When Penny returns to her small Michigan hometown, she expects to spend the summer focusing on her journalistic aspirations. Instead, she finds herself trying to rescue her missing father from what might just be aliens. With The Truth Lies Here author Lindsey Klingele creates a sci-fi story that is at times humorous and surprisingly touching. Throughout the story, Penny is forced to re-evaluate her black-and-white defination of the truth as she finds the simplest explanation to not always be the correct one. Similarly, she quickly begins to examine her complicated relationship with her father when she learns that there's more to him than the conspiracy-theorist she’d always known. Fans of The X-Files will enjoy Penny’s interactions with an old friend, where she plays Scully to his Mulder. And even while inexplicable events occur, Klingele is able to depict an accurate and relatable image of teenage life, from Penny’s tense relationship with an ex-best friend to her growing feelings toward the town's star quarterback. Klingele’s work demonstrates the dangers of summarizing events and people with a simple viewpoint without examining their complexities. She also provides comforts to those who may feel as if they don’t belong, as Penny has similar doubts while reacquainting herself with her hometown. But the story doesn’t get too caught up in these ideas; the plot remains fast-paced and the characters are interesting and realistic. Overall, The Truth Lies Here makes a great read for anyone looking for a little extraterrestrial action in their summer.
- Zoe J