Buzzworthy 2018 Book #5: SOMETIMES I LIE by Alice Feeney
Flatiron Books; March 13, 2018
Are you a fan of big-name psychological thrillers like Gone Girl, The Girl on the Train, and Behind Closed Doors? Then look no further—your 2018 obsession is here. SOMETIMES I LIE by Alice Feeney is the twisty, addictive psychological thriller that delivers exactly the kind of jaw-dropping, edge-of-your-seat read that its plot summary promises. Go ahead, expect to be surprised and completely entertained: Alice Feeney’s outstanding debut is more than up to the task.
I know all too well—it can seem hard to find a psychological thriller that can fill the huge shoes left behind by some of 2016 and 2017’s biggest releases, but I promise, SOMETIMES I LIE is the puzzle piece your reading list has been missing. Feeney keeps the reader constantly wrong-footed in a debut suspense novel that’s equal parts claustrophobic and captivating. With the shocks of Gone Girl, the interpersonal drama of Behind Closed Doors, and the unreliable characters of The Girl on the Train, SOMETIMES I LIE is a guaranteed hit for readers looking to be swept up in a story that thrills and entertains from the first page to the last. Sinister, shocking, and just plain fun to read, SOMETIMES I LIE is impeccably on-trend yet also inventive and original. Feeney's debut is the answer for any reader looking to find the next buzzy, trendy psychological thriller in the new year.
If you’re unfamiliar with my “Buzzworthy Books” series: these posts serve to preview reads I’m already recommending for the coming year. Each post highlights three key elements that make the featured book exceptional enough to start learning about it well in advance!
Book Trailer & Plot Details: SOMETIMES I LIE
My name is Amber Reynolds. There are three things you should know about me:
1. I’m in a coma.
2. My husband doesn’t love me anymore.
3. Sometimes I lie.
Amber wakes up in a hospital. She can’t move. She can’t speak. She can’t open her eyes. She can hear everyone around her, but they have no idea. Amber doesn’t remember what happened, but she has a suspicion her husband had something to do with it. Alternating between her paralyzed present, the week before her accident, and a series of childhood diaries from twenty years ago, this brilliant psychological thriller asks: Is something really a lie if you believe it's the truth?
What to Love About SOMETIMES I LIE
Three key elements that make SOMETIMES I LIE a 2018 Must-Read:
1. Claustrophobia-inducing plot. Feeney has done a superb job establishing a psychological thriller with a genuinely unnerving premise: a woman is in a coma, and relates to the reader what she is able to experience as she lies immobile in her hospital bed, unable to even open her eyes. If this isn’t an intriguing premise, I don’t know what is—and Feeney develops it masterfully. I had a visceral reaction to main character Amber’s situation: I found myself tensing up and holding my breath as she describes to the reader her panic at not being able to communicate with those around her. This premise laces the entire story with a pervasive sense of claustrophobia, one that differentiates this book from every other psychological thriller I read this year. And lest readers worry that this setup might become uneventful: Feeney seamlessly balances moments of Amber sharing her current predicament (peppered with reveals made by family members visiting her in the hospital!) with flashbacks to the days leading up to her accident, keeping the plot driving forward even as Amber herself lays immobile. Hats off to Alice Feeney for playing with such an ambitious setup for a psychological thriller - and for delivering on that premise, serving up a read that’s as unnerving as its premise suggests.
2. Eschewing genre stereotypes. This is a tricky topic to discuss without spoiling anything, so you may have to take this one on faith. Here's what I can say: Feeney doesn't rely on psychological thriller stereotypes to deliver the entertainment value that radiates from every page of this book. This being in many ways an on-trend psychological thriller, readers will delve into problematic relationships brimming with manipulation and deceit, but I can practically guarantee that the ultimate revelations Feeney serves up will defy the reader's every expectation. Trust nothing about this book—not its apparent villains nor its seemingly innocent characters. Just trust that Feeney is setting you up to be surprised at every turn by her original and envelope-pushing suspense novel.
3. All those twists! For lack of a more professional way to say this: holy cow. Reading SOMETIMES I LIE is a bit like always being just one step behind of the author, but in the most entertaining way possible. Just when I thought I was closing in on the truth about Amber Reynolds, Feeney pulled the rug out from under me - and this happened over and over again. Some reveals were small, some were earth-shatteringly large; all were completely entertaining and totally unpredictable. If you’re a reader who prefers crime novels that are more methodical and procedural-oriented, SOMETIMES I LIE won’t suit you—this is a story that relies on a number of shocking twists, but I truly enjoyed every single one of them. Just when I thought I might have moved past the trend of really “twisty” psychological suspense novels, Alice Feeney has reminded me why this trend caught on in the first place. When done well, there’s simply nothing more fun than reading a psychological thriller that makes you gasp out loud and question everything you thought you knew about it. SOMETIMES I LIE delivered this kind of read for me—I actually can’t overstate just how surprised I was by the many twists and turns this story took. Is it a bit dramatic? Absolutely. Are these twists potentially a bit unrealistic? Sure, you could argue that - but why would you want to, when reading it is this fun? I loved every single surprising, twisty, shocking moment of this read.
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. All opinions my own.
Hardcover: 272 pages
Publisher: Flatiron Books (March 13, 2018)
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