What do you do when you find yourself in a book and do not like that character? I had a bad case of this while reading this book. I found a character with an experience almost identical to mine and yet, I thought she handled it way worse than I did. This book started off with a lot of potential for me, but in the end it was one, big nope.
Tell Me No Lies by Adele Griffin
Publisher: Algonquin Books
Pub Date: June 12th, 2018
Can the course of friendship or love ever run true when everyone has something to hide?
Lizzy Swift is a senior in high school, emerging from her nerd chrysalis to become a social butterfly. She’s dating Matt Ashley, the boy who’s been out of her reach since freshman year. Her bold, reckless new friend Claire Reynolds introduces her to Center City Philadelphia—clubs, street life, and the eye-opening art scene. And her Ivy League ambitions take a backseat to nights of partying, dancing, and dating.
But almost as quickly, the heady delight of Lizzy’s new life is clouded by doubts and deceptions. While she has a special connection with Matt, it’s not the perfect romance she dreamed of. Claire carries around a mysterious sadness and talks about a breakup so bad she changed schools—but she won’t tell Lizzy the whole story. Lizzy wants Claire to confide in her, even as she keeps her own embarrassing secrets from her new best friend.
Will the truth come to light before it’s too late for Lizzy, Claire, and Matt to save their love and friendships?
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*I was provided a review copy by the publisher, Thomas Allen & Son, in exchange for an honest review.*
Look, I tried with this book, but if I am completely honest I saw it going downhill from the beginning.
What I Liked:
The main character, Lizzy, was basically me in high school. And I related quite hard. We were both the “nerdy” type, but not the trademark nerd. We had a very small social group and in terms of actually being a social person, we were not. We loved art, but couldn’t fathom pursuing it because our parents drilled it into us that art was a hobby, not a career. We were panning for college/university quite early on. And that’s where are similarities stopped.
Of course, she is an epileptic and I am not. Throughout the novel, she deals with having to hide her disorder because she doesn’t want it to define her or make people treat her differently. I have never read about an epileptic character and it was interesting to see how the author pursued the topic.
The only other character I liked-liked was Theo and he was in it for five seconds.
The ending was also okay. I was glad that the characters stories were fleshed out more and that they got some much needed revenge and that the circle of friends was pulled closer together.
What I Disliked
I understood that this was Lizzy’s journey to self-discovery, but she honestly takes a hard turn left and completely off the path. I did not agree with any of her decisions. (Well most of them.) I would be one to fantasize about a chaste kiss becoming more, but I think it would lose it’s spark four years later.
I thought the whole friendship theme in this book was really ummmm not great. Friends no matter how social or anti-social they may be are supposed to support you and care about you. I get that these teenagers had their secrets and pasts that barred them from opening up. But the way Claire, Gage and Mimi treated Lizzy was really not that great.
Speaking of secrets. I guessed them. I got Matt’s very early on and was just waiting for it to be confirmed. Claire’s was slightly more mysterious, so I stuck around to figure out what it was. Dave, I felt was really just a decorative character, I found no real purpose for him.
This novel deals with some very heavy subjects like rape, assault, homophobia and the stigma around epilepsy. I felt like some were brushed under the carpet. There was passing mention of it, one of the characters gave there perspective on it and that was it.
This was also set in the late 80s. Your girl got none of the music references. Okay maybe some, but most of the pop culture stuff went right over my head. I understand why this time frame was chosen…but to teens these days the 80s are very distant. Personally, I think they would have a hard time attaching themselves to this book.
It was also really boring and repetitive. Like super repetitive. The only reason I finished was to see Claire’s ending.
Overall, I didn’t like this book. I didn’t like the characters, I didn’t get the world. Did it have its sweet and heartfelt moments? Yes, but there were still so many issues I had with this.
Rating: 2 / 5 Stars
Recommend: It’s a no from me, dogs.
Let me know what you think! Have you read this? What did you think? Would you get the 80s pop culture references?
Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh dear. It’s been a while since I’ve seen the disliked section bigger than the liked section. This doesn’t sound good at all. Sorry it was a bummer, Rendz, but a wonderful review!! 🙂
(Ignore my Twitter comment.)
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I know. It’s disappointing, but this was just one big nope for me! Thanks for reading!
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Ah. this sounds like it could’ve been amazing book. Sucks that the execution wasn’t the best.
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Yeah, it could have gone way better. But this book was just not for me!