Out May 12th, 'Read Between the Lies' by Malcolm Duffy is an absolute smasher: a brilliant teen story that is funny, raw and heartfelt. For teens/ YA, though could be suitable for some advanced Year 6 readers, this is an emphatic story that deals with friendship, family, teen behaviour and dyslexia with all the ups and downs of growing up.
Tommy is talented, cool, a young offender and dyslexic. Ryan is smart, uncool, well-behaved, and dyslexic. The two develop an unlikely frindship. As Ryan helps Tommy to read, a secret is revealed that will changes their lives forever...
Occasionally I read a teen/ YA novel which absolutely hits the mark - 'Read Between the Lies' is one of them. Malcolm Duffy is a master at capturing the voices and inner lives of teenagers. Both Ryan and Tommy are bluntly and brilliantly brought to life on the page; their voices powerful and vulnerable, hilarious and sad. Their intermingled stories are also compelling and authentic, and there are shocks and twists, which makes for an utterly addictive read. I had to stay up late to find the answer to the book's central mystery. There are also many set-pieces that make you cringe, laugh and bring you close to tears. Between the lines, there is much warmth and honesty to the story - Malcolm Duffy does a terrific job of sensitively exploring the impact of dyslexia while showing the positive results if someone with the diagnosis gets support.
I thoroughly enjoyed this. Ryan and Tommy feel like two young men I have come to know so well. And that's always a sign of such an immersive, brilliant read.
Thank you to Fritha Lindqvist and Zephyr Books for my copy to review.