Monday, February 29, 2016

Smiley face Seven Ways We Lie by Riley Redgate | Rating: ★★★★★

"We are always moving forward--I can see it now. We are hurtling through our lives. We are never standing still."

As a note, a printed galley of this novel was sent to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my opinions in any way.

Newcomer Riley Redgate knocks things out of the park with her debut novel, Seven Ways We Lie. It’s the sort of story you pick up and somehow, within pages, know that it’s bound to be something special. Seven Ways We Lie tackles touchy topics of sins and coming of age and each of our narrators speaks to us on a personal level.

It was a privilege to read it.

Why? Because of the characters. Because of the beautiful prose and the excellent development. In so many ways, we all have a part of each of them and it’s something we can’t miss. It’s an instant classic amongst the crowded young adult contemporary genre and a delectable one at that, which isn’t a term I like to use often.

But it’s the only title I’ve found fitting.


Needless to say, it’s impossible to put down from the moment you open it and by the end notes, you have grown so attached to the characters. You’ll feel strongly about them and their actions and their welbeing, and sometimes you won’t agree with them but there’s still–always–a certain fondness towards them and it’s what makes their lives feel startlingly real.

There’s something so incredibly raw (all that brutal honesty, holy shit!) and sparking about the story that unfolds, the voices of each character, and it will leave its mark on readers. I’ve been thinking about it ever since I put it down a few hours ago and I can’t help but to have this urge to reread it already.

That’s the kind of read it is.

That’s how captivating it is.

Seven Ways We Lie is a book that I would have longed for in my teenage years. It’s just the sort of novel we need and it will be a great experience for readers of all ages. Even as an adult, readers will find something to relate to in its tone and the plots.

You’re also going to have a favorite character from the seven mains. Seven is an intimidating number when it comes down to it and while the rotating narrators may be tricky to navigate from time to time, it would be incomplete otherwise. They go beyond each of the sins they represent and plant themselves firmly in our hearts.

I had quite a few favorites, really.

I loved Olivia and her sense of awareness when it comes down to her sexuality and how unfair it is to see women and young girls belittled based on the number of people they have slept with. She’s an incredibly warm and caring characters who will, I hope, bring more confidence into young girls and help ease any shame people place on them for daring to have needs.

I loved Lucas–warm and complex, much like Olivia, and on a different level than so many of his classmates. I loved seeing representation of a pan-sexual teenager who is very aware of who he is and what he wants. He is another important character and is very sympathetic and realistic.

And really, we’re only getting started. Readers will see a lot of parallels between themselves, or their friends or loved ones, in the remaining five characters. I can’t get into every little trait that will speak to its audience, but believe me when I say that there’s so much.

So. Much.

Riley Redgate writes with a heart and soul that is purely indescribable and it’s impossible to not love and appreciate her words and her characters. Seven Ways We Lie is one of the most important releases this year in young adult and proves to be even beyond that.

Do yourself a copy and purchase this book immediately.

It is so, so important.

It speaks a universal truth that is often forgotten: we are all only human. Life isn’t a fairy tale. We are all powering through our everyday lives, computing our feelings and urges and trying to survive. Life is ever changing. We are ever changing. And we all keep secrets.

And there is so much hidden beneath the surfaces, of the facades we put on for our peers.

So breathtaking.

So real.

I loved every moment of it and so will you.

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