Review: Seven Ways We Lie

Riley Redgate - Seven Ways We Lie
Expected publication: March 8, 2016 by Amulet Books
Pages: 352
Genres: Realistic Fiction, Young Adult
Find on: Amazon, Goodreads, Book Depository
Rating: 2.5/5

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, but not really. Claire plays tennis. Juniper lives the true essence of the YOLO life. Valentine has no actual basis in this story. Lucas is confused about his sexuality.

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.


  1. I had just seen this one and was interested in it. I like books that tackle topics like that but it sounds like it tackles a lot with a lot POVS. Might be a bit too much. Great review!

    1. Yeah, I'd been looking forward to this one, too! Though it does have a few great points, I think the amount of POVs is what overdoes it. Thanks! :D

  2. Yeah, that cover is definitely interesting. Aw, it's a shame that you couldn't connect to the characters, that can definitely bring a book down for me as well.

    1. If I hadn't known it was centered around high school, I would've thought they were teenagers in a rehabilitation center or something. It was a bummer, but it handles a few topics fairly well!

  3. I was really interested in this book when I first heard about it a while ago, but this seems like a confused mess of a book? Seven perspectives are a lot to handle and it sounds like some of them were quite pointless. I also agree with you that it seems wrong that the teacher was still allowed to be around high school students after the allegations. It's the first YA that I've read that has allowed this and I'm not sure how I feel about it...
    Jenna @ Happy Indulgence

    1. It's a mess, really. I had a hard time deciphering between the seven of them at times and the student-teacher scandal was handled so terribly. It's really such a mess. (I know I said that, but really, haha.) That's really my only way of explaining all of that.


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