"Sometimes I Lie" by Alice Feeney
According to a University of Massachusetts study, 60% of adults admit that, in a ten-minute conversation, they’ll lie at least once.
No, Nev. No they don’t.
Really, based on this actual fucking science, you should never believe anything anyone tells you. Ever.
And, now that you’ve learned that lesson, you’re ready to read Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney.
We meet the protagonist of this authentically perplexing thriller, Amber Reynolds, shortly after she has fallen into a coma.
What events lead to her current state of unconsciousness?
This is the question we will spend the entire novel seeking the answer to.
What we do know, right off the bat, is that Amber — who can hear everything that’s going on around here, albeit through a vortex of confusion and hallucinations — is pretty certain that her husband no longer loves her. She also strongly suspects that he had something to do with whatever mysterious incident landed her in this position.
Another thing she admits — rather candidly, I might add — is that she, unabashedly, lies.
Given these facts, readers are presented with quite the challenge as they try to pick out the truths from the untruths and piece together not only what happened but also with whom the culpability rests.
With a narrative that moves back and forth in time, readers are given insight into who Amber is and provided pieces to the puzzle of her current predicament.
Overall, this novel was both solid and satisfying.
Unlike some flash-in-the-pan, too-quick-to-market thrillers, Sometimes I Lie was authentically well-written.
As I read, Feeney’s words washed over me, submerging me in Amber’s world and increasing the degree to which figuring out the driving mystery seemed absolutely essential.
It also contained an element that I would argue — have argued — is requisite to all contemporary thrillers.
A whole-fucking-slew of plot twists that will leave you like:
If you’re a twist-loving reader, this book will absolutely provide you what you seek.
This novel containing confoundingly complex twists and turns — to the point where, as I was reading, I got authentically confused.
Granted, I was three glasses of wine into the evening, so would I have been confused stone-cold sober?
What I’m saying is, if you’re going to dive into this one:
The question remains, however, were these twists well-executed?
Well, that answer is a little more complicated.
In my opinion, the beauty of a really good twist rests in its believability and its simplicity.
And I’m not entirely sure that this twist was believable. Or simple.
Let me explain.
*SPOILER ALERT - DON’T READ THIS IF YOU PLAN ON READING THIS NOVEL*
As the novel progresses, we learn not just about Amber, but also about her sister Claire. At the start of the book, we are lead to believe that Claire is the good child. The one who followed the righteous path. Basically, the antithesis of Amber.
As we read, however, we discovered that some of the thoughts and experiences that were implied to be Amber’s actually belong to Claire.
Also, Claire isn’t actually Amber’s biological sister, but instead a girl that Amber met — maybe even, saved — when she was in elementary school.
So, basically, Claire is broken AF.
But, so is Amber.
Which raises the question:
Would these two profoundly broken people have found each other?
I mean, I guess if we consider that, apparently, six people in every group of ten are big fucking liars, I guess it’s a possibility.
Even if we do believe that, because the universe works in mysterious ways, this twist is possible, we still have to consider its simplicity.
And it’s, inarguably, not simple.
However, oddly, despite these potential faults, I can’t say that it wasn’t satisfying. Nor can I say that I haven’t thought of the book multiple times since finishing it. Which really says something.
I think my mind has returned to this book post-reading for a number of reasons. But, most significantly, because of the inconclusivity of the conclusion.
The thing is, when you establish that your protagonist is a big fucking liar, it becomes almost impossible to truly close the book.
When I got to the end of the book, what I sought was a resolution.
What I got were more questions.
What parts of the things the narrator had said were true?
Could any of it be trusted?
Did the ending that was described even really happen?
Did any of it even happen, or is this some ending-of-St-Elsewhere level mind-fuck?
Honestly, I’m not even sure whether the continued existences of these unanswered questions is a strength or a weakness of the book — it’s just a truth.
And, because of these questions.
And because my mind keeps returning to this book.
And because I need someone to read it and talk about it with me.
I would absolutely have to recommend this book.
It gets 4 out of 5 cocktails.
It seems like I’m reading one wonderful book after another lately. Will the next be a winner? See what’s next on my TBR, here.
What’s the most satisfying plot twist you’ve ever encountered? Tell me about it in the comments, below.