"Lie to Me" by Kaitlin Ward
Updated: Dec 2, 2019
" Ever since Amelia woke up in the hospital, she's been suspicious. Her friends, family, and doctors insist her near-fatal fall was an accident, but Amelia is sure she remembers being pushed. Then another girl is found nearby - - - one who fell but didn't survive. Amelia's fears suddenly feel very real, and with the help of her new boyfriend, Liam, she tries to investigate her own horrific ordeal. But what is she looking for, exactly? And how can she tell who's trustworthy and who might be- - - must be lying to her? The closer Amelia gets to the truth, the more terrifying her once-orderly, safe world becomes. She's determined to know what happened, but if she doesn't act fast, her next accident might be her last. "
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Drowning is one of the top fears in the world, and it's also one of the top ways to cover up a murder. In Lie to Me, Ward's fourth YA novel, she uses drowning as the basis of the story. Yet, this book fell very short in the thriller/mystery genre: Ward gives away too many hints at the beginning of the book, that most readers will have the murderer figured out by chapter 7; she also focuses too much on romance, something that should have caused this story to be filed under a different category other than mystery/thriller. But luckily she didn't bring in a wide circle of characters to cause confusion, using only one view point from the main character of Lie to Me: Amelia- - - a teen girl who believes she was pushed down a ravine to be left for dead in the raging water below.
Besides her 'accident,' Amelia leads a normal life with her mother, father and brother, Hunter - - - she also has a small group of friends. After her 'fall,' a body of a teen girl from the same town is found in a nearby river, but the town gossips, and makes it seem that this girl committed suicide, leaving Amelia worried that her family would think the same thing about her. Depression is something that Amelia's family has had to deal with before, but the talk of depression is candid and not very enlightening; her brother, Hunter, who is in therapy for such doesn't even talk about it, instead he's usually seen playing soccer or Fortnite, this seems to be a broad attempt to bring mental health into the story,but without going into that subject, it failed as a story line. Yet, one of the main causes of depression today is social media, which we find Amelia stalking one of her best friends/love interest on- - -if Ward was trying to reach the YA community about depression, she went the wrong way about it.
Another mistake that Ward made was when Amelia receives an anonymous text message from someone telling her to 'Just let it go,Amelia,' this occurs after she has started investigating whether her 'accident' was an accident. Amelia tells us that she is always suspicious of everyone, but when this text message comes around, it's as if she could care less. She even tries to take the anonymous message as advice: " 'Or it's advice.' I feel backed into a corner. It's one thing to believe someone hurt me and another thing to have proof of it. I don't want this to be proof. 'I mean, Sky's always telling me I should let my life get back to normal, and she doesn't even know I'm thinking any of this. Maybe someone else feels that way,too.' " In reality, if you believed that someone attempted to murder you, and suddenly you are receiving a cryptic message about letting it go, wouldn't the logic thing to do is go to the police?? Amelia doesn't!
Ward has written three other YA novels, 'Lie to Me' being her fourth. The writing in this story is bad in some places, for example, a scene with Amelia and her best friend, Sky, meeting up at the 'screen' (technically a giant drive-in movie theater screen); Amelia thinks about how this town is a haven for her, that everyone feels safe, but the very next paragraph, she's stating she doesn't feel safe anymore. This makes sense if you haven't read it, but the way it's written could have been in a much better and concise way. This and most scenes makes the story read like a sloppy diary entry. That, and the killer being predictable so early on in the story made me very disappointed with this book. 'Lie to Me' had great potential from the synopsis, but it lacked story, mystery, suspense and diverse characters.
I can't recommend this book to people who love horror stories, like I do. I think the only ones who would enjoy this story are the die-hard YA fans. It has everything that YA is known for: romance and teen drama, but it's lacking in everything else. Other than that, I don't think I'll read another book by Ward, but as far as Point horror books go, I will still give them a shot.