Tell Me Lies by Carola Lovering: A Review

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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.

I won Tell Me Lies in a Goodreads Giveaway.  Thank you Atria and Simon & Schuster for sending me an early copy to read!

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. 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.

This is the kind of book that is meant to be a blaring example of what not to pursue in your life.  Tell Me Lies is the absolute PERFECT depiction of an extremely toxic and unhealthy relationship.  To be honest, I would love to mandate that every college across America should make this required reading for all incoming female freshman.  Ladies.  This is the sort of guy you NEED to avoid.  Ladies.  This is not a normal situation.  Ladies.  Never fall for this bullshit excuse of a guy.

I finished this about a month ago.  This book need to sit and simmer.  Then I completely forgot that I had started this draft and now I am getting to it.  C’lest vie people.  C’lest vie.  Writing reviews can be daunting and exhausting.  I love it.  I truly do but I tend to fall in the spectrum of procrastinator…

Let’s not get too off track here.  Reading this book made me so FRUSTRATED.  While I cannot speak to having experienced an unhealthy relationship like Lucy and Stephen, I can attest to seeing it as an outsider; not to mention having seen every Lifetime movie in the Nineties and early 2000s.  Ugh Lucy…sweetie…WHY?  I cannot tell you how many times I had to put this book down because I just could not longer bear “witness” Lucy’s naivety nor could I stand to hear one more undeserved excuse for Stephen’s asshole behavior.

The best aspect of this book is that Lucy and Stephen are alternating narrators.  The alternating viewpoints is what makes this such an honest depiction.  As a reader, insight is given into what makes Stephen the way he is.  We see that he does not think like other other people.  We see that he has pretty much always been the way he is.  We also get to see how Lucy was easy “prey” for the predator behavior of Stephen.  I find the comparison of prey and predator to be extremely relevant.  Others may see it as harsh but I find it wholly appropriate.  There is no other way to put it as Stephen drags Lucy along for nearly five whole years.  He constantly gets her hopes up for the relationship to progress to the next level.  He swears there is no one else when there really is.  He does not give one iota of shit for her feelings.  He is 100% a narcissistic douchebag.

Now do not think that I am male bashing. Lucy is just as responsible for the unhealthy nature of their messed up relationship.  She keeps going back for more despite her friends not approving the relationship.  She is fully aware of this because she hides the fact that they are “back together”at one point.  She allows herself to free fall into an eating disorder because he loves her body so much.  In order to please him and keep him coming back she chooses to sacrifice her health.  She allows herself to become addicted despite being treated like yesterday’s trash.  I do not feel bad for what she goes through because she truly is fully aware that he is a huge dick.

So.  After all that you are probably wondering….does Lucy come to her senses?  That you will have to learn for yourself.

Tell Me Lies by Carola Lovering is out now.  Buy a copy.  Visit your library.  Download it off Audible.  Just be ready to internally scream at the stupidity of the characters!

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