Get the ‘True Story’


Published: Wednesday, March 5, 2014 at 2:42 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, March 5, 2014 at 2:42 p.m.

Plan A or Plan B?

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“True Story” by Ni-Ni Simone, c. 2012, Dafina Teen, $9.95, 224 pages. (Special to the Guardian)

Each of your two choices has good points and bad. One may take longer than the other and one may be better now. You know there are pros and cons to both, and you need to pick carefully.

But, as you will see in the new novel, "True Story" by Ni-Ni Simone, sometimes the hardest choice can backfire the worst.

New Orleans was the place to be for Seven McKnight.

It had been like that all summer. Seven had tricked her mother into believing there was some internship that made it mandatory for her to stay in the Big Easy, so Seven didn't go home to Newark. Instead, she holed up with her man, Zaire, in his apartment for three glorious months.

Now that college had started, though, she was back in her dorm room with her girls, Shae and Khya, and their fabulous guy-pal, Courtney, who had sweet-talked his way into sleeping on the sofa. It was going to be a great sophomore year.

The only bad part was that Josiah was at Stiles U, too.

Josiah and Seven had been together practically since they were 10 years old, but last year, she caught him in a lie (or two). They broke up, she fell in love with former troublemaker Zaire, and that was that. The only problem was that Josiah couldn't keep his behind out of Seven's business, and down-deep, she couldn't forget that she still loved him.

More than anything, though, Seven loved Zaire and she tried to loosen him up, but he was too focused on work. His parents had both been killed by Hurricane Katrina and he knew there was no third chance to get life right. He studied, worked constantly, and never wanted to go out. Pretty soon, 18-year-old Seven was bored.

With her friends out partying nearly every night without her and her boo falling asleep in front of the TV all of the time (ho-hum), Josiah started looking better and better all over again. Could a cheater ever reform? Or was a hard-working former drug-slinger better for Seven?

Oh, it's nice to see Seven McKnight again. In "True Story," we get a chance to catch up on where she's been and who she's dating and we get to spend some time with her friends, too.

That's fun – if you can understand what is being said in the conversations between the characters. Like other books in this series, author Ni-Ni Simone uses lots of slang, which can make it hard to grasp.

On the flipside, there's enough humor in this book and the characters are appealing enough to make a reader want to stick around and, happily, the confusion eventually takes care of itself.

A couple of relatively tame love scenes make this a book for teens ages 14-18 or for moms who are starting to get into YA books.

If that's you, then "True Story" could be a good book to choose.

Terri Schlichenmeyer lives in Wisconsin with two dogs and 11,000 books.

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