Parents' Guide to

One Great Lie

By Mary Cosola, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Moving tale of teen girl whose idol sexually harasses her.

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This compelling coming-of-age story about a teen attending a writing program in Italy tackles issues of what it takes be a writer, sexual harassment, and the treatment of women throughout history. In One Great Lie, author Deb Caletti does a good job of showing how strong, smart, creative women are often vilified for the very things their male counterparts are lauded for. Charlotte's a relatable and believable character. The reader can see the red flags in Luca Bruni's behavior, but we also see how easily people talk themselves out of believing bad things about others. The story accurately illustrates why women don't come forward when they've been sexually harassed. They doubt themselves and often are treated horribly when they tell the truth. When there's a power imbalance, such as a powerful, successful man taking advantage of younger women just starting their careers, it is all the more difficult for the victims.

Caletti also shows the beauty and power of writing and reading, with especially good insights into the creative mind of a writer. The plot line with Charlotte's poet ancestor is interesting, to a point. The two plot lines are bit much to follow, and the story goes too far into the poet's life, when more detail or a fuller resolution on the issue with Bruni would have been more satisfying. Switching between the story lines makes the pacing slow and the book a bit too long, but none of that overshadows the important messages in this book.

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