One Great Lie by Deb Caletti | Book Review

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

One Great Lie by Deb Caletti | Book ReviewOne Great Lie by Deb Caletti
Also by this author: Stay, A Heart in a Body in the World, Girl, Unframed
Published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers on June 1, 2021
Genres: Dating & Sex, Family, Girls & Women, Social Themes, Young Adult, Young Adult Fiction
Pages: 384
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon
ISBN: 9781534463172
Goodreads
three-half-stars

A compelling and atmospheric YA story of romance, mystery, and power about a young woman discovering her strength in lush, sultry Venice—from the Printz Honor–winning author of A Heart in a Body in the World.
When Charlotte wins a scholarship to a writing workshop in Venice with the charismatic and brilliant Luca Bruni, it’s a dream come true. Writing is her passion, she loves Bruni’s books, and going to that romantic and magical sinking city gives her the chance to solve a long-time family mystery about a Venetian poet deep in their lineage, Isabella Di Angelo, who just might be the real author of a very famous poem.
Bruni’s villa on the eerie island of La Calamita is extravagant—lush beyond belief, and the other students are both inspiring and intimidating. Venice itself is beautiful, charming, and seductive, but so is Luca Bruni. As his behavior becomes increasingly unnerving, and as Charlotte begins to unearth the long-lost work of Isabella with the help of sweet, smart Italian Dante, other things begin to rise, too—secrets about the past, and secrets about the present.
As the events of the summer build to a shattering climax, Charlotte will be forced to confront some dark truths about the history of powerful men—and about the determination of creative girls—in this stunning new novel from award-winning author Deb Caletti.

I’ve been reading Deb Caletti’s books since I was a young adult myself. Thus, I found myself really looking forward to delving into One Great Lie. I think that Caletti has this spectacular way of exploring issues that affect girls and women in a way that feels realistic. Although certain elements of One Great Lie were a bit outside of reality (the writing fellowship in Venice with the world famous author and scholarship), the really important parts definitely could have been ripped from real life – particularly from the experiences of #MeToo.

One Great Lie is about Charlotte, a girl from Seattle who is unassuming and quiet. She dreams of being a writer. Charlotte applies for a writing program where she will be mentored by her favorite writer, Luca Bruni, in Venice. Of course, she gets in and has a scholarship. At first, it is a dream come true. Only, then things change. You see, Luca is not to be trusted. He uses his position to take advantage of girls, chews them up, and spits them out as Charlotte and her fellow participants will discover.

Interspersed with what happens at the writing program is a subplot. The subplot involves Charlotte looking for the work and truth of a relative who was a female poet in the 1500s. She has received no recognition for her work. With the help of a new friend, Dante, and an Italian professor, Charlotte looks to the past and sees she is not the first girl to have a powerful man wreck her dreams. She sees a whole history of women who never received the recognition the men of their time did. Instead, these women were sent to convents, accused of using magic, as well as of being prostitutes. Some even saw their work stolen and taken credit for by the men.

I think that the themes within One Great Lie are extremely relevant to today. With Luca Bruni, you can see the parallels to Harvey Weinstein, among other examples. The setting for this book is immersive and interesting. I also liked the history that was added, particularly about Venice and the different festivals. However, the pacing is a bit slow. I also never totally felt engaged while reading. The themes within of power and control are very important, however, and I do think that this book definitely deserves a read.


three-half-stars
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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.
About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.

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