True Letters from a Fictional Life
“Just the right touch of humor, mystery, drama, and romance should earn this a place on every teen bookshelf.” —Kirkus (starred review) This heartfelt debut novel from Kenneth Logan, reminiscent of Love Letters to the Dead and Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, explores a muddy landscape of truth and lies and lays bare the sometimes painful but often hopeful work of writing one’s own authentic story.
If you asked anyone in his small Vermont town, they’d tell you the facts: James Liddell, star athlete, decent student, and sort-of boyfriend to cute, peppy Theresa, is a happy, funny, carefree guy.
But whenever James sits down at his desk to write, he tells a different story. As he fills his drawers with letters to the people in his world—letters he never intends to send—he spills the truth: he’s trying hard, but he just isn’t into Theresa. It’s his friend, a boy, who lingers in his thoughts.
James’s secret letters are his safe space—but his truth can’t stay hidden for long. Will he come clean to his parents, his teammates, and himself, or is he destined to live a life of fiction?
Debut author Logan gives voice to a confused, closeted teen from a small Vermont town. James Liddel, 17, is a perfectly happy star athlete with a "sort-of girlfriend," Theresa, who adores him, and a crew of close friends. But James has a secret that he's sure will destroy his life: he is gay. Certain that his friends and family will reject him once they find out not an entirely unfounded fear, as most of his friends regularly lob "homo" and "faggot" as insults James is only truthful about his feelings in the letters he writes but never intends to send. These diary-like letters (which get out, naturally) reveal the pains James goes to in order to hide from those around him. A series of events, including an attack on the only openly gay boy in school, sets James on a course to disclose his sexuality. Logan tackles the complexities of coming out thoughtfully, presenting realistic (and not always fully supportive) responses to James's revelation, as well as his own sometimes-uncharitable attitudes. Ages 13 up.
I had to read this book for a class, but it was one of the only books that we read that actually kept me wanting to read it. I finished it the day it was assigned and honestly I’m kind of sad that I finished it.
I absolutely loved this book and couldn’t not put it down! Definitely would recommend.
Starts off a little meh but it only gets better and better. Really a great read for all. Just finished crying my eyes out!