Title: Seven Ways We Lie
Author: Riley Redgate
Publisher: Amulet Books
Publication Date: March 8, 2016
Source: E-Reader Format ARC
Paloma High School is ordinary by anyone’s standards. It’s got the same cliques, the same prejudices, the same suspect cafeteria food. And like every high school, every student has something to hide—whether it’s Kat, the thespian who conceals her trust issues onstage; or Valentine, the neurotic genius who’s planted the seed of a school scandal.
When that scandal bubbles over, and rumors of a teacher-student affair surface, everyone starts hunting for someone to blame. For the unlikely allies at the heart of it all, the collision of their seven ordinary-seeming lives results in extraordinary change.
Wow! This book was so much more than I thought it was going to be. There are 7 different POV’s and given that Riley Redgate is new to the writing world I was slightly skeptical about how this would play out. Thankfully, it skills proved to be impressive. I loved all the characters they were so unique and complex. No one was a cookie cutter perfect human they were all flawed but still totally lovable. My favorite character was Olivia I just loved her personality and I have to say I found her to be really strong with her whole stance on sex which I thought would be a major turn off but she proved to be just the right amount of feminist. I also loved Matt a lot he was a really interesting character and I enjoyed seeing his story unfold. For the character aspect this book gets 5 stars.
The writing was amazing because each character had their own voice and they were unique but worked well within the narrative. Juniper’s chapters were written in a more poetic prose type way which I suppose suits her since’s living a life completely different than what she portrays so you have to read between the lines a bit more with her. Everyone else’s chapters are bit more straightforward and you’ll find that some of the POV’s are simply there to move the plot and I’m ok with that because 7 “main” characters are a lot to handle. I’m not going to lie the poetry part did throw me a bit as I’m not a huge fan of poetry and it made me sort of want to skip her chapters but I did appreciate the attempt for a completely different voice. So for this part I give the book 4 stars.
This book does juggle a lot of themes most of them stemming around different types of relationships, family, sibling, romantic, friendship. I think this may seem like a lot to tackle but since they all share the same type of base it makes it easier to “get into” the read. Plus in life we do have to deal with all these types of relationships (except for siblings ones for some people). There were a lot of other themes also throughout the book like drug use and sexuality issues and gaming addictions but I felt those were used more to develop characters in their uniqueness. Overall I give this 4 stars.
There wasn’t much of a world to build since this is a pretty standard fiction read with no fantasy element so it’s a pretty standard high school that I felt was believable but I don;t know how anyone could really miss this world setting up. I will take this aspect out of the star review since there really wasn’t any world building.
In general I would give this book 4.5 stars. I think a lot of people will enjoy this title and I definitely look forward to Riley Redgate’s future titles. Contemporary YA is a tough genre to break into it and most people either love it or hate and I think this is a title that could convert non-readers of the genre.