Title: Truth or Dare
Author: Non Pratt
Genres: Young Adult Contemporary
How far is too far when it comes to the people you love?
Claire Casey hates being the centre of attention. But if it means getting Sef Malik to notice her, it’s a risk she’s happy to take. Sef is prepared to do anything to help his recently disabled brother. But this means putting Claire’s love – and life – on the line. Because when you’re willing to risk everything, what is there left to lose?
Thank you to Walker YA for sending a copy of this book my way. This does not, in any way, have any effect on my opinion on the book.
Truth or Dare is that kind of book where you start it the same way you’d normally start a book, and read from one person’s POV. Once you’re halfway through the book you have to flip it around and start again, but from another person’s perspective. I thought this concept was incredibly intriguing, and I was interested in seeing if I’d like it, but it unfortunately didn’t work for me at all. You end the first part with a pretty huge cliffhanger, and then you have to turn the book around and start all over again? Yeah… no thanks.
I liked the first half of the book. Claire was a pretty great character and you can’t help but root for her. I also really liked her friends (especially Seren, who is aro-ace!!! There’s a wonderful ownvoices ace review on this that you can watch here), and I wish we could’ve seen more of them.
I, sadly, didn’t like Sef’s character at all. He treated everyone around him like shit, and I got that he was going through an incredibly rough time, but that doesn’t excuse his behavior. His chapters were quite heart-wrenching and you could feel his pain, and *almost* understand his actions, but then he’d turn around and make the shittiest of shitty decisions and I, personally, felt quite frustrated with him. (Spoiler) Especially when he risked his girlfriend’s life like that. Nothing excuses that, in my opinion.
As some of you might know, I love fat rep. I’m a fat person myself, and being able to see that side of myself always brings me a lot of joy. In the book, Claire is described as being bigger, and most of the book is pretty uplifting about that. It took me about a 100 pages to notice that Claire’s bigger, so there’s definitely no focus on that, but still, it’s something! But then when I flipped the book around and started reading it from Sef’s perspective, he’s immediately so incredibly fatphobic in the first 2 pages. I didn’t expect this at all, so it didn’t make me feel good. At all.
Luckily, the writing redeemed the book a little for me. The writing was quite entertaining, and I could literally fly through the book. I also quite liked the Youtube aspect of it. In the book, Claire and Sef start a Youtube channel to raise money for Sef’s brother by doing dares. Usually, when authors involve social media in their books, it doesn’t feel authentic at all. Like they don’t really get how it works. I was kind of scared that it’d be the same in this case, and that the author would make it so that Claire and Sef become incredibly popular and raise all the money they need in an instant, but that doesn’t happen. They hardly get any subs/donations, deal with mean comments and people stealing their ideas, and don’t get popular until they work with a bigger Youtuber. This is, of course, quite frustrating for them, but it does make the whole experience seem more genuine.
As you can probably tell, this book didn’t quite work for me. I liked the writing and some aspects of the book, but I spent more time feeling frustrated than I did being entertained. However, I am interested in picking up another Non Pratt book in the future.