Title: Seven Ways We Lie
Author: Riley Redgate
Release Date: March 8
Publisher: Amulet Books
Source: ABRAMS Kids on NetGalley (A copy of this book was provided to me in exchange for an honest review.)
Check this book out on Goodreads.
Paloma High School is ordinary by anyone’s standards. It’s got the same cliques, the same prejudices, the same suspect cafeteria food. And like every high school, every student has something to hide—whether it’s Kat, the thespian who conceals her trust issues onstage; or Valentine, the neurotic genius who’s planted the seed of a school scandal.
When that scandal bubbles over, and rumors of a teacher-student affair surface, everyone starts hunting for someone to blame. For the unlikely allies at the heart of it all, the collision of their seven ordinary-seeming lives results in extraordinary change. (Source: Goodreads)
Someone at Paloma High School is having an affair with a teacher, the news of this affair shakes everything up at school. Whoever is having the affair isn’t the only student with secrets though. Olivia’s secret aren’t well kept, everyone at school knows about her sex life. Her sister, Kat, doesn’t trust anyone and seems to be spiralling into depression. Her best friend, Juniper, keeps losing her weekends to drinking. Their other best friend, Claire, is jealous and angry. Her ex-boyfriend, Lucas, is hiding the truth about his sexuality. Valentine started this whole scandal and is hiding the facts. And finally, Matt hasn’t told anyone about the problems he’s having at home. These seven lives crash together as their secrets tangle together in Seven Ways We Lie.
There are definitely issues in this book, like the fact that there are way too many narrators, but it was still an enjoyable read, that wound up hooking me…if a little late into the book. I liked some of the characters, I thought there was some interesting stuff done with them. I liked what Redgate was trying to do by showing the different sins through the characters but I don’t know if it was really what I was expecting from what I saw of the book before reading it.
I thought there were a couple of interesting characters in the book, though I think a lot of them felt kind of repetitive and boring. I think one of the bigger problems was that there were just too many characters focused on, and the focus wasn’t equal, which meant that characters I really rather liked were not really focused on in the way that the characters I wasn’t so fond of were focused on. Basically there are 7 main characters who are meant to illustrate all the different deadly sins. I found the main set of these 7 characters, Olivia and Kat, to be kind of uninteresting. Their plot was one that has been done so many times. I found Lucas and Valentine to be the more interesting character but they were definitely more background that Olivia and her core group of friends. A lot of the characters were really rather stock characters we’ve all seen in other books but there was something, to me at least, really special about the relationship between Lucas and Valentine.
One this Redgate got completely right was the different voices throughout the book. I found all the characters really distinct in their voices, you could tell who was who just from reading little bits of each chapter. The clearest voice was Junipers which was written in verse unlike all the rest of the characters who were a more standard writing style. I thought that the use of different writing styles was really well done and really interesting, in definitely helped this book stand out a little more considering the really average characters.
One of the tricky things about this book was that I thought each of these characters was going to be a specific deadly sin, but I don’t know that this really came across. All of the characters, or at least most of them, were rather despicable people sure, but I don’t know if they really represented the sins the way I thought they would. The cover especially made me think this which was a little misleading. I don’t think it’s a huge deal it is just something I thought was kind of weird.
Overall I thought this was a fun read, a little predictable, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.