Book Talk: Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley

Book Talk: Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin TalleyLies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley
Published by Harlequin Teen on September 2014
Genres: YA Historical Fiction
Also by this author: Results May Vary, As I Descended
Format: ARC
Source: ALA
Amazon/Twitter
Goodreads

I received this book for review consideration from the publisher. This in no way swayed my opinion of the book. Pinky swear!

 

 

 

Want an “at a glance” look at what I thought? Check out my Review On A Post-It or my “Final Thought”

 

A1

It’s 1959 and a high school in Virginia is integrating. It’s told from the perspective of two teenage girls — one white and one black — who are in this middle of this fight for integration/segregation. Sarah is a senior and should be enjoying her last year of high school in choir and with her friends but she’s now part of the small group of students that are the first to integrate into the white high school where it’s clear she’s not welcome by all the protests, the assaults and the nasty words being thrown. Linda is also senior and her dad is one of the biggest voices against the integration. The two get paired together for a school project everything they have ever known about themselves and the world feels uncertain.
.

a2My heart. And also, MAN I love historical fiction and want to see even more of it in YA.

a4

1. When I studied history in high school I always wondered what the teens were doing & this book explored that for me: You always are talking mostly about adults in history class but I would always wonder things like, “I wonder what the teens were doing during civil rights or what was it like for them during these wars.” Lies We Tell Ourselves gives me exactly that. Yes, they were being teens and worrying about the dance and relationships and school but they also were very affected and influenced by the current events of the day. We got to see the prejudices they learned from their parents and the media and just how the decisions made by the adults affected them so intensely. I mean, the decision to integrate schools was something that affected the kids more than it did anyone else. They were at the epicenter of that and I loved that we saw just how quizzical teens were and how they explored their own opinions — just as teens do about anything.

2. It broke my heart in a lot of ways and was so hard to read because I knew, while this was fiction, this was a reality: Reading what the black teens who integrated into the white school had to endure just made my stomach hurt and also made me want to hug them all and tell them how brave they were. It’s always hard for me to read about any sort of oppression or injustices in fiction but to read about that 1) REALLY DID HAPPEN and 2) was in recent-ish history and not like hundreds of years ago just killed me. You realize how far we’ve come but also, when I see current events of today, how far we still have to go. Reading the scenes of being mobbed in the halls, having things thrown at them and knowing people wanted you to die shook me up physically. Robin Talley wrote it in such a way where it just reverberated off the pages — the hatred boiling, the fear, the yells echoing. SO real.

3. I really loved watching both characters interact with each other because it felt pretty realistic: You can’t hate Linda — even when she does the wrong thing over and over again and is cruel and obviously racist. At least I couldn’t. So much of coming of age is also figuring out stuff for yourself vs. what you’ve always been told. When your parents believe certain things, they are easily rubbed off on you and that’s what we see with Linda. I loved watching her and Sarah interact and the curiosity that was there in both girls and started crumbling the walls that had been erected by society. Truthfully I thought this was just going to be a novel about two girls navigating a friendship when they weren’t supposed to so I was a little thrown for a loop when I realized it was more of a romantic thing. I think it was a lot to explore in one book considering both prejudices but Robin Talley did it well.

 

a6RATING-reallyliked

factors+ story, writing, FEELINGS
No real criticism just maybe didn’t feel as head over heels as others despite really liking it.

Re-readability: Probably wouldn’t.
Would I buy a copy for my collection? Maybe not for myself because I wouldn’t re-read/it wasn’t a favorite but I want this to be on the shelves of every high school and YA section in the library.

a5fans of historical YA fiction, people looking for fiction dealing with civil rights, readers looking for LGBTQ stories, anyone looking for a powerful story

a8Lies We Tell Ourselves is a powerful story that really reminded me how brave people are and that’s how change happens — standing up for what is right, figuring out WHAT you think is right for yourself and not being afraid to have a voice. Sarah and Linda were two brave characters navigating this battle of civil rights and it really made me wonder about all the real, unknown acts of bravery during this time that helped change happen. I really enjoyed this book and definitely recommend it!

review-on-post-it

Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley

a8j* Have you read this one? What did you think? Similar or different from me? I would LOVE to hear regardless!
*If you haven’t read it, does it feel like something you’d be into?
Have you read any books set in this time period you could recommend me?
*

 


The Perpetual Page-Turner

 

Book Talk: Let’s Get Lost by Adi Alsaid

Book Talk: Let’s Get Lost by Adi AlsaidLet's Get Lost by Adi Alsaid
Published by Harlequin Teen on July 29, 2014
Genres: Contemporary YA
Format: ARC
Source: ALA
Amazon/Twitter
Goodreads

I received this book for review consideration from the publisher. This in no way swayed my opinion of the book. Pinky swear!

 

 

Want an “at a glance” look at what I thought? Check out my Review On A Post-It or my “Final Thought”

 

A1
Let’s Get Lost is told from the perspective of four teens who all encounter Leila, a girl on her own journey, in places along her road trip. They all have their separate life happenings and hurts and somehow Leila winds up in their life at the right moment as she’s driving across the United States. She’s kind, is one of those people who shines brighter than the rest, isn’t afraid to get involved in their lives and yet she’s such a mystery. In the process of changing their lives as she’s passing through, the trip she has embarked on just might help her find the answers she’s looking for but in ways she’d never expect.

a2ROAD TRIP NOW PLEASE?

a4Let’s Get Lost by Adi Alsaid was one of my most anticipated 2014 debuts and I’m happy to report that Let’s Get Lost and I were a good match! I look forward to what Adi Alsaid will write next to be honest.

1. This was one of the most exhilarating road trip I’ve been on in a book: It was the type of book where I could feel the wind in my hair, the bass from the road trip tunes buzzing through my body and the open road before me. Lots of adventures, exploring and the adventure of meeting people on the road. Sometimes you had to suspend disbelief but there were lots of crazy shenanigans that happened on this trip and it was EPIC.  It’s the best part of travel — those stories that are of the “totally doesn’t sound true but it really happened” variety and you seriously could relay those stories to the best of your abilities but you’d never be able to convey how you felt when it happened.

2. The way the story was told was just magical: Not only was the prose just delectable but the way it was written was perfect. So we get the POVs of Hudson, Bree, Elliot and Sonia and the main thread is that Leila has met them on her journey and she just jumps into their lives and changes it in her own way. We get about 60 pages or so of their encounter and then the new encounter happens on the road. So we see Leila through their eyes and learn about her through their encounters. But really she’s still an enigma…like we don’t quite have the whole picture. We get bits of pieces of what kind of person she is but we don’t really know anything about her past and what her reason for traveling to see The Northern Lights is especially when she isn’t consistent in her answers. You get to know the other characters, not SUPER well but in the glimpse one would have with someone you might meet on the road, but you know enough to be invested in their story and then we get to HER story. And OHMYGOD. The momentum of the trip and then we learn about her just took my breath away. In my mind I thought I knew something about her story but NOPE. Wrong.

3. This book was thought-provoking as hell: I love books that really make me think about my own life and the world. This one definitely was that kind of book. I have a new mantra to come out of this book (Seize the Tuesday) and I’ve thought a lot about living life actively and what that means vs. what we think it should look like sometimes.

4. My only downfall was the romance and the character attached to the romance: There was a romance and it initially made me go “EH” because it was kind of insta-lovey and I just didn’t GET the attraction so fast — like I could get why he was attracted to her because she shines BRIGHT but I don’t get her interest at all from what we saw. But I’m glad the romance wasn’t the bulk of the story! I will say that this character’s story grabbed my attention the least while the other ones I was SO invested in. (My favorite was a toss up between Sonia and Bree’s stories).

 

a6RATING-loved-it

factors+ beautiful writing, the storytelling, the ability to create this beautiful enigma around Leila and it pays off, FEELINGS, thought-provoking
the romance aspect just didn’t work for me

Re-readability: I would actually…despite knowing Leila’s story. There’s just some really great thoughts in here I want to revisit. Great moments. And I especially want to reread after KNOWING Leila’s story to pick up on things I missed.
Would I buy a copy for my collection? YES!! I need this!

a5people who like road trip novels, people who like thought-provoking and soul searching types of books, fans of contemporary YA,

a8

Let’s Get Lost by Adi Alsaid was a journey that left me yearning for my own crazy road trip and doing some major soul searching about Big Life Things all that the same time. Told through snapshots of four people’s encounter with Leila while she passes through town, I found myself desperate to know why Leila’s journey was so important and loved watching how Leila would get entangled in each person’s individual affairs. Like the characters felt the mark of Leila in their life, I found her story to linger well after I finished and I felt so deeply how we are all tethered together in this life and have the ability to make a mark on the people who we encounter — no matter how brief the encounter.

review-on-post-itLet's Get Lost by Adi Alsaid

 

a8j* Have you read this one? What did you think? Similar or different from me? I would LOVE to hear regardless!
* If you haven’t read it, is it something on your radar or that you think you will read?
* What are some of your favorite road trip books?
* Did you figure out Leila’s story before it was revealed?
* Which was your favorite story out of Hudson, Bree, Elliot and Sonia?


The Perpetual Page-Turner

 

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