Moody. Insidious. Delicate.
I was drawn to this book because the blurb had a similar undertone to something I was writing at the time. A little bit of angst, a lot of mystery, and a fragile but firm love story.
What I admire most about this book is the way the darker elements of Audrey’s mental health evolve and reveal along the way. It becomes very obvious at about two thirds in what the root of her problems is, but then a tense feeling of ‘when’ rather than ‘what if’ takes over.
“we were here at last, with all this air and sky and trees to climb and fields to run in. We could be new. We could be well.”
The story is told from two points of view. Some of you will already know how I feel about multiple narrators; it takes something special for me to connect and enjoy a story told in this way. I think it is because I like to jump right in with a character and stay with them, rather than hop around and lose that connection. Also, I think there is often the danger of going over covered ground when you switch the point of view. Disastrous retellings of the same book from a different character have only cemented this stance for me.
Lies Like Love does the dual POV thing, and it does it well. Thankfully. I loved Leo- having gone through a slightly similar situation as Audrey is at a stage where he can reflect and start to look forward. Audrey, however, is nowhere near that stage. At all.
They make such a cute pair. A gentle and questioning kind of love blossoms, and what I enjoyed the most about was that the desire and lust aspect was not ignored or cut out. They fancy the pants off each other, and they do something about it other than blushing and holding hands.
There were some areas in this book however where I felt like the ‘teen voice’ wasn’t quite hit. It felt a little clunky. It was small details really that made me feel like this book might have been written ten years ago rather than in 2014.
The cover doesn’t help. It wasn’t a great artistic direction. After reading and looking back at it, I can’t say it captures Audrey at all (I’m assuming that’s who it is supposed to be). Something more like ‘Hello I Love You’ but maybe moodier, I think that would work if you were to put characters on the cover at all. That’s the kind of image I had in my head after reading it anyway.
Cover wishes aside (because how many of us would change a book’s cover if we could?), this book is… consuming. I would say that the plot is very quiet and understated, but there is something very cloying about the atmosphere and the environment.
The relationship Aud had with her brother is beautifully done, and as much as I felt a little deflated by the end, I don’t think Audrey could have had a conventional ‘happily ever after’. She’s in a better place, and there’s hope. And I think, really, that’s all anyone wants out of life… true?
Concept – 4/5
Plot – 3/5
Ending or Twist – 3.5/5
Overall – 3.5/5
(Borrowed from my local library. Opinions are my own.)