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The Truth of Right Now

Cover of The Truth of Right Now

The Truth of Right Now

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Two isolated teens struggle against their complicated lives to find a true connection in this "timely and timeless" (Kirkus Reviews, starred review) debut novel about first love and the wreckage of growing up.
Lily is returning to her privileged Manhattan high school after a harrowing end to her sophomore year and it's not pretty. She hates chemistry and her spiteful lab partner, her friends are either not speaking to her or suffocating her with concerned glances, and nothing seems to give her joy anymore. Worst of all, she can't escape her own thoughts about what drove her away from everyone in the first place.

Enter Dari (short for Dariomauritius), the artistic and mysterious transfer student, adept at cutting class. Not that he'd rather be at home with his domineering Trinidadian father. Dari is everything that Lily needs: bright, creative, honest, and unpredictable. And in a school where no one really stands out, Dari finds Lily's sensitivity and openness magnetic. Their attraction ignites immediately, and for the first time in what feels like forever, Lily and Dari find happiness in each other.

In twenty-first-century New York City, the fact that Lily is white and Dari is black shouldn't matter that much, but nothing's as simple as it seems. When tragedy becomes reality, can friendship survive even if romance cannot?
Two isolated teens struggle against their complicated lives to find a true connection in this "timely and timeless" (Kirkus Reviews, starred review) debut novel about first love and the wreckage of growing up.
Lily is returning to her privileged Manhattan high school after a harrowing end to her sophomore year and it's not pretty. She hates chemistry and her spiteful lab partner, her friends are either not speaking to her or suffocating her with concerned glances, and nothing seems to give her joy anymore. Worst of all, she can't escape her own thoughts about what drove her away from everyone in the first place.

Enter Dari (short for Dariomauritius), the artistic and mysterious transfer student, adept at cutting class. Not that he'd rather be at home with his domineering Trinidadian father. Dari is everything that Lily needs: bright, creative, honest, and unpredictable. And in a school where no one really stands out, Dari finds Lily's sensitivity and openness magnetic. Their attraction ignites immediately, and for the first time in what feels like forever, Lily and Dari find happiness in each other.

In twenty-first-century New York City, the fact that Lily is white and Dari is black shouldn't matter that much, but nothing's as simple as it seems. When tragedy becomes reality, can friendship survive even if romance cannot?
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About the Author-
  • Kara Lee Corthron is an award-winning New York City based playwright. A Julliard alumna, she is an instructor at Primary Stages' Einhorn School of Performing Arts and has taught at the MFA and BFA playwriting programs at Ohio University, NYU-Tisch, Rutgers, and Spalding University.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    October 31, 2016
    In this engrossing debut novel set in New York City, Corthron takes readers back and forth between the perspectives of two high school loners who are beginning the school year with a lot of baggage. Lily Rothstein, a white musician, is the school pariah, abandoned by even her best friends, though Corthron doesn’t immediately reveal why. Dariomauritius “Dari” Gray, who is black, has an abusive father and his own history of rage, which he tries to escape by focusing on drawing and keeping to himself. Sparks fly when the two meet, and their conversations about family, race, and their difficult backgrounds light up the pages. Corthron carefully builds trust between Dari and Lily, but as the teenagers’ pasts catch up with them, some late-breaking and scandalous developments, including the revelation of what has made Lily such an outcast, undermine the still-new romance and tenuous intimacy between them. While some of these dramatic twists feel rushed, Corthron marks herself as a writer unafraid of taking up difficult topics relevant to teens’ lives. Ages 14–up. Agent: Laurie Liss, Sterling Lord Literistic.

  • Kirkus

    Starred review from November 1, 2016
    High school can be hell, but if they can hold onto their friendship, Lily and Dari might just survive.... In her debut novel, playwright Corthron crafts a haunting and disturbingly realistic tale of two teenagers from different worlds trying desperately to hold onto their artistic dreams while enduring the vapid wasteland that is their upscale New York City prep school. Returning for the first time since her suicide attempt, Lily, a privileged Jewish white girl, is estranged from her former friends and now finds their lives trivial. Dari, a cynical Trinidadian-American transfer student, is a brooding painter in search of a new muse. Both are outcasts from broken homes drawn together by a mutual need for companionship. Lily and Dari alternate narration (Lily in first person; Dari in third; both realistically profane), enabling the author to build two richly nuanced protagonists whose voices are so heartbreakingly authentic that readers may scan their homerooms searching for them. Vivid details, from the smell of the bums on the 1 train and the brutal taunts of high school social cliques to the all-encompassing isolation the teens feel dealing with parents who don't quite understand them, practically pop off of the pages. Another treat this novel boasts are secondary characters who manage to be as intriguing as its stars, particularly Dari's overbearing immigrant father and Lily's well-meaning mother. A powerhouse of storytelling that feels timely and timeless. (Fiction. 14 & up)

    COPYRIGHT(2016) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    November 1, 2016

    Gr 10 Up-What happens when bad girl meets bad boy? In Corthron's heady realistic novel, troubled teen Lily returns to her high school after a year "away." New kid Dari sits alone at lunch, drawing and brooding, and catches Lily's eye. As they strike up a friendship, and more, each teen's layered backstory is unscrambled, revealing a mosaic of abuse, untrustworthy adults, and self-harm. Lily's flighty hippie mother and Dari's controlling, derisive father are no background figures here; they each play an important part in the young people's lives. Corthron's writing strikes the right balance of pitchy and pithy-no words are left unchained or events unraveling as Dari and Lily experience the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. True to the characters' lives, sexual situations and graphic language appear throughout the narrative. VERDICT Recommended for fans of Rainbow Rowell's works.-Amanda C. Buschmann, Carroll Elementary School, Houston

    Copyright 2016 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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    Simon Pulse
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