Published by: Harlequin Teen
Published on: January 26, 2016 (first published September 30, 2014)
Genre: Historical Fiction
This book has been on my shelf for a while know and I don’t know why I haven’t picked it up sooner. I am kicking myself for not reading this sooner because it was so good and ended up loving it. I am surprised that I haven’t heard more about this book in the book community on blogs or booktube.
Lies We Tell Ourselves is about the desegregation of schools in 1959 Virginia. This story is told from two perspectives Sarah Dunbar and Linda Hairston. Sarah will be one of the first black students to attend Jefferson High and Linda has been taught that races should be kept separated. We follow their stories as they experience this historical change.
This is a deeply moving story and brought out so many different emotions in me. The first chapter was difficult to read and just made me sick to my stomach at the hate that people had for these kids. Even grown adults showing so much hate for innocent kids just because of the colour of their skin. It would just make me so angry in parts of this book.
I liked how this story was told, it is told from both Sarah and Linda’s point of view but not in alternating chapters like I am used to reading. Part one is told in Sarah perspective and Part two is told though the eyes of Linda, only at the end in Part five do the perspectives alternate by chapter. I also liked how each chapter started out with a lie that the character would tell themselves to get through the day.
I loved Sarah as a character she is strong-willed and protective of her younger sister, Ruth, who is also attending Jefferson High. Linda was a character that you start off not liking as much but by the end you feel for her and understand that she is just a product of her environment. Eventually, she opens her eyes and sees how wrong her father is and develops her own voice. Both Sarah and Linda showed so much growth through out this book. Their parents have expectations for them and so they go along with what their parents would like but by the end they stand up for what they believe in.
Not only does this book deal with racism it also deals with sexuality, Sarah and Linda are both lesbians and the book tells how they struggle with their feelings toward girls and each other. The relationship that develops between them is sweet and believable
I definitely think this is an important read that more people should pick up and read. Robin Talley writes a beautiful story and I highly recommend this to everyone. I especially think people who like reading historical fiction and coming of age books will enjoy this a lot. I rated this 5 stars.