Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 13 to 18
- Grade: 8 to 12
“This is a book for RIGHT NOW.” — Teresa Toten, author of The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B
Is it asking too much to live a typical twelfth grade existence? Kelsey Kendler just wants to earn some money for university, hang out with friends, maybe even snag a boyfriend. But her pill-popping mom and distant dad scare off anybody she tries to bring home, making those last two things feel impossible.
Her part-time ice cream shop job’s a slog, but at least there, she can escape her parents’ constant fighting … until the COVID-19 pandemic forces a lockdown and she’s stuck at home with them 24/7.
As the lockdown takes its toll on Kelsey’s mental health, she starts to see the appeal of her mom’s pills. She hates what they do to her mom, but numbing herself to the world seems like a pretty good idea right about now. Horrified to find herself following in her mom’s footsteps, she can only hope she’ll eventually figure out some other way to cope …
About the author
Bev Katz Rosenbaum is the author of the I Was a Teenage Popsicle series, Who is Tanksy?, and most recently, I’m Good and Other Lies. She has taught creative writing at Centennial College and is an award-winning publishing industry veteran. Rosenbaum, a devoted coffee-drinker and chocoholic, spends her downtime reading, baking, and watching movies. She currently lives in Toronto, ON.
“Kelsey Kendler describes herself as a ‘judgy, hypervigilant downer.’ Kelsey is also funny and real, and she’ll absolutely steal your heart as she tries to navigate a new school in senior year, her dysfunctional parents, and lockdown. This is a book for RIGHT NOW.”
Teresa Toten, author of <i>The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B</i>
“Katz Rosenbaum gives her readers much to ponder in this novel. We are all too inclined to say ‘I’m good’ when we are perhaps physically, mentally or emotionally far from being good. The author spotlights these little white lies and forces her readers to face the often very dire effects of the COVID-19 shutdown on teens and their friends and families. Mental health and depression are main themes of the book, and the author stresses the importance of counselling, showing how it helps both Kelsey and her mother with their problems. ... The COVID-19 shutdowns, lockdowns and the constant media attention given to the pandemic have become reality for everyone over the past year and a half. Kudos to Bev Katz Rosenbaum for tackling the issues head on in I’m Good and Other Lies in a way which will resonate with her young adult audience.”
“A timely coming of age novel … an excellent portrayal of the struggles many teenagers have experienced … an ideal and engaging read for an audience aged 14 to 17.”
Canadian Children's Book News
“I’m Good and Other Lies is a sharp, funny, occasionally harrowing story of a young woman finding the resilience to fight through the impossible to get to a place of hope”
Danielle Younge-Ullman, award-winning author of <i>Everything Beautiful Is Not Ruined</i>
“Kelsey’s voice is pitch-perfect, equal parts snarky and vulnerable. … the very real discussions of substance abuse, mental health, and the importance of community, combined with the honest depiction of the toll the pandemic took on many people, make this book valuable … Its honesty and empathy make this an important book.”
“I'm Good and Other Lies is a powerfully authentic account of a teen living with a multitude of challenges, both before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Sometimes Kelsey accepts the challenge and puts it down and sometimes she buckles, but it is always real and enlightening. With I'm Good and Other Lies, Bev Katz Rosenbaum has told us a story of not being fine but finding a way to make it so.”
CanLit for Little Canadians