One Great Lie
One Great Lie

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Annotation: A compelling and atmospheric YA story of romance, mystery, and power about a young woman discovering her strength in lus... more
Catalog Number: #309707
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Publisher: Atheneum
Copyright Date: 2021
Edition Date: 2021
Pages: 384
Availability: Available
New Title: Yes
ISBN: Publisher: 1-534-46317-8 Perma-Bound: 0-8000-0972-X
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-1-534-46317-2 Perma-Bound: 978-0-8000-0972-4
Dewey: Fic
Language: English
Reviews:
Publishers Weekly
Writing is white high school senior Charlotte-s great love, so receiving a scholarship to a summer writing program run by her favorite author, Luca Bruni, is a dream come true. Its location in Venice is another draw: Charlotte-s ancestor, a poet now known only as a paramour of Renaissance poet Tasso, lived there, and Charlotte wants to know more about her. When she arrives, the workshop is equal parts writing heaven and peer competition. Charlotte, who-s a -polite, anxious sort,- has a writer-s strong observational skills-part of her knows that Luca is inappropriate and invasive; the other part wonders when he-ll notice her. Caletti (Girl, Unframed) links past and present via the through line of men taking advantage of women: confining them to convents, stealing their work, and generally abusing power structures. The incisive and sharply written, place-laden book balances its contemporary #MeToo narrative with Charlotte-s passionate investigation of Renaissance Venice gender politics, and though it-s clear from the start that Luca-s -words will shatter you, but so might he,- watching Charlotte connect past and present while searching for some measure of justice is empowering. Chapter heads reference female Renaissance poets remembered in connection with men. Ages 14-up. Agent: Michael Bourret, Dystel, Goderich & Bourret. (June)
School Library Journal Starred Review
Gr 9 Up In Italy for an elite writing fellowship, Charlotte, a recent high school graduate, is devastated by the firsthand discovery that her favorite author is using the program to groom and assault female fellows. From the beginning of the book, the narrator makes Luca Bruni's intentions clear before Charlotte herself understands them. This structure means that the plot does not build toward a salacious plot twistit builds toward awareness, and how that new information is received by Charlotte's family, fellows, teachers, and the literary world that idolizes male geniuses with "complicated" legacies. These writing choices result in a work that is respectful and restrained yet powerful and emotional. While Caletti's book is certainly not the first to address power, grooming, and gray areas of consent (with an additional layer of economic control), it is an extremely effective and layered look at the topic. The introspective and quiet narrative is beautifully written, with rich sensory details and nuanced explorations of sexuality, artistic motivation, loneliness, and jealousyincluding Charlotte's self-awareness about her own desire for Bruni's attention. The protagonist's overarching search in Italy for historical information about her ancestor, a female poet, mirrors her reckoning with Bruni's legacyunderlining that the lasting impacts of assault and abuse are not only borne by the survivors themselves, but also by future generations who will know nothing of the beautiful and necessary voices of women who were silenced. VERDICT A first purchase for libraries serving teens.Susannah Goldstein, The Brearley Sch., New York City
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
Budding writer Charlotte Hodges has a dream: “to say something that says something.”She gets the chance when she spends the summer under the guidance of her idol on his private island in the Venetian Lagoon. Luca Bruni is a kindred spirit: His semiautobiographical writing speaks directly to 18-year-old Charlotte’s personal pain. At first, Bruni is charming and brilliant—as Charlotte always expected. Reality creeps in as his true nature slowly emerges: He’s a middle-aged, arrogant snob hiding serial lechery behind a mask of empty, performative feminism while preying on the young women who attend his sought-after summer program. Charlotte’s dreams crumble when this powerful man who can make or break a writing career sets his sights on her. Third-person–present narration foreshadows the dreadful events to come, giving the story a fairy-tale tone and inspiring readers to absorb every luminous detail as the narrative slows down to describe Venice in gorgeous, flowing prose. Each chapter is prefaced with information about a female poet from the Italian Renaissance who, despite her accomplishments, has been forgotten or is only remembered for her connection to a man. In a subplot, Charlotte investigates one such woman, an ancestor who may have penned a famous poem claimed by her lover as his own. Readers won’t miss the parallels between this woman’s life and what is happening to Charlotte in the present. Most characters are assumed White.A potent story of how one young woman finds the power to write her own story. (Fiction. 14-18)
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* Charlotte wins a scholarship to a summer writing program in Venice run by her favorite novelist, the magnetic and brilliant Luca Bruni. She will even be staying at his villa on La Calamita, a private island that once sheltered plague victims. Charlotte also hopes to investigate her Venetian ancestor, Isabella di Angelo, a forgotten Renaissance writer whose book of poetry includes "In Guerra," the world-famous poem by Antonio Tassi. Family legend claims that Isabella was Antonio's lover, and that he published her poem as his own. But with Charlotte's dream comes a dark sense of foreboding she cannot shake. Venice is stunning and learning from Luca is everything she dreamed, but La Calamita feels haunted and Charlotte's fellow students are older. Even as Charlotte meets and falls in love with a young conservation student who helps her search for Isabella, she becomes increasingly uncomfortable with Luca's over-familiarity. When he crosses the line, it shatters Charlotte's faith in herself and her talent. Printz Honoree Caletti (A Heart in a Body in the World, 2018) leads her readers through intertwined stories of sexual harassment and misogyny with assurance and a fierce feminism, all while steeping her prose in sensory detail that creates an atmosphere of mystery. In a stunning finale, amid the floodwaters of the acqua alta, Charlotte finds Isabella's truth and, most importantly, the inspiration to persevere.
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
Starred Review ALA Booklist (4/1/21)
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews (4/1/21)
Starred Review for Publishers Weekly (4/1/21)
Reading Level: 6.0
Interest Level: 9-12
Lexile: HL800L

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.


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