10 TRUTHS AND A DARE, by Ashley Elston, Disney-Hyperion, May 4, 2021, Hardcover, $17.99 (young adult)
A class salutatorian finds out she’s in danger of not graduating in Ashley Elston’s latest romantic-comedy, 10 Truths and a Dare.
It’s Senior Party Week, that magical in-between time after classes have ended but before graduation, chock-full of gimmicky theme parties, last-minute bonding, and family traditions. Olivia couldn’t be more ready. Class salutatorian and confident in her future at LSU, she’s poised to sail through to the next phase of her life.
But when the tiny hiccup of an unsigned off-campus P.E. form puts Olivia in danger of not graduating at all, she has one week to set things straight without tipping off her very big and very nosy extended family. Volunteering to help at a local golf tournament should do it, but since Olivia’s mom equipped her phone with a tracking app, there’ll be no hiding the fact that she’s at the golf course instead of all the graduation parties happening at the same time. Unless, that is, she can convince the Fab Four — her ride-or-die cousins and best friends Sophie, Charlie, and Wes — to trade phones with her as they go through the motions of playing Olivia for the week.
Sure, Olivia’s sudden “passion” for golf is met with some suspicion. And sure, her grasp of the rules is a little shaky. And yes, okay, a very cute, very off-limits boy keeps popping up in her orbit. But she is focused! She has a schedule and a plan! Nothing can possibly go wrong . . . right? —Synopsis provided by Disney-Hyperion
10 Truths and a Dare has all the makings of a Hollywood film — you can practically see events unfold on the big screen. And for the most part, it works. There are a few elements that feel like they’re extras for the screen and not for readers, but the humor and friendship play out well in print form as well.
Olivia is likeable enough, although her inability to show up on time for the golf tournament really doesn’t jive with her personality. It feels like even though Olivia is the “star” of the 10 Truths and a Dare, it’s more of a group show, with Sophie, Charlie and Wes taking on the more humorous moments.
The strength of the book is in the character interactions — the Fab Four, Olivia and mystery boy, texts with Olivia’s mom, and the whole extended family. Again, it’s like it’s been written for the screen.
10 Truths and a Dare is a companion novel to 10 Blind Dates, which follows Sophie on 10 blind dates over 10 days. Though the family and friends are the same, the books stand alone. Both are enjoyable reads that don’t take a lot of brain power but offer fun escapes.
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