Book Review · YA · Young Adult

Book Review: Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley

91B3VJ4kerLLies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley
Publisher: Mira Ink
Release Date: 30th September 2014
Buy: Paperback | Kindle
What They Say:

Lie #1: I’m not afraid
Lie #2: I’m sure I’m doing the right thing
Lie #3: I don’t care what they think of me
It’s 1959. The battle for civil rights is raging. And it’s Sarah’s first day of school as one of the first black students at previously all-white Jefferson High.
No one wants Sarah there. Not the Governor. Not the teachers. And certainly not the students – especially Linda, daughter of the town’s most ardent segregationist.
Sarah and Linda are supposed to despise each other. But the more time they spend together, the less their differences matter. And both girls start to feel something they’ve never felt before. Something they’re determined to ignore.
Because it’s one thing to stand up to an unjust world – but another to be terrified of what’s in your own heart.

My Review

Truth #1: I’m terrified to write this review, because there’s not a chance on Earth I will be able to do this amazing book justice. I picked this book up in a whim from the library, it was among others being highlighted and I liked the sound of it, so I got it. And I didn’t expect the book to have such an impact on me that it had! The only other book I’ve read set during this time was The Help by Kathryn Stockett (which is one of my absolute favourite books, ever) and the two novels are completely different, mind. Though they both made me feel the same: that coloured people were treated so poorly back then. I mean it’s hardly FANTASTIC now, over 50 years later, but back then? It makes me want to cry. To see how Sarah and the others were treated made me want to sob my heart out.

Not only is the book set in the time of black students integrating with white students, but it’s clear that, despite the fact their skin colour is different, Sarah and Linda have some kind of connection, and that’s what kept me reading, because they just wound each other up something chronic, but it made the book spark to life, to see them arguing and both of them thinking they were right. Of course it was also infuriating that they had to argue over whether black people should be allowed to go to school with white people. I long for the world where people are just people, not judged by their race, sexual orientation, gender, anything. (Will we ever get there is the question, mind.)

I raced through Lies We Tell Ourselves, putting it down only at midnight because I had to work the next day and if I hadn’t gone to bed I would have finished the novel in the wee small hours and most likely have been the worst grump ever the next day. I honestly can’t do this book justice, but it moved me, and I really, really think that you should just READ THIS BOOK. OKAY? Just read it.

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