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.
Publisher: Amulet Books
Publishing Date: March 8, 2016
Page Count: 352
I was kindly provided with an eArc by the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review!
I am not going to lie, Seven Ways We Lie took me a little by surprise! From the beginning I thought that the premise sounded interesting, but I couldn’t yet picture what the final work would look like. Seven different POVs are a lot, but somehow they worked perfectly with each other – every character having its own unique and distinct voice. The chapters all had a good length, keeping the novel fast paced and at a nice and steady flow. Usually with so many different people, there ought to be one or two characters whose chapters you dread, but I didn’t really feel that way. Maybe Juniper’s voice was the one I liked least because I am not a huge fan of lyrical prose, but it was done well, so I can’t complain about that one either. They all had something about their story that made them incredibly relatable, even when you didn’t like them in some moments. Here’s a little break-down of the characters:
- Olivia Scott: A girl who has to deal with the aftermath of her sexual choices.
- Kat Scott: The girl who simply cannot let go of her anger.
- Matt Jackson: The boy who tries to numb his life, so that he doesn’t have to participate.
- Juniper Kipling: The perfect girl with the perfect life, who’s world is about to crumble.
- Valentine Simmons: The boy with superior intelligence except for when it comes to social interactions.
- Claire Lombardi: The girl who constantly needs to compare her life, her choices, her success to others.
- Lucas McCallum: The boy with the brightest smile and biggest secrets. (My favourite, if I had to pick one! He’s totally the kind of person you would want in your life!)
I am well aware that each one of them was supposed to represent one of the deadly sins, but in the end I think some sins were more prominent than others. Anger, envy and pride were definitely the ones that struck me as the most intense ones, but that could just be because those were the storylines/characters I connected most with.
I love how everything started slowly intertwining with each other. In the beginning I wondered if the student-teacher-romance would be weird or strange, but in fact was done very well. A little bit like it was in Pretty Little Liars with Ezra and Aria, people certainly don’t mind them dating. There was even one point where I thought that the theme song of the show would fit in perfectly. However, that doesn’t mean the book is like the show or vice-versa. It just showed how one comment can spiral into something way bigger, how lives can be ruined by a little mistake. Also, it perfectly captured friendship and forgiveness and redemption.
In the end I can’t quite pinpoint why I didn’t give it 5 stars, but sometimes there is just that gut feeling that tells you so. It wrapped up quite nicely and the only thing missing was Lucas and Valentine in the final scene, but maybe that would have been too cheesy. It was such a great debut and I hope that many of you will read it!
Fazit: 4/5 stars! It’s a really enjoyable and real story of seven teens and I’d recommend it to all fans of the YA Contemporary genre!
So, I am totally slaying my January TBR right now! What did you think of my review? Is this book for you?