Review: Seven Ways We Lie
Riley Redgate - Seven Ways We LieExpected publication: March 8, 2016 by Amulet Books
Genres: Realistic Fiction, Young Adult
Find on: Amazon, Goodreads, Book Depository
Paloma High School is ordinary by anyone’s standards. It’s got the same cliques, the same prejudices, the same suspect cafeteria food. And like every high school, every student has something to hide—whether it’s Kat, the thespian who conceals her trust issues onstage; or Valentine, the neurotic genius who’s planted the seed of a school scandal.
When that scandal bubbles over, and rumors of a teacher-student affair surface, everyone starts hunting for someone to blame. For the unlikely allies at the heart of it all, their seven ordinary-seeming lives result in extraordinary change.
So I don't think the cover exactly goes with the book, but it's nice.
The book begins at a Paloma High School assembly. The principal is openly addressing a student-teacher relationship and the students are twittering about, laughing, gossiping, wondering who the unnamed couple might be.
Olivia Scott is rumored to be a slut, though she doesn't exactly care. Her sister, Kat, is a rebellious theater geek. (?) Matt is a raging pothead with a stalker crush on Olivia. Kidding,
None of these kids are best friends. Matt blanks on Claire's name at one point. With good reason, I think. There are, like, eighty POVs.
Many important issues are also tackled. Sexuality, girl-hate, bullying, illicit relations, ODing and the after-effects. But it felt like there were too many squeezed into one book. Like, an entire season of Degrassi compacted into one catalog.
Though there are seven POVs, Olivia is the main focus. Her chapters are often the longest and she's frequently referenced in everyone else's. I think there were characters we could've done without (i.e. Claire and Valentine.) Lucas, who admittedly had one of the best storylines around, was demoted to a useless side-character and paid very little attention to.
Juniper was confusing. She was a poetic little chick. Chapters written all haiku-like. Considering most things, her chapters were beautiful. I could say the same about Kat. She was quite frankly a rebel without a cause.
The student-teacher scandal isn't made into a big deal. The teacher-in-question is still allowed to teach during the alleged investigation.
When I was in high school, a teacher supposedly smacked a girl's rear and said something derogatory, afterward. It was in the newspaper. At the time, he was suspended without pay. He was older, a popular teacher, and other students rallied around him. I can't remember if the suspension was ever lifted but the fact a teacher in the midst of scandal in a YA can freely walk around is mind-boggling.
I wasn't emotionally invested in any of these characters, really. (One of Olivia's chapters is pure feminism gold.) Otherwise, I wasn't attached to anyone. I did like Lucas, though. He was darling and deserved good things.
The ending is simple. It deals with a number of important topics fairly promptly. Though not my type of read, I'd recommend it, nonetheless.