Review: Tell Me No Lies

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Title: Tell Me No Lies
Author: Adele Griffin
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Source: paperback copy from book distributor (Thomas Allen and Son)
Release Date: June 12, 2018
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

A riveting novel about secrecy, complicated friendships, and heartbreak, set against the iconic backdrop of the late 1980s.

Lizzy Swift is a senior in high school, emerging from her nerd chrysalis to become a social butterfly. She starts dating popular Matt Ashley, whom she’s been pining for since freshman year. She’s delighted when rebellious new girl Claire Reynolds introduces her to Center City Philadelphia—clubs, street life, and the eye-opening art scene. As Lizzy begins to question her own long-held dreams, the changes in her life mirror the upheaval of a decade marked by a drug epidemic and the AIDS crisis. She’s no longer sure of her Ivy League ambition. While she has a special connection with Matt, something’s missing. And Claire carries around a mysterious sadness and talks about a breakup so bad she changed schools—but she won’t tell the whole story. Lizzy wants Claire to confide in her, even as she keeps her own embarrassing secrets.

Before too long, the heady thrill of her new life starts to crumble under insecurities and deceptions.  When the truth emerges from the wreckage, will it be too late for Lizzy, Claire, and Matt to save their love and friendships?

Tell Me No Lies, a companion to the acclaimed Be True to Me, is a novel of unflinching emotional honesty about secrecy, lies, love, and identity.

Review:

This is a great story about the struggles of growing up.

Everyone in this story has secrets. Some are more obvious than others, but they all lie about them. They don’t want to have difficult conversations, so they lie about their problems, but that just makes them worse.

Lizzy’s secret was that she is an epileptic. She didn’t like to talk about it and never said the word epilepsy, but the girls at school knew about it because she had had a seizure at school years ago. The other characters’ secrets were harder to figure out, and I was wrong in my predictions. I was suspicious of Claire and Matt, probably because they were hiding things, but my guesses of what their secrets were was wrong.

One thing that threw me off in this story was that it was set in 1988/1989. I read online that it was set in ’89, but I forgot until I got to a part in the book about using a pay phone! I think it should have been stated right at the beginning to avoid any confusion (I thought Claire was just being retro when she listened to cassette tapes). However, this may be different in the finished book, since I was reading an ARC.

Though this book is set nearly 20 years ago, the issues they face, especially in regards to mental health and identity, are still very relevant today.

Have you read this book? What did you think?

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