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How We Learned to Lie

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3.21  ·  Rating details ·  57 ratings  ·  25 reviews
A voice-driven and explosive novel about friendship, love, and letting go, from the author of Little Wrecks

Violence in the small, suburban town of Highbone, Long Island, is escalating, and best friends Joan and Daisy are finding themselves in the center of it.

Joan has always been fascinated by the inner workings of living things: dogfish, eels, stingrays. But the more she
...more
Hardcover, 376 pages
Published July 31st 2018 by HarperCollins
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Meredith Miller How We Learned to Lie is set in the same place and time as Little Wrecks, but focussed on entirely different characters. The style is quite different …moreHow We Learned to Lie is set in the same place and time as Little Wrecks, but focussed on entirely different characters. The style is quite different also; the story is told into two alternating first-person narratives
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Average rating 3.21  · 
Rating details
 ·  57 ratings  ·  25 reviews


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Kaila
Aug 07, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, ya, edelweiss
How We Learned to Lie by Meredith Miller reeled me in with its vivid description. I was fascinated by the concept of two friends growing apart due to the insurmountable weight of their own lies and the roles they play in the violence seeping into their town.

In this slow burning, coming-of-age tale, the characters steal the show. Joan and Daisy have been through thick and thin together, an unlikely duo that has just clicked for as long as they can remember. Joan is strong-willed and stubborn with
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PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps
I should have remembered how much I disliked Meredith Miller’s LITTLE WRECKS before preordering HOW WE LEARN TO LIE.

DNF mostly because:
-HOW WE LEARNED TO LIE takes place in 1979/80 (you’d never know from the blurb).
-Daisy is a boy, a nickname for Anthony (WTF).
-Timeline switches without telling the reader.
-Boring.
-Lackluster writing.

I’m not engages enough to write a full review.
Jennifer
Aug 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
You know how someone will say something is strange but in a good way? That is exactly what I think when I am reading books by Meredith Miller. Strange but definitely in a good way that makes you want to know more. How We Learned to Lie is one of those books with whimsy, tons of allure and a heavy focus on character development.

The story begins with blood and ends with blood. Joan and Daisy are best friends. They have been ever since that fateful day when Daisy found Joan in the river. He thought
...more
Marco Morano
Jun 29, 2018 marked it as did-not-finish  ·  review of another edition
DNF'ed at 13%

I was sent this book for review as a part of the teenreads.com Teen Board and I just couldn't get into it. This book made literally no sense. I was confused from the beginning and nothing about what was going on was explained. It didn't feel worth my time so I decided to give up on it.
Tessa
Aug 09, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was provided to me from Edelweiss and The Fantastic Flying Book Club in exchange for an honest review. I swear on my bookshelf that this has not affected my opinion of the book.

This review and other bookish shenanigans can be found on my original blog, Crazy for YA.

Anyone who has friends (which I hope includes everyone reading this) knows that friendship is not always pretty. Friends bicker over food, directions, clothes. Contrary to popular belief best friends are not the same person-
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Cleo Summers
Jul 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Reading a book by someone you like personally is always worrying, reading a book by some one you have huge amounts of academic respect for, even more so- what if I don’t like it? What if it isn’t good? What if I don’t understand it?

Thankfully this book pushed all of those worries away very quickly! This book gave just enough to keep the reader interested and engaged while we bonded with the characters, through well executed direct addresses to the reader.

Is it a book I enjoyed? No. But for pos
...more
ML
Nov 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This story is an engaging account of a friendship that is at once strong and fragile, beautiful and volatile. All the while there is a maelstrom of tragedy around and within Daisy and June. Miller has a magical way of grounding the reader solidly into the place of the story and creates characters that are complex, quirky and very real. The writing itself has an edginess that allows the reader to feel the characters as they grapple with the world both around and within them. I really enjoyed this ...more
DJ
Sep 07, 2018 rated it it was ok
Not for me. So terribly boring.
Alexina
Apr 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-read
Summary: Joan Harris and Daisy McNamara have been childhood friends ever since the day that Daisy found Joan floating in the river and thought she was dead (Joan was really just trying to see how long she could hold her breath). They were forever friends, until one night changes all that. Joan runs into Daisy's older brother, Robbie, covered in blood and this single event causes their world to spiral out of control. Their friendship had always been built in trust and love and now Joan and Daisy ...more
Taylor
Dec 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
How We Learned to Lie by Meredith Miller is a teen realistic fiction novel. Joan Jensen is a 15 year old African American, girl living in Highbone, Long Island, and her best friend, Daisy is a caucasian teen who doesn’t understand her. Joan is straightforward and speaks her mind, which occasionally causes her trouble. She has always been very factually orientated and takes interest in her new biology teacher. Daisy couldn’t be more different as he loves to think and understand the meaning of lif ...more
Camillea
A dark and explorative read, How We Learned to Lie is about a community and how its violence weaves into the lives of children. The small town atmosphere of the novel is filled with tension; this book focuses deeply on its characters whose emotions are vividly described on the page. Miller’s writing style twists itself to build on the lies told by the characters. The voices are gritty, mean, and yet so full of grief.

Although the main characters of the book, Daisy and Joan are simply bystanders i
...more
Morgan Vega
How We Learned to Lie by Meredith Miller is a gritty young adult contemporary—which I’m totally here for. I appreciated the characters in the book—especially because they were all flawed—and I enjoyed its darker elements. (I received this book from Edelweiss and The Fantastic Flying Book Club in exchange for an honest review.)

Joan and Daisy’s friendship was interesting in that they were so completely different. Though it wasn’t the focus of the book, I thought their conversations about these dif
...more
Jo Anne
Aug 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
“And we dove.” Loved this story.
Joan and Daisy are authentically and skillfully drawn characters. I was invested in them from beginning to the last page. As events unfold, inner dialogues and evocative place descriptions create feelings of hopelessness and dread.
As Joan and Daisy struggle to move through very difficult times Miller adeptly moves us through the uncertainty, anxiety, and grief they experience. At once dark and delightful this book is a thoughtful and satisfying read.
MP
May 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The slower pace took me a while to cling onto but in the end I really liked the melody. This book takes you into Highbone and makes you feel the feelings of the characters. It’s hard not to get angry, sad or anxious right along with them. It left me wanting to know more about Joan and Daisy as well as the characters that surrounded them. I liked that this was a love story but but not a romance. The feelings of friendship and need were really relatable. Great read overall.
Erin
Jun 30, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: edelweiss
I received this book in exchange of an honest review. I was unable to finish this one because it wasn't interesting enough to me, but what I read was decent. This is the story of two friends and how they start lying to each other. Daisy' s brother is up to no good and so far the main character has been obsessed with finding out what he is up to. If you like a slower book or books about where friendship goes wrong this one might be for you!
Deidre Blancarte
May 24, 2020 rated it it was ok
This book was so so so slow. By the time it picked up, I was too over it to really get into it. The ending was so much better than the beginning. I didn't really like the characters but I wanted to like them. It grappled with really tough concepts, but didn't explore them the way they deserved. It would have been a DNF if I hadn't powered through to the end.
Katniss8112
Jun 19, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2019, summer-2k19
Extremely slow. The plot was laid out over with way too many pages. The author would go off describing things that were in no way important to the character's experience or the plot. The skipping around really confused me.

Just one thing: The beginning grabs you with promises of more and more but doesn't full-fill these promises. Anti-climatic in the least.
Jessica Arnold
Mar 03, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
DNF after chapter 1! I’m guessing after that first chapter that Joan - and maybe the entire story - is very disjointed and all over the place. The writing had too much of a stream of consciousness feel to it, and I don’t enjoy reading that style.
Betsy
Feb 14, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I finished it but honestly it was a struggle...
Molly Kathleen
Jan 01, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I’ve never read a book that dragged on so much. I kept waiting for action and never found it. It was a waste of time. 👎🏼
Kelly
Mar 27, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I think this is a good book for someone, but that someone isn't me.
Alexina
Jul 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-read
Summary: Joan Harris and Daisy McNamara have been childhood friends ever since the day that Daisy found Joan floating in the river and thought she was dead (Joan was really just trying to see how long she could hold her breath). They were forever friends, until one night changes all that. Joan runs into Daisy's older brother, Robbie, covered in blood and this single event causes their world to spiral out of control. Their friendship had always been built on trust and love and now Joan and Daisy ...more
Laura H
May 11, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: giveaway, hard-copy
I received this book for a Goodreads giveaway. Really struggled to get into it as the plot was VERY slow. Was not a huge fan.
Tia
rated it liked it
Feb 29, 2020
Aleesha
rated it liked it
May 03, 2020
ShellyW
rated it it was amazing
Dec 23, 2019
Mzamo Phiri
rated it it was amazing
Oct 05, 2018
Amileigh Gordon
Jul 09, 2018 marked it as to-read
#GoodreadsGiveaway
Zara Gray
rated it did not like it
Mar 25, 2019
Ricardo Rios
rated it it was ok
Apr 16, 2019
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I grew up in the suburbs of Long Island, in New York. I've lived all over America but these days I live and teach in Wales. I'm a published academic now writing fiction (and still a lot of critical stuff). I like to write novels featuring hard-boiled women. I also love language, sometimes to distraction.

I made this profile as an author, but I really enjoy being a reader here. I am happy to answer
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