Book Review: The Truth of Right Now

After a traumatic year off, Lily’s return to her swanky Manhattan high school has been far from easy. Most of her friends still blame her for what happened, and the rest treat her with the lightest of kid gloves. The only person who isn’t treating Lily like a pariah is Dari, the artistic new student with a troubled past. Their attraction is immediate and intense, but can it survive a tumultuous year of drama and tragedy?

Playwright Kara Lee Corthron’s first novel is at once a touching romance and a poignant coming-of-age story that’s deeply in tune with the harsh realities many teenagers and young adults face today. From sexual assault to domestic abuse to systemic racism, Lily and Dari encounter obstacles that no teen should have to face, but all too many do. Corthron tells their story with just the right mix of whimsy, grace and gravitas, treating her protagonists and the flawed adults in their lives with the utmost respect. Lily and Dari’s journey is inspirational, and despite how deeply the deck is stacked against them, they gather the courage to move forward in the best way they can.

The Truth of Right Now is not a lighthearted read, but it’s an important page-turner for young readers growing up in today’s America.