REVIEW: The True Colour of a Little White Lie by Gabriel Bergmoser

by |May 4, 2021
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Review by Karen Robinson, Territory Relationship Manager

Gabriel Bergmoser is widely recognised as an exciting new voice in Australian fiction and The True Colour of a Little White Lie is his second young adult book, following the critically acclaimed Boone Shepard and last year’s adult thriller The Hunted.

Gabriel Bergmoser

Gabriel Bergmoser (Photo by Jack Dixon-Gunn).

The protagonist, Nelson, is a 14 year old struggling at school after his best (and only) friend leaves town and he becomes a focus for the school bully. He finds a form of escape by heading up to the nearby ski lodge, spending his time enjoying the freedom of the slopes. When his parents take a job up there on the weekends, Nelson finds he can forget all about the claustrophobic world of school and small-town life. After suffering a stinging rejection from his first crush after asking her out, he relishes the chance to be surrounded by people who don’t know him. The chance to reinvent himself.

Soon, though, Nelson finds himself caught in an awkward situation, as a little white lie sets off a big chain of events, and he is suddenly in unchartered territory. Bergmoser does a beautiful job of exploring the insecurity of youth and the desire to do better, even when it all becomes way too complicated.

Bergmoser also doesn’t preach, allowing Nelson’s best and worst qualities to unfold as he faces challenges while trying to figure out who he is and who he wants to become. Nelson learns some hard lessons and there’s no neat unrealistic resolution, but nor is there pessimism or severe angst. Bergmoser finds the balance between optimism and realistic consequences for the choices made by Nelson.

This book hits all the right notes – honest, relatable, funny and uplifting.

The True Colour of a Little White Lie by Gabriel Bergmoser (HarperCollins Australia) is out now.

The True Colour of a Little White Lieby

The True Colour of a Little White Lie


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...

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