book review

Review: Lies We Tell Ourselves

Robin Talley - Lies We Tell Ourselves

It’s 1959. The battle for civil rights is raging. And it’s Sarah Dunbar’s first day of school, as one of the first black students at the previously all-white Jefferson High. No one wants Sarah there. Not the Governor. Not the teachers. And certainly not the students – especially Linda Hairston, daughter of the town’s most ardent segregationist. Sarah and Linda have every reason to despise each other. But as a school project forces them to spend time together, the less their differences seem to matter. And Sarah and Linda start to feel something they’ve never felt before. Something they’re both determined ignore. Because it’s one thing to be frightened by the world around you – and another thing altogether when you’re terrified of what you feel inside.

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This is a hard book to review. It’s all about racism in the late 50’s, and also about a girl fighting with herself because she has feelings for another girl. It’s very hard to explain. What I can definitely tell you though, is that it’s a really, really good book. I found it so hard to put it down, partly because of the issues it addresses, and partly because of the amazing characters that the story follows.

Actually, I think the characters were the main reason I had to keep reading. I needed to see how Sarah, the main character, would cope with the amount of abuse that she got in school and what she would decide to do with her life. I needed to know how Sarah and Linda’s relationship would develop, considering that Linda is white and very privileged. I loved getting to know these characters because they were so well-developed. Linda starts out as a very snobbish, racist character but by the time you start reading her PoV, your opinion completely changes.

Clearly, Robin Talley knows how to tell a story. The writing in this book was really good and made the book so readable. Even though such horrible things were happening, I just had to keep going with the book.

I really liked the fact that this book didn’t only discuss racism. It also went into LGBT, which is so good to see in a historical book. It was done really well in the book.

Basically, I can’t tell you enough that you should read this book. It was so good, and everybody should definitely be picking this one up.


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