Friday, January 9, 2015

Review: There Will Be Lies, by Nick Lake

There Will Be LiesTitle: There Will Be Lies
Author: Nick Lake
Publication Date: January 6, 2015
Genre: Thriller
In four hours, Shelby Jane Cooper will be struck by a car.

Shortly after, she and her mother will leave the hospital and set out on a winding journey toward the Grand Canyon.

All Shelby knows is that they’re running from dangers only her mother understands. And the further they travel, the more Shelby questions everything about her past—and her current reality. Forced to take advantage of the kindness of unsuspecting travelers, Shelby grapples with what’s real, what isn't, and who she can trust . . . if anybody.

Award-winning author Nick Lake proves his skills as a master storyteller in this heart-pounding new novel. This emotionally charged thrill ride leads to a shocking ending that will have readers flipping back to the beginning. -Goodreads

3.5 Stars

Thank you Bloomsbury for sending me this copy for review!

For a majority of the There Will Be Lies, I was absolutely clueless. It was more of this engaged cluelessness, this burning curiosity to understand what exactly is happening.

Shelby is a 17-year-old home-schooled girl living with her extremely and inexplicably over-protective mother. She doesn't know much about her past--or much about anything, besides what her mom has deemed appropriate she learn. Their comfortable routine is smashed when Shelby is struck by a car, and a domino effect of events comes forth. Part a journey of self-discovery and part a search for the truth, Shelby is forced to question everything she has ever thought was true.

Shelby Cooper is a very well-developed character, with strength and independence and admirable sarcasm. To me she wasn't exactly likable, per se, but watching her growth throughout the book was probably one of the best parts of the narrative.

I think because not a lot of the novel is spent on character interaction, the spotlight is on Shelby's character, and the reader cannot help but know her uncannily well. She narrates this story in a very conversational tone, very teenager-esque. Maybe a bit too teenager-esque for a character who hasn't spent much time around people her age. It is a unique voice and style, though.

On to the thriller aspect. If you go into There Will Be Lies expecting an action-packed, heart-pounding type of thriller, be prepared to be disappointed. Be patient; it's a very slow building book, one that creeps up on you and catches you off guard, one that definitely proves worth it in the end. But do not worry--it did live up to its genre and did, in fact, thrill me.     

My only complaint is that some things go unexplained or are ignored altogether, leaving for a plot with some loose ends and a sense of incompleteness. Yes, I do understand that life tends to work that way, and for that reason alone I'm willing to look over the minor flaw.

There Will Be Lies was so different from any other book I've read in YA, and I mean this in the most literal way.  It may not sit well with readers who are looking for a more conventional book, and it may not please everyone. However, for those in the mood for a YA book that not only ignores the word "normal," but also brings a completely new meaning to the word "original," you need There Will Be Lies in your life.


  1. Interesting review! I got sent this randomly for review and I haven't started reading it yet but I'm glad I read your review. Before now I haven't seen any other reviews for it so I wasn't sure whether to read it. I'm glad the novel has very strong character development because that is always key for creating a good book. But loose ends and plot holes are very annoying. I'm not sure whether I'll make an effort to read it as it doesn't sound like the type of novel for me but we'll see.

    Great review lovely xx!

  2. I didn't request this either... so I was a bit nervous that I wouldn't like it as it isn't one of my favorite genres. I don't generally read thrillers but I think this encouraged me to read me books like this. Thanks, Francoise!