TITLE: Lies We Tell Ourselves
AUTHOR: Robin Talley
PUBLISHER: MIRA Ink
GENRE: Young Adult, Romance, Historical Fiction, LGBT
RATING: 5/5 Stars
Lie #1: I'm not afraid
Lie #2: I'm sure I'm doing the right thing
Lie #3: I don't care what they think of me
It’s 1959. The battle for civil rights is raging. And it’s Sarah’s first day of school as one of the first black students at previously all-white Jefferson High.
No one wants Sarah there. Not the Governor. Not the teachers. And certainly not the students – especially Linda, daughter of the town’s most ardent segregationist.
Sarah and Linda are supposed to despise each other. But the more time they spend together, the less their differences matter. And both girls start to feel something they’ve never felt before. Something they’re determined to ignore.
What I Liked:
- This story is so well-researched, and that's probably my favourite thing about it. I have never really found time to think about the transition between segregation and integration. Reading the first couple of chapters of this book was harrowing, because it made me realise just how little I had considered when it came to changing everything. Talley had really looked into what went on in the time period, as well as other detail's such as clothing, lifestyle and speech. It made envisioning this era all the easier.
- The diverse characters in this story were amazingly written, and I was so happy to see some intersectionality because it's so hard to find (which is ridiculous). Sarah's perspective felt well-researched and believable. She was a strong character with a good moral compass. Linda was really well-written too. Her confused outlook on whether her prejudiced views are right was interesting, and I liked the debates between her and Sarah as their feelings for each other grew.
What I Disliked:
- I wouldn't say there's anything I particularly disliked about this book. People have criticised this book for an overly 'happy' ending but to me it felt more hopeful than anything. Racism wasn't vanquished and neither was homophobia, so it's not really happy.
This book was hauntingly beautiful and blew me away on so many levels. I loved it! I can definitely see why it received so much attention and I'm really happy that I finally read it. I loved the historical accuracy, the well-developed characters, the fact that it made me cry on more than one occasion. It's beautiful, and a book that I seriously think that every person should read to truly understand the real American history that people try so hard to cover up.