Three Things I Know Are True by Betty Culley
Genre: Poetry, Realistic Fiction
Rating: 4.11 stars (Goodreads)
Summary: This moving debut novel in verse about a teenage girl dealing with the aftermath of an accident that nearly takes her brother’s life is a stunning exploration of grief and the power of forgiveness.
The reminder is always there—a dent on the right side of Jonah’s forehead. The spot you’d press when you felt a headache coming on. The bullet tore away bone, the way dynamite blasts rock—leaving a soft crater.
Life changes forever for Liv when her older brother, Jonah, accidentally shoots himself with his best friend Clay’s father’s gun. Now Jonah needs round-the-clock care just to stay alive, and Liv seems to be the only person who can see that her brother is still there inside his broken body.
With Liv’s mom suing Clay’s family, there are divisions in the community that Liv knows she’s not supposed to cross. But Clay is her friend, too, and she refuses to turn away from him—just like she refuses to give up on Jonah.
I know this is a huge spoiler for the book so if you don’t want to be spoiled about it please don’t continue reading. I just think it’s important to know this happens so i’m giving a heads up.
Spoiler – TW: This book contains the DEATH of a character.
Sorry, i had to say it because it’s a difficult topic so i thought it would be prudent to say it will happen in the book because it may be a stressful thing for the people reading it.
Now that it is out of the way let’s start talking about the book.
This is the story of the sibling of a boy who accidentally shot himself in the head with the gun of his friend’s father and how she sees everything that is happening to his brother since then (he lived but has a brain injury). Let me begin with saying it’s a difficult book to swallow, since it is very specific with everything that happens. The pain feels so real, i cried all the way through the book.
I’m astonished by how real this story feels. I could picture Jonah, the brother, all the way through the book, how difficult the situation is, how the famly is feeling, so many feelings over the story…
I loved Liv’s voice, she was such a strong person, even though she was only 15-16 years old. She wanted so much to help her brother, to see him and remember him the way he was before the accident. It’s so hard to thing so many people go through this kind of thing. The author said she worked with people like Jonah and that was the inspiration for the book, the siblings of these people and how much they wanted to help and cared about their loved ones. I think the author just nailed it completely.
There’s so much sorrow in this book, i can’t stop thinking about it. The way a life was wasted because of such an accident. How Jonah was trapped inside his own body, it’s so painful to think about all that.
I loved the way the story was crafted and all the characters in it, how you can see the differences on how people see the incident and everything that comes from it, people thinking Jonah did it on purpuse, the ones against guns, the ones in favour of it, the ones that just want to know the “juicy stuff”, the people that truly care about Jonah.
The trail was so painful, like, i mean it. And how everything happens from then.
It gives me so many feelings, it’s amazing.
I don’t think i can make justice to this book by just talking about it, i think, if you are strong enough you should read it for yourself.
I won’t forget about the way Liv cared about Jonah for a very long time, she just loved her brother so much, it was such a pure love, she cared and was willing to make him feel better even in the state he was. I think she did her best to make him feel as comfortable as possible given the situation, and that is such a selfless kind of love, it moved me so much it was wonderful.
Overall, i think this book teaches us about the struggles other people are having, the pure love of a family, how everything could shatter in a second by a mistake. The book is a calling for being aware of what you are doing, for helping others and being sensible to them. You never know wha could happen to a person you love and it’s important to be there for the ones you love.
I gave the book 5 stars, because it made me feel and cry so much.
I recommend it t everyone willing to give a piece of your heart to these characters, they are truly alive and amazing.
Three things i know are true about this book:
- It is memorable
- The characters feel as alive as i am
- It teached me of the love between siblings and how important they are to us
Sorry if this is a weird review, i’m just so emotional over this book right now…
Hope you give it a chance, it is written beautifully, and it is full of lessons for life.