Nelson is having a tough time at school. The girls don’t like him, not in that way, and the guys think he’s a bit of a loser. But, at least before his best friend moved away and forgot about him, school was bearable. Life, at the moment, sucks.
When Nelson’s parents undertake to run a ski lodge for the season, he spends every weekend up in a small town where no one knows him and discovers, to his relief, that he can reinvent himself. He can be anyone he wants to be.
Navigating the mysteries of girls, parents and friendships in a series of genuine errors and heartfelt moments, The True Colour of a Little While Lie is an entirely relatable contemporary novel for anyone wanting a light but meaningful read.
The beauty of this story is that, really, Nelson doesn’t reinvent himself at all. All he needed was to get away from his everyday life to find the confidence to be himself. This message is broadcast across the whole book, though, cleverly, it does not jump down the reader’s throat as a ‘lesson that needs to be learned’. Nelson spends the book thinking about reinventing himself, but not until the reader gets to the end do they realise he never really changed at all.
The book focuses strongly on the value of relationships, but not just the romantic crushes of first love. Nelson explores new and strong friendships and establishes a better, more honest connection with his family by learning the hard truth that parents aren’t perfect. They just try as hard as they can.
Author Gabriel Bergmoser is a Melbourne-based playwright and author. Following the success of his previous novels, he has signed a two-book deal for this YA coming-of age-novel, The True Colour of a Little White Lie and a follow-up.
Overall, The True Colour of a Little White Lie is a sweet, love triangle YA romance without the usual tropes of a typical YA novel. Instead, it is romance for the modern teenager. Bergomser writes Nelson as a sympathetic character but does not neglect the issue that even good people make poor decisions.
The True Colour of a Little White Lie is currently in development as a feature film.
Review originally published on Pen and Fable