Name: Seven Ways We Lie
Author: Riley Redgate
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Rating: 4.25 stars
Seven Ways We Lie by Riley Redgate is a young adult contemporary set in a high school following the lives of seven students in their junior years, each of them embodying one of the seven deadly sins as major parts of their personalities. The story is told in seven different points of view, which Redgate manages to pull off brilliantly, each character being given a very distinct, clear voice.
Olivia was constantly judged for sleeping with multiple boys. Her sister, Kat became a recluse after their mother left them, isolating herself from everything except video games. Olivia’s best friend, Juniper resorts to alcoholism to escape from her “perfect” life. Matt tries to come to terms with the fact that he lives in a broken home. Lucas is bullied because of his sexuality. Valentine doesn’t understand his peers and thinks of himself as different. Claire is painfully insecure, cutting her closest friends off because of her envy.
The book is so realistic after every other cliché contemporary – the issues dealt with in this book are genuine, relatable problems that require dealing with like alcoholism, drug usage, sexuality, etc. There isn’t any petty drama like in every other high school story. Romance plays a very minor role in the story which is refreshing. This is the first book I’ve read that has a pansexual character, which is awesome! Despite dealing with such heavy issues, the tone of the book remains light and funny, even, which I thought was an incredible feat!
The writing of this book is stunning. Each character has a distinct voice: Olivia is snarky and sarcastic, Lucas is soft and sweet, Matt is frustrated, Juniper is afraid, Kat is angry, Valentine is confused and Claire is jealous. Juniper’s chapters were written in a poetic way, which didn’t bother me, but felt unnecessary. Other than that, all the characters were very real and relatable; Claire, in particular, because it’s natural to envy people you know and do things on impulse, which you immediately regret. All of their stories intertwine beautifully. I liked how everything was resolved by the end but I felt like towards the end, everything happened too soon, they realised their problems and how to fix them very suddenly which isn’t always the case in real life.
This is a beautiful debut novel with a cast of very real characters and I’m looking forward to reading more by Riley Redgate. Highly recommend to anyone who wants a short, light, quick contemporary read!
I was given a copy of this book by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.