Twisted, gripping, and insane. I raced to the end!
I was late reading Alice Feeney’s debut novel but after hearing so many amazing reviews, I’m so happy it lived up to the hype. This book was an emotional whirlwind and after finishing, I needed some time to digest it. I don’t give many five-star reviews because there are so many incredible books I enjoy but feel they lack that extra something—whatever ‘that’ is. Originality is a quality I always find compelling, and in a genre that is so over-saturated with murder and unreliable female narrators, it’s hard to find a book that stands out from the crowd. Well, this book accomplishes just that, and then some.
Alice Feeney is a New York Times bestselling author and journalist. Her debut novel, Sometimes I Lie, was an international bestseller, has been translated into over twenty languages, and is being made into a TV series by Warner Bros. starring Sarah Michelle Gellar. Other notable works include but are not limited to His & Hers, Rock, Paper, Scissors, and Daisy Darker (releasing August 2022).
When we first meet the protagonist she tells us three things.
My name is Amber Reynolds. There are three things you should know about me:Amber Reynolds – Sometimes I Lie
1. I’m in a coma.
2. My husband doesn’t love me anymore.
3. Sometimes I lie.
From that point on, Feeney leads the reader through a story of cat and mouse as Amber tries desperately to piece together the fragmented memories of her life before the accident. Told through dual timelines and intermittent diary entries from twenty years previous, the suspense is palpable as both character backgrounds and motives are revealed.
I found the cast of characters realistic albeit somewhat terrifying at times, their backgrounds and relationships well fleshed out and intriguing. The arcs were believable and the endings satisfying, right up until the last page when it threw a curveball and left me hanging by a thread. At certain points, it wasn’t even clear who the real enemy was, which I love. This book kept me guessing (with dread) right up until the very end.
I found it gripping, and the plot propulsive, finishing the book in two sittings. The writing style is told in first-person, gradually building suspense throughout. There was never a point in which I felt the story dragged. When first introduced to the diary entries I wondered how they would relate to the main storyline, creating more intrigue, until finally revealing one of the biggest plot twists in the book.
There are so many scenes that haunt me from this book, but if I had to pick one in particular it would be when Amber’s husband leaves her in the hospital one night after visiting, convinced she can hear him and that she’ll move somehow. He ends up setting up a secret camera and catching something he never could have imagined.
Recommended to readers who enjoy unreliable narrators, compelling female protagonists, secrets, and endless twists. This could easily be one of my favorite 2022 reads so far!
published march 23rd, 2017
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?