BookBrowse Reviews Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney

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Sometimes I Lie

by Alice Feeney

Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney X
Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney
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    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Mar 2018, 272 pages
    Paperback:
    Oct 2018, 288 pages

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This brilliant psychological thriller asks: Is something really a lie if you believe it's the truth?

Alice Feeney's debut novel, Sometimes I Lie, received four or five stars by all but three of the 44 First Impression reviewers who submitted reviews, for an overall 4.4 average.

What it's about:
Sometimes I Lie begins with a bang. The narrator tells us: "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; and 3. Sometimes I lie." Told in three different time periods, debut author Alice Feeney does a masterful job of stringing the audience along: Amber's story of "Now," as she experiences her present coma and all the visitors to her hospital room; her story of the previous week prior to the car accident that precipitates the coma ("Then"); and diary entries from a long-ago childhood "Before" (Laurie M).

Our readers had great things to say about the novel:
Hold onto your black, twisted, psychological thriller hat - this book is a doozy! (Laurie M). If I had only one word I could use to describe this novel it would be 'wow'. It drew me in from the first chapter and I couldn't stop reading until I was finished (Loren B). This is one of the most unusual books I have read in a long time, maybe ever. The twists and turns of the story are mind-bending (Marsha S). I haven't been this affected by a book's ending in a long, long time (Diana C).

Several mentioned the author's writing as a highlight:
Brilliantly crafted prose and deeply flawed characters only serve to make this story all the more disturbing (Diana C). Alice Feeney is a poetic writer with verses that flow one into another (Laurie W).

Almost all agree that Sometimes I Lie is suspenseful:
To call this book a psychological thriller doesn't begin to do it justice. There is so much to untangle in this story (Diana C). The first two pages had my palms sweating, my heart racing, and I was actually panting (Barbara B). There were times I had to stop for a moment because the characters and revelations and scenes described were so intense (Loren B). The incredible twists and sense of danger filled the chapters with psychological suspense; I almost held my breath until the very last page (Lil C). Nothing prepared me for how wonderfully twisted and suspenseful this book was (Barbara B).

It also kept people speculating right up to the end:
As an avid reader of mysteries and suspense I almost always see the ending coming a mile away but was very pleased that this book kept me guessing all the way through to the shocking conclusion (Shaun D). I couldn't figure out exactly what was going on. A number of times I thought I had, only to be thrown for a loop by the next chapter (Laurie W). The red herrings along the roadside are thick and plentiful, and you will find yourself crashing against them throughout the pages of this short, crisp, well-told thriller (Laurie M).

Comparisons
Feeney's intriguing first novel enters the realm of the psychological mystery so well done by B.A Paris and Gillian Flynn (Susan B). It is very much in the genre of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train, and every bit as good as either, perhaps even better (Jennifer H).

A few found fault:
I enjoyed Sometimes I Lie very much although I did find the narrative to be a bit uneven at times. The middle occasionally lagged which felt out of step with the fast pace of the beginning and the ending (Shaun D). The book held my attention but towards the end I felt the author introduced one too many twists, leaving me annoyed. Definitely a story you need to read in one weekend, otherwise it's too confusing to keep everyone's lies straight (Michele N). The characters and the story didn't live up to their early promise; every one of them was unlikable (Elizabeth V).

However, most found much to recommend:
If you enjoy suspense and intrigue, this is the book for you! (Leslie W). Sometimes I Lie will creep under your skin and not let go. A must-read book of the year! (Laurie W). I will definitely suggest this for my book club as I think it will generate a lengthy discussion (Wanda T).

This review was originally published in The BookBrowse Review in March 2018, and has been updated for the October 2018 edition. Click here to go to this issue.

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