True Letters from a Fictional Life
“Just the right touch of humor, mystery, drama, and romance should earn this a place on every teen bookshelf.” —Kirkus (starred review)
This heartfelt debut novel from Kenneth Logan, reminiscent of Love Letters to the Dead and Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, explores a muddy landscape of truth and lies and lays bare the sometimes painful but often hopeful work of writing one’s own authentic story.
If you asked anyone in his small Vermont town, they’d tell you the facts: James Liddell, star athlete, decent student, and sort-of boyfriend to cute, peppy Theresa, is a happy, funny, carefree guy.
But whenever James sits down at his desk to write, he tells a different story. As he fills his drawers with letters to the people in his world—letters he never intends to send—he spills the truth: he’s trying hard, but he just isn’t into Theresa. It’s his friend, a boy, who lingers in his thoughts.
James’s secret letters are his safe space—but his truth can’t stay hidden for long. Will he come clean to his parents, his teammates, and himself, or is he destined to live a life of fiction?
Praise For True Letters from a Fictional Life…
— Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“We need stories that give courage to kids struggling to be honest with themselves and others about who they are. Logan tells one that will give you hope and make you laugh.”
— Robbie Rogers, LA Galaxy midfielder, former midfielder for the US National Soccer Team
“James and his friends have deep, meaningful, complex bonds... Logan’s look at a boy reconciling his private and public selves is well written and affecting.”
— School Library Journal
“Logan handles his material exceptionally well, building suspense as he dramatizes both the downside of being in the closet and the realistic complications of coming out, while creating, in James, an unusually thoughtful and sympathetic character... [a] satisfying debut.”
“A wonderful book that will encourage young readers to seek authenticity and stand up for their true selves… LGBT teens, as well as straight, will recognize much of their lives in this story. Highly recommended.”
— Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA)
“Logan tackles the complexities of coming out thoughtfully, presenting realistic (and not always fully supportive) responses to James’s revelation.”
— Publishers Weekly
“[James’] painful, funny experiences with family, love, and friends will resonate with many teens.”
— Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
HarperTeen, 9780062380258, 336pp.
Publication Date: June 7, 2016
About the Author
Kenneth Logan grew up in New Jersey and taught high school English in Vermont and San Francisco. He lives in Brooklyn. You can visit him online at www.kennethloganbooks.com.