Thank you to the lovely people at Book Sparks for my copy of Tell Me Lies by Carola Lovering. All thoughts and images are my own.
Title: Tell Me Lies
Author: Carola Lovering
Pub date: June 12, 2018
Read if you like: toxic relationships (think Gone Girl, Twilight, Fifty Shades of Grey) and references to the music of Fleetwood Mac.
I have no idea whether I liked this book. I’ve been ruminating on it for nearly two days and can’t come to a consensus. I deeply hated both of the main characters and their destructive actions, but I could not put it down. I fell asleep reading it two nights in a row because I had stayed up long past my bedtime (which led to some really, really bizarre dreams). I knew what was going to happen, but I had to see how Lovering was going to get there.
This book tries too hard to evoke a sense of 2017 New York City cool. I love a book that strongly sets the reader in a time and place, but I think there’s a fine line between defining a setting and name dropping, and Tell Me Lies aired on the side of name dropping.
But despite my initial distaste for the way the book was written, I found it impossible to stop reading. Stephen was such a horrific person and Lucy was so blind to the disgusting nature of his ways. Reading it felt dark and complicit.
So, if you’re looking for a read that you can’t put down and don’t mind stories with wholly imperfect characters who can’t stop hurting one another (and themselves), give this one a try. But if that doesn’t sound like exactly what you’re craving, then you ought to pass on this one.
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SYNOPSIS: (AS TOLD BY THE BACK OF THE BOOK)
Lucy Albright is far from home when she arrives on the campus of her small California college and happy to be hundreds of miles from her self-involved mother. Quickly grasping at a fresh start, she 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 bring 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.
Lucy knows there’s something about Stephen that isn’t to be trusted. Stephen knows Lucy can’t tear herself away. And their addicting entanglement will have consequences they never could have imagined.
Alternating between Lucy’s and Stephen’s voices, Tell Me Lies traces their connection through college and postcollege life in New York City. With psychological insight and biting wit, this keenly intelligent and staggeringly resonant novel chronicles the yearning ambitions, desires, and dilemmas of young adulthood and the difficulty of letting go, even when you know you should.