ARC kindly provided by ABRAMS Kids via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
To be COMPLETELY, and UTTERLY honest, I was very wary of reading ‘Seven Ways We Lie’ but also totally intrigued. I thought this was a nice spin on the seven deadly sins that most Christians know of or have heard of. However, I was daunted by the fact that this was all set in a stereotypical high school. Yes, yes, I know. A high school setting would make sense in this novel’s case, but never the less I was fearing and curious all the while. I thought seven different perspectives were also a bit hard to accomplish – never mind pull off successfully, but I couldn’t wait to see what Riley Redgate would do.
‘Seven Ways We Lie’ started off at a surprisingly gentle and easy pace without the whole “BANG! Here’s the problem! Now deal with it, reader!” thing. I liked that and the fact that it didn’t overwhelm me. The story continued to really progress and build up and up and up. It was a very effective strategy and it gave a lot more insight than I expected. I loved the simmering that happened with all the drama, anticipation and tension that filled every sentence and word of the novel. Great story-telling in my opinion!
The novel is told mainly in first person narration. There are seven perspectives and each told their own sub-plot/story. The characters were: Olivia Scott; Kat Scott; Matt Jackson; Juniper Kipling; Valentine Simmons; Claire Lombardi; and Lucas McCallum.
It was extremely difficult to tell who was who when matched to one of the seven deadly sins. I couldn’t tell AT ALL at first and found it extremely difficult to get hints, though every now and again you’d think you’d know but then it would all change again.
The depth at which the authoress explored her characters was ABSOLUTELY fantastic. They felt real and alive and were so different from each other that it was INCREDIBLY difficult to confuse one for the other. They all had a personal history which made them unique and lots of mannerisms that could only pass for individual. I loved how well each was constructed from top to bottom and the fact that the author didn’t pass off the characters for a really well designed plot and story.
Riley Redgate writes her prose like a champ. I mean, she’s able to write the dialogue and pattern of speech in the TOTALLY realistic way which most teenagers speak like these days, and yet place meaning and emotion behind each word said. I am always irked by the meaningless words that YA novels set in high school are absolutely FILLED with. You get nothing and understand nothing. And in the end, it was all meaningless anyway. Not for this novel, though! Here the prose has meaning both in the way it’s written and in the way the characters say it.
If you’re expecting this novel to be yet another high school story or one about extremely detrimental/psychotic/rebels/cruel/evil teenagers. Then don’t. This novel is a LOT more than that. There were times when I teared up and felt a sob building in my chest because of the way the story touched me. It was a real, sincere novel about growing up and I really appreciated all the effort the authoress had put into composing it. I strongly encourage you to pick this up. It a great read which will defy all your expectations.
The ending was happily bittersweet. I loved it. I loved it. I loved it. An OUTSTANDING debut by Riley Redgate. I couldn’t have hoped for a better finale to the novel!
Congratulations to Riley Redgate on publishing a FANTASTIC debut! I can’t wait to see more of her work!
1 star : Strongly did not like the book, writing and plot was bad. Idea of the book was against my liking.
2 star : Didn’t like it, didn’t find it interesting or gripping. Seemed to drag on to me.
3 star : An average book. Wasn’t bad or good. Everything else was well done. Original idea.
4 star : Like a 3 star but has potential to it as a series or the book grew on me as it progressed and certain scenes captured me. I Enjoyed it and read it in one sitting.
5 star : I LOVED IT! I stayed up late until 3 am. Author is a genius, characters, plot, idea, development, EVERYTHING was EXCELLENT. Nothing else can possibly be said except that its 5 STAR!