Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

The Lies That Bind

Rate this book
In the irresistible new novel from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of All We Ever Wanted and Something Borrowed, a young woman falls hard for an impossibly perfect man before he disappears without a trace. . . .

It's 2 A.M. on a Saturday night in the spring of 2001, and twenty-eight-year-old Cecily Gardner sits alone in a dive bar in New York's East Village, questioning her life. Feeling lonesome and homesick for the Midwest, she wonders if she'll ever make it as a reporter in the big city--and whether she made a terrible mistake in breaking up with her longtime boyfriend, Matthew.

As Cecily reaches for the phone to call him, she hears a guy on the barstool next to her say, "Don't do it--you'll regret it." Something tells her to listen, and over the next several hours--and shots of tequila--the two forge an unlikely connection. That should be it, they both decide the next morning, as Cecily reminds herself of the perils of a rebound relationship. Moreover, their timing couldn't be worse--Grant is preparing to quit his job and move overseas. Yet despite all their obstacles, they can't seem to say goodbye, and for the first time in her carefully constructed life, Cecily follows her heart instead of her head.

Then Grant disappears in the chaos of 9/11. Fearing the worst, Cecily spots his face on a missing-person poster, and realizes she is not the only one searching for him. Her investigative reporting instincts kick into action as she vows to discover the truth. But the questions pile up fast: How well did she really know Grant? Did he ever really love her? And is it possible to love a man who wasn't who he seemed to be?

The Lies That Bind is a mesmerizing and emotionally resonant exploration of the never-ending search for love and truth--in our relationships, our careers, and deep within our own hearts.

352 pages, Hardcover

First published June 2, 2020

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Emily Giffin

54 books21.8k followers

EMILY GIFFIN is a graduate of Wake Forest University and the University of Virginia School of Law. The #1 New York Times bestselling author of eleven novels, Something Borrowed, Something Blue, Baby Proof, Love the One You're With, Heart of the Matter, Where We Belong, The One & Only, First Comes Love, All We Ever Wanted, The Lies That Bind, and the recently released Meant to Be, she currently lives in Atlanta with her family.

Website: www.emilygiffin.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/EmilyGiffinFans

Twitter: https://twitter.com/emilygiffin

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/emilygiffina...

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
16,136 (24%)
4 stars
25,088 (38%)
3 stars
17,507 (26%)
2 stars
4,968 (7%)
1 star
1,507 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 4,925 reviews
Profile Image for Melissa.
647 reviews28.6k followers
June 7, 2020
I’m not sure I’ve ever frantically turned the pages of a book with a plot as utterly ridiculous as I found this one to be. I’m blaming it on the intermittent bouts of insomnia I’m experiencing at the moment and the shock of Cecily’s immature antics that wouldn’t let me look away. I vacillated between intrigue and eye-rolling for the entirety of my read through. But, who am I kidding, mostly eye-rolling.

Truth be told, I consider myself a pretty big fan when it comes to Emily Giffin’s early work. I’m talking Something Borrowed and Something Blue early. I remember being so enamored with those pastel pretties I happily shared them with anyone who would listen. Unfortunately, I’ve found Giffin’s last few releases to be a hodgepodge, leading me to second-guess those giddy feelings from long ago. Talk about all over the place in regards to plot, feel, and emotional depth. No doubt, The Lies That Bind takes the cake for being the most underdeveloped and ludicrous of the bunch. And depending on how you look at it, maybe even a tad distasteful.

Readers meet Cecily on a pivotal night. A month after breaking up with the guy she assumed would one day be her husband, she ventures out in the wee hours of the night and lands herself a stool at a dive bar. A few drinks in, she’s ready to drunk dial said ex. Lucky for Cecily, the stranger sitting on the next stool over warns her off and plies her with shots and a little conversation instead. A conversation that ultimately leads to a walk home and a spontaneous overnight invitation. It isn’t until the next morning that the new friends exchange names.

Given there are a considerable number of spoilers, I’ll stop here and defer from sharing any specific plot points. What I will say, there’s a hefty dose of insta-love, some Jerry Springer-esc happenings, coincidences galore, eye-roll-inducing twists, and an overload of unneeded 2001 references to wade through. The one bright spot among the muck, readers get a glimpse of Darcy, Rachel, and level-headed Ethan from Something Borrowed and Something Blue .

New York provides the backdrop for Cecily’s story, with 9/11 playing a crucial part in one of the plot points. Using that tragic day in such a crass way just didn’t sit well with me. And I'll leave it at that.

What rankled my feathers—even more than the myriad of things I’ve mentioned thus far— was the blatant lack of nuance. There is little to no emotion or finesse behind Giffin’s words, translating to a surface level experience. In all honesty, I expect more from an author of this caliber. And I can’t say this experience bodes well for me picking up her next release.

*Thank you to Random House/Ballantine Books for access to an advanced copy.
Profile Image for Nilufer Ozmekik.
2,203 reviews40.8k followers
July 16, 2022
OMG! I’m so confused! I’m pissed! I’m entertained! I’m heartbroken! I’m surprised! I’m so flabbergasted right now!

Normally I’m not indecisive person but this book seems like written by so many different authors or one author suffers from mood swings because that’s a first for me to love this book so much but also hate it truly.

It starts charmingly intriguing, hot and riveting then makes you curse to the characters for several reasons and in the middle a big bombshell changes everything: you turned into a toddler, dripping off saliva and talking gibberish, shaken to the core, and then more drama, angst, trauma….. Then what? The one of the worst endings of the book history (I can compare it with GOT’s, Lost’s final episode or unbelievably the most stupidest screenwriting of Alex’ Karev’s leaving episode of Grey’s Anatomy)

Let me tell you my problem with examples:

Firstly, we’re introduced with our heroine Cecily, suffering from bad breakup, blabbering nightmare about Rachel Green and her “break” with Ross Gellar. (She should see the letter she wrote 18 pages-back and forth-) She misses her boyfriend so she decides instead of whining at the house, heading to the bar to drink herself numb but a perfect charming stranger stops her before she make a drink dialing to her ex and you know the drill, they talk, they like each other’s company and they decide not to talk about their names, having one night stand. (So, I think this book’s fast, hot and sexy chemistry, a little chic-lit-ish start deserves 4 stars!)

But then the charming, sexy hero gives his name: GRANT! It should be ended with one night but yes unfortunately our soooo naïve, blind Cecily falls in love with Grant who has so many neon plates pointing at him as an “untrustworthy guy”. There were so many signs implicate that she should run without looking back. He doesn’t take her to his home, introducing her as friend, appearing at her place in the middle of the night, seems like he’s living a double life. What this asshole is hiding?
Okay Cecily, you are young but you shouldn’t act like you just donated your brain cells for saving money for your grocery shopping. Come on girl: the guy says he has a twin suffer from terminal disease and he has to take care of him. But don’t you think most of his excuses he told you are too fishy!

But I have to admit the brother was real and I feel like he was evil twin. I couldn’t connect with the character so well. Eventually my points start to go back and forth between two and three stars.

And then: BANG! Of course from the blurb and the dates, you may see it coming: one of the most painful, tragic events of the world history occurs. Grant dies at 9/11: I have to admit those parts of the book telling the tragedy and afterwards, the psychological breakdown it created on the civilians, their sufferings, anxieties, PTSD, grief are told by the author incredibly impeccable. That was the great example of the perfect writing. It’s so much better than “The girl you used to know” novel’s approach.

And there are so many bombshells, twisty, surprising facts Cecily has to face after Grant’s death which are magnificent. And eventually she returns back to her ex. Now she can have her happily ever after and I’m so ready to give FIVE STARS because of those amazing and powerful chapters.
BUT…. Yes I don’t wanna spill the beans but guess who’s back, back again, Shady’s back, tell a friend! I know we need a little controversy cause it feels so empty without him. ( See! I start to quote Eminem’s Without Me, that’s the side effect book caused on me!)
And more angst, blab la bla, more tears, more painful chapters later (my stars drop to 3 by the way after Shady is back!) we have a really bad conclusion of this starting great, developing well but ending unsatisfyingly story!

Don’t get me wrong! I love Emily Griffin’s books so much and I was delighted to have an opportunity to read this ARC and even though I was agitated by MCs and too many meaningless angsty and heart tearing parts, I was so ready to give 4 stars because it was still above the average and especially 9/11 parts of the story mesmerizingly heart-wrenching and poignantly described. But I didn’t like the ending just a little bit. This is not fair for me and I found it abrupt and awkward.

So unfortunately I’m giving three solid stars. I wish there would be miracle and the author could write another ending to conclude her characters’ stories.

So much special thanks to NetGalley and Random House Publishing/Ballantine for sharing this promising ARC (even I have questions about ending) in exchange my honest review.

Profile Image for Dorie  - Cats&Books :).
993 reviews2,779 followers
June 2, 2020

I’ve always felt that if something or someone seems “too good to be true” than it or they probably aren’t showing us all their cards!

Cecily, a young woman working as a journalist in NYC has just ended a long term relationship with Matthew. It’s only a short time later that she is feeling down while in her apartment, alone, and she decides to grab a drink in a local bar. She ends up bringing home a total stranger, Grant, and they apparently fall head over heels in love. This inauspicious beginning did not bode well for a good outcome. There are many hints that things aren’t right with this guy, he doesn’t take her to his home, he is away a lot and shows up at times in the middle of the night, uninvited. Cecily is a late 20’s woman and I felt that she was portrayed as being very naive, most women I think would have caught the signs that something wasn’t right with Grant. He does tell her about his twin brother who is very ill, and that is another part of the story I’ll leave you to discover.

The first half of the book I felt was entertaining enough and I did turn the pages quickly to find out what our heroine was going to do next. Unfortunately, for me, I felt that the plot was predictable, and I pretty much knew what was going to happen.

I thought the time spent in the novel about 9/11 was very good. It demonstrated just how horrible things were for the people in NYC and the grief that surrounded the city.

I enjoyed the character of Scottie, her gay, best friend whom she calls frequently for advice although she seldom follows it. Grant’s twin brother was a difficult character to understand, but we don’t really know much about him except for his battle with illness. There is another character, Amy, who comes across as very unrealistic particularly when she is supposed to be grieving for her dead husband.

This was still possibly a 4 star book for me until the ending! “The Lies That Bind” definitely have Cecily tied into a relationship which doesn’t seem sustainable. I will leave you to discover the ending which was pretty unbelievable to me at least.

I received an ARC of this novel from the publisher through Edelweiss. This book will publish on June 2, 2020.
Profile Image for Jen.
1,159 reviews101 followers
April 30, 2020
I was really enjoying this book. I was all set to defend this book against the bad reviews.

Then I hit the 80% mark.

No. No, no, no.

9/11 is central to this plot so this is not a spoiler. But the author uses it in such a rude, disrespectful, infuriating way. This is inconsiderate to the families who lost loved ones on that day. It’s offensive and degrading to those who lost their lives.

I’m disappointed in the author for trivializing such a monumental event.

A terrorist attack is not fodder for entertainment. Full stop.

This book was infuriating and the plot twist offensive. 1⭐️
May 27, 2020
I am left a little lost for words for this one and I am struggling to put my thoughts in words. The Lies That Bind was a hard one for me to swallow. So I am going to keep this short and to the point of how I am feeling about this one.

The Lies That Bind was off to a great start for me with Cecily and Grant meeting in a bar. I was intrigued when she reaches for her phone and he says "Don't do it--you'll regret it." Setting the story up for an exciting start for me. As the story progresses, a black cloud started to form and an overload of drama was pouring down, and I was drowning in it.

Emily Griffin pushed it too far for me by taking a real-life tragedy and surrounds it with drama and it all left me feeling sad and disappointed. Now, this might just be overthinking things again, so I suggest if you like to see the directions your story goes to look at some other reviews to see if this one is a good one to give a try.

I received a copy from the publisher from NetGalley.

Profile Image for Val ⚓️ Shameless Handmaiden ⚓️.
1,828 reviews29.1k followers
February 11, 2021
3.5 Stars

I liked this well enough, I guess. I enjoyed the twists and turns, far-fetched as a lot of them definitely seemed to be. I thought the way things unfolded and came together in different ways with different characters was interesting.

Mostly though, I like that Giffin seems to write very grey characters, who are never morally infallible; however, I'm not sure I would have been able to forgive Grant's character for his actions in this case. Still, the book was entertaining enough, although not a favorite by any means.
Profile Image for Bridgett.
Author 22 books425 followers
February 29, 2020
If you enjoyed Something Borrowed, you'll love The Lies That Bind.

They're essentially the same story, only one is set against the heartbreaking backdrop of the 9/11 attacks. In fact, Rachel, Darcy, and Ethan even make an appearance in this story, which was fun...and a little nostalgic. I couldn't help but picture them as they looked in the film.


In the spring of 2001, following a devastating break-up with her boyfriend, Cecily meets Grant in a random NYC bar. What follows is a roller-coaster relationship which ends abruptly on 9/11, when Grant presumably dies in the World Trade Center's south tower.

Like all Emily Giffin's novels, I could hardly put my Kindle down...girlfriend can suck her readers in like a Dyson sucks in St. Bernard hair. Her secret? Her intensely likable and relatable characters--Cecily with her big family and Midwestern values; Grant with his unconditional dedication to his twin brother; and although stereotypical, even closeted Scottie, who is funny and fabulous.

My one and only complaint, and it's a small one, was Cecily's wishy-washy decision making. Otherwise, all my reading buddies should grab a copy of this novel for themselves when it's published on June 2, 2020.

Many thanks to the publisher for my review copy.
Profile Image for Katie (katieladyreads).
451 reviews176 followers
April 28, 2020
There's not much I can say without ruining the entire plot, but this book was predictable and so cringeworthy it makes my eyes roll into the back of my head just thinking about it. The characters are all terrible human beings and have no redeeming qualities whatsoever. And on top of the abhorrent characters, the author uses 9/11 as a "fun, entertaining" backdrop with absolutely no emotional detail or significance whatsoever. It's as if the main character couldn't possibly be bothered with a national tragedy when she is involved in a "love" triangle (although I am. not sure I would call what she has with either men love...) Overall, I would not recommend this book. Thank you as always to the publisher for the ARC, these honest opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Brandice.
860 reviews
June 27, 2020
I have liked Emily Giffin’s standalone books I have previously read. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for The Lies That Bind.

In 2001, Cecily is alone at a bar post-breakup and meets a stranger who convinces her not to call her ex. They hit it off but the stranger, Grant, is dealing with a lot of personal issues and not necessarily forthcoming about them. Cecily and Grant do stay in touch but then he disappears on September 11th. What happened? Who was he and did she actually know him?

I enjoyed the first third of this book, though I had a hard time believing the strength of Cecily and Grant’s connection after their initial meeting. Once 9/11 took place, the story went downhill — fast. Cecily claimed to be overwhelmed, but appeared to bounce back from everything pretty quickly. I know New Yorkers are resilient but I did not care for the way a tragic, life-altering event seemed casually thrown into the story, especially as the book progressed and the rest of the plot was revealed. There are multiple other storylines that could have been used to facilitate a disappearance.

The Lies That Bind was far-fetched and eventually I wasn’t buying anyone’s words or actions. Cecily became increasingly annoying to me, though she eventually accepted being called out on her own decisions. I did want to see how this story ended but there was little redemption for me in the enjoyment department.
Profile Image for Brooke.
260 reviews2 followers
April 5, 2020
*ARC provided via #netgalley⁣⁣
This may sound harsh, but I am just going to come right out and say that this was one of the worst books I’ve read lately. The premise started out strong, and then midway through, the book just dove straight into the ground. I feel like I just watched a horrible Lifetime movie (and that’s saying a lot!) ⁣
The premise sounds promising-Cecily meets a stranger in the bar named Grant, who talks her out of drunk dialing her ex. They forge an incredible connection, but after the 9/11 attacks, Grant is presumed dead. Cecily can’t begin to forget Grant or the love they shared, and the more she tries to move on, the harder it is. One day Cecily sees Grant’s picture on a Missing poster, and she becomes determined to find out more about Grant’s life. ⁣
I was quite invested in the book until Cecily dials the number on the poster, but then events become simply far fetched after that. Characters that I was once rooting for became at once utterly deplorable. I grew quite tired of Cecily’s back and forth between Grant and Matthew, her lying, how close she became with Grant’s wife, Grant’s deceit and how he all but gets away with it at the end (there is no way he wouldn’t have gone to prison longer, no matter how tragic his motivation for the crime) and the fact that Cecily FORGIVES him after all of this and they rekindle their romance! Are you kidding me?! Once she finds out about Grant’s deceit she spends the rest of the book bemoaning his behavior and how betrayed she is, but then he shows up like a stalker at her house, makes a big speech, does his time, and proposes to her. Before all of this, Cecily made a big show of proclaiming that she is stronger on her own and is going to be more careful about speaking the truth and who she trusts. Yikes. What kind of message are we sending to women here? ⁣
The only book I read by Emily Giffin was “All We Ever Wanted”. I quite enjoyed that book and was looking forward to this one, and this one just seems like it was written by a completely different author.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Kelly Hill.
178 reviews1 follower
May 8, 2020
Wow I hate to give a such negative review to an ARC but every character in the book was an appalling human being. I really felt like this book was disrespectful to people who were affected by the 9/11 tragedy. I guess you could say I couldn’t put it down but I kept reading just to see if the plot would go go where I horrifically thought it would and unfortunately it did.
Profile Image for Norma.
551 reviews12.3k followers
June 4, 2020
First off I’d like to send a heartfelt thanks to Emily for my signed Advance Reader’s Copy that I won on Instagram.

Emotional, dramatic, and a compelling page-turner!

Oh my, where do I even start with THE LIES THAT BIND by EMILY GIFFIN? I’m so conflicted. My thoughts and feelings were all over the place while I was reading this and not necessarily always in a positive way. I do have to say though that I absolutely love Emily Giffin, I find her books entertaining and compulsively readable.

My immediate reaction to the story wasn’t always a favourable one but there was definitely something here that kept pulling me back in. I wasn’t necessarily a fan of Cecily and Grant’s insta-love and thought that her relationship with Scottie was one of the most entertaining and enjoyable parts of the story.

I’m all for an instant connection and love at first sight though because I’d be a total hypocrite to say that I didn’t believe in that because it happened to me and I’ve been happily married for 28 years this coming August.

I did really enjoy Cecily’s character though and was totally amused and entertained by her and her relationships with some of the key players.

The story was somewhat predictable but there were definitely some pleasant surprises too though. I was a little miffed that a huge tragic event was used as a backdrop to the story and the direction near the end totally angered me. Oddly though my feelings flipped on me again near the end and I have to say that I kind of liked all the dramatic and eye-rolling scenes.

The book held my attention and let me forget the outside world for a few hours so for that it’s getting 4 stars!

I’d also like to thank NetGalley and Doubleday Canada for the eARC.
Profile Image for Jamie Rosenblit.
905 reviews509 followers
March 20, 2020
Emily Giffin at her best - in a wonderful romantic story with a bit of triangle and twist. The Lies That Bind feels like Giffin at her earliest (which is honestly when I most love her writing) a la Something Borrowed/Something Blue, with a delightful cameo from some beloved characters. TLTB is a September 11th love story but the book overall is not a sad one - but rather a fast paced pageturner that will have you dying to know what's coming next. I can't say enough good things about this one but I can urge you to pre-order it ahead of it's June 2nd release!

Thank you to Random House for an advanced copy. All opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Julia.
91 reviews18 followers
May 7, 2020
Did Emily Giffin really just disrespect everyone impacted by 9/11 in her latest book? Yes, yes she did. I’ll never even try reading one of her books again after the last few were total slumps. And she’s not a great person outside of being an author either.
Profile Image for Alyssa Smith.
690 reviews28 followers
May 7, 2020
Thank you to Netgalley, the author, and the publisher for this ARC.

Hi, huge Emily Giffin fan here [updated to say: no longer an Emily Giffin fan]. I have read everything she has ever written, and purchase multiple copies of her books to give to family and friends because I’m that fan. But what... was this. At first, this was so strong. I was riveted. Even more so when Giffin described the morning of 9/11 from the main character’s point of view. It gave me the chills. But right after that? This book took a nose dive. It was so unrealistic and unbelievable. It was like two different people wrote this book. And the ending!! I rolled my eyes so hard. I did not love it.
Profile Image for Amy.
1,877 reviews1,878 followers
March 31, 2020
Emily Giffin’s earliest books are my all time favorites and this was reminiscent of them in the best way. In fact, there was a cameo from Rachel, Ethan and Darcy in this book and I was so excited I actually shrieked. It made me so nostalgic that I’m actually thinking about rereading them… Anyway, it felt like vintage EG to me and while I’ve enjoyed all of her books I feel like this one is better than her last few and definitely solidified her place on my must buy author list.

Usually romances aren’t twisty but this one is, there were definitely some unexpected surprises and made this a page turner. I also expected this to be super heavy since it’s set in NYC right before 9/11 and while it had some sad moments, it wasn’t overly depressing at all. It was engaging, emotional and heartfelt with a really relatable character in Cecily. Definitely recommended for fans of the author and if you haven’t read her yet go grab Something Borrowed and Something Blue ASAP!
Profile Image for Jenny.
269 reviews97 followers
September 9, 2020
I was looking forward to Emily Giffin's latest, The Lies That Bind. Having enjoyed, All We Ever Wanted, I was excited for another Giffin story. One that is thought-provoking and fodder for discussion. Unfortunately, the reality of The Lies That Bind does not live up to the hype.
The story of post-breakup Cecily, who meets the "perfect" stranger at a bar is a forced and contrived story. They, of course, hit it off and it sounds like start of a beautiful romance until Grant, the perfect stranger, disappears on 9/11.
The story from this point is weak and forced. It's full of cliches and the use of a tragic, life-altering event seems a bit callous with a lack of empathy and compassion on Giffin's part. It was thrown in the story in a very casual way that doesn't do justice for such a horrific event.
The story takes a nosedive after that and seemed to be on a downward out of control spiral.
Cecily's story is full of so many soap opera moments, I kept thinking that they should find a younger Susan Lucci to play the part of Cecily as she was the queen of Soap Operas.
The Lies That Bind is a quick read that unfortunately when I finished didn't leave me with the wish to discuss as other Giffin books have.
I hope that future Giffin books will give us all something to talk about.
I received an advance copy of this book from NetGalley. #NetGalley #TheLiesThatBind
Profile Image for Meredith B.  (readingwithmere).
235 reviews159 followers
June 8, 2020
3 Stars!

It pains me to give EG a low rating because she's one of my favorite authors but I will also always give honest reviews and opinions about the books I read.

And in that moment-for what feels like the first time ever - my head and heart are telling me the very same thing.

Cecily is alone at a dive bar and she's feeling lonely and homesick. She just ended a long relationship and wonders if she will ever fit into New York. She is about to call her ex when someone tells her not to do it. Insert: Grant. Grant and Cecily don't talk a ton but don't need to as they both feel an instant connection. However Grant is planning to go overseas to help family but they try to make it work. 9/11 comes and Grant goes missing. Cecily tries to search for him and comes across a flyer. She never guesses who could be on the other end of that flyer and is in for a huge surprise. Cecily continues to navigate these tough relationships and tries to find answers to so many questions.

This book was very middle of the road for me. Maybe I expect more from Giffin but I found myself frustrated with this story. Actually, there's about 10 plot lines happening at once and I could easily see readers getting confused. Giffin typically has strong females leads and Cecily just felt so lost and unsure of anything in her life that I kept say "c'mon Cecily, figure it out girl, the answer is super obvious." I didn't really like the way either love interest treated her and it left me with so many additional questions. In fact, I didn't like most of the characters.

The one character I did love was Scottie. He was funny (I cracked up a few times) and he was the best friend I wish I had. He was super caring, very involved but also wasn't afraid to tell Cecily the truth. In fact her told her multiple times how to handle situations and she never listened (ugh). I feel like if Giffin wrote a spin off about Scottie's life I would 1000000% pick that book up in a heartbeat. Also, I liked that Giffin made a few cameo appearances of characters in her other books!

Overall, The Lies that Bind wasn't a huge winner for me but I look forward to the next one that will come along.

Thank you to the author for sending me an ARC of this book.
Profile Image for MicheleReader.
712 reviews127 followers
November 9, 2020
Cecily and her boyfriend Matthew have just broken up. While in a NYC bar, Cecily meets Grant. A man who seems too good to be true. The immediate chemistry between the two of them was instant and a romance begins. While Grant quickly declares his love for Cecily, things are just a little off with Mr. Perfect.

The tragedy of 9/11 ends everything and Cecily and Matthew find their way back to each other. New lies are told. Old lies are uncovered. I’ll leave it at that as anything more would be a spoiler.

The Lies That Bind describes the horror, chaos and grief surrounding 9/11. Any book that involves that terrible day stirs personal feelings. It’s a touchy subject to tackle. The events in the book are a bit far fetched but I felt this was a worthwhile read. You’ll want to know how it all turns out. I'm conflicted by this book as I wanted to love it. Instead, I liked it enough to share it but only with reservation.

Many thanks to NetGalley, Random House – Ballantine Group and the author for a copy of The Lies That Bind in advance of its June 2, 2020 publication date.

Rated 3.5 rounded down.

Review posted on MicheleReader.com.
Profile Image for Dianne.
1,558 reviews116 followers
November 17, 2020
The Lies That Bind
by Emily Giffin

I am going to apologize to all you book lovers right this very minute. I read this as an ARC, and so I did not deplete my book-buying budget on this hot mess.

The authors' audacity in using 9/11 as a back-drop for this so-called romance was absurd and hurtful to those born before, say the year 1990. This book may be appropriate for teenagers, but this idea was atrocious for anyone that was an adult that year. Yes, the characters were young, but the buying market still relies on those with the most cash, does it not? I am thoroughly insulted by this usage of a tragedy to push product.

The characters were one-dimensional, did not grow, and had no meaningful relationships to add insult to injury. What links they did have, seemed to be tossed together at the writers' whim and didn't mesh. Cecily just seemed to 'bang' anything that was handy and called it love.

The ending? Trite, cliched, and thrown together just so there could be a HEA.

My apologies to the publisher, but I can't give you anything less than honesty.
Profile Image for Lorilin.
757 reviews241 followers
April 27, 2020
Cecily Gardner is sitting at a bar. She’s just broken up with her near-perfect boyfriend, and now that she’s a few drinks in, she’s about to drunk dial him to tell him how wrong she was. But just as she’s about to hit that little green call button, a stranger gently asks her to put the phone down, to not make the call. So she doesn’t. Instead, she talks to her new friend, Grant, the rest of the night, eventually inviting him back to her place. By the next morning, Cecily is pretty sure she’s in love. Sure, she just broke up with her ex, and this is clearly Rebound 101 territory… But she feels something with Grant she’s never felt before in her life. Unfortunately, Grant is about to move overseas with his brother, so their relationship, or whatever it is, will have to be put on hold for at least a few more months. Cecily tells herself that if it’s meant to be, it will be.

Fast forward a few months later, and Grant is finally flying home to New York. He says he has so much to tell Cecily, but it has to wait until they are face-to-face. Cecily readily agrees and counts down the minutes until she sees him. But then the unthinkable happens: two planes crash into the Twin Towers. In the ensuing chaos, Grant is nowhere to be found. Just when Cecily is about to give up hope, she sees a Missing poster with Grant’s face on it. When she calls the number on the flyer, she quickly realizes Grant was definitely not who he said he was. Now she’s not sure who to trust or what to believe, but she’ll do whatever it takes to create some sort of normal life for herself after this horrific tragedy.

Honestly, there isn’t much more I can say about this book without giving away major twists and reveals. Holy smokes, I’m stunned. I don’t know how author Giffin fit all this (admittedly ridiculous) drama in here while still making the story feel believable, but, wow, she did. The over-the-top-ness of the book is next level, but I ate up every word, flipping pages like a crazy woman until I could figure out what in tarnation was happening. And I wasn’t disappointed. The Lies that Bind has so much going on—truly, it shouldn’t work. But it did.

My only minor complaint is the ending. Let’s just say the Cecily has choices, and I’m not totally convinced the choices she makes would play out like they did. But oh well. This is one of those books where you just hang on tight and enjoy the ride. I loved it.

Thank you to Ballantine and Net Galley for the ARC! See more of my reviews at www.bugbugbooks.com.
Profile Image for Shelli.
360 reviews76 followers
Shelved as 'um-not-these-authors'
May 7, 2020
Apparently misappropriating 9/11 for romance plot fodder isn’t this author’s only offensive hobby.
Profile Image for Susan.
309 reviews11 followers
March 26, 2020
I really wanted to like this book as I usually like Emily Giffin’s work. Sadly, I was disappointed in this trite semi-love story in which two grown adults try to find out if they really love each other. They carry on like lovestruck teenagers, each thinking they love the other and each backing away when the fear of commitment overwhelms them. I found the characters flat, immature, and downright dull. Perhaps they are in love with the idea of being in love, but that generally doesn’t translate to a meaningful relationship.

I received this book as an ARC from the publisher and NetGalley.
Profile Image for Jennifer.
1,846 reviews
June 2, 2020
4.5/ 5 stars

Emily Giffin is one of my favorite authors. So I was beyond excited to get to read her newest book.

Usually I would go into a book like this blind. But for some reason the first lines of the book blurb are in bold. So I ended up seeing one aspect of what this book was about. Although truthfully I think that I would have suspected this anyhow .

I would categorize this book as a combination between Women's Fiction and Romance.

The book starts in May 2001. The narrator is 28 year old Cecily (1st person POV). She is a journalist/reporter.

When the book starts Cecily has just broken up with her longtime boyfriend Matthew. She meets a new man, Grant, at a bar.

The beginning was really interesting and captured my attention. And even though I knew one event that was going to happen, I still had no idea how things would play out.

This book was a lot more unpredictable than I was anticipating. The book took so many unexpected turns. I think that was my favorite part of the story.

At first I was very unsure what the title meant. But honestly this title could not have been more perfect for this story. It fit the story magnificently.

There were some really interesting supporting characters in this book. I really enjoyed Cecily's gay best friend Scottie. And her co-worker Jasmine. They were her sounding boards and confidants. And I really liked that she had people that she could talk to about her problems. I also really enjoyed Amy. I don't really want to go into details to say who she is. But I was intrigued by everything about this character.

There were parts of this story that were sad. There were parts that were shocking. There were times in this book where I had absolutely no idea where the story was headed. I didn't know where the romance aspect of the story was going. And I sort of loved that about this book.

I really could not put this book down. Because I was desperate to find out how the story would end. Overall, this was such an amazing and crazy book. And I really loved it.

Thanks to netgalley and Penguin Random House Canada/Doubleday Canada for allowing me to read this book. This is one of my most anticipated reads of the year.
Profile Image for Love Fool.
284 reviews115 followers
June 27, 2022
It's 2 A.M. on a Saturday night in the spring of 2001, and twenty-eight-year-old Cecily Gardner sits alone in a dive bar in New York's East Village, questioning her life. Feeling lonesome and homesick for the Midwest, she wonders if she'll ever make it as a reporter in the big city--and whether she made a terrible mistake in breaking up with her longtime boyfriend, Matthew.

As Cecily reaches for the phone to call him, she hears a guy on the barstool next to her say, "Don't do it--you'll regret it." Something tells her to listen, and over the next several hours--and shots of tequila--the two forge an unlikely connection. That should be it, they both decide the next morning, as Cecily reminds herself of the perils of a rebound relationship. Moreover, their timing couldn't be worse--Grant is preparing to quit his job and move overseas. Yet despite all their obstacles, they can't seem to say goodbye, and for the first time in her carefully constructed life, Cecily follows her heart instead of her head.

Then Grant disappears in the chaos of 9/11. Fearing the worst, Cecily spots his face on a missing-person poster, and realizes she is not the only one searching for him. Her investigative reporting instincts kick into action as she vows to discover the truth. But the questions pile up fast: How well did she really know Grant? Did he ever really love her? And is it possible to love a man who wasn't who he seemed to be?

The Lies That Bind is a mesmerizing and emotionally resonant exploration of the never-ending search for love and truth--in our relationships, our careers, and deep within our own hearts.

I was liking this book... not loving but liking, then I read the last few chapters and Emily Giffin lost me. I didn't like Cecily's choices especially in regards to Matthew and Amy. I guess my toxic trait is I try to see myself in every main character of a book I read and I couldn't see myself in Cecily or agreeing with her choices. The last few chapters made me roll my eyes more and was annoyed with Cecily.
Profile Image for Mayana.
1 review
May 7, 2020
This book was honestly a waste of money. I told myself it was time to give Emily another chance after the pro-cheating book that is Something Borrowed, and boy do I regret it.

First of all trivializing a terrorist attack is offensive on way too many levels. Second, the plot twist in this book made no sense and after about 40% in the book, the writing just seems rushed. Keep your money and don’t be like me.

I wish I could give it 0 stars, but I gave it 1 star for the editor who had to suffer through reading this like I did.
Profile Image for Katie Mac.
767 reviews
May 25, 2020
I received an eARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

1.5. It's a rare rating for me, but this book is problematic. Giffin makes gratuitous use of the tragedy of 9/11 for her personal gain, and it is entirely inappropriate. She also somehow manages to create characters that are both hollow and unappealing, and the plot is nonsensical (especially after the halfway point of the novel).

Between this book and her Meghan Markle comments, I don't think I'll be reading anything else Giffin writes (or has written).
Profile Image for Kristy.
1,027 reviews143 followers
June 1, 2020
After Cecily breaks up with her boyfriend, Matthew, she's filled with regret and what ifs. She finds herself at a bar, reaching for the phone to call him. But she's stopped by another patron, who tells her not to. They start chatting-fueled by alcohol-and spend a memorable night together (not in that way). But Grant is dealing with a lot: his brother is ill and he's about to head overseas to help him with his treatment. Still, Cecily promises to wait for him. Then Grant returns and is immediately lost in 9/11. Cecily begins to investigate, searching for answers about the man she felt was The One.

Well, this book played with my emotions, but not necessarily in a good way. It was somewhat predictable and, honestly, I'm not sure why it needed to use the backdrop of September 11th for its story. The "one that got away" could have happened without using such a tragic event in this way. Cecily talks so much about her feelings for New York that it felt wrong to have 9/11 as a plot point that didn't really need to be there (I don't want to go into more and spoil anything else).

I'll admit that the book is oddly compelling. I read it in about a day. Cecily made a lot of bad decisions, but I wanted to see how her life was going to turn out. The focus on love, trust, and loyalty certain gives us universal themes with which we can all relate. But I was frustrated with Cecily's choices, the weird plot decisions/coincidences, and the overall ending. Everything just left me with a bad taste in my mouth, even if I was quickly flipping the pages. I hope that makes sense. It's a shame, because overall, I really enjoy Giffin's books. Alas, this clocks in at 2.5 stars for me.

I received a copy of this book from Random House - Ballantine in return for a honest review.

Blog ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Instagram ~ PaperBackSwap ~ Smashbomb
Displaying 1 - 30 of 4,925 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.