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There Will Be Lies

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In four hours, Shelby Jane Cooper will be struck by a car.

Shortly after, she and her mother will leave the hospital and set out on a winding journey toward the Grand Canyon.

All Shelby knows is that they’re running from dangers only her mother understands. And the further they travel, the more Shelby questions everything about her past—and her current reality. Forced to take advantage of the kindness of unsuspecting travelers, Shelby grapples with what’s real, what isn’t, and who she can trust . . . if anybody.

Award-winning author Nick Lake proves his skills as a master storyteller in this heart-pounding new novel. This emotionally charged thrill ride leads to a shocking ending that will have readers flipping back to the beginning.

454 pages, Hardcover

First published January 6, 2015

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About the author

Nick Lake

23 books441 followers
My name is Nick and I write and edit books for young adults. My first YA novel IN DARKNESS, was published by Bloomsbury in 2012 and won the Michael L Printz Award for Excellence in YA Literature. I also wrote a book called HOSTAGE THREE about a girl kidnapped by Somali pirates.

THERE WILL BE LIES is coming in January 15 and is about a girl who learns that everything she knows is a lie. To say it's a book with a twist in the story would be a massive understatement. There is also a talking coyote in it.

I live with my wife, daughter and son in a 16th century house in England with almost 19th century amenities. Sometimes the heating even works.

I like: reading, art, music, food containing sugar, cities at night, the countryside in the daytime, vintage furniture, modern standards of heating (see above), travelling.

I dislike: being sick, failing, being underdressed in the cold, being overdressed in the heat, the unnecessary suffering of children, being punched in the face.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 643 reviews
Profile Image for Wendy Darling.
1,543 reviews33.9k followers
February 24, 2015
Remember how I was just saying I wanted a YA thriller that would actually, you know, thrill me? Here it is.

Those who liked certain elements of Charm & Strange and Wild Awake might like this, and certainly you'll like it if you enjoy books like Dangerous Girls. Not a perfect book, but a really, really good one, so I'm bumping it up in star ratings in support. I had never heard of Nick Lake until now, but I'm definitely reading his other books! Review to come.
Profile Image for Debbie.
Author 1 book517 followers
December 22, 2014
Earlier today I finished reading a NetGalley copy of Nick Lake's There Will Be Lies. Due out in January of 2015, I do not recommend it.

The front matter for There Will be Lies includes a "Dear Reader" letter from Nick Lake. In that letter, he talks about a coyote that he saw in January of 2012:

"In January 2012 I was standing on the grounds of a hotel in Scottsdale, Arizona, looking up at the stars, when a coyote ran past me on the path. It noticed me, stopped, and stared at me, shivering.
After a while, it turned and left."

That moment stayed with him, he writes, and he knew he'd use it in his writing. He writes that, in fact, it turned into a key moment in There Will Be Lies. He goes on:

"Then came something slightly spooky, as often happens with books. You see, what I didn't know until after I'd written the first draft of the novel was that the Navajo believed that a coyote crossed your path you would be hurt, suffer an accident, or be killed."

What is up with the past tense "Navajo believed" line? What are you telling your readers? That Navajos don't exist anymore? Or that they no longer believe whatever you think they believe about coyotes? And where did that info about coyotes come from?

Lake was in Scottsdale, a very wealthy area. Maybe he asked someone? And they told him that bit about coyotes crossing your path? (I think I know the answer; it'll come later on in this review.)

There Will Be Lies is set in Scottsdale. At the end of chapter two, the protagonist--a 17 year old girl named Shelby Jane Cooper--imagines the area 500 years ago (p. 10-11):

"...before the settlers came, when the Apache and the Navajo and the Yavapai wandered the desert. Now they don't wander so much--they stick to the Yavapai Nation reservation up in the hills near Flagstaff."

Lake doesn't specify, but I'm guessing he figures his readers will fill in the gaps--that they'll know that the Apache and the Navajo have their own reservations--but I wonder if he (and his readers) know that there's actually more than one Apache Nation? There's the White Mountain Apaches, and the San Carlos Apaches, and the Jicarilla Apache's, too! All different. As for the Yavapai Nation being near Flagstaff? Nope. It is 23 miles northeast of Phoenix, and I kind think they'd be annoyed with Lake telling readers that they "stick" to their reservation. Anybody--Native or not--pretty much sticks to their neighborhoods, going elsewhere for work or school or shopping, but saying this about Native peoples... well, it is bugging me and I'm not sure why.

On page 12, Shelby says this ('she' is her mom):

"...she's twenty feet ahead of me now, passing the Apache Dreams restaurant, a low block of a building with floor-to-ceiling windows. As far as I know it serves mainly waffles, which is a weird thing for an Apache to dream about."

Why is that a weird thing for an Apache to dream about? Are we supposed to think that the restaurant itself is owned by an Apache, and that the owner dreamt about waffles and so has a waffle restaurant? Why can't an Apache like waffles? I do.

When we get to page 28, Shelby is in the local library. She goes over to the Native American section. She's never been to that part of the library before. There's a book open on a table. She sees this line:

"If Coyote crosses your path, turn back and do not continue your journey. Something terrible will happen--"

The title of the book is Navajo Ceremonial Tales. I did a quick search on that title, given my curiosity about where Lake got that information about coyote (in his Dear Reader letter). I found a book by Gerald Hausman with "Navajo Ceremonial Tales" as part of its title. Having reviewed one of his books about a Pueblo story, I did an 'oh-oh' to myself. Then I did a search on that line about coyote crossing your path, and sure enough, Hausman's name comes up, but so do a few other pages, with the exact same line, but... none of them are Navajo sites or voices. The line seems to be coming right out of Hausman's book. Hausman isn't Navajo. He isn't Native at all, but has a LOT of books about various tribes. What is that phrase... dollars to donuts that you wouldn't read any of his books in an American Indian Studies class at any university or college in the US. Maybe you would... in some kind of course in... the UK? Where Lake is from!

At the library, Shelby flirts a bit with a guy named Mark who works there. He wants to get together after his shift but Shelby can't do it. She notices he has a dog tattoo above his collarbone. Outside while waiting for her cab, she's hit by a car. While waiting for an ambulance, a coyote comes up to her. She realizes that Mark's tattoo is a coyote, not a dog. The coyote seems to speak directly into her head. It tells her that there will be "two lies" followed by "the truth."

At the hospital, Shelby wakes to learn that she has a fractured ankle and foot. They'll need to operate in the morning to reduce the displacement of the bones in her foot. There are stitches from her ankle to her toes, and she will be wearing a CAM Walker (air boot) for four weeks. (I'm noting this because I had a fractured ankle in Aug 2014 and the things that Shelby will do next don't jibe with my experience of having a fractured ankle.)

After the operation, Shelby and her mom leave the hospital. She's surprised that her mom has rented a car and that there are suitcases with their clothes in the trunk. They're going on a trip, her mother says, and then she tells Shelby that her dad isn't really dead, as she's been told all her life. He's a violent person, her mom says, who had started hurting Shelby when she was a toddler. It is why Shelby's mom left him, but he's tried to find them before, which prompted them to move from Albuquerque to Phoenix. Now, again, they're leaving, apparently because of him. As they leave Phoenix and drive north in the desert, Shelby thinks (p. 60):

"I mean, this landscape hasn't changed since the Native Americans rode their horses across it."

In a lot of places in the U.S., the landscape hasn't changed. I suppose Shelby's words reflect what she gets from television and books--Plains Indians.

Shelby and her mom stop at a campground where her mom gets friendly with a guy there named Luke. Shelby doesn't like it one bit. That night, they sit by the fire talking (p. 68):

"They talk Apache culture, which I'm surprised to find Mom knows something about. The Navajo Star Chant, whatever that is. Luke gets very excited about something to do with four sacred colors, or something."

Umm... How do we go from Apache culture to the "Navajo Star Chant"? It suggests to me, again, that Lake is mashing distinct nations together. Recall he did it earlier?

Luke is going to show them some ruins the next day. Shelby and her mom don't have a tent, so they'll sleep in their car. Shelby can't sleep though, and looks out the window. There's a coyote there, and she remembers the line from the book and thinks about Mark.

That night she has a dream where she hears a child crying. It is a recurring dream, but that crying child and "the Dreaming" (that is how it is written over and over) itself will take up a huge part of the rest of the book. I found all of that tedious. Coyote is in those dreams, as are talking elks, and wolves, and snakes... And a crone. And a castle. It is all quite hokey to me, but apparently it is being read as "drawing from Native American mythologies." My best guess? It is drawn from Hausman.

The next morning they ride with Luke to the Agua Fria National Monument. They get started on a trail. This is less than 24 hours after her operation. It doesn't make sense that she would be doing this hike. There are signs telling them the ruins (p. 80):

"...belong to the Perry Mesa culture, and date from around 1,000 CE. They predate the Apache, Yavapai or Navajo, and not much is understood about their culture."

Apache, Yavapai, Navajo... again. It is getting a bit redundant. There are a lot more Nations in the area. Why does Lake repeatedly name these three? They look at the ruins and some petroglyphs and then take a steep path down the canyon to a creek. They walk some more and find petroglyphs of elks. Luke reads from a guide book, telling her that elks were sacred to the Perry Mesa people but modern day Yavapai and Apache don't revere them.

Shelby's mom does a lot of very puzzling things that will make sense as you continue reading. Given my focus on Native content, I'm not going to get into Shelby, her mom, or other people that will come into the story.

After another two nights with Luke (at the camp and then in Flagstaff motel), Shelby and her mom take off to a cabin her mom knows about (her mom was a court stenographer and knows the cabin owner won't be there). We're on page 170 at this point (skipping over all the tedious dreaming, with coyote, and elks, and...).

When they go inside, Shelby sees some books about Native Americans on the shelf. They are Stories of the Hopi, and Navajo Firelight and The Mythology of the Major Native American Tribes. Hausman has a book called Turtle Dream: Collected Stories from the Hopi, Navajo, Pueblo, and Havasupai People. Note the word dream in the title... If I read it, would I find it as the source for Lake's constructions of Shelby's dreams?

A bit later in the book (on page 191), Shelby thinks about her dreams and decides to look over the books (p. 191):

"I see one on Apache folk tales so I take it down and go sit again, curling up, the book in my lap."

She leafs through it to a story about Coyote stealing fire from the Fire God (p. 192):

"The Fire God lived in a hogan with high walls."

Wait... A hogan? I thought she was reading a book about Apache folk tales!

All of "the Dreaming" and lies and "the truth" will resolve but I gotta say, again and again, I was rolling my eyes and uttering curse words as I read this book. The messed up Native content and the not-plausible things Shelby does so soon after fracturing her ankle... Overall, this book feels very mediocre. As noted above, I read a copy from NetGalley and presumably the author will be able to make corrections based on what people say after reading the NetGalley copy, but there's too much wrong. (NOTE: There are other problems, such as the ways that Shelby talks about her mom's weight, that I didn't like. See Pamela Penzu's review on Goodreads.)

Nick Lake's There Will Be Lies is due out in January of 2014. I do not recommend it.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
589 reviews1,031 followers
July 1, 2015

WHUUUUUT. O___________________________________O


If you don’t mind being lied to constantly, There Will Be Lies is something you must look into. I didn’t really take that title seriously until a while into the read... but yes, THERE ARE LIES, AND DECEPTION, BUT ALSO, TRUTH. I found it a little hard to get into, BUT I had so many questions surrounding Shelby and her insanely conservative mother, so that’s what kept me going. As for the twists, I never saw them going. NOT A SINGLE ONE, DAMMIT. *shakes brain* ARE YOU EVEN WORKING. It was mildly frustrating but insanely witty on the author’s part. If you want a good thriller with lots of unexpected twists… *shoves book down your throat*
Profile Image for Figgy.
678 reviews219 followers
August 21, 2015
Actual Rating 3.5

Gym Rat doesn’t say, You feel like hooking up? but he does say, You feel like hanging out? so I was close.
I shake my head as I walk past, and I see his mouth say, Bitch, silently.
So yeah, sad face. I really missed out there.

Meet Shelby Jane Cooper.

She’s snarky, loves reading and baseball, and has an overprotective mother who insists on homeschooling her, and never lets her go anywhere alone. Her weeks follow the same routine, never deviating, never surprising her.

And at the end of it, I go to bed and while I’m sleeping the stage hands of my life rebuild the set exactly the same, the layout of my room, the apartment, so that when I wake up everything is the same, repeating seamlessly.

Except… she’s just been hit by a car.

The rest of this review can be found here!
Profile Image for summer.
248 reviews300 followers
January 13, 2015
For a majority of There Will Be Lies, I was absolutely clueless. It was more of this engaged cluelessness, this burning curiosity to understand what exactly is happening.

Shelby is a 17-year-old home-schooled girl living with her extremely and inexplicably over-protective mother. She doesn't know much about her past--or much about anything, besides what her mom has deemed appropriate she learn. Their comfortable routine is smashed when Shelby is struck by a car, and a domino effect of events comes forth. Part a journey of self-discovery and part a search for the truth, Shelby is forced to question everything she has ever thought was true.

Shelby Cooper is a very well-developed character, with strength and independence and admirable sarcasm. To me she wasn't exactly likable, per se, but watching her growth throughout the book was probably one of the best parts of the narrative.

I think because not a lot of the novel is spent on character interaction, the spotlight is on Shelby's character, and the reader cannot help but know her uncannily well. She narrates this story in a very conversational tone, very teenager-esque. Maybe a bit too teenager-esque for a character who hasn't spent much time around people her age. It is a unique voice and style, though.

On to the thriller aspect. If you go into There Will Be Lies expecting an action-packed, heart-pounding type of thriller, be prepared to be disappointed. Be patient; it's a very slow building book, one that creeps up on you and catches you off guard, one that definitely proves worth it in the end. But do not worry--it did live up to its genre and did, in fact, thrill me.

My only complaint is that some things go unexplained or are ignored altogether, leaving for a plot with some loose ends and a sense of incompleteness. Yes, I do understand that life tends to work that way, and for that reason alone I'm willing to look over the minor flaw.

There Will Be Lies was so different from any other book I've read in YA, and I mean this in the most literal way. It may not sit well with readers who are looking for a more conventional book, and it may not please everyone. However, for those in the mood for a YA book that not only ignores the word "normal," but also brings a completely new meaning to the word "original," you need There Will Be Lies in your life.
Profile Image for Christina (A Reader of Fictions).
4,220 reviews1,651 followers
Shelved as 'dnf'
December 12, 2014
Pages read: 8

Yeah, I can't. This writing makes me cringe and reach for a red pen. Maybe it serves a stylistic point, but there's no way I'll be able to settle into the writing.

Here are some comma splices:

"And they know who I am, they welcome me when I log on."

"I know they could be anyone, they could be fifty-year-old creeps in their underpants, but I like talking to them."

"Mom doesn't know I even HAVE online friends, she wouldn't let me have a Facebook that's for sure, but she doesn't know that you can open a private browser window either, and then no one can see your history."

Oh wait, though, this character can use semicolons sometimes!

"I have asked a thousand times for a vacation; to go to some other place."

Incorrectly. *headdesks*
Profile Image for Kelly (Diva Booknerd).
1,106 reviews299 followers
January 18, 2015
3½ Stars
There Will Be Lies was a fusion of contemporary, Native American mythology and a thriller which despite it's issues, I found impossible to put down. Shelby has lived an incredibly sheltered life, under the guise that people are generally not to be trusted and want to take advantage of her, relying on her mother to not only home school her but also keep her free from harm. She loves her mother for being protective, but wavers between wanting more freedom and loathing her mother for not allowing her to spread her wings. She's indecisive, critical, yet is almost fearful of asking why her mother lives both of their lives in secrecy. It isn't until Shelby is hit by a car in the one outing she is allowed per week, and the suspense begins.

Throughout the storyline, Shelby experiences vivid dreams of a dying arid world, where her narrator is the only person she's ever spoken to besides her mother, Mark. He speaks in riddles and claims his dying world can only be saved by Shelby rescuing the crying child and killing the Crone that has desolated the land. The dreamscapes were frustrating, I wasn't sure if they were considered as magical realism, as aspects of the dreams crossed over into her waking world, or her subconscious and offered little information about the storyline that was occurring in Shelby's waking hours. It was the contemporary thriller aspect of the storyline that completely engulfed me, it was absolutely brilliant. A mild mannered turned psychotic mother on the run, a skeptical daughter who is beginning to question her mother's motives and a Coyote who randomly appears to issue ominous warnings that she is being lied to. My biggest issue is why would a seemingly Caucasian girl dream of Native American mythology? I can imagine it would be akin to a white Australian and the indigenous Dreaming, which I'm sure would offend native Australians.

But as many issues as I had with the dreamscape world, I simply couldn't put it down. The main storyline was phenomenal and kept me on the edge of my seat. The lies, the intrigue, the thrill of the chase as readers will demand answers and the truth. This would have been a clear favourite, if not for the seemingly misguided mythology.
Profile Image for Claire (Book Blog Bird).
1,052 reviews38 followers
July 3, 2016
This book was kind of bonkers. Good-bonkers, and I enjoyed it, but still one of the craziest books I’ve read for a while.

So the story opens with Shelby Cooper, a seventeen year old girl who lives possibly the most sheltered life with her overprotective mum. She’s homeschooled, isn’t allowed to go out alone, she rarely speaks to anyone other than her mum and her life is strictly planned with the same routines every week.

Did I say she rarely speaks to anyone other than her mum? Okay, she does sometimes speak to Mark, a boy at her local library. He’s super hot and mysterious and, when Shelby gets hit by a car right outside the library, it's no coincidence that he was on the scene.

Despite her smothery upbringing, Shelby is refreshingly (and surprisingly) well-rounded. She reads, she plays baseball (on her own, in a batting cage, which is like the saddest thing I’ve read all year) and she thinks almost entirely in sarcasm.

Gym Rat doesn’t say, You feel like hooking up? but he does say, You feel like hanging out? so I was close.
I shake my head as I walk past, and I see his mouth say, Bitch, silently.
So yeah, sad face. I really missed out there.

I really enjoyed her narration and I think the way she looked at some pretty freaky events with such side-eye made me like this book an awful lot more than I would have otherwise. Now, I’m not saying that without Shelby I wouldn’t have enjoyed There Will Be Lies at all. It was still a pretty decent read. But her narration gave it at least one extra star.

The book was a mixture of contemporary, mythology, spec fic and thriller. I say mixture rather than blend because it felt just like that: a mixture. Part of the book was set in the real world, where a pretty thrilling mystery was unravelling, and part was set in The Dreaming, this before-time-began dreamworld full of Native American mythology. Both were good, and I got how events in The Dreaming had resonance in the real world, but it left me feeling like I was reading two separate books.

I had virtually no prior knowledge of Native American mythology, so I’m not really in a position to comment of the accuracy of its portrayal in The Dreaming, but it’s inclusion was really interesting and engaging.

I do, however, have a lot of prior knowledge of contemporary and thrillers and the real life plotline was excellent. It had me on the edge of my seat - it was real thrills and spills stuff and some events had me reading with my mouth hanging open unattractively. Coupled with the brilliant narrative it made for a story that had me reading way past my bedtime.

It’s not often I say that the narration was absolutely crucial in a book; in fact, I can’t think of a book I’ve read recently where this was the case, but with this book it was true. Shelby as a character really papered over any cracks this book might have had and made it a really decent read.

I received a copy of There Will Be Lies in exchange for an onest review. Many thanks to Bloomsbury and Netgalley
Profile Image for Kadi P.
760 reviews91 followers
April 3, 2022
What a strange book.

At the beginning of the book I was like "okay this book is weird" but after about 40 pages I was like "huh, this could be good".

Only it wasn't. The story of Shelby Jane Cooper could have been a wonderful one if it wasn't for The Dreaming. Yes. The Dreaming with a capital D. What the Dreaming was I don't know. But even an avid fantasy lover like myself couldn't accept the absolute absurdity of the Dreaming. It was like some fantasy dream world with elks, owls, and a random Coyote thrown into the mix in the midst of a girl's crazy life. Seriously, nothing about the Dreaming was actually explained. The only reason I understood what the Dreaming was was because I researched about the Dreaming whilst watching the TV show The Cleverman (awesome TV show, by the way). To be honest, without the Dreaming in the book and any of the chapters about Shelby dreaming I would have really loved the book.

Apart from the far-fetchedness (is that even a word?) of the inclusion of the Dreaming I liked Lake's unique spin on the book. There were a fair amount of twists and turns in the plot and it certainly was a fresh take on a fantasy YA book.

Unfortunately, it's nearly impossible to review the book without giving away details so I'll review those parts below with spoiler warnings.

Suffice to say, Nick Lake's There Will Be Lies was an interesting, unique and mystifying read. It certainly had a few twists and turns along the way. I think that it's sad the book lost its appeal to many due to the dreaded Dreaming but an overall good read that if you really stick at it you could find that you enjoyed parts of it.
Profile Image for Bridget.
1,138 reviews72 followers
December 20, 2016
This is a boundary blurring wonderful ride of a book. I was happily reading along, enjoying the story of a teenage girl with a sheltered life, living with her mum, being homeschooled because of the dangerous man, her father, who wants to cause her harm. Then, all of a sudden there is a gigantic twist and there are mystical creatures and all sorts being added to the mix. I love so much about this book, the story is great, the characters are awesome and the whole mix is unlike anything I've read before. A great combination of thriller, fantasy and mystery.
Profile Image for Charnell (Reviews from a Bookworm).
675 reviews400 followers
July 18, 2015

I feel it's my duty to warn you all that this book contains lies.

I know, really shocking for a book called There Will Be Lies. But, come on, I can't be the only person who hoped that this book would contain no lies, and that the title itself was the real lie. Yes... that was a thing that needed to happen and it didn't and now I'm sad because that's the kind of crazy person that I am.

I've been struggling for quite some time with what I wanted to say in this review and now I am still struggling with it. I still don't really know how I feel about this book, whether I really enjoyed it or if it was just too strange for me. This wasn't a book that I hated, but then I didn't love it either. It was one of those middle ground books and they cause me so much issues when it comes to reviewing. I need a read that enters the I-love-it!!! status or the I-loathe-it!!! status, anything else and it just gives me a headache trying to figure out how to sum up my feelings. 

There Will Be Lies has to be one of the strangest books that I have read in a long time. Shelby has led a very sheltered life, her mother takes being a protective parent to an extreme. It's rather obvious from the very beginning that there is more to Shelby's life and the way they live, more that her mother has obviously not told Shelby. This book leads to more questions even as lies are uncovered, it was that aspect of it that kept me reading. There were other aspects that had me getting rather frustrated. The writing style took a bit of getting used to, especially the fact that there were no quotation marks for dialogue. That is explained later in the book and once it was it completely made sense and I understood why it was like that, but it was still hard to get used to. 

I'd already been warned that this book would see Shelby enter the Dreaming, a dream world, for some of the book. That side to the story has a very fairytale like quality to it, but one of those dark fairytales and not one that's been Disneyfied. I have to admit that I am pleased I knew about that before starting the story, otherwise I'm sure it would have thrown me off so much that I probably would have put this book down. I have spoke before about how I struggle with weird in books, not that I can really explain what I mean by that. For someone who doesn't do well with weird, I think I did quite well handling the Dreaming aspect of this book because it bypassed weird and went to crazy town. I could have done without that part and I'm sure I wasn't the only one. It's what makes the story so unique, but I just didn't enjoy that part of the story and found myself wanted to skip those sections. 

This book was one roller coaster ride of a read, filled with a lot of twists and turns and unreliable characters. There's revelation after revelation, yet you never know whether any of what's being revealed is actually true. I admit that I guessed almost from page one why Shelby's mother was so crazy and wouldn't let her talk to anyone, go anywhere or really do anything. It didn't bother me while I was reading, I was just so intrigued by the whole thing and couldn't wait to see how it would all end.

3/5 Butterflies

I'd originally had this as a 4/5 on Goodreads, but I quickly realised this was a middle road read for me. I don't have much to say about the book, which is usually a sign that I just felt it was okay. If I disliked it then I usually have a lot to comment on and if I really enjoyed it then there'd be flailing and tons of exclamation marks. This is a read I'd recommend to someone who is looking for a book that's going to keep them guessing, that will keep them turning the pages because they need to find out what happens next. 

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

Profile Image for Margarita.
301 reviews233 followers
January 16, 2015
One of the most unique storytellers I have ever encountered! Enthralling, emotional, shocking, flippant and twisted - there is no other story out there, right now, that can compare...

First, I have to point out, the writing style is very, very different than what I am used to. Conversations are either in italics or told in third person. It was odd at first, but very necessary. I don't see how the author could have helped Shelby tell her story without taking this route. It didn't take very long to get used to this method of writing, it actually made it more interesting and hard to put down...
Next, there is also a fantasy element to the story. A sort of dream-like state. It is hard to explain without spoilers, but, every single moment that we get to witness these events are crucial moments to Shelby's state of mind. It is quite amazing to have been able to go along with her and really see and feel the upheaval of her emotions, the denial that she was living in...
Lastly, I was amazed that the book didn't finished when I expected it to. It would have been typical to leave off at a certain point and I was a bit confused to see that there was still over 200 pages left to read. There are not enough words to describe how astonished I was to get to continue on with Shelby to the very, very end of her story - watch her grow, learn, give in to her demons and then slowly come to terms to her harsh realities. The girl starts out broken, and I got to not only watch her break and fall apart, but shatter into a billion little pieces. And then be able to look on as she slowly chooses which pieces to pick up and start putting her life together was such an unbelievable experience. Every single little detail is so precise and necessary; although at points it did make certain elements predictable, but, without the particulars, it still made very moment astonishing and jaw-dropping. I don't think I would have been able to fully understand Shelby. I would not have been able to stick by her side and see her through.

THERE WILL BE LIES is Shelby's powerfully sad story.

Shelby is an over-protected seventeen year old girl who has been home-schooled by her single mother her entire life. As a lock and key child, Shelby has been taught to not trust anyone, especially men, and that only her mother can help and protect her. Shelby not knowing anything different, doesn't question her mother's teachings or behavior. But as any typical teen, she longs for friendship and dreams of going to college someday; which leads to her occasionally trying to convince her mother to do things outside of their norm, but rarely ever wins that argument.
When Shelby is hit by a car, her life comes to a sudden halt. She sees a coyote that gives her a warning: there will be two lies, and then the truth.
When Shelby wakes up in the hospital, she thinks that the coyote was just a dream that was brought about by her injuries... when her mother starts acting differently, asking odd questions and then rushes Shelby out of the hospital like their lives depended on it - Shelby knows that nothing that is happening is normal. But, she trusts her mom. And denial becomes her best friend.
Coyote visits again. More lies. More twisted truths.
Shelby is lost. And all she wants to do is stop time and go back to when things were the way the way before. It may have not been normal or right. But it was familiar.. and safe.

I highly recommend this to those of you that are looking for something to read that is out of their element - a book that will force you to read inbetween the lines, to fully take the time to understand and see situations through another person's eyes. There is a good chance that you will experience emotions for characters that you never thought were possible. This will not be an easy quick read - Shelby deserves more than that.

*An ARC was sent to me from the publisher for an honest review. All thoughts are my own.
Profile Image for Ava.
173 reviews
December 1, 2018
This book had good world building and I liked the idea of combining Native American mythology with some mystery world, but it was very poorly executed.

Shelby Jane Cooper lives with her overprotective mom in a boring town near the desert. She does her routine and every week is the same. Suddenly her mom wants to leave, and Shelby’s life is turned upside down. She enters the mysterious world called The Dreaming, where she, together with Coyote, will try to save the Child. Meanwhile, more and more things start to reveal, showing that Shelby’s life is not so ordinary as she once thought…

I totally don’t like the style of this book! It’s in 1st person narrator, and ugh, she has an annoying way of talking. I can’t even. Sentences keep repeating, so the same annoyances bother me like oh, I don’t know, 487 times? Seriously, so much fricking REPETITION.

Take that paragraph as an example. It would be an exaggeration – and unlike this book I don’t want to do that – to say the whole book is written in this style, but it still makes up a big part. And it annoyed me a lot. Sarcasm can work well in a book, but not when it’s used all the time.

The book makes a point of mentioning how smart Shelby is, but it doesn’t show at all. Actually, she does things that I would consider quite stupid. Like not realising cell phones can be tracked. I did not like Shelby’s character. She is seriously complaining all the time. None of the characters were really memorable. Most of the dialogue felt really forced: it just didn’t flow. I did like how

The Dreaming is connected to the real world in a plausible, interesting way, but man, was it predictable! The book literally tells the reader: PLOT TWIST (page 242). The plot twist for me was that there was no plot twist. But maybe that was also sarcasm. I don't know anymore. I'm just confused.
I also don’t understand the significance of Shelby’s accident. It is presented as a mayor turning point, but the importance wasn’t that noticeable in the story.

It also bothered me that the story was incredibly vague. There are too many plot twisty things; after a while I just stop caring.

This review might be a little unstructured, but the book was too. (Not really a good excuse.) Concluding, it wasn’t all bad, but it definitely wasn’t good.
Profile Image for All Things Urban Fantasy.
1,921 reviews611 followers
March 3, 2015
Review courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy.

THERE WILL BE LIES isn't the typical book you'd find here on All Things Urban Fantasy, but I felt it was one worth sharing. With this thriller, Nick Lake has written a book that is really difficult to review without spoilers, but I'll do my best.

I was lucky enough to see Lake in person on his book tour, and he talked a bit about stories and lies, and what the difference is. Stories, he believes, bring us together, and lies don't. In THERE WILL BE LIES there are definitely lies, but it is an excellent story.

THERE WILL BE LIES has a strong-willed, brilliant protagonist in Shelby, and her voice was amazingly authentic. I could tell when she was being sarcastic, when she was scared or when she was being serious. In thanks part to the strong narrative voice, the book flowed really well, too. This is a book I sat down and read all within a day, because I couldn't put it down.

The fantastical portions of THERE WILL BE LIES were focused on Native American culture, featuring Coyote, but also had aspects of other fairy tales woven in, which was very interesting. Shelby's travels through The Dreaming in the book offer an interesting counterpoint to the travels she is having in real life. In my opinion, one of the main focuses of THERE WILL BE LIES was Shelby's coming of age. At the cusp of 18, she is almost an adult, a point which becomes important in The Dreaming. It is especially fascinating how Lake tied in the lessons that Shelby learned in The Dreaming to the decisions she had to make in her real life.

Overall, THERE WILL BE LIES was a fascinating book with fantastical elements that any reader would enjoy. It definitely surprised me with how much I like it - give it a chance to see if it will surprise you, too.

Sexual content: N/A
Profile Image for TheObsessiveCupcake.
255 reviews56 followers
July 10, 2017
Well, that was a very bad book. I would honestly give it 0 stars if I could. Just SOME of the bad things about it are:
1. The author is a middle-aged man writing in the voice of a shy, deaf, home-schooled, teenage girl and that is EXACTLY how the narrator comes off.
2. Why the heck did we merge fantasy/foreshadowing/maybe some actual mental craziness/what was probably supposed to be a thriller?! If well flat and felt jumbled.
3. Um, the writing was, like, total, like, trash. 12-year-old me could have done better.
4. Random CAPITALIZATION supposedly for EMPHASIS.
5. The narrator repeated herself needlessly. It was so needless.
6. The author tried to be meta and cool and have the narrator remark on why she was telling the story in the way she was writing. It was totally lame. Again, 12-year-old me could have done better.
7. The large blanks that were either for depicting what the narrator was literally seeing (like with the baseball) or when she couldn't see what people were saying were driving me insane.
8. Everything felt so forced! I couldn't stand it! Looking at the other reviews, I see than many of my fellow critics simply gave up after as little as 7 pages. Well, I stuck around, and I can tell you that that was a poor decision. I was hoping for some payoff at the end but, alas, none came.
9. I did not notice this as much because I am not an expert in this field BUT CULTURAL APPROPRIATION. The author was probably trying to be hip and cool and include some native american culture but instead, it was just weird and poorly-executed.
10. I HATED the dream world. It was so predictable. Lake probably meant it to be interesting and suspenseful as he jumped from world to world, but no, it was pathetic and boring.

Yeah, I totally don't recommend this book. So now go and read.
Profile Image for Laura.
729 reviews35 followers
Shelved as 'did-not-finish'
June 28, 2016
I know I'm SO CLOSE to the end but I'm really not getting anything out of this - It's confusing and boring. Just not my cup of tea... Sorry!
Profile Image for Josiah.
3,211 reviews145 followers
July 26, 2017
Nick Lake's reputation as a YA novelist was secured when he won the 2013 Michael L. Printz Award for In Darkness. His subsequent thrillers and mysteries would add shine to his name, but eclipsing the accomplishment of In Darkness was not necessary for him to have a noteworthy career. There Will Be Lies hit the market in 2015 surrounded by hype, teasing the same sort of mind-blowing plot revelations as E. Lockhart's We Were Liars. Nothing compares to a novel like that when it works, all the seemingly disjointed pieces slowly coming together to form a picture of the shocking truth that had been artfully concealed to that point. We Were Liars was like that; so was Robert Cormier's I Am the Cheese, Gary Paulsen's The Rifle, and Neal Shusterman's Skinjacker trilogy. There Will Be Lies was potentially four hundred fifty-four pages of the same, a master storyteller outwitting his readers on every page toward a conclusion that would leave us speechless. It's rare for an author to pull that off, but when they do, it's a pleasure beyond description.

Shelby Cooper, age seventeen, doesn't seem so different from other girls. She lives only with her mother, who is reluctant to let Shelby out of her sight for even an hour or two, but most parents are overprotective to some degree. Shelby has always home-schooled, and hasn't interacted much with others her own age. Her mother warns her about men, the dark thoughts they harbor toward girls, so Shelby is careful never to trust men if she can help it. Her structured life comes apart when she's hit by a car while waiting outside the library. The injuries are fixable, but Shelby's mother is an anxious mess during the hospital stay. When it's time to check out, her mother abruptly packs Shelby into a rental car and peels out of the hospital, trying to put the place behind them as quickly as possible. Shelby is slightly woozy, but it's obvious something strange is going on. What is her mother hiding? Why was she so nervous answering insurance and identity questions at the hospital? Shelby has a bad feeling the car accident was the start of her nice little life unraveling.

The nest of dark secrets around Shelby begins to be cleared out, and the lies hit closer to the heart of who she is than she could have guessed. Her quaint, quiet existence with her mother is a façade that had no visible cracks, but now they're multiplying at a terrifying rate and if Shelby can't slow the damage, the entire edifice will collapse before her eighteenth birthday. Shelby is aided in her discoveries by an older boy named Mark she knew from the library, who now communicates with her when she's asleep, in a land called the Dreaming. Mark helps Shelby puzzle through the lies that have defined her life, leading her on a fantastical quest to reclaim reality as she knows it. But is the Dreaming real, or another delusion on top of all the others? That's one of many mysteries for Shelby to solve if she's to salvage a normal existence for herself. Whatever her real life turns out to be, saving it will be anything but painless or easy.

There Will Be Lies has some terrific freestanding thoughts, worthy of a Printz Award author. When Shelby questions if the Dreaming is real, Mark insists it is. The Dreaming isn't the same as a dream, but even dreams are real, he says. "A dream...is real to you. While it is happening, you are not aware you're dreaming, correct?...So it's a kind of reality. Just a reality personal to you." I want to believe him. I've had dreams that I badly needed to be real, and if there's even a kernel of reality to them, I'll take comfort in that. I think we all would. Almost two hundred pages later, there's this astute commentary on broken hearts: "There are things that, when they break, they keep on functioning, just in some other, lesser way. Like an elevator: it breaks, and it's a room. An escalator: it breaks, and it's stairs. The heart is the same. It breaks, and you might not even notice, because you still feel things, you still have emotions. But there's a dimension missing, like for the elevator; it still works as a room, but it has lost its vertical axis of motion, and it's the same with a heart: it breaks, and yeah, you can still have feelings, you can still feel sorry for someone, or angry, or sad, but there's something that's lost, a motion, a dimension. It breaks, and it's just an organ, beating." The profundity of a broken heart is sobering, indeed.

Lies have molded everything Shelby thinks she knows, and confronting those mistruths and choosing her own beliefs is essential to figuring out who she really is. It dawns on Shelby that kids cling to their parents' worldview, blindly accepting their rationale because it gives order to their own young lives. "The spell of telling children what to do is this: they believe that if they don't, they will be hurt, they will fall prey to the monsters under the bed, they will be lost. They believe." It's an absolute trust that parents don't deserve because they, too, are imperfect humans with limited knowledge, but there's no way around it. That level of control over another person's innermost convictions should be regarded reverently, and never abused. Before her old life went to pot, Shelby was a natural with a baseball bat, regularly practicing at the batting cages against machines that pitched eighty miles per hour. She never missed a ball, rocketing each pitch back at the machine with exponential velocity. She sensed there was a lesson in this exercise, but doesn't grasp it until the end of the book. "Something can be moving in one direction, smoothly, swiftly, something like a ball, or, oh, say, A LIFE, and then a bat swings, at the perfect moment, swings true, and hits that something, and it constricts...And its energy is reversed, and it fires off in the opposite direction, completely the other way to what has been, to what seems meant to be...But here's the lesson: The ball—the life, whatever—is STILL THERE. The energy hasn't destroyed it, the impact, the explosion, hasn't erased it from the world. It still exists, it's just in a different place altogether. A place it didn't expect to end up in...All the time, when I batted, I felt like it was meditation, like it was control. Like, swinging the bat at the perfect time, before you even see the ball—like that was a metaphor for something, for some kind of Zen peacefulness. What I didn't realize was: I got the metaphor wrong. I was not the bat. I was the ball. THAT—that is the lesson of the batting cage." You often won't see the bat before it hits you, but it's what you do with your new trajectory that determines the course of your life after that. Tragic or joyful, those sudden changes in direction reveal who we are, and we have to be ready to react.

Nick Lake is a good writer, but There Will Be Lies wasn't the mind-bender I expected. The plot revelations are less intense and pervasive than I thought, lacking the wow effect I'd geared up for. I didn't get every aspect of the story, either, particularly the Dreaming. But you won't finish this book without encountering ideas that could change your perspective on life, preparing you for those turning points that sneak up and permanently alter the trajectory you're on, moments only recognizable in retrospect as seminal to who you became. I might consider giving There Will Be Lies two and a half stars, and if what you value in a novel is big ideas and evocative writing, I suggest you try this one. It's an experience, for sure.
Profile Image for Rachel.
150 reviews82 followers
February 7, 2015
**Disclaimer: I was sent this book for free from Bloomsbury in exchange for an honest review. My views are my own and 100% honest.**

"There will be two lies. Then there will be the truth."

Where do I even start?

This is one of the first books that I have ever made the conscious decision to DNF. I skimmed through the ENTIRETY of the ending of the book because I just needed it to end.

This is not an easy book to review because to do so would give spoilers, suffice it to say that this book had so much in it.

I was so bothered by so many things. Namely, how PSYCHOTIC her mother was. One moment her mother would be explaining to you how horrible men were and the next she would be trusting men. I also could not handle the fact that our main character, Shelby, had this obsession with telling us that her mother was overweight as if that was going to add to the story. Shelby was one of the most aggravating and naive characters that I have ever read about. She let so many glaringly horrible things go. At certain points I was SO SURE that the author was just throwing twists into the story to just throw the reader for a loop.
I enjoyed the writing style, I think it was really well done but it was not enough for me to enjoy this book.

I will admit that the ending was not predictable....well...not all of the ending but MOST of it.

I enjoyed the book when it came to the Coyote. I think that his character was the most interesting to read about.

Overall, I wanted to enjoy this book but in the end, I would not recommend this book. This is a case of the good not being able to out-weigh the bad.

2.5 out of 5 stars.

A BIG thank you to Bloomsbury for allowing me the opportunity to read and review this book.
Profile Image for Paige (Illegal in 3 Countries).
1,212 reviews391 followers
Shelved as 'abandoned'
January 5, 2015
Well, I gave it 70 pages and promptly decided NOPE, I'M NOT HERE FOR THIS. From the title alone, it's easy to figure out this book has an unreliable narrator a la We Were Liars and Liar and I love me some unreliable narrators.

But you know what? The fun of not being able to trust who's telling the story gets taken away when you can quickly figure out what the lies mentioned in the title are. I said around page 30 "Oh yeah, " and sure enough, I found out I was right when I flipped to about the halfway point of the book! It failed to get any reaction from me other than "M'kay."

The writing itself put me off too. Shelby's voice comes off as someone trying too hard to sound like a teenage girl when they've hardly talked with one. Just generally off-putting writing.

The way Native American culture--and I use that generalized term only because Lake has mishmashed so many cultures together you can't tell what details belong to which tribe anymore--is used and how white girl Shelby is a central figure in it all bothered me greatly too. Other reviews go into much greater detail about this novel's egregious cultural appropriation and I encourage you to check those out. The magical realism (?) half of the novel with all this would be better off in the hands of a Native American writer who knows what they're doing with it.

All in all, worth skipping.
Profile Image for Jessica.
141 reviews8 followers
July 14, 2014
I received an early ARC from ALA 2014. This book was a bit of a frustrating read for me. Half of the book is set in the real world, and is a taut and exciting thriller. I loved the characters, and was really into the storyline (beyond a few glaring Britishisms that stood out in a book set in Arizona). Interspersed with these chapters, however, were chapters set in a dreamworld, that is essentially an allegorical landscape where events have resonance in the real world.

The problem for me was that the dreamworld chapters were really repetitive, and after awhile the allegorical nature of the dreamworld events started to feel really heavy-handed. I think I would have enjoyed the story far more (and probably would have even given it another star) if I had just skipped all of the dreamworld chapters entirely and just read the book as a straightforward thriller.

It's definitely possible that the structure and the dreamworld setting will work well for some readers, but I was continually pulled out of the story by the dreamworld chapters, and just wanted to get back to the real world action.
Profile Image for Nick Davies.
1,507 reviews40 followers
October 6, 2017
This fell somewhere between a three and a four for me, I never quite sorted out in my head whether it matters more that I liked it despite its faults or whether I didn’t get past my dislike of these things.

Indeed. I picked this up in a charity shop after only a cursory glance at the interesting- sounding plot summary on the back cover blurb. As a consequence, I didn’t realise it was a YA novel till I was quite a way through. The story follows a sheltered seventeen year-old girl and what happens after she is involved in a traffic accident. It’s nicely written, an easy read, witty and touching in places - but the frequent crossing over into plot strands set in a fantasy world, as well as some slightly clunky and unsubtle elements in the narrative, I couldn’t escape the feeling that I’d have liked the book more had it been written more with adults and less with teenagers in mind. There are only so many ‘plot twist at end of chapter acting as cliff-hanger’ moments one can stand, esp. when so many are just because of withheld information.
Profile Image for Sarah Churchill.
470 reviews1,174 followers
March 2, 2015
Two things about this book; first, it's a very clever, poetic take on a story that I can't explain without MAJOR spoilers, but let's just say I enjoyed it, and it's the kind of story I love. Second, it is one of the hardest books I've ever tried to get into, and I probably would have given up if I hadn't been given the arc for review.

Well over half way in I still didn't have a clue what the hell was going on. I thought maybe I was dealing with a Never Ending Story kind of thing, and I still think that's the best way to look at it. It's weird. Definitely weird. But kinda beautiful too.

Once I started to find my feet I pretty quickly guessed most of what was to come, but I still enjoyed reading those twists because I enjoyed the writing. Having said that, the writing style won't be for everyone.

In the end this is one of those Marmite books. It's not easy to read, it's a bit whack, but for me it was definitely worth the effort.
Profile Image for elissa.
2,073 reviews137 followers
June 2, 2015
This had an excellent beginning, and pulled me in right away. Short chapters. Really interesting combination of suspense and folklore, and lots of playing with the idea that it's a fine line between magic and insanity. I can't remember the last time I read a book this quickly (especially if I wasn't on vacation--also this one is close to 500 pages). I stayed up too late to finish it last night, and am tired as a result, but it was worth it. Upon finishing, my favorite book of the year so far. May need to eventually go back and read his Printz winner, even though it looks pretty dark. 4 1/2 stars, rounded up. 2015 is apparently another great year for YA books...
Profile Image for Cara.
2,243 reviews42 followers
March 8, 2015
I haven't been so relieved to finish a book since I was in school. There were a couple of points where I wanted to see what was going to happen, but mostly I just didn't get where the book was going, and I didn't care. I didn't like the main character. I really didn't like how much the book jumped around.
I would have a hard time recommending this book to anyone.
Profile Image for dolly.
180 reviews43 followers
September 7, 2017
about 1/4 of the way through this i decided to go back to the beginning and mark every time the mother was insulted for her looks/for being overweight with a post it. i ran out of post its and i never even finished the book
Profile Image for Megan.
539 reviews85 followers
January 25, 2020
I’m going to be hit by a car in about four hours, but I don’t know that yet. The weird thing is, it’s not the car that’s going to kill me, that’s going to erase me from the world. It’s something totally different. Something that happens eight days from now and threatens to end everything. My name is Shelby Jane Cooper—is, was, whatever. I’m seventeen years old when the car crash happens. This is my story.

When I started this book, I wasn't at all sure I was going to like it. As usual I had totally forgotten what it was about by the time I was ready to read it, and I thought it was going to be a contemporary novel (contemporaries are generally not my thing). In reality, this is a pleasant read due to the main character's humorous style of speech as she narrates her story, and the goings-on were far from contemporary. There Will Be Lies is the story of a girl with the rug swept out from under her, uncertain whom she can trust and whether anything she knows is real or not.

After being hit by a car and a stint in the hospital, Shelby is swept away by her mother on a unforeseen adventure. She has the idea that her mother is running from something, but is she telling the truth about what it is? What follows are dramatic twists and turns, lies, truth, hurt, and healing. It didn't go where I thought it would, but I loved where it went.

Alongside the main story there is a side journey rooted in Native American legend. I much appreciated the lore and lessons therein. I also loved that the main character is deaf, because how often do you see that in books?

CW: violence,
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