Rachel's Reviews > The Secret to Lying

The Secret to Lying by Todd Mitchell
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's review
Nov 09, 2011

really liked it
Read from November 03 to 09, 2011

** spoiler alert ** This hit close to home for me, which made it uncomfortable to read at times but always compelling. I identify with the struggle to reinvent myself as a teenager and with the alienation from parents, administrators, and peers. Twenty years on, I can laugh at some of my more outrageous shenanigans or outright lies and still reel with guilt from the memories of others.

I also wonder whether my life would be very different if I had stronger mental health support in high school, or whether my own path was just as valid a way through that messy upheaval. I like the use of "katabasis" for that journey. I am not sure that a proper psychiatric diagnosis would have been something I could handle at 16 or would just have been something else to rebel against. I do wish that therapy was more widely understood, available, and "normal" - maybe something we all could try as young adults whether or not we are in acute distress.

I do know that like James I came to highly value the community of my peers and teachers, even those I did not know well, and reading about this parallel experience to my own has strengthened that value.

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