Title: Seven Ways We Lie
Author: Riley Redgate
My rating: 4/5
Goodreads rating: 4.22
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publisher: Amulet Books
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.
I was given an eARC copy of this book courtesy of NetGalley. All opinions are mine.
So I did not have very high expectations for this book. I just wished it to be entertaining and light, as a contemporary should be. This book beat my expectations. Not by miles, but enough to make me enjoy reading this teen drama.
So this plot revolves around seven individuals who are all battling their inner conflicts while trying to survive high school in a middle of classic cliché scandal; a teacher and student relationship. The story was surprisingly fun to read and entertaining. Though I think the reveal of the teacher and student was quite obvious in my opinion, it was fun to see everyone’s reactions and how they affected the plot. But of course with seven characters you are going to get seven side plots. My favourite would be Lucas’ I think but I also enjoyed Kat and Olivia’s stories as well. Those three plot developed the characters more and had a fast ease to them. The one I enjoyed the least would have to be Claire’s because it was too whiny and self-pitying for my taste. The plot moved smoothly overall and kept a nice pace. I do have to say that things ended a bit too neat though.
The writing was quite average with nothing really standing out. I enjoyed the lyrical writing in Juniper’s chapter which was really pretty at some points. I wasn’t frustrated like I thought I would be, but happy to read a chapter that broke the mould.
I liked how Redgate made every character has a distinct voice which helps with the development of each character even if it’s little. Also it feels like she has updated her writing somehow. Like the story isn’t just a sling classic American high school clichés but it feels like it’s more modern in a way and there were some humorous parts as well that I appreciated. The writing was smooth and easy to read to read as well.
The book is definitely character driven. We have (surprise surprise) seven main characters and here are my thoughts on them.
Olivia: One of my favourite characters as I enjoyed her dynamics with many of the other characters and she had a solid personality and sense of self.
Kat: Another favourite probably because she had flaws which made her more realistic and she developed quite well during the course of the novel.
Valentine: A ok character, definitely quirky and unique, but I don’t think I got a lot of development from him, only having him have one new friend.
Claire: As I said before, her character really didn’t do anything for me even though I know her whole conflict was is important. I don’t think she got the couppence she deserved as well.
Lucas: Lucas was a lovely character to read about! His chapters were always engadging and he bought in some diversity into the book as well. He’s a loveable rogue sort of character.
Juniper: Juniper was okay but I think the lyrical writing hindered her development because we didn’t know her fully in the first place.
Matt: Matt seemed like a plot device for Olivia’s development. Nice enough chapters though.
What I liked:
- The stories and how they entwined
- It’s fast paced
- Most of the characters were enjoyable to read about.
What I disliked:
- Not a lot, it just doesn’t feel like it’s more than four stars
- Could of had better plot twists
Verdict: If you are looking for something list, fast and a view of high school through realistic teen eyes, then this book is for you. Nothing does stand out as wow in this novel, but Redgate still does very well in creating seven stories which tie in together almost seamlessly.
I’ll write soon.