Only the Good Die Young by Douglas Trueman

dieyoungFive Stars *****

Trigger warning: Potential trigger as rape is discussed (not in detail)

The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Just Listen. Love Letters to the Dead. Music is a powerful thing, as each of the books I’ve just mentioned show.   Only the Good Die Young is another book to add to that list.

Rebecca is a single child raised by her recently divorced mother. Relocating from Toronto to Vancouver, Rebecca tries to find her place in a new school. She’s a classically trained piano player who ends up joining the high school’s jazz band, where she becomes friends with Kyle, a guitarist who is intent on broadening her musical horizons. And because this is a young adult novel, Rebecca develops a crush on the ‘hot drummer with the hot girlfriend’ (not a criticism, just a fact).

Throughout the book Rebecca shares glimpses of the reasons why her mother and her left Toronto and why they have different last names. She also illustrates how one lie can have a snowball effect on not just the liar, but also those around her. Douglas Trueman does an excellent job with more than one difficult topic. His characters are realistic and people I want to either hang out with or slug.

It has been quite some time since I’ve read a book that’s kept me up all night because I simply could not put it down. Only the Good Die Young did that, though, and that’s why it’s going on my “Best of 2014” list. I highly recommend this book for readers of all ages, not just the young adult/new adult group.


I received a copy of this book via a LibraryThing member giveaway in exchange for an honest review.


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