Book covers matter. The cover of The Honest Truth caught me big time, and I read the YA novel from that visual start. My mind images cratered through as I read, reminding me of separation, survival, and the dire questions our lives force us to answer.
Mark and his dog set out on a journey. Taking few things with them and leaving one or two notes behind, Mark figures this will be the last time he sees his home, family, and friend who is a girl. Mark has outlasted death a few times, and now his sickness is winning. Mark figures out how to outsmart most people as he escapes to Mt. Rainier where he has decided to die, but he didn’t count on how others might respond.
This is Dan Gemeinhart’s first book, and I really enjoyed his writing style. It was clean and deep. I can’t imagine what it is like to always be sick as a child, to always need medicine, to always need doctors, and to always need others. The main character who tells his own story gives voice to that part of at least one young teen who called enough and tried to get out of his own life. It just didn’t all go the way he planned. The cover caught me first, but his story kept me with him the whole way.