In When I Was Joe, Ty discovered the dangers of telling lies: the pain they cause, the difficulty of maintaining them and the strain they cause on all relationships. In this sequel the tables are turned as he finds his family and friends all have their own sets of deceits, deceptions and character flaws – the rug is repeatedly pulled from the narrative of his life.
David’s writing is at its best when showing the complex internal conversations and rationalisations that lie behind the gruff exterior of her sensitive protagonist, whose life is spent in witness protection, hidden from the gang against whom he is the star witness in a murder trial. He meets his absentee father who he only knows from his mother’s propaganda, and wealthy grandparents he did not know existed, and learns a huge amount about life. While the main points of When I Was Joe are handed to the reader, the complexity of Ty’s character means that Almost True would be less successful read in isolation from the first book.
Gripping, well crafted and resisting the temptation to tie things up too neatly, this is a challenging and rewarding book for teen readers.