“Seven Ways We Lie”
Author: Riley Redgate
Genre: YA, Contemporary
Date Published: March 8th, 2016
Publisher: Amulet Books
Format Read: ARC provided by publisher for honest review
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.
There are a few things that I normally don’t like reading in YA fiction, mainly stories that take place in the halls of high school, and books with more than two POVs. If you know anything about Seven Ways We Lie, you know that both of these things are written into the story. But in a strange turn of events, this is good news. See, Redgate has managed to write a story that kept me swept up in the tale, even when she used some of my least favorite story components. Her writing is quick, sharp, and makes you take note of the things she’s trying to say. All in all, she’s an interesting author with a strong, unique voice, and I didn’t feel like I was reading a debut from her as I dug into this book.
I think it’s the fact that even though Seven Ways We Lie is told through the viewpoint of seven students, the flow of the novel isn’t interrupted. Sure we see things from different view points, but I never felt confused, and I always felt like I was getting somewhere in the story. The story was pushing forward, and each character had something to say that I needed to know. And yet, Redgate made sure that I cared about, or at least had strong feelings about, each of the characters in their own rite.
Sure, there were a few characters that I didn’t care for, and there are a few that I connected to a bit too closely, but the fact is, I felt things about each of them. And that’s important when you’re writing a story with so many main characters. You want to make sure that your reader feels something about each of them, and Redgate does that in spades!
I was also captivated by the fact that each of the seven characters took on the seven deadly sins. It was fun to figure out who was who, and why, and what part they all played in the student/teacher scandal at the school.
That might actually be my only complaint with this book. I found that the student/teacher scandal was a bit simple. I wish it would have been fleshed out a bit more. But at the same time it was its simplicity that really made the characters shine, so I’m really not sure why it bugged me, but I can say that it did.
If you’re looking for a book that takes place in high school that’s told in a unique way, this is the book for you. I highly recommend it!
4 Unicorns = Close to perfect!