Review: Lies My Girlfriend Told Me by Julie Anne Peters

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Release Date: June 10, 2014

Pages: 265

Format: ARC

Source: TBF Live

Series: N/A

Genre(s): Contemporary, LGBT

Synopsis from Goodreads:

When Alix’s charismatic girlfriend, Swanee, dies from sudden cardiac arrest, Alix is overcome with despair. As she searches Swanee’s room for mementos of their relationship, she finds Swanee’s cell phone, pinging with dozens of texts sent from a mysterious contact, L.T. The most recent text reads: “Please tell me what I did. Please, Swan. Te amo. I love you.”

Shocked and betrayed, Alix learns that Swanee has been leading a double life–secretly dating a girl named Liana the entire time she’s been with Alix. Alix texts Liana from Swanee’s phone, pretending to be Swanee in order to gather information before finally meeting face-to-face to break the news.

Brought together by Swanee’s lies, Alix and Liana become closer than they’d thought possible. But Alix is still hiding the truth from Liana. Alix knows what it feels like to be lied to–but will coming clean to Liana mean losing her, too?

Lies My Girlfriend Told Me is a beautiful story about family, loss, love, and the amazing things that can come from the worst tragedies.

Originally, I was unsure about this book. I didn’t know how the author planned to deal with the fact that it followed a girl who was a lesbian. I was happy to see that it wasn’t about her coming out, or struggling with her sexuality, because who really cares? She’s a lesbian. So what? That’s fine by me. This was a contemporary through and through, following the main character’s coping with the loss of her girlfriend, and the effects it had on her, and everyone in her life.

The relationships between the main character, Alix’s parents, her brother, Joss, and of course Liana were portrayed so realistically. The distance that Alix’s family was feeling from her after the death of her girlfriend, the anger Joss felt toward the world, and the muddied feelings Alix had for Liana were expertly written.

This book touched on a lot of topics, but didn’t fully develop them. Many of them only skimmed the surface or were mentioned once or twice. I would have liked to have seen more development, which I feel would have made the story even more bittersweet and tragic.

Overall, Lies My Girlfriend Told Me is, like I just mentioned, a bittersweet story. If you’re in the mood for a more serious read, but not too deep, I’d definitely recommend this book.

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2 thoughts on “Review: Lies My Girlfriend Told Me by Julie Anne Peters

  1. I’m glad to hear about how the author handled Alix’s sexuality; I understand that coming out is a struggle, but I always feel like LGBT fiction focuses on the fact that the character is gay, and forgets everything else that makes a person complex. Gay people are people too – plain and simple. They shouldn’t be any less well developed or dynamic than a straight character. /rant I’ve been in a broody/bittersweet reading mood lately, so I actually think this one would be perfect.

    1. This was actually my first LGBT book that I’ve ever read, but I have heard from others that it’s often handled that way. I’m happy to see authors branching out when it comes to not only gay characters but also with diversity. The world is changing and it’s great that the literature is with it.

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