all incredible. Ms. Owen has a new fan. I finished This Much Is True days ago – and have read two others since – but my mind keeps going back to this book.
“A part of me is now missing. I fear its permanence. I am only half a person without Holly. Can half of a person survive?”
This book doesn’t waste any time. It pulls you in feet-first and doesn’t let you go. It begins on Valentine’s Day with Tally and her twin sister Holly in a heated argument over Holly’s boyfriend. At the time they’re in a car, driving on rain-slicked roads. It’s an ominous situation that filled me with dread. A mere few pages in, I learned I was right to be weary. Tragedy strikes in one of the most gut-wrenching scenes I have ever read in fiction. It was absolutely heartbreaking. In just a few moments, Tally’s nearly perfect world explodes and nothing will ever be the same.
“Thinking of you. This much is true, Elvis.”
Baseball is the single most important thing in Lincoln Presley’s life – until the night he saves a young woman from a horrific car accident. He visits three hospitals trying to find her after she’s taken away by ambulance. No one will tell him anything until he stumbles across a sympathetic nurse who agrees to give the young woman the flowers and card he bought. Linc can’t afford any distractions right now, but he feels connected to this young woman. Unable to make a connection with her after the accident, life moves on.
“What are you so afraid of?”
“Falling. Failing. Losing. Those are the big three. They’re practically interchangeable and apply to every aspect of my life.”
Linc and Tally’s paths cross at a party. He recognizes her as the girl from the accident, but she is unaware of their connection. He saved her that night and she has no clue. They spark immediately and wind up hooking up. Linc’s good at no strings attached situations. Baseball and his potential career is more important than anything else. But the pull between them is still there. Tally can’t bear the thought of loving and losing again, so she vanishes, leaving him with nothing more than memories and a thank you note, signed with the name Holly.
“She lied to you, Prez. Think about why she did that. She doesn’t like attachments. You can’t own her. She’s aloof and uninvolved. That’s her deal. She’ll screw with your mind and cruelly move on when you least expect it. You’ll just serve as one of her boy toys, and then she’ll leave you behind. That’s what she does. Look, she already has.”
Getting away is never that easy. Tally and Linc’s lives are entwined. Not just because of their history and shared attraction, but because their best friends – Marla and Charlie, respectively – are engaged. Linc learns the truth – she’s Tally, not Holly and Tally learns that he’s the one who pulled her away from the accident. They reconnect one more time before Tally heads off to ballet school in New York City and Linc goes to Los Angeles to pursue his professional baseball career with the Angels. Linc tells Tally’s father of his intentions – friends for now, but more than friends down the road. Tally’s father is rather accepting of this considering the age difference between them. Tally is 17. Linc is 22. As their last night together wraps up, Linc asks her to be good and wait for him until she’s 18. She agrees. They go forward with the best of intentions, but life has a way of getting in the way.
“We are lost when we’re apart, but almost found when we’re together. And, we can’t go back. We can never go back. That’s life’s lesson for today.”
“They say there’s a fine line between love and hate. They’re right. I’ve found it.”
Over the course of the next several years, mistakes are made. Promises broken. Other relationships begin, flourish, and end. Some more quickly than others. The sheer amount of shit (sorry, I can’t come up with another way that truly encompasses it) his couple goes through is nearly unbelievable and would be, perhaps, if the author was any less amazing than she is. Sure, throughout the course of the book, I allowed myself several “OMG. What next? Why-why-why-why-why? Leave them alone and let them be happy.” moments. But that’s part of what makes this book so unexpected and my feelings for these characters so strong. The last time I read something that put the characters – and the reader – through as much as this one did was Tarryn Fisher’s Love Me With Lies
trilogy, a five-star read from beginning to end.
“You can’t really hear heartbreak. It is remarkably silent but excruciating all the same. You think you’ve already met up with the depths of sadness and despair. You’ve had your share. You think there is no more that anyone can say or do to you that could make you feel worse, but you would be wrong even on this most terror-filled day.”
The chapters in This Much Is True alternate between Tally and Linc’s POV. There was never a question of which character each chapter belonged to. Both voices were strong and believable. They personalities and feelings came through loud and clear. The secondary characters – Charlie, Marla, Kimberley, in particular – were extremely complex. Their stories were nearly as important to me as Tally and Linc’s.
I never once was able to predict what was going to happen next in this book. I was never lulled into a false sense of security that everything would work out for these characters. I spent the whole book twisted in knots waiting to see what on Earth would happen next and if these characters would ever get the happily ever after they so richly deserved. That alone makes this book incredible.
I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.