Book Review: Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley

15828079Title: Lies We Tell Ourselves
Author: Robin Talley
Publisher: HarlequinTeen
Release Date: September 30th, 2014
Pages: 384
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher/BEA
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Historical Fiction

In 1959 Virginia, the lives of two girls on opposite sides of the battle for civil rights will be changed forever.

Sarah Dunbar is one of the first black students to attend the previously all-white Jefferson High School. An honors student at her old school, she is put into remedial classes, spit on and tormented daily.

Linda Hairston is the daughter of one of the town’s most vocal opponents of school integration. She has been taught all her life that the races should be kept “separate but equal.”

Forced to work together on a school project, Sarah and Linda must confront harsh truths about race, power and how they really feel about one another.

Boldly realistic and emotionally compelling, Lies We Tell Ourselves is a brave and stunning novel about finding truth amid the lies, and finding your voice even when others are determined to silence it.
This was my first historical fiction story and I loved it! It was amazing, heartbreaking and inspirational. I am not sure how to properly write a review that would do justice to the story because it is truly indescribable. There are books that are hard for me to read and this is definitely one of them. The reason is that I mostly read to escape reality, but this one is so close to reality and a crude one to live in. I was hooked from page one and found myself so immersed in the story. This book was really hard to put down simply because it is that good.

I dont want to say much about the plot because I don't like giving spoilers, but this story is a web of “strong issues”, mainly racism. It also deals with women's rights and sexism. This is the story about a black girl who is attending to an all-white school. She is tormented, bullied and abused (physically and verbally) everyday just because the color of her skin. But Sarah has a secret: she is attracted to women. She happens to fall in love with Linda, a white girl and also the daughter of one of the town’s most vocal opponents of school integration.

Overall, this book made me think about a lot of things that happened in the past. It made me see that not everyone was as lucky as we are today to live in a society where we get to make our own choices. It was really sad to see how cruel humanity can be. How close minded humanity was and still is today. This is a gut-wrenching story that I feel that every person should read at some point. It made cry, it made angry, it made sad and it made me smile, but at the end, it was all well worth it. Grab your copy as soon as it goes on sale! 



  1. Great review Dai! I've been meaning to read this one since BEA and I might just have to pick it up next :)


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