The Truth Project by Dante Medema

The Truth Project by Dante Medema. Quill Tree Books; (9780062954404), 2020

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4

Genre: Realistic; novel in verse

What did you like about the book? Cordelia is a senior in high school. She already has early acceptance to Columbia and her senior project is the only true obstacle in the way of her future. She’s decided to do what her older sister Bea did: send away for her DNA results and write about it. The twist is that she’s a poet and will write about her findings in verse. But then her DNA results reveal that the man she thought was her father isn’t and her entire world is rocked. Learning about her mom’s infidelity and contacting her birth father, Jack, is an emotional experience for Cordelia. She starts acting out — going to parties, drinking, and pursuing a relationship with a boy she’s had a crush on for a long time, Kodiak, who is part Native Alaskan. As Cordelia pursues meeting her biological father, she goes deeper into an exploration of identity and family. 

Written in verse and interspersed with emails and text message exchanges, this book is a quick read that will appeal to students who like drama. There is a brief exploration of how race contributes to the way Cordelia and her best friend Sana are treated compared to Kodiak. Overall, this is a solid debut novel that will be popular with readers.

To whom would you recommend this book?  Recommend this to students who like books with lots of drama.

Anything you didn’t like about it? Cordelia’s emotions felt a bit repetitive at times and the ending was predictable . 

Who should buy this book? Recommended for most high school libraries

Where would you shelve it? Novel in verse

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Laura Gardner, Dartmouth Middle School, Dartmouth, MA

Date reviewed: May 12, 2021

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