Thank you so much Atria Books for sending me a copy of this in exchange for an honest review and for having me on this book tour! I knew I would enjoy this book when I read the synopsis, but I wasn’t one hundred percent sure what to expect. I was not disappointed. I went into it thinking it was going to be sort of like a contemporary thriller for some reason, I knew there would be a darkness about it. And while it didn’t turn into a thriller it was still dark and completely addictive. I give Tell Me Lies four wonderful stars!
A thrilling, sexy coming-of-age story exploring toxic love, ruthless ambition, and shocking betrayal, Tell Me Lies is about that one person who still haunts you—the other one. The wrong one. The one you couldn’t let go of. The one you’ll never forget.
Lucy Albright is far from her Long Island upbringing when she arrives on the campus of her small California college, and happy to be hundreds of miles from her mother, whom she’s never forgiven for an act of betrayal in her early teen years. Quickly grasping at her fresh start, Lucy embraces college life and all it has to offer—new friends, wild parties, stimulating classes. And then she meets Stephen DeMarco. Charming. Attractive. Complicated. Devastating.
Confident and cocksure, Stephen sees something in Lucy that no one else has, and she’s quickly seduced by this vision of herself, and the sense of possibility that his attention brings her. Meanwhile, Stephen is determined to forget an incident buried in his past that, if exposed, could ruin him, and his single-minded drive for success extends to winning, and keeping, Lucy’s heart.
Alternating between Lucy’s and Stephen’s voices, Tell Me Liesfollows their connection through college and post-college life in New York City. Deep down, Lucy knows she has to acknowledge the truth about Stephen. But before she can free herself from this addicting entanglement, she must confront and heal her relationship with her mother—or risk losing herself in a delusion about what it truly means to love.
With the psychological insight and biting wit of Luckiest Girl Alive, and the yearning ambitions and desires of Sweetbitter, this keenly intelligent and staggeringly resonant novel chronicles the exhilaration and dilemmas of young adulthood, and the difficulty of letting go, even when you know you should.
This book will be hit or miss for a lot of people. It is character driven and these characters are not exactly lovable. In fact you will most certainly despise one of the characters. For me as much as I hated Stephen, I couldn’t look away. I was so enthralled by his view point and thoughts. Carola did such a great job writing that bad guy many of us have dated in our lives with out making him some crazy murderer or crossing one line too far, he was just not a good guy. As for Lucy, actual FACE PALM. I think I hated her more than I hated Stephen, yet at the same time I understood her. Bringing up mental health topics and having the characters work through them made them that much more relatable. Lucy was suffering with depression and Stephen was her solace. And as much as I hated her choices, I have depression too and I have been where she was. I do have to say at some point it got to be a little ridiculous that she would keep doing what she was doing and I couldn’t help but get so angry with her. I am happy with how her character eventually played out though.
As for the story itself. I liked the alternating points of views and time line. I liked how the story wove together and I couldn’t get enough. This is not a romance. This is a toxic relationship and the struggle of young adulthood and navigating manipulative love interests. It pulled me in because I have been there or I have seen friends go through this. This book is real and I enjoyed it very much. I definitely recommend giving this a try if you’re interested in dark coming of age reads!
Heres some links to places you can purchase the book if you’re interested 🙂