Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Book review: The Lie by C.L. Taylor

"I know your name’s not really Jane Hughes . . .Jane Hughes has a loving partner, a job in an animal sanctuary and a tiny cottage in rural Wales. She’s happier than she’s ever been but her life is a lie. Jane Hughes does not really exist.Five years earlier Jane and her then best friends went on holiday but what should have been the trip of a lifetime rapidly descended into a nightmare that claimed the lives of two of the women."


The Lie is a fascinating book that I enjoyed from cover to cover -  it is a thrilling, creepy read that is one of a kindI haven't read anything similar to this before which made it exciting and unusual for me.
The story focuses on Jane and is narrated in two time frames - one five years ago on a girl's holiday with her friends and one in the present day, as she tries to form a new, quiet life, after the 'holiday of a lifetime' with her friends AJ, Leanne and Rosie ended badly. Very badly. I don't want to spoil anything about this book but lets just say the luxury, relaxing resort they stay at turns out to be anything but. 

I didn't quite know what to expect from the title or even the blurb, but the story is very immersive. A really interesting element to this story is the exploration of friendships - it doesn't cover your usual 'best friends' dynamic, there are clear alliances and differences between the friendship group that creates an uneasy atmosphere, especially on holiday. I felt this actually  provided a refreshing realistic view on real life relationships and I think most people reading this (myself included) are likely to identify with this section of the story. I don't for one second think any friendship group is perfect and usually there will be personality clashes or a fight for attention. Cally expertly brings these everyday and normal, yet unspoken, issues out in her characters and it was a actually a welcome change for the group not to be making friendship bracelets and exclaiming their love for one another but actually dealing with bitchiness and disagreements. 

There isn't a whole lot of character background covered in The Lie, it only really delves into the unsteady friendship between the girls and you don't hear a whole lot about the main characters families or other relationships they have (just a brief mention about Jane's overbearing mother and 3 amazing, can-do-no-wrong siblings). The point i'm making here is you don't NEED this other information- the story is descriptive and intricate enough without this and carries itself in a thrilling roller coaster of a novel.

If I'm being completely honest in the past sections of the story 'Jane' could be a bit whiny at times but, really, I get WHY she's like that which made it less irritating. Crap job, crap 'friends', crap love life - you would be miffed. She's not your typical heroine and that's another reason I found this a refreshing read- she's realistic and interesting and I really rooted for her the whole way through, hoping she'd get home from their holiday okay and be able to move on with her life. I also enjoyed the current time-frame of the story as it provides a snapshot as to what her life is like now and how she is dealing (or not dealing) with the past. 

This is a gripping, unique read that I devoured in one sitting. It is fast-paced and every chapter seems to end with another hook, making it impossible to put down. There's no time for a loo break or to empty the dishwasher (what a shame!)- read this when you have some spare time on your hands and don't need to move! It's a fantastic story that delves into friendship, grief and shock in a unique and clever way and I thoroughly enjoyed it. 

A BIG thank you to the publishers for allowing me to have a copy of this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 

The Lie is out tomorrow (April 23rd) you can buy it here (and I'd strongly recommend you do!) 

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