Review: The Truth About Riley by Henrietta Clarke

Sometimes I have so much to say about a book that I have to force myself not to think about it.  Other times, I have very few words yet my thoughts are assaulted by my feelings even days after finishing a book. The Truth About Riley falls into this second category, though when I first finished it I had the urge to slam my laptop shut in frustrated petulance.  Once I’d calmed down a bit, though, I realized that this quiet little novel, despite eliciting a tantrum at its abrupt ending, was one of the better romances I’ve read lately, so much so that I bumped up my rating by another point and now stare at my blinking cursor, trying to put into words why I loved this story so much.  It’s by no means perfect.  Even I, a reader who lives for character 18103276development and dialogue over exposition and plot arcs, found myself skimming some of the lengthier conversations between Cam and Riley.  The story could have used more editing, fewer endearments, and definitely more closure.  Many other readers have lamented the fact that this novel ends on a cliffhanger.  I wouldn’t characterize it as a cliffhanger ending – we know what is going to happen, and if one is willing to accept imagination rather than elaboration, it’s fulfilling enough – but given the fact that all that was needed was perhaps another chapter (hell, another sentence) to flesh out the final moments, I can’t help but think that Clarke was trying to squeeze out another book deal by holding the final few moments hostage.  A follow-up was promised for early this year, meaning that Clarke contemplated more between these two characters; I can only assume part of their continuation would include angst, in which case I’m happy enough to content myself with this novel alone.  Still, I would have loved to have seen Cam’s relationship withRiley’s family explored further, as well as seeing Riley assimilate into Cam’s inner circle of friends.  Still, despite these flaws, I found myself completely engrossed in the slow unraveling of Cam and Riley’s story, tothe point where, even though I have very little to say, I can’t deny that thecharacters remain with me days later.  Also, for the records, this novel has one of the best first kiss scenes I have ever read, hands down.

4cuprating

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