Book Review: Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley



I’m back again with another book review, this
one being one I’ve had in the pipeline for quite a while now. If you read my
blog regularly, you’ll be quite aware that I love particular genres more than
others. One of these genres is, of course, Young Adult fiction. I have an
amazon prime subscription and find that often the next day delivery isn’t
entirely necessary, so I sacrifice this in favour of the free amazon kindle
credit. with this credit, I’ve bought quite a few different books, all amazing
in their own way. 

The first book I chose was the subject of this
review: The Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley. This is one
of those books that everyone seems to be talking about nowadays, particularly
considering recent events. The story focuses on a group of teenagers, although
principally follows two teenagers, and concentrated on the process of
integrating black pupils into an entirely white establishment. I have to admit;
I was incredibly sceptical about this one. it sat on my kindle, unread and
crying out for attention, for a good few months before I took the plunge and
got my head stuck into it. Once I’d started, I definitely had no chance of not
finishing it quickly. 

It’s one of those books that just makes you
feel, a book that uses its words to advise and impact upon you as a human
being. It had me grasping for every opportunity to read ‘just a few more pages’,
including during one of my less interesting Masters classes. I hesitate to use
the word ‘unputdownable’, but that word is oh-so-relevant in this particular
case as it was one that I knew I had to see through to the very end- and
quickly!

The story itself is a simple and telling one,
but the issue itself which is oh so relevant today in a world which seems to be
regressing instead of progressing at an alarming rate. The alternating
perspectives between Sarah, a black girl involved in the integration process
and Linda, the white daughter of one of the main oppositions of the process, is
particularly poignant. Of course, Talley chooses to take the story one step
further than just the already complex issue of 1950s black/white divide. I’m
doing so, she raises questions that are indeed still being addressed
today. I found myself instantly interested in and almost compelled by the
characters and their individual stories and demons. 

I rarely find myself in a situation where I want
to completely rant and rave about a book’s brilliance. For me, books are all
brilliant and compelling in their own way and it takes something incredibly
special to change my thoughts and my feelings. This book is definitely one which
has done both of those things. It’s one that I’d recommend to everyone,
something that I have already done to a number of my friends. It’s a book that
will stay with me for coming years and I am incredibly glad to have read it.

5/5


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