Blog Tour & Review: Tell Me Lies by Carola Lovering
Tell Me Lies by Carola Lovering is being touted as one of the hottest reads of the summer & if you are into adult books I think you might want to check this one out! See my review below and a big thanks to Atria Books for having us on the Blog Tour and providing me an advance copy for review, which in no way influences my opinions.
Lucy Albright is far from her Long Island upbringing when she arrives on the campus of her small California college, and happy to be hundreds of miles from her mother, whom she’s never forgiven for an act of betrayal in her early teen years. Quickly grasping at her fresh start, Lucy embraces college life and all it has to offer—new friends, wild parties, stimulating classes. And then she meets Stephen DeMarco. Charming. Attractive. Complicated. Devastating.
Confident and cocksure, Stephen sees something in Lucy that no one else has, and she’s quickly seduced by this vision of herself, and the sense of possibility that his attention brings her. Meanwhile, Stephen is determined to forget an incident buried in his past that, if exposed, could ruin him, and his single-minded drive for success extends to winning, and keeping, Lucy’s heart.
Lucy knows there’s something about Stephen that isn’t to be trusted. Stephen knows Lucy can’t tear herself away. And their addicting entanglement will have consequences they never could have imagined.
Alternating between Lucy’s and Stephen’s voices, TELL ME LIES follows their connection through college and post-college life in New York City. With the psychological insight and biting wit of Luckiest Girl Alive, and the yearning ambitions and desires of Sweetbitter, this keenly intelligent and staggeringly resonant novel chronicles the exhilaration and dilemmas of young adulthood, and the difficulty of letting go—even when you know you should.
Praise for Tell Me Lies
“Passion, friendship, heartbreak, and forgiveness ring true in Lovering’s debut… a fast-paced ride through hookups, breakups, and infidelities fueled by alcohol and cocaine, and with oodles of sizzling sexual tension… There are unforgettable beauties in this very sexy story.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Tell Me Lies is as dark and daring as it is absorbing. I found myself immediately drawn into the desperation and misguided obsession of young love. Who hasn’t, at one point, fallen this hard and gotten this lost? Carola Lovering has created something unexpected and original, yet deeply familiar.” —Taylor Jenkins Reid, author of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
“Riveting. With Tell Me Lies, Carola Lovering has given us a keenly observed, no-holds-barred examination of the mistakes we make under the guise of love. If you’ve ever fallen for the wrong person—and let’s be honest, you probably have—this book is for you.” —Grant Ginder, author of The People We Hate at the Wedding
This book does the impossible. It manages to be compelling despite the absolute atrocious actions displayed by the characters.
When I signed up to review this, I honestly thought it was a typical second chance romance. Girl and boy fall in love. Girl and boy break up. Years later, girl and boy rekindle their love and live happily ever after. But this book is bigger than that. The story has so many facets.
Also, I have to admit this isn’t an easy read. While I found it hard to put down, I also sometimes needed a break because Stephen and Lucy were unbearable. In a bad way. This might just be the best example of a toxic relationship that I have ever read. I’m usually rooting for couples to get together/be together/stay together. In this case, however, I wanted to slap Lucy and give her a wake up call. And Stephen: I absolutely loathed him. I found nothing about him redeemable.
The story bounces back and forth between past and present. It also gives us both characters’ points of view. Which typically HELPS since then we at least know for sure what everyone is thinking. This time, I wanted OUT. I don’t remember every being so angry with a character—even the worst villains in fantasy novels. Stephen encompasses the worst parts of men and dating/love/relationships. As for Lucy, she has her own issues that go beyond Stephen. Severe mother problems that she’s left unresolved for years. Body image issues. Just…a lot. So it’s easy to see how she became vulnerable to Stephen and his “charm.” BUT—it was absolutely maddening to see her repeat a cycle which was so clearly never going to change.
Even still, I devoured this book. It’s not perfect, but it’s definitely a trainwreck and we all know it’s impossible to look away. Ultimately, you have to know how it all ends. I’m sure at some point, most people have been in a relationship that seemed like the problem was bad timing. And we’ve glorified it, or changed our perception in order to believe that person was our soul mate. This is what makes this book relatable.
Carola Lovering attended Colorado College, and her work has appeared in W Magazine, National Geographic, Outside, and Yoga Journal, among other publications. Tell Me Lies is her first novel. She currently lives in Brooklyn.