i received a copy of the lies we tell from bloomsbury au in exchange for an honest review.
the lies we tell review
i haven’t read another book by this author before. as far as ‘this is my first book by this author’ goes, it was a decent read. i enjoyed the book, although some aspects fell a little short.
the most important thing about this book is how it tackles important issues regarding racism towards chinese americans (and i suppose all asian people in the united states). there is definitely a large amount of crime against asian people in the usa. katie zhao uses her book to bring this to the readers attention. it’s an important topic, and the author explores it well.
the lies we tell is set at university, and follows anna as she starts her studies (and investigation into the murder of her childhood babysitter). i really enjoyed this setting. i think university gave anna the freedom to do what she wanted while still having the security of having her family nearby.
the writing style doesn’t really suit the book. i found it was written more as a lower level young adult book, whereas the setting was more new adult. while i didn’t really mind that too much (i mean, i read middle grade, it really isn’t an issue), some other readers might pick it up expecting something more mature due to the university setting.
as someone who loves a good murder mystery, i was really excited to pick this one up. the plot is fast paced and exciting. the mystery itself wasn’t mind blowing (i guessed the plot twist very early on – but i didn’t mind that too much).
even though i still enjoyed it, i don’t think mystery is katie zhao’s strongest point. i enjoyed that she took the time to explore racism and prejudice towards asian americans. i feel like she would make a great contemporary author while still focusing on these issues.
and lastly, the romance. normally i hate it. i’m not a big fan, and that’s just me. this book has some, but it’s such a small amount that i actually didn’t mind it. the romance didn’t interfere or take away from the plot. it wasn’t in-your-face-porn. it was the perfect amount.
i’ve seen a lot of low rating for this book, but i think if you go into it not expecting a good murder mystery and instead looking for good asian american (this book focuses on chinese americans), then you’ll really enjoy it. if you’re looking for a mystery that’ll blow your mind, i don’t think this one’s for you.