A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Readers can learn the basic facts about the consequences of logging companies clear-cutting the forests of the Pacific Northwest.
Never keep secrets about who you really are and what you may have done in the past.
Violence & Scariness
There's a vicious attack, a poisoning, and a strangulation -- one of which may not be what it seems. One of the characters may have committed a murder at age 13.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Lots of sexual tension, both heterosexual and homosexual. Galen, the straight jock, goes out of his way to act in a sexually provocative way toward Rob and Liam. Both couples have sex during the weekend, and the sex between Liam and Rob is somewhat graphically described. The couples go skinny-dipping.
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"Asshole," "f--k," "bitch," and "pissed" are used casually in conversation by the four teens.
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Products & Purchases
Mentions of Game of Thrones and Google Earth.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
The couples drink beer at the cabin, and it's revealed that one of them had a heroin habit.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Brent Hartinger's Three Truths and a Lie is a psychological thriller about two teen couples (one straight and one gay) who spend a terrifying weekend at an isolated cabin in Washington state. Soon after their arrival, strange things begin to happen, and it becomes apparent that someone is stalking them with murderous intentions. Sexual tension between the couples is constantly in the background, both couples have sex during the weekend, and the sex between Liam and Rob is somewhat graphically described. Strong language ("a--hole," "f--k," "bitch") is used casually in conversation. Violence is graphic (there's a vicious attack, a poisoning, and a strangulation -- one of which may not be what it seems), but it's not as intense or explicit as the violence in many popular books or on cable TV shows. Hartinger is the Lambda Award-winning author of young adult novels about gay and bisexual teens, including Spilt Screen and Geography Club.
Is It Any Good?
Two teenage couples, a long-buried secret, lots of sexual tension, a creepy cabin in the woods, and a killer on the loose make for a chilling page-turner. Brent Hartinger's novels featuring gay and bisexual teens are both popular and well-reviewed, so his handling of the relationship between Liam and Rob and the pair's conflicts with Galen is both sensitive and insightful.
Teens who are regular viewers of shows such as Game of Thrones or fans of writers such as Stephen King may find the novel's "scare" quotient a bit low, but it will suit readers who want a thriller that isn't nightmare-inducing and lacks large quantities of gore. A clever twist should surprise most readers.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.