Holy moly, Batman… what a fantastic book! I read the majority of this book in one sitting because it was impossible to put down. (I only got two hours worth of sleep, but it was worth the book hangover!)
The story is set within three distinct points in time, split into alternating chapters:
- Now: The present, in which Amber is hospitalized and comatose.
- Then: The recent past, where we see the events that take place shortly before Amber ends up in the hospital.
- Before: Entries from a childhood diary written in 1991.
NOW: When the story begins, the reader is at the same disadvantage as Amber—knowing where she is, without knowing why. Was it an accident, or someone do this to her? Vague clues about what happened to her are dropped in the conversations going on around her—which Amber is able to hear, despite being in a coma—but they don’t tell her what she needs to know. If anything, what she hears often leave her as confused as the dreams she slips into regularly. Amber thinks they may hold the key to what happened to her, but the surreal dreams make little sense to her.
My inner detective was on constant alert as I read the present-day chapters. I wanted to solve the mystery of what happened to her before all was revealed, and I was constantly noting little things that seemed important. It was a lot of fun, and kept me even more firmly glued to the pages, but (per usual) I wasn’t able to figure it out.
THEN: Getting insight into Amber’s day-to-day life, and her (practically non-existent) relationships with her co-workers was interesting. Amber struggles with anxiety and OCD, and it was intriguing to see how she coped with checking rituals. There was one, in particular, that I puzzled over quite a bit—wondering what the story behind it was and hoping it would be revealed at some point. (It was.) Her relationship with her boss, Madeline, was extremely complicated, mixed in with a heavy dose of intrigue that had me scratching my head, wondering what it was all about. One event (which I won’t spoil with details) left me wide-eyed and shocked to the core, even though I didn’t fully understand (yet) why it was happening. When the ‘why’ of it came out later on, I was shocked all over again.
BEFORE: These chapters were so good! I spent a lot of time staring off into space, attempting to reconcile the things I’d already read, with something I’d just read in one of the dairy entries. I think I was sometimes more puzzled with that, than with why Amber was in the hospital!
Puzzled is how I felt much of the time I was reading this book, but in a good way. I went into it expecting one mystery, and found several others that were every bit as fascinating and compelling as the first. The resolution of each one was extremely satisfying, and I didn’t have any unanswered questions by the time I reached the end.
Speaking of the ending: WOW… totally blew me away! I don’t know what I expected, but it certainly wasn’t that.
I LOVED this book. It’s definitely a Book Worth Reading, and you won’t want to miss out on this one!
I received an advance review copy of this book courtesy of Flatiron Books.
About the Book
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?
About the Author
Alice has lived in London and Sydney and has now settled in the Surrey countryside, where she lives with her dog – a giant black Labrador who is scared of feathers.
Sometimes I Lie is her debut thriller and is being published around the world.