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 Lies follows 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.
Rating: 4 stars
OH MYYYYYY. First off, that’s an unnecessarily long synopsis.
This a really good book that will piss you off so bad that you’ll want to rip your hair out. I’m still really confused about how I could love and hate it at the same time, but that’s precisely what happened.
This is NOT a romance story!!! I mean, technically, it is, but it’s not romantic. This is a very accurate, very heartwrenching representation of toxicity. It’s not going to warm your heart and make you happy and teary-eyed. It’s going to frustrate you and make you angry and probably give you serious flashbacks if you’ve ever been in a relationship that was toxic for you. This is not a quick, easy read. But it was a worthwhile one.
I really hated Stephen in this, like I’m sure anyone else with a heart did (or will) as well, but I also really didn’t care for Lucy, either. My dislike for Lucy didn’t stem from the fact that she continued to go along with the relationship and the awful things that were happening, because I get it. I’ve seen so many other’s be that girl or guy. Hell, I’ve been that girl, though definitely not to that extent. So no, I don’t hate Lucy for her involvement with Stephen. My annoyance with her was about the way she acted, especially towards her family. There is this big, dark secret that Lucy has on her mom that no one, even her moms, know she has. And that really does suck for her. But as a young adult, she continues to act like a very cliche spoiled brat, even towards others who aren’t her mom. I liked Lucy fine in the beginning of this, but that quickly dissipated.
The supporting characters in this book were a lot easier to like, and most of them seemed to be operating on the same wavelength as I (even though they are fictional characters… leave me be). The background story and the way that everything happens to weave in together was really amazing and even more surprising a lot of the time. There is a lot of time jumping, and I usually hate too much of that, but it didn’t bother me at all in this book. Somehow, Lovering still managed to make the pace seem normal and it never seemed to matter that we were skipping entire months (and sometimes years) between things. It all panned out really well.
Overall, I’ve been excited to read this for months, and it didn’t disappoint me even a little (even though it’s a love/hate relationship).