How We Learned to Lie
Author: Meredith Milller
Release Date: July 31, 2018
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Synopsis: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, sting-rays. But the more she sees of life outside her microscope, the more she realizes that peo-ple aren’t as easy to read as cells on a slide, and no one, not even Daisy, tells the truth.
Daisy’s always wished he had a family more like Joan’s, and that desire has only grown since his dad went to jail. But not even Joan can help Daisy keep his deadbeat older brother from putting everyone close to them in more danger.
When tragedy strikes too close to home, Joan and Daisy need each other more than ever. But no matter how hard they try, their secrets and lies have driven them apart. It’s only a matter of time before their friendship, just like their town, goes up in flames.
Sharp-edged and voice-driven, Meredith Miller’s How We Learned to Lie is a keenly ob-served story about friendship, violence, and life in a town on the brink.
I remember when Little Wrecks came out, and I thought it sounded really good. I didn’t actually have the chance to read that one yet, but it’s on my list, especially considering how much I found myself enjoying How We Learned to Lie.
I love stories about friendship, even ones that aren’t always positive. I feel like we have so many romances out there now, that sometimes you just need to settle in with an amazingly awesome friendship story. I give even more points if the friendship aspect doesn’t feel forced and it is actually quite raw and real. How We Learned to Lie has a very real feeling friendship that makes you stop and think, really wonder, how things are going to turn out in the book.
I really loved the main characters in the book, Joan and Daisy. They came from two different family dynamics and they worked well together as friends. But because there are so many secrets hanging on, you can almost feel the crackling tension at times, and that makes the book feel like it’s something incredibly spot on, something that you can really relate to. Not every friendship is butterflies and ice cream cones – sometimes there are dark, sinister secrets that can cut you to the very core.
The characters of Joan and Daisy were really well written and they practically jumped right off the page – there was so much character going on there, so much personality. They were richly fleshed out and everything about them seemed real. I almost felt like they were my own friends.
The plot of the book has a bit of a twist, of course, and I’m not going to talk about it because for me it really made the story feel complete. I couldn’t put this one down – I read it from start to finish over the course of a single day, and I loved every single second of reading it. There is so much to offer here, whether you are looking for a friendship story or simply something a little different than the fluffy contemporaries you’ve been reading all summer. This definitely has a bit of a bite to it, and it’s so, so good.
Whether you’ve read Little Wrecks or this is your first chance to pick up a book by Meredith Miller, I don’t think you will be disappointed. Definitely give this one a read – I think it’s easy to be blown away by the talent that the author possess and how well she crafted this story.
Note: I received an eARC from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!
Meredith Miller is the author of Little Wrecks and How We Learned to Lie. She grew up in a large, unruly family on Long Island, New York, and now lives in the UK. She is a published short story writer and literary critic with a great love for big nine-teenth-century novels and for the sea. Her short stories have appeared most recently in Stand, Short Fiction, Prole, Alt Hist, and The View from Here.
Prize: 2 hardcover copies of HOW WE LEARNED TO LIE by Meredith Miller
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