Monday, July 2, 2018

Book Review: Tell Me No Lies By Adele Griffin

Publish Date: June 12th, 2018
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Series: None (though it is a companion to Be True To Me)
Source: ARC from publisher for honest review

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.

My Review:

First off, this book is set in the 80's, which sounds super cool, but I didn't actually get an 80's vibe very much. To be honest, when it's mentioned about the yearbook I had completely forgotten about it up until that point. I would have loved a more nostalgic feel.
I've had a hard time figuring out if I truly liked Tell Me No Lies. I enjoyed reading it, yes but I couldn't commit to any one character, or theme. I would have loved to see more between Lizzy and Theo, I was hoping that their story would take more of a front line. The relationship between Matt and Lizzy began so fast, that I forgot she was pining over him for so long, but I did like their fun, playful relationship. The banter between them at times was cheery and heartfelt.
I feel like with all of the hard topics in Tell Me No Lies; epilepsy, suicide, AIDS, sex, trying to fit it, etc, Adele Griffin did a great job with keeping the book light. While tackling tough issues, I never felt uncomfortable or eager to read past that part. And I think that was the point with this book.
While Tell Me No Lies will not go on my favourites list, I think it's worth a read if you come across it yourself. 

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