Title: Seven Ways We Lie
Author: Riley Redgate
Published by: Amulet Books
Publication date: 8th March 2016
Genres: YA Contemporary
Source: Review copy from the publisher.
Isn't it annoying when a book has an exciting and intriguing premise but, in the end, falls flat? From what I've seen, most people seem to have enjoyed this book, but for me Seven Ways We Lie was nothing special.
The book itself is made up of seven alternating points of view, each of them students from Paloma High School and each of them with things to hide. Olivia and Kat are twins dealing with their mother's disappearance; Lucas is pansexual in a school full of homophobes; Matt is looking after his baby brother whilst his parents fight all the time; Valentine is awkward and unpopular; Claire is jealous and self-conscious, and Juniper Kipling is perfect - on the outside.
There were a few things I appreciated. The book showed that you never know what's going on behind closed doors, no matter how well you know a person, and even if someone looks like they have the perfect life there's undoubtedly things going on that they don't talk about. Plus, it was diverse, with different cultures and sexualities represented, and a running theme of slut-shaming and why it's wrong. The inclusion of pansexuality was interesting to me as I've never seen it acknowledged in fiction. But some of it didn't seem natural and felt like the writer was slotting it in for brownie points. I'm sure they weren't, but... I don't know. Some of it, like Olivia's thoughts on slut-shaming, felt like Redgate talking rather than Olivia. As I said, I appreciated the inclusion of these things because that's real life; it was more the writing style that grated on me.
As well as that, the only characters I particularly cared about were Olivia, Kat and Matt. In fact, I thought several times whilst I was reading that a book solely focusing on them would be much more entertaining and fulfilling. The subplot of the teacher/student romance was interesting but I guessed who the teacher was right at the beginning and, basically, there wasn't much there to keep me reading except me wanting to add another book to my Goodreads challenge. And substance is kind of important, don't you think?
Seven Ways We Lie has good points and bad points, but overall it was - for lack of a better word - nothingy. When I didn't have time to read the book for a couple of days, I didn't actually care and, in fact, I forgot about it.
It's not an awful book, but it's nothing special, I'm sad to say. Many people have enjoyed it, but it's not something I would recommend.