Title: The Truth About Everything
Author: Bridget Farr
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Publishing Date: October 11, 2022
About the Book
Gut a fish. Rewire a truck. Survive the collapse of the US government. All lessons fifteen-year-old Lark has learned during “homeschool” with her conspiracy-theorist-Doomsday-prepping parents. If only she’d also learned the fundamentals of human biology or even how to read. When Lark gets her first period and realizes how much she doesn’t know, she ignores her fears of everything outside their rural Montana farm and secretly attends school for the first time.
At high school, Lark discovers the world is very different than she has been told, from the basics of the internet to government takeovers that never happened. Lark uncovers the holes in her parents’ beliefs and realizes that she must decide her own truth. But it won’t come without sacrifices.
Content Warning: 2020 political topics, pandemic topics, anti-vaccine opinions
About the Author
Bridget Farr is an author, actor, and educator. Previously a middle school English teacher, she now serves as a vice principal at a public elementary school. Bridget is the author of two middle grade novels, and an accomplished theater actor and producer. Her debut YA novel, The Truth About Everything, launches October 2022. Born and raised in eastern Montana, she now lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband, Shiva, and the neighborhood cat, Sherman. Bridget is represented by Melissa Edwards at Stonesong Literary Agency.
When I read the blurb, which mentioned prepper, it was pretty much a: “shuddup and take my money” situation, except this was an ARC, so I preordered it instead. Lark is so typical of children of doomsday/prepper parents. Her world is limited to what her parents tell her, and that world is inadequately small; she just doesn’t know it. So when she enrolls herself in high school without them knowing, she starts to realize just some of what she’s been missing in life.
I homeschooled my daughter for years. But we’re not doomsday people, so we reported to our state. And honestly? It was a ton of work if you’re not doing it online through an online school. You had to submit an overall plan of what you would be learning, prepare daily lesson plans, and then do a comprehensive end-of-the-year evaluation. But, it was totally worth it because when I did enroll her in school, they wanted to skip her ahead 2 grades. So when you read of Lark, her homeschooling should shock you, as it did me. I have nothing but empathy for her.
While the characters aren’t wholly in depth, Lark is, and that works to keep her at the forefront. This is a story of dealing with a prepper father and a mother with mental illness, who has practically checked out of everything. It’s a story of a young woman finding herself. Teens question the world around them, and it’s hard to do when you don’t have access to that world. Watching Lark unlearn some of the negative aspects of her world was an absolute joy. I think readers are going to enjoy this one.
“Dad says religion is the opioid of the masses, but we aren’t that different from the man with the ark. Like him, we prepare.”
“Maybe my life really is better. Dad thinks so. Mom doesn’t think much of anything anymore.”
“What else don’t I know? What else aren’t they telling me?”
“Homeschool is freedom. Useful. Practical. My mind is my own.”
“I don’t know what I’m actually scared of. I just know I should be.”
This book was so much fun to read.
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