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the honest truthWhat: The Honest Truth by Dan Gemeinhart

Who: Chicken House

When: March 5th 2015

How: A copy of this novel was provided by Chicken House for review.

Mark has been in and out of hospital his whole life – and he’s fed up.

So when his cancer returns, he decides he’s had enough. Running away with his dog Beau, he sets out to climb a mountain – and it’s only when he’s left everything behind that Mark realises he has everything to live for.


The Honest Truth tells the story of twelve year old Mark, who has cancer and decides to run away to climb a mountain with his dog, Beau.

I’m going to start off this review with the fact that I had continuous heart palpitations regarding the safety of Beau. I cannot handle animal deaths in books, and I was just SO worried that something would happen to Beau and I’d be scarred for life. But (and this kind of spoilery) it all turns out okay, and I am not scarred for life. Yet.

The Honest Truth is lovely. I had never heard of it before it was sent to me for review, probably because I don’t read Middle Grade books (like, ever), but I’m really glad I decided to read it because I really liked it. I liked the way it was written, I liked Mark, I loved Beau, and I liked the ending (it was kind of twisty and totally awesome!).

Because Mark is ten years younger than me, my mother hen came out full frontal when reading The Honest Truth. I wanted to wrap him up in a blanket and protect him from everything that was happening to him. And when this scene with teenage dirtbags happened, I was just d y i n g to jump into the pages and spirit him away. Mark is such a determined little thing, and in so much pain, and so adorable, and so resilient. He was a pretty incredible character, and I won’t be forgetting him any time soon, that’s for sure.

Even though I loved Mark, I also had a you stupid little boy feeling about him because he is TWELVE and running away to die on a MOUNTAIN and did not tell his PARENTS and took his DOG TO POSSIBLY DIE (which I did think was selfish but then I guess he didn’t want to be alone and I don’t know. he just shouldn’t have taken the dog, okay?). And I could understand why he did these things but also wanted him to do them differently, and save a lot of people (including himself) a lot of pain.

We get to see a little bit of his parents’ reactions through a third person POV of Mark’s best friend, Jessie. Who knows where he is, but doesn’t want to break his trust by telling his parents. It was all kinds of heartbreaking to see their reaction because they love him, and they just want him to be okay.

On the media release, it said The Honest Truth would appeal to fans of The Fault in Our Stars and provide the same kind of story to a younger audience. Well I can say straight out that The Honest Truth impacted me a lot more than TFiOS. It was simply lovely.

© 2015, Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity. All rights reserved.

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Posted on: March 3, 2015 • By: Chiara

12 Responses to Review: The Honest Truth by Dan Gemeinhart

  1. I’m reading this right now! It’s lovely, but yeah, I did think that about poor Beau – I mean, seriously kid, what are you doing???

    Interested to see how it ends…

  2. I LOVE THIS REVIEW. Yes and yes to everything — but mostly no no no to the dog. I was terrified at the end at the Bit Where It Goes Really Bad And You Know The Dog Might Die…I was NOT OKAY. People dying are one thing, killing the trusty faithful companions is entirely another.

    I didn’t love this a lot… but I still thought Mark was rather amazing and while his logic was stupid I UNDERSTOOD WHY HE WAS DOING IT. I thought the police were a bit stupid though. heh.

    • Chiara says:

      THANK YOU, CAIT <3

      I was totally terrified because omg PUPPEH AND NO PAIN FOR THE PUPPEH. I can handle human deaths but not the innocent animal ones D:

      Yeah, I had a lot of mixed feelings for our dear Mark. And yes. PICK UP THE PACE, POLICE. GEEZ.

  3. Wow Chiara, it impacted you more than TFIOS, that is surely saying something! I’m glad your resolution for Beau was a good one too, cos my heart would be in my throat as well. HAHAHA see now you know why I was totally mother henning at the bookfest! Anyway, lovely review, I’m looking forward to reading my copy.

    • Chiara says:

      It is! But then again I didn’t LOVE TFiOS, so XD

      I was such a mother and I was like DEAR LORD I AM GETTING OLD. HAHA.

      I hope you like it, Jeann! It’s really touching ^.^

  4. Sydney says:

    I have never heard of this but aw, it sounds precious. I, like you, would’ve spent the majority of the book freaking out about Beau, though. I definitely would have been mad at the boy for taking the dog, even though dogs are fiercely loyal and unquestioning. STILL.

    Lol I’m glad I’m not the only one who wasn’t too impacted by TFiOS. I definitely cried the first time I saw the movie, but that’s mostly because my mom had had cancer by that time and I just remember the constant fear that she was going to die despite what all of the doctors were saying. So the movie impacted me a lot more than the book, even though the book was also good.

    But then again I have slight issues with John Green. But that’s just me.

    • Chiara says:

      It was freaking precious AS, Sydney. And my lord I was so worried about the dog THE ENTIRE TIME. And I was pissy with the kid for taking him, but I also understand why.

      I was the same! The movie had a much greater impact on me than the book. I don’t really know why, but yeah. All the feels for the movie <3

      And tbh I don't like John Green.

  5. Romi says:

    Wonderful review, Chiara! This is my first time on your blog (how do you do!) and I adore it. You write such a nice review that is touching and thoughtful and I want to read this book now, too, even though I’ve heard nothing but this about it. I really like the way you’ve described it and imagine I would feel quite similarly to you, about particular scenes.
    Looking forward to seeing more of your posts! Xx

  6. Can I just say how happy I am to hear that the dog is ok? Screw humans, yay animals. I would probably hate the fact that Mark took off without letting anyone know, especially because he’s so young as well. It’s quite selfish but when you’re about to die, I doubt anyone would be thinking about people other than themselves. So slightly forgivable. I will be reading this for the Aussie Group book club challenge as my MG pick. I hope I love it as much as you did Chiara! xx

    • Chiara says:

      Right?! That’s how I always feel. I just cannot handle animal deaths, EVER.

      I hope you end up liking it, too, Joy! It was definitely a touching story, that’s for sure.

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