Saturday, December 20, 2014

Review ~ Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley

Genre: YA historical fiction
Pages: 384
Publication Date: September 30th, 2014
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Goodreads Description: 
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.

Source: I received an e-arc of this book in exchange for an honest review. I also won a physical ARC, which is the copy I read.

I loved this book! Lies We Tell Ourselves was a powerful, moving YA novel about taking control of your life and realizing you're the only one who can make your decision. The two protagonists--Sarah and Linda--both channeled their strength and saw remarkable growth by the conclusion. The girls' journey made for an important and remarkable read. This novel has the ability to deeply affect its reader and I highly recommend it to everyone!

Linda was such an unlikable character at first. I hated her thoughts! She didn't realize how racist her beliefs actually were. However, she grew SO MUCH. She eventually started thinking for herself, and when that happened, she became a much better person.

Sarah showed strength throughout the novel--she had to, considering the situation she was in. Like Linda, Sarah grew a lot. She embraced herself, the person she truly is, which wasn't an easy thing for her to do. Also, she was a great sister. I really liked that.

Ruth (Sarah's sister) was a smaller character, but I was proud of her actions in the end of the book. I kind of wish there was a novella or a second novel to focus on her. She was a great addition to the story!

The subject of Lies We Tell Ourselves wasn't an easy one. I got so angry with the characters! I disagreed with pretty much everything the white people were saying about blacks, so this book wasn't an easy one for me to read. The author didn't hold back, though, or try to sugar coat anything. I appreciated that.

Overall, Lies We Tell Ourselves was an incredible and important novel. More books like it--ones set during the civil rights movement and focusing on large issues between races--should definitely be widely publicized and put into the hands of a lot of people. It features important elements of history and tells a powerful story that anyone can learn from. It's well worth reading!

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