Monday, February 10, 2014

The First True Lie by Marina Mander

3 Star

Meet Luca, a curious young boy living with his mother, a taciturn woman who every now and then tries out a new father. Luca keeps to himself, his cat, Blue, and his favorite toys—words. One February morning his mom doesn't wake up to bring him to school, so Luca—driven by a deep fear of being an orphan—decides to pretend to the world that his mom is still alive. At first it's easy. Luca dresses himself for school, makes sure Blue gets his dinner, and manages to avoid nosy neighbors. He and Blue camp out in the living room and embark on imaginary expeditions to outer space, and Luca dreams about marrying his school crush, Antonella. Soon, however, the laundry starts piling up, the fridge emptying—and the smell of Mama's decaying body begins to permeate the apartment. 

As Luca grapples with what to do, we ultimately witness something much more poignant than the morbid circumstance—a young boy's journey to the point at which he can say: “I am no longer an orphan. I am a single human being. It's a matter of words.”

Sabrina-Kate - 3 Star

I think that The First True Lie was somewhat of an almost genius-like idea, but I personally did not care for the subject matter and almost felt like it was somewhat disturbing so can`t feel I can rate it higher than I did. That's not to say that it wasn't a great book as far as what the author was most likely trying to portray; it just isn't a book that would be for everyone and was certainly not for me.

The First True Lie is somewhat confusing and illogical but I believe that was done to portray the main character's age and maturity level. It was probably quite realistic in that sense but it wasn't easy to always grasp what was going on so I feel like it took away from the general story somewhat.

It was somewhat interesting to see the survival skills of a young child faced with an almost impossible situation and the resilience that a child can demonstrate in the face of tragedy. I don't have any personal experience nor have I been around a child that has faced such loss, but I would imagine that the author had researched this so it was definitely interesting to me in this sense.

The First True Lie reminded me of the writing style of Emma Donoghue's Room but with a much different story line. However if that book was something you enjoyed I would think that this might also be something you`d like to give a try.

Thank you to Crown Publishing for our review copy. All opinions are our own. 

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