The Truths We Burn; The Hollow Boys #2
(#2 within a series)
Publication Date: February 16, 2002
Genre/Tropes: Antihero/Dark/Enemies-to-Lovers/Second Chance/Secret Romance/New Adult Romance/Intrigue
Author: Monty Jay
I loved how this book was plotted, written, and how brilliantly it all came together! Rook and Sage were emotionally deeper and darker together than I was expecting. A gripping read from start to finish.
I hardly like to start a review by referencing the previous book, but The Truths We Burn is a book that really should be read after reading The Lies We Steal. In the first book Rosemary, Sage’s sister, is dead. Rose is past tense and the Hollow Boys are seeking justice throughout the entire book for her mysterious death. As a reader we don’t personally get to know Rose or the true emotions behind why Rose was so important to each of these boys since Rose is an abstract thought, but in book two, this book, the veil is now lifted and ties become connected making Rose a living and breathing subject and the plot is now thicker. Everything was more emotional and these boys borrowed a place in my heart even deeper.
This has to be one of my favorite type of writing styles as a reader. Moving timelines where we believe we are in the present, but it then moves to the past, and then moves beyond what we thought was the original present, completely blowing my mind, yessssss! While it may seem frustrating, it truly makes the plot suspenseful while also giving depth and tons of emotions to the characters unveiling their motivations to those past actions.
Let me explain. The Lies We Steal is one continuous timeline, like I said, Rose is dead. The Truth We Burn begins with part one in the past where Rose is alive and while I seem fixated on this point, this is very much Rook and Sage’s story. We begin in the past where Rook and Sage are more acquaintances by association. They live in the same town, Rose is dating Silis, Rook’s best friend and they attend the same high school. Once Rose dies and we move past everything in book one, we now land in part two where Sage is returning from her stay in an asylum and Rook isn’t happy that she’s returned. There is so much history to burn down between these two and their second chance, enemies-hate relationship is angsty galore.
Sage and Rose are twins, but over the years they have grown apart, become their own people. While Sage wears a mask to get through her day, to be the queen bee at school, to actually be with her boyfriend that she barely tolerates, she also envy/hates Rose who runs free, dates the wrong boy, wears the wrong clothes, but the main thing Rose gets to do is be herself. It’s basically exhausting being Sage. Underneath her mask she is a beautiful phoenix and I loved the strong woman that she kept hidden.
Rook is the only person who notices Sage isn’t who she pretends to be, but it’s because he also hides secrets. While he’s drawn to her poisonous beauty, it’s not her outside beauty that draws him in, it’s her fire, spirit, and willingness to fight, something that he’s personally drawn to, his own personal demons crave. Sage may be his reckoning or his undoing. Rook may be known throughout town as a crazy pyro, but he is so much deeper than he lets others see and my emotional heartstrings pulled for this man…hard!!
Rook and Sage’s story was absolutely divine, their brokenness, their passion, their worry over others was heartbreaking. This book touches on a lot of dark and tough subjects; abuse, mental illness, death, etc…, but it is written with deep love and understanding. The connection the Hollow Boys have with each other leaps off the page and in turn the love they find with each of their women is all consuming it makes this book a gripping page turner.
Beneath the deepest parts of Ponderosa Springs lied secrets that we never meant to be uncovered.
Blood has soaked the hands of those we trusted most. Decrepit intentions finally come to light.
And now truths are ready to be incinerated in the open for everyone to witness.
I was ready to watch this town that made me the villain, Rot in front of my eyes, but it seems ghosts don’t stay buried here either.
Everyone’s favorite sweetheart has returned to Hollow Heights dragging nothing but unanswered questions and grim memories behind her.
A distraction I can’t afford with the police sniffing around.
A mistake that torched my last piece of humanity.
The dirty little secret that has returned searching for closure surrounding her sister’s mysterious death.
But I know the innocent, lost girl is an act. Underneath it’s just another part of her show.
They all are eating from the palm of her hand, puppets on her string.
But not me.
I see her for what she truly is, I always have.
A fake. A manipulator. A liar.
I won’t let her ruin all we have worked for. I refuse to let her derail our plan of vengeance.
I’ve played your game once before, Sage, now it’s time to play mine.
And you’re not making it out without getting burned.
The Hollow Boys.
One wrong move and I landed myself directly in their line of fire.
This is not a story about love, it is not a story of happy endings.
Love just happened to blossom in our sorrows, in our pain, our fear, our blood.
Hollow Heights University in the macabre, somber seaside town of Ponderosa Springs.
A college for prestigious, wealthy children to receive the highest education. A town drowning in treachery and secrets that became our damnation.
Read Kay’s Review of The Lies We Steal
It’s been months since the day we stood above that empty grave that stunk of burnt flesh and secrets. All of us were dressed to the nines, one of us wearing a wedding dress, a day that was supposed to mark the beginning of a new adventure. It marked the bitter end of our vengeance. We have done things that have marked our souls for eternity. But before we get there, we have to go back. Back to where it all started. The place I could find in my sleep.
Hollow Heights University in the macabre, somber seaside town of Ponderosa Springs. A college for prestigious, wealthy children to receive the highest education. A town drowning in treachery and secrets that became our damnation. But it wasn’t the forest surrounding the grounds or even the mysterious hidden mausoleum that haunted me. It was them. The ones that lurked in the night, things so wicked, so twisted, so evil, they would become the rulers of my nightmares. The Hollow Boys.
One wrong move and I landed myself directly in their line of fire. This is not a story about love, it is not a story of happy endings. Love just happened to blossom in our sorrows, in our pain, our fear, our blood. Every terrible thing they ever did, we watched, we helped, we loved them anyway. Some run from their monsters, we fell in love with ours.