Hello people! How are you? And how are your reading going? I am doing good, even if I don’t have a lot of time to read, and that doesn’t make me happy. But… oh well, at least the Autumn is here, I am so happy and I am back with another review. So I can stop complaining, right??
Title: Lies My Girlfriend Told Me
Author: Julie Anne Peters
Page count: 256
Pubblication Date: June 10th, 2014
When Alix’s charismatic girlfriend, Swanee, dies from sudden cardiac arrest, Alix is overcome with despair. As she searches Swanee’s room for mementos of their relationship, she finds Swanee’s cell phone, pinging with dozens of texts sent from a mysterious contact, L.T. The most recent text reads: “Please tell me what I did. Please, Swan. Te amo. I love you.”
Shocked and betrayed, Alix learns that Swanee has been leading a double life–secretly dating a girl named Liana the entire time she’s been with Alix. Alix texts Liana from Swanee’s phone, pretending to be Swanee in order to gather information before finally meeting face-to-face to break the news.
Brought together by Swanee’s lies, Alix and Liana become closer than they’d thought possible. But Alix is still hiding the truth from Liana. Alix knows what it feels like to be lied to–but will coming clean to Liana mean losing her, too?
I had this book on my wishlist since ages, really, and I was so happy when I started it, because finally, finally, it was its turn! But my joy was very short-lived, sadly, and it left in favor of confusion. I was very… puzzled by this reading, and now I’ll try to explain myself, but I’ll excuse myself in advance if I won’t manage to be clear!
Alix is a teen who, for the first time in her life, has to face the death of a dear one. To make things worse, the dear one is her beloved girlfriend. So we know her as she is trying to coop with one of the worst things ever, and we watch her suffer, and fail to make sense to this awful event. So yeah, we have to cut her some slacks, I know it. But she really wasn’t the right character for me. She’s like a lot of other teens, self-centered to excess, egoistic and with the strong conviction that the world starts and ends with themselves.
I tried to be patient with her, I tried to keep and find excuses for her but… but I just managed to be annoyed by her. Not always, yes, and with the understanding that she is really going through a lot, but I just couldn’t click with her, I was annoyed or irked or irritated with her for a lot of time. And it’s not that she’s bad, because she is really good at heart but… just not for me.
And the girl who died, Swan, wasn’t really your typical good girl (she wasn’t a really bad person, but she wasn’t good either), and you can see it really soon on the book, even before the part with Liana starts, but the only person who doesn’t see it is Alix (and ok, not just her, we have Joss too, but she’s another story altogether). She’s just naive and so full of her first love that she doesn’t see the real girl but what she wants her to be.
So, self-centerd and extremely naive, she really has a long way to go before growing, and she really makes a lot of stupid things (or mistake), like go away with the car and promise to call if she would be back late, and then go, be back late and don’t call. This is the thing that really irked me, because once it’s normal, she’s a teen and she is having major bad time, twice it could happen, but more? Nope. She doesn’t call and then she’s all “my parents would kill me”. They would be disappointed but nothing else. No words, no punishment, no nothing. And I think that this is the thing that really bugged me.
So far you can see that it was quite an annoying reading because I was exasperated by the MC, and I couldn’t really clicked with her and that was taking his toll on the reading but… but I appreciated what the author did with her characters (not the stupid part and not really the parts about parents, because they aren’t so good as they could have been), because she really portraits something real, her characters are full of life and not just bidimensional player on a story. And you feel them, and feel for them. So it was quite a unique experience, because I was constantly torn between these two feelings: the not so happy with the characters feeling (and I mean Alix, Joss, Swan, and Swan’s parents) and the wow, she’s good feeling. It was really strange, and I was conflicted because on one hand, I wasn’t enjoying the reading so much (if I don’t like the characters I won’t like the book, sometimes it’s as simple as that) but on the other hand I was seeing the ability of the author and you can’t dismiss it. Even more so because she talks about a lot of difficult or sensitive topics, we have teens, deaths, lesbian girls, growing up, family support and different kind of family all wrapped up nicely and she has quite a way with all of them, and I appreciated it, a lot.
But that’s not the end of it. Because the things kept getting stranger! The first part of the book is about Alix hurting and her way of coping with it, but the second part is about her and Liana, and this part seems quite completely another book. Alix started to grown, to understand more, to be less naive and less self-centered, and Liana is a good influence and a good character. I liked her and I liked the person Alix start to grow in with her. I appreciated a lot this second part, and I enjoyed the reading way more than before.
So, again I was confused because…. was I liking this book or not? And even now that I have finished the reading I have some difficulties to answer that question.
One of the big no of this book is the parents. Swan’s one, Alix ones and, in some ways Liana’s too. I mean they are not bad (well, Swan’s parents won’t be nominated for parents of the year, that’s for sure) and I appreciated Alix and Liana’s families, to an extent but they are lacking something. While the girls are real and characterized so well that you can forget that they are characters in a book, you can’t do it with their parents. They are lacking something, the spark that made them alive between the pages, and it’s a thing that I really don’t like. I understand that the book is more about the teen than their families, but the families have a big role in the story and they are real and part of the teens’ world, too so I really don’t understand because we never find parental figures in this kind of book.
But this is the really big no in this book, because I think that, parents aside, the author did a great job while portraying her characters and I liked that she talks about some difficult or sensitive themes in the way she did.
So, in the end, I won’t give a rating to this book because on one hand I appreciated it, on the other not so much and I am royally puzzled by all of it!
And what about you? Have you read this book? Or have you read a book that let you just as confused? Let me know!