Monday, 8 February 2016

Seven Ways We Lie by Riley Redgate // I was totally knocked off my feet

Ttile: Seven Ways We Lie
Author: Riley Redgate
Genre: Contemporary
Warnings: drug use, teacher/student relationship
Rating: 4.5 stars
Goodreads Review | Book Depository

Read as part of the Diverse Reads Book Challenge and the LGBTQIA Reading ChallengeAn ebook copy of this book was provided to me via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I can rarely tolerate contemporaries, so I don't know what possessed me to request this ARC when I saw it floating among the books on Netgalley. Perhaps it was the intriguing undertone that comes with the topic of the seven deadly sins. Perhaps it was becasue of the promise of a pansexual protagonist. Whatever ethereal being entered my body to cause me to make such an obscure decision, I do not have a single regret about reading this book.

At Paloma High, everyone has their secrets. But when the scandal of a student/teacher relationship is reported, nothing stays hidden for long.

The story is told from the perspectives of 7 teenagers who each represent a deadly sin. All of them are flawed, but it's just that which made all of their voices sound so genuine. There's:
  • Olivia, who is struggling to keep her family together whilst dealing with peer criticism for her sexual choices.
  • Kat, her thespian sister who struggles with her anger.
  • Matt, who is having family problems and has a huge crush on Olivia.
  • Juniper, who can never do any wrong.
  • Claire, a jealous teen who compares herself to everyone.
  • Lucas, the eternal optimist (also the nicest drug dealer ever).
  • And Valentine, an awkward kid who ends up in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Each of these characters gives a new layer to this story and Redgate tackles all of their individual issues incredibly well. The student/teacher relationship was not glorified and was simply one strand of a patchwork quilt of stories. Not once did the number of characters get overwhelming as they were all original, and jumping between their minds didn't feel choppy like I expected it too.

The writing was crafted very well to create a book that was sad, funny and meaningful all wrapped in one. If you spot Seven Ways We Lie in the upcoming weeks, I recommend you pick it up and give it a chance. Who knows? Perhaps you'll be pleasantly surprised.

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