The Undoing of Thistle Tate

Holiday House. Jul. 2019. 272p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780823442393.
Gr 8 Up–Thistle Tate, a homeschooled teenager, has achieved recent fame for writing two of three books in an inventive fantasy series with an angsty love triangle for the YA/tween market. One small problem? She didn’t write Girl in the Afterworld, book 1 of “Lemonade Skies”—the true author is her widower father, Theo, a former English teacher and frustrated novelist. Almost no one knows the truth—not their high-powered agent or fantastic editor, and certainly not Thistle’s fans. Only one person knows the secret: Liam, her next-door neighbor, best friend, and recent romantic interest. Thistle’s sheltered life in Philadelphia becomes broken up with book tours, and she meets Oliver at an event in her hometown when he comes to get a book signed for his sick sister. Before long, Thistle is not only mired in deception but also deep in a burgeoning friendship with Oliver and his sister based on the lie she detests. As the deadline for the third—and Thistle hopes last—“Lemonade Skies” book looms, misfortune and her own love triangle complicate the happy ending she had hoped would lead to an honest and independent adult life. Snippets from “Lemonade Skies” open every chapter, giving some concrete details that provide dimension for Thistle’s story.
VERDICT Fandom-savvy readers may enjoy Thistle’s insights into the book business and the drama of her complicated life

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