Release date: June 12, 2018
Genre: Contemporary Romance
A thrilling, sexy coming-of-age story exploring toxic love, ruthless ambition, and shocking betrayal, Tell Me Lies is about that one person who still haunts you—the other one. The wrong one. The one you couldn’t let go of. The one you’ll never forget.
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.
Alternating between Lucy’s and Stephen’s voices, Tell Me Lies follows their connection through college and post-college life in New York City. Deep down, Lucy knows she has to acknowledge the truth about Stephen. But before she can free herself from this addicting entanglement, she must confront and heal her relationship with her mother—or risk losing herself in a delusion about what it truly means to love.
With the psychological insight and biting wit of Luckiest Girl Alive, and the yearning ambitions and desires of Sweetbitter, this keenly intelligent and staggeringly resonant novel chronicles the exhilaration and dilemmas of young adulthood, and the difficulty of letting go, even when you know you should.
Tell Me Lies is not your typical romance novel, not even close. It’s an intense exploration of a twisted relationship between two people who have no business being together. Reading it is like watching a car accident, it’s sickening, devastating and makes you feel gross even looking at it but you CANNOT help but stare.
This is told from both Lucy and Stephen’s viewpoints and starts in 2017 then switches back to 2010 and works it’s way forward until the timelines merge. This was a super compulsive read for me and it’s because it was so relatable it was almost uncomfortable. I feel like anyone who has dated the wrong person could relate to this one, especially if you’ve found yourself in a toxic relationship, it’s hits close to home especially as Lovering has created these characters whose anxieties, fears and issues are so easy to understand. Stephen is a total nightmare, a real prick and seeing his lack of emotion or care for others feelings was no less interesting for me than seeing inside the mind of a serial killer. Lucy, oh broken little Lucy frustrated me to no end because you just want her to stop obsessing, realize her self worth and never speak to Stephen again, but I couldn’t get mad at her because I’ve been her. For a book where not much happens besides these two having an on and off again relationship I was wholeheartedly invested and surprisingly hooked.
Read this if you want a realistic “romance” with manipulation, deception, betrayal and too many lies to count. Don’t pick this one up if you want a feel good romance, despite it’s pretty little cover the inside is dark as hell.
Tell Me Lies in three words: Twisted, Dark and Obsessive.
Overall rating: 4.5/5
Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.