This one isn’t a lie

Published 10:03 am Monday, April 18, 2022

As many of you know, I love to read in my spare time. I recently finished Jennifer Donaldson’s Lies You Never Told Me and boy what a mind bender.

The story is told through the dual perspective of Elyse of Portland, Oregon and Gabe of Austin, Texas.

The only thing the reader knows prior to reading the book is somehow their worlds are intertwined and connected. However, it is not until the very last chapter the reader figures out just how they are connected.

Although they live in separate places, both have made the mistake of falling for the wrong person.

Elyse, unfortunately, has fallen for her much-older teacher, while Gabe has fallen for the ever popular, mean girl, Sasha.

While neither character realizes their significant other’s faults in the beginning, the book dives deep into the different types of abuse one can face in a relationship, rather it be verbal abuse, love bombing, isolation tactics or in Elyse’s case grooming.

When Elyse and Gabe both come to realize that the person they fell for is not who they dreamed them up to be, it becomes clear that this will be another Romeo and Juliet story. One will have to die for the sake of love.

But, who?

Will it be Gabe, who has broken up with Sasha in order to pursue new girl to school, Catherine? He has begun receiving a series of threatening messages from an anonymous number he believes to be Sasha.

Will it be Sasha, who is fragile coming off her breakup, dealing with multiple accusations of a split personality and doing her best not to fall from her position as head girl?

Will it be Catherine, Gabe’s new flame, who is the victim of Sasha’s incessant bullying and her watchful dad, who forbids her from dating?

Or will it be Elyse?

Elyse has the most harrowing journey.

Leaving her drug-addicted mother behind to run away with teacher, Elyse sets out a nationwide Amber Alert, while every police officer is on the lookout for the teacher who abused his power. To make things worse, he’s a drama teacher and has access to wigs, makeup and costumes, allowing he and Elyse to become anyone.

Is her name even Elyse anymore? If it’s not, has she taken on the name of someone who is perhaps even more wanted than Elyse?

This constant guessing of how does it end and who are these people really, had me up late at night reading hour after hour, until I finally closed my book at midnight.

I didn’t see the ending coming.

I knew someone would be a hero and someone would be a victim, but I never imagined that when everyone’s world collided there could be more than one victim and more than one person set out to destroy the lives of these four teenagers.

It’s up to you to figure out what really lies beneath the facade of it all. I highly encourage this read, I gave it a 4.5 stars.