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The Truth About Leaving

Review

The Truth About Leaving

Canadian author Natalie Blitt’s fourth novel, THE TRUTH ABOUT LEAVING, starts the day before Lucy (the protagonist)’s senior year. Lucy has just been dumped by her boyfriend, Scott. While she is upset, she feels good enough the next day to do spontaneous pirouettes in the front foyer of her school. She stumbles out of her turns and bumps into a boy she doesn’t recognize, providing a traditional meet-cute. 

While the book starts off generically, it becomes more unique the more you read. The book details Lucy’s senior year as she contemplates her future and gets to know Dov (who is both an Israeli transfer student and the boy she knocked over doing fouettes). Her mom’s move to California for work results in Lucy being saddled with additional responsibilities at home, where she is expected to take care of her younger brothers. She has a tense relationship with her mom, who she resents for selfishly pursuing a work opportunity and for being absent during her senior year.

"THE TRUTH ABOUT LEAVING is a congenial story that is both recognizable and unconventional. It is a perfectly cozy read for most anyone who enjoys romance books."

THE TRUTH ABOUT LEAVING openly discusses unwanted pressure from significant others and the feeling of being lost. After having quit ballet in order to spend time with Scott, Lucy finds her way back to the studio as a student and teacher. She eventually realizes that it wasn’t worth giving up something that she loved so much in order to spend time with a boyfriend who put pressure on her to quit. Alternative decisions to college are also viewed positively. While Lucy and Dov go to a seemingly strenuous school called Wilmette Academy (with a perfect record of graduates going on to college immediately following high school), several characters voice their support for students making the right choice for them, whether that be attending college straight away or taking a gap year.

Since Lucy and Dov initially bond by sharing poems in a poetry class, this book is perfect for people who like to read verse and interpret its meanings. Through their poetry selections, readers can learn more about the characters. The book emphasizes the power of words: to express, to explain, to ponder, to heal, to love and to reflect.

Though Lucy is the protagonist, the most complete and raw character is Dov. He is sincere and deep in a way that she is not. While Lucy thinks her problems (such as the stress of college admissions and having to care for two rambunctious little brothers) are difficult, she realizes how privileged her life has been when she hears about Dov’s life and what he has gone through. Thus the depth of Dov’s character, his emotions and his kindness are what make this book special (If Ms. Blitt is reading this, I would have no objections to a sequel from Dov’s point-of-view.).

THE TRUTH ABOUT LEAVING is a congenial story that is both recognizable and unconventional. It is a perfectly cozy read for most anyone who enjoys romance books.

Reviewed by Madeline G., Teen Board Member on January 29, 2019

The Truth About Leaving
by Natalie Blitt