Review: Tell Me No Lies by Adele Griffin

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I’m so excited to be part of the “Tell Me No Lies” blog tour! Thank you to The Fantastic Flying Book Club for giving me the chance.


Lizzy Swift is a senior in high school, emerging from her nerd chrysalis to become a social butterfly. She starts dating popular Matt Ashley, whom she’s been pining for since freshman year. She’s delighted when rebellious new girl Claire Reynolds introduces her to Center City Philadelphia—clubs, street life, and the eye-opening art scene. As Lizzy begins to question her own long-held dreams, the changes in her life mirror the upheaval of a decade marked by a drug epidemic and the AIDS crisis. She’s no longer sure of her Ivy League ambition. While she has a special connection with Matt, something’s missing. And Claire carries around a mysterious sadness and talks about a breakup so bad she changed schools—but she won’t tell the whole story. Lizzy wants Claire to confide in her, even as she keeps her own embarrassing secrets. Before too long, the heady thrill of her new life starts to crumble under insecurities and deceptions.  When the truth emerges from the wreckage, will it be too late for Lizzy, Claire, and Matt to save their love and friendships?

First and foremost, Lizzy is a realistic character. She’s understandably studious and overachieving but still very much average. She’s not a prodigy or a drop out. By making her a relatively common and normal person, the issues that are brought up in this novel become much more meaningful in the bigger picture. The rest of the characters follow the same suit (except for maybe Claire). The supporting characters are as fleshed out as the need to be, not to brief but not so in depth that it takes away from the central plot. When Claire was first introduced I was afraid that she was going to be another Manic Pixie Dream Girl trope, but the author managed to make her eccentric but still give her enough depth so that we can sympathize with her.

The plot is very fast paced but it keeps you engaged. This isn’t necessarily the type of book that you pick up and finish in a day, but it is definitely the kind you think about weeks after reading it. A lot of the sensitive subject matter is handled expertly but not unrealistically. It’s interesting to see how situations pan out and how characters develop. The time period is also significant to the novel, but the novel doesn’t revolve around it like you see in most fiction that takes place in the past.

Final Thoughts: Definitely read if you’re into YA contemporaries that are a little more on the serious side!





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Want a chance to win a copy? Well we have a giveaway (US only)! Here’s the link!

About The Author

Adele Griffin is the highly acclaimed author of almost thirty books for Young Adult and middle grade readers.

Her works include the National Book Award Finalists Sons of Liberty and Where I Want to Be, as well as the popular Oodlethunks series for younger readers. The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone was a YALSA Best Book of 2015, an Amazon Best YA Book of the Year, a Booklist Top Ten Arts Books for Youth, a Junior Library Guild selection, a Romantic Times Finalist for Book of the Year, and a School Library Journal Top Fiction pick. Her latest novel Tell Me No Lies is publishing in June 2018 with Algonquin Books.

Adele serves on the Board of Directors of the MacDowell Colony, and is on the advisory board of 826NYC. She lives with her husband, Erich, their two young children, and their dog, Edith, in Brooklyn, New York.


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