If you enjoy reading about destructive and toxic relationships and like yelling, “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!” at fictional characters—I have your next read.
TELL ME LIES by Carola Lovering is a compulsively readable drama that feels almost uncomfortably realistic.
The 411: Lucy Albright is far from her Long Island upbringing when she arrives on the campus of her small California college, and happy to be hundreds of miles from her mother, whom she’s never forgiven for an act of betrayal in her early teen years. Quickly grasping at her fresh start, Lucy embraces college life and all it has to offer—new friends, wild parties, stimulating classes. And then she meets Stephen DeMarco. Charming. Attractive. Complicated. Devastating.
Confident and cocksure, Stephen sees something in Lucy that no one else has, and she’s quickly seduced by this vision of herself, and the sense of possibility that his attention brings her. Meanwhile, Stephen is determined to forget an incident buried in his past that, if exposed, could ruin him, and his single-minded drive for success extends to winning, and keeping, Lucy’s heart.
Lucy knows there’s something about Stephen that isn’t to be trusted. Stephen knows Lucy can’t tear herself away. And their addicting entanglement will have consequences they never could have imagined.
So, warning: You’re going to get mad. Stephen and Lucy aren’t particularly likable characters by themselves, let alone together, and their decisions are even more frustrating. They’re clearly horrible for each other and the fact that they keep returning to each other had me at the end of my rope. But after sitting with this book a while, Stephen and Lucy’s actions aren’t just plausible—they feel completely accurate of a dependent relationship.
You know that saying, “The real world is ugly”? Well, TELL ME LIES is ugly. In the best way. You’re not going to come out the other side of this book and feel good. But you will have a better understanding of why people stay in their safe little boxes even when they know something isn’t healthy for them. There are millions of Lucys and Stephens out there. And their stories aren’t the most romantic, but are necessary to tell.
MY RATING: ✰✰✰
RECOMMENDED READING: What Girls Are Made Of by Alana K. Arnold
**CONTENT WARNING: Lucy struggles with weight issues and there are some fairly detailed descriptions regarding her body and food.
Thank you Atria for my galley and including me on the blog tour. Tell Me Lies is available now.