Before the accident, Shelby Cooper's life revolves around being home-schooled, batting, and spending time with her mother. Shelby's mother constantly cautions her to stay away from people, because people can hurt her. But then, a perfectly normal day leads to the event that changes her life forever. As Shelby leaves the library one evening, she is hit by a car.
In a vision that follows the accident, Shelby thinks she sees a coyote, who tells her that first, there will be two lies, then there will be a truth. The day turns even more surreal when her mother sneaks her out of the hospital without checking her out, and the two set off in their car across Arizona, running from dangers Shelby knows nothing about. It will be up to her to separate the lies from the truth to make sense of her new life.
There Will Be Lies is a well-written and absorbing page-turner. Although it is mostly a realistic fiction novel, it benefits from the magical elements that Nick Lake incorporates into the story. There's a bit of Native American lore that runs parallel to the main story and makes it more complex and mysterious. But what really makes this book so fun to read is the suspense. Instead of building up to the big conclusion, the book is infinitely full of surprises. No surprises or challenges are too hard to handle for Shelby, however. It was refreshing and enjoyable to read a story with a character who stands by what she believes and strives to make the right choice no matter how afraid she may feel. Although the book tackles some difficult issues, I finished the book feeling satisfied. This is definitely a great summer reading book for teens grades 7 and up!
Reviewed by Anush B., children's librarian
Editor's note: Book Café people! If you are a realism or magical realism fan, this might be a good book to choose to read and share at one of our four café book-talks during Teen Meetup in the Burb! Wednesday nights at Buena Vista--7:00 p.m., on June 17, July 1, 8, and 22. Join us, won't you???