"To find out what a story's really about,' the Librarian said,

'you don't ask the writer. You ask the reader."

- SNOW & ROSE by Emily Winfield Martin

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Review: THERE WILL BE LIES by Nick Lake (YA)

by Nick Lake
Release date: January 6th, 2015
Published by: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Thriller
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
Format read: ARC from the publisher.


In four hours, Shelby Jane Cooper will be struck by a car.

Shortly after, she and her mother will leave the hospital and set out on a winding journey toward the Grand Canyon.

All Shelby knows is that they’re running from dangers only her mother understands. And the further they travel, the more Shelby questions everything about her past—and her current reality. Forced to take advantage of the kindness of unsuspecting travelers, Shelby grapples with what’s real, what isn’t, and who she can trust . . . if anybody.

Award-winning author Nick Lake proves his skills as a master storyteller in this heart-pounding new novel. This emotionally charged thrill ride leads to a shocking ending that will have readers flipping back to the beginning.


One of the most unique storytellers I have ever encountered! Enthralling, emotional, shocking, flippant and twisted - there is no other story out there, right now, that can compare...

First, I have to point out, the writing style is very, very different than what I am used to. Conversations are either in italics or told in third person. It was odd at first, but very necessary. I don't see how the author could have helped Shelby tell her story without taking this route. It didn't take very long to get used to this method of writing, it actually made it more interesting and hard to put down... 
Next, there is also a fantasy element to the story. A sort of dream-like state. It is hard to explain without spoilers, but, every single moment that we get to witness these events are crucial moments to Shelby's state of mind. It is quite amazing to have been able to go along with her and really see and feel the upheaval of her emotions, the denial that she was living in... 
Lastly, I was amazed that the book didn't finished when I expected it to. It would have been typical to leave off at a certain point and I was a bit confused to see that there was still over 200 pages left to read. There are not enough words to describe how astonished I was to get to continue on with Shelby to the very, very end of her story - watch her grow, learn, give in to her demons and then slowly come to terms to her harsh realities. The girl starts out broken, and I got to not only watch her break and fall apart, but shatter into a billion little pieces. And then be able to look on as she slowly chooses which pieces to pick up and start putting her life together was such an unbelievable experience. Every single little detail is so precise and necessary; although at points it did make certain elements predictable, but, without the particulars, it still made very moment astonishing and jaw-dropping. I don't think I would have been able to fully understand Shelby. I would not have been able to stick by her side and see her through.

THERE WILL BE LIES is Shelby's powerfully sad story. 

Shelby is an over-protected seventeen year old girl who has been home-schooled by her single mother her entire life. As a lock and key child, Shelby has been taught to not trust anyone, especially men, and that only her mother can help and protect her. Shelby not knowing anything different, doesn't question her mother's teachings or behavior. But as any typical teen, she longs for friendship and dreams of going to college someday; which leads to her occasionally trying to convince her mother to do things outside of their norm, but rarely ever wins that argument.
When Shelby is hit by a car, her life comes to a sudden halt. She sees a coyote that gives her a warning: there will be two lies, and then the truth. 
When Shelby wakes up in the hospital, she thinks that the coyote was just a dream that was brought about by her injuries... when her mother starts acting differently, asking odd questions and then rushes Shelby out of the hospital like their lives depended on it - Shelby knows that nothing that is happening is normal. But, she trusts her mom. And denial becomes her best friend.
Coyote visits again. More lies. More twisted truths. 
Shelby is lost. And all she wants to do is stop time and go back to when things were the way the way before. It may have not been normal or right. But it was familiar.. and safe.

I highly recommend this to those of you that are looking for something to read that is out of their element - a book that will force you to read inbetween the lines, to fully take the time to understand and see situations through another person's eyes. There is a good chance that you will experience emotions for characters that you never thought were possible. This will not be an easy quick read - Shelby deserves more than that. 

*An ARC was sent to me from the publisher for an honest review. All thoughts are my own.


My name is Nick and I write and edit books for young adults. My first YA novel IN DARKNESS, was published by Bloomsbury in 2012 and won the Michael L Printz Award for Excellence in YA Literature. I also wrote a book called HOSTAGE THREE about a girl kidnapped by Somali pirates.

THERE WILL BE LIES is coming in January 15 and is about a girl who learns that everything she knows is a lie. To say it's a book with a twist in the story would be a massive understatement. There is also a talking coyote in it.

I live with my wife, daughter and son in a 16th century house in England with almost 19th century amenities. Sometimes the heating even works. 

I like: reading, art, music, food containing sugar, cities at night, the countryside in the daytime, vintage furniture, modern standards of heating (see above), travelling.

I dislike: being sick, failing, being underdressed in the cold, being overdressed in the heat, the unnecessary suffering of children, being punched in the face.

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