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young adult book reviews & more

Little Black Lies by Tish Cohen

Little Black LiesSara Black is so not thrilled about moving. In fact, she’s not too thrilled about her life either. Her mother recently ran away to France with her new boyfriend, and her father’s OCD has been getting worse since her mother left. Now she has to leave behind her best friend and shot at valedictorian in Lundon, Massachusetts when her father takes a job as a janitor at the elite Anton High in Boston. Anton is no ordinary school. Sara’s new classmates make her intelligence look average and live for competition. Right away, Sara knows she’ll never be accepted for being the janitor’s daughter. The Ants seem to think Sara is from London, and with that, Sara’s first lie is born. But it doesn’t stop there, because the lies are so much easier than the truth. Sara’s lies start to build up like a house of cards as her homework piles up, her new friends get nosy, and her father’s OCD worsens still. How much will Sara lie before the truth can no longer be salvaged?

The idea behind Little Black Lies is not very original, particularly the “girl moves to new school and lies to fit in” storyline, but this novel is nonetheless enjoyable. Sara is a realistic protagonist; she loves her dad but worries his OCD is destroying him, she’s hurt by her mother’s absence, and though she deeply misses her hometown and best friend, she’s enticed by the power and glitz of most popular girl Carling. Despite her many lies, Sara is very likable and easy to sympathize with. The reader grows to really care about her and the consequences of all her lies. Though the minor characters are somewhat poorly developed and at times unbelievable, and even though the story’s ending is very predictable, this novel was made more intriguing by a scandal in Sara’s past and her father’s OCD. I’ve never read a book that included this disorder before, and it’s interesting to see how both Sara and her father deal with the problems it creates. I also loved learning about earlier events in Sara’s life that led up to her present situations even if the flashbacks were sometimes distracting. My only other issue with this novel is that Cohen seemed to be trying too hard to include symbols and metaphors in her writing, and this also distracted me from the story. Overall, Little Black Lies is a moderately well written and ultimately hopeful story that will entertain readers.

Little Black Lies will be enjoyed by teen girls who also liked the Private series by Kate Brian; the Upper Class series by Hobson Brown, Taylor Materne, and Caroline Says; and How Not to Be Popular by Jennifer Ziegler.

Rating: 3.75

Review copy from publisher EgmontUSA

2 munch(es) :

Charlotte (The Book on the Hill) said...

It amazes me how so many books are based on the "girl moves to new school/town and tries to fit in" thing. It's starting to make me Curious (and not Furious, although I'm a bit bored with it). I get the point that the fact that the protagonist leaves her hometown gives her a reason to feel out of place, therefore leading the book to talking about it. It's also about meeting new friends(either normal, vampires or else). But does it always have to be like that ? I think not. Great review (as always) !

Thao said...

I've been wanting to read this book for ages. It doesn't sound very different but I like the description of the narrator.

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