Lies We Tell Ourselves - YA Review by Grace KL

Reader: Grace KL
Age: 15
Title: Lies We Tell Ourselves
Author: Robin Talley
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Pub Date: 9/30/14
Galley: Yes
Top 25: Yes
Convince us to read the book: This book is like nothing I have seen before.  It is about two girls falling in love during the integration of a high school in Virginia.  One girl is white, the other is black.  This seems like it might be the sort of book that tries to slam you with its many messages and morals, but that is not what happens at all.  The various themes of the book were well-balanced, and not overly done in any way.
Memorable or Forgettable: The entire premise of this book is quite memorable, but there are other aspects of it that stood out to me as well.  Some of the most interesting parts of the book were when the main character, Sarah, is trying to convince Linda why segregation is bad. Linda is the daughter of an ardent segregationist, and some of her most ingrained beliefs are so thick-headed that you just want to grab her by the shoulders and shake her.  The discussions of the two girls are always realistic, and it was uncomfortable to read about someone arguing for segregation in a thorough, detailed way.  Also, I have not read any historical fiction books in which characters begin to discover their sexuality like this one. Overall, I would say that this is an excellent book that deals with important issues in a well-thought-out way.
Cover: This cover does reflect the contents, but what grabbed me was the phrase: "A stunning novel about love, race and finding the truth".
Age Range: 14 through 18 and up
Quality: 5Q Hard to imagine a better book
Popularity: 4P Broad general teen appeal
Annotation: Set during the turbulent times of the integration of public schools in the sixties, this book is about what happens when two girls, one white and one black, begin to fall in love.

tags:  school integration / sexual identity / civil rights movement / GLBT / ya lit

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