Author: Alice Feeney
Publication Date: March 13, 2018
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️✨ (4.5 stars)
My name is Amber Reynolds. There are three things you should know about me:
1. I’m in a coma.
2. My husband doesn’t love me anymore.
3. Sometimes I lie.
Amber wakes up in a hospital. She can’t move. She can’t speak. She can’t open her eyes. She can hear everyone around her, but they have no idea. Amber doesn’t remember what happened, but she has a suspicion her husband had something to do with it. Alternating between her paralyzed present, the week before her accident, and a series of childhood diaries from twenty years ago, this brilliant psychological thriller asks: Is something really a lie if you believe it’s the truth?
We are all just ghosts of the people we hoped that we were and counterfeit replicas of the people we wanted to be.
Every time I thought I knew what was happening in this book, the rug would get yanked out from under me.
Sometimes I Lie is a spectacular debut novel from Alice Feeney that manages to pack everything I love about a good psychological thriller into under 300 pages. I felt like I’d stepped off a roller coaster after reading that final page.
Amber Reynolds is a fascinating character who puts a unique spin on the unreliable narrator trope: she’s unreliable because she’s trapped inside her own comatose body, and the memory of the events that put her there hover just out of her foggy mind’s reach. Feeney is a master of words, and she effortlessly blends together Amber’s reality and dreams, pieced together from memory and subconscious fears. It’s easy to feel just as helpless and off-kilter as our narrator.
The narrative is split between Amber in the hospital now, the unfolding of the days leading up to the accident, and diaries that offer insight into formative events in her childhood. Each short chapter packs a punch, often leaving you reeling as you’re yanked out of one timeline and inserted back into another. Every time I felt like I was on the verge of unlocking one mystery, something would happen to provoke even more questions. I loved it.
Sometimes I Lie is such a fun read that kept me guessing all the way to the end, and I’m still impressed that it’s only Feeney’s debut novel. I’ll be eagerly awaiting her next books! Definitely check this one out if you want a twisty tale that expertly blends the line between truth and lies.