THE FIRST TRUE THING by Claire Needell

THE FIRST TRUE THING

Age Range: 14 - 18
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Sixteen-year-old Marcelle is attending her support group, avoiding her user friends, and trying to find freedom from her addiction, but when her best friend disappears, everything starts falling apart.

Marcelle’s alcohol use disorder is a way for her to chase away the insecurity and loneliness she feels, but instead of leaving her happy, her binge drinking is slowly killing her. After a wild, drunken ride on her bicycle leaves her broken and bruised, she begins attending a local support group run by other teens looking to get clean. But as she tries to break free from the drinking, she watches her best friend, Hannah, descend into a life of pornographic modeling and dealing cocaine. Marcelle must decide whether or not to tell concerned adults in their lives everything she knows about what Hannah is doing. While the struggles with substance abuse are raw and complicated, the plot wanders aimlessly in places, causing the narrative to lose its energy and drive. Further Marcelle’s continued self-absorption is at best claustrophobic and at worst reprehensible, as it puts her friend’s life at risk. The large cast is often unwieldy, causing further confusion. The primary characters are all white, although some of the support group members’ names suggest diversity.

An important issue that is unfortunately unartfully explored. (author’s note, resources) (Fiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: April 23rd, 2019
ISBN: 978-0-06-236052-6
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: HarperTeen
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 2019




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