The Perfect Romantic Comedy for Teens (No Lie!): Read our Review of The True Colour of a Little White Lie by Gabriel Bergmoser

The Perfect Romantic Comedy for Teens (No Lie!): Read our Review of The True Colour of a Little White Lie by Gabriel Bergmoser

Nelson is having a tough time in a rural Australian country town, in a small-town high school. His parents are distracted keeping the family restaurant on track and his best friend has moved to another school. He is bullied relentlessly and the girl he admires has replied to his disastrous emailed date invitation with a letter. He’s confused and confounded, focussing on the negatives but still hopeful for something better.

When his parents undertake a contract at a ski lodge in a nearby alpine village, he discovers he might just be able to reinvent himself. No one knows him here, so he leaves his “loser” baggage behind and makes some surprising choices. The young staff at the ski lodge embrace Nelson as part of their group, providing him with advice and encouragement.

Nelson makes friends with two teenage girls, who visit the lodge on alternating weekends. When these friendships escalate to romance Nelson is conflicted, but desperately hangs on to both relationships and tries to navigate a path through the mess he has created.

While these emotional challenges are playing out, Nelson is training for the annual ski race. He’s never entered anything like this before, generally preferring to avoid physical pursuits. With some expert coaching from one of the friendly lodge staff, he becomes quite a confident speed skier and believes he has a chance to perform at a standard that won’t be totally embarrassing. The ski race is a pivotal scene in the novel, providing a hilarious twist to the story.

There is certainly a focus on the value of relationships across gender, age, and societal expectation. It’s not just about teenage romance: in the final chapters Nelson and his parents acknowledge they have neglected their relationship, and this is a refreshingly “knowing” scene.

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. There will be many readers eagerly awaiting the follow-up, and I’m hopeful that the characters we have embraced in this first novel are featured.

The True Colour of a Little White Lie is currently in development as a feature film. When I read the novel, I didn’t know it was being made into a film but I could feel the “storyboard” quality of the descriptions, which I think will make this book a winner for those teens who are not necessarily voracious readers. I would recommend it for teens 12+.

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    Publisher details

    The True Colour of a Little White Lie
    Gabriel Bergmoser
    Young Adult Fiction
    07 April, 2021


    From the super-talented young author of the best-selling The Hunted comes a book that reminds you just how tough adolescence can be. After a catastrophic attempt to ask out his crush, fourteen-year-old Nelson is desperate for any chance to escape the daily humiliations of his small-town high school. And with his parents taking over a nearby ski lodge, that chance seems to have arrived. Up at the lodge he discovers a whole new freedom in a world where nobody knows he's a loser and he can be whatever he wants. But reinvention is complicated, especially when a few white lies land you in the middle of an unexpected love triangle which leads you to sign up for a ski race that you're nowhere near good enough for. As Nelson's new world spirals out of control, he'll slowly discover that no matter where you are, sometimes the hardest thing to run away from is yourself.
    Gabriel Bergmoser
    About the author

    Gabriel Bergmoser

     Gabriel Bergmoser is an award-winning Melbourne-based author and playwright. He won the prestigious Sir Peter Ustinov Television Scriptwriting Award in 2015, was nominated for the 2017 Kenneth Branagh Award for New Drama Writing and went on to win several awards at the 2017 VDL One Act Play Festival circuit. In 2016 his first young adult novel, Boone Shepard, was shortlisted for the Readings Young Adult Prize. A film adaptation of The Hunted is currently being developed in a joint production between Stampede Ventures and Vertigo entertainment in Los Angeles.

    Books by Gabriel Bergmoser


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