Thursday, September 6, 2012

Review # 228: The Truth about Lilly Barnes by Kimberly Russell

Description: (from GoodReads)
“Today is the day it is going to happen. I’m not melancholy or nervous. I just want to get it over with more than anything. Today is the day that I, Lilly Barnes, die.”

     Lilly Barnes doesn't want to live anymore. She is prepared to leave her life, family, and more importantly, her best friend Buddy behind for good. But, why? What could be so horrible that it makes a young girl want to end her life? 

     I had trouble putting this book down after the first couple of sentences; Lilly's statement, "I really am dying tonight... it will be all my choice and by my own hands." immediately affected me. Why would someone choose death over life? What in their life could be bad enough to warrant suicide? Lilly's reasoning was not immediately apparent, but I was compelled to read on, her silent goodbyes to school, friends, inanimate objects, and Channing Tatum setting the book's overall tone - deep melancholy with a dash of hope. I am not a teenager, but I do remember the hormone-fueled emotions of middle and high school, so I could relate to Lilly in some ways, but other times, I felt like I was reading about half of a character. This may have been because of the journal-like format of the book, but I thought that her character could have been more developed. The dialogue was basic and easy-to-read, and the book itself was very short, (156 pages),  however, every page counted for something, and I felt that Kimberly Russell chose her words carefully to keep readers interested in Lilly's story. I liked the flow of the plot, although the pace seemed slow in some areas. I spotted grammatical errors throughout - nothing a second editing couldn't fix - but nothing really deterred me from finding out "the truth". The book could have done without the "budding romance", but I do admit that it helped get the message across, (no spoilers). I know that depression and suicide are uncomfortable topics for most people, especially when talking about children and teens who have their whole lives ahead of them, but depression is not uncommon in these age groups. I am glad that the author has written Lilly's story, even though the topic is a tough one. I definitely recommend it to readers thirteen and up; parts of the book may be emotionally raw and disturbing, but people need to understand that these feelings exist, and that there are ways to deal with them besides suicide.

Rating: On the Run (4/5)

*** I received this book from the author (Lightning Book Promotions) in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

About the Author:

     I’m obsessed with all things Jane Austen. I read a lot of YA but my all-time favorite is a cozy mystery. As far as teen books go I really love Stephanie Perkins, Sarah Dessen, Sara Zara, and Ann Brashares. As far as adult books go I love Sidney Sheldon (he will always have my heart), Stephen King, Sophie Kinsella, and Charlaine Harris.

     When I’m not reading or writing I enjoy spending time with my husband, baking, and finding ways to meet Jimmy Fallon. Currently has two novels for sale The Truth about Lilly Barnes and Between Balloons. Currently working on her third novel The Adoration of Emma Wylde.

Tour Schedule:

2nd Ana @ BookSpark (review and giveaway)
3rd Marissa @ For The Love of Film and Novels (Review and Guest Post)
4th Sydney @ A Case of Reading Insomnia (Review)
5th Maryann @ Chapter by Chapter (Review)
6th Allizabeth @ The Paperback Pursuer (Review)
7th Reena @ Reena Jacobs (Guest Post/maybe a review)
8th Sarah @ Breaking the Binding (Review)
8th Kate @ Froze8′s Blog (Feature w/ excerpt and Giveaway)
8th Kate @ Literary R&R (Feature/interview and Giveaway)
9th Rachel @ Stressed Rach (Review)
10th Louisa @ Words I Write Crazy (Review)
11th GMR @ Satisfaction for Insatiable Reader (Guest Post only)
11th Laura @ Owl Tell You About It (Review)
12th Lexxie @ (un)conventional bookviews (Review and Giveaway)
13th Channing @ A Book Without Pages (Review and Guest Post)
14th Paula @ Book Lover Stop (Review)
15th Lisa @ Nightly Reading (Review)
16th Ruth @ My Devotional Thoughts (Review, Guest Post and Giveaway)


  1. Thanks for getting a post up early, I hope to see a review on here soon. :) ~Stormi, Lightning Book Promotions