Blurb: Jess Wilson remembers every single detail of every single day. She remembers the research programme that ruled her life. She remembers creating a fresh start for herself at a boarding school on Dartmoor. She remembers her roommate falling from the window. When Jess starts receiving cryptic messages she turns to new boy Dan for support and she’s forced to question her past. But when there’s so much information in your head, how do you sort the truth from the lies?
Title: The Truth About Lies
Author: Tracy Darnton
Publisher: Stripes, an imprint of Little Tiger
Genre: Fiction, YA, Thriller
This book follows Jess, a particularly interesting character with hyperthymesia, as she is dealing with the sudden death of her roommate. What begins as a seemingly tragic story of a friend battling grief turns into something much more sinister. As unexplained notes begin turning up in Jess’ room and her belonging’s are tampered with, she suddenly finds herself questioning everything and wondering if her cover is as good as she thought.
The main thing that I loved about this book is that it was really well written. I’m often put off YA books recently as I feel like some of them can be quite twee, but this one delivered a wonderful surprise. The entirety of the book is written in Jess’ point of view which linked really well with the fact that she is often trapped in her own head, by remembering everything that happens to her. It was interesting to see the character’s thought process, especially when she would justify her reasoning for omitting information to Dan (early on in the story) within the narrative. I really liked this style and as it felt more personal it was easier to form a connection to the character.
As for what I didn’t like about this book, I wanted more to the scene where Jess reunites with Dr Coleman. I knew that this meeting would be coming up towards the end of the book as all signs pointed that way. It was a good plot point (and an important event for Jess) but I had hoped for more grit in the scene. I felt that there was something missing but can’t put my finger on what. Additionally, the fact that we don’t know what happened to Dr Coleman, in the end, felt like a loose end – hopefully material for another book?
Overall, I did enjoy reading this book and I feel that it’s a perfect introduction to the world of thrillers for a younger audience. I really enjoyed the narrative from Jess who was such an interesting YA character for me and just how well written it was.
Have you read this book? What did you think? Have you read any of the books that come after this one? I’d love to know!