The Secret to Lying has an interesting premise about a young man with poor self esteem (usually reserved for the girls of YA Lit.) and his attempts at reinventing himself when he gets into a boarding school for intellectually gifted math and science students. Unfortunately, his attempts at reinventing himself become dangerous as his self-esteem sinks lower when his allegorical dreams begin to bleed into reality.
There are some great lessons about learning to be who you are and the teen voices are authentic. This said, The Secret to Lying at times seemed disjointed and predictable. The attempts at genre bending through the protagonist’s dreams ended up polluting the message, causing more of a distraction than the enhancement, I believe, they were intended to create.
However, I am probably selling The Secret to Lying short as there's certainly a market for the topic of reinventing oneself. The writer is strong enough and the idea is sound. I can’t help but wonder if a young adult might like The Secret to Lying much better than this middle-aged woman. But, I read a lot of young adult stuff and this one left me a bit unaffected.
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Genre: Realistic Fiction with bits of Fantasy thrown in through dreams
Age: Young Adult
Themes: Self-Esteem, Ethics, Self-Mutilation, Friendships
Thank You to Library Thing for my copy!
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Date: June 2010
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