There Will Be Lies

400p. ebook available. Bloomsbury. Jan. 2015. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781619634404.
RedReviewStarGr 9 Up—"I have no words to describe how I am feeling—it's like grief, maybe, but grief for myself. I was living my life, and then something came along and killed me, erased me." Seventeen-year-old Shelby Jane Cooper's world begins to come apart after she is hit by a car in Scottsdale, AZ. Her overprotective mother takes them on the run, and a coyote (who used to be a boy) begins to bring her into the Dreaming, a magical place where Shelby is no longer deaf and the animal inhabitants believe she can save them from an evil witch. What's real, this world or the Dreaming? What are the "two lies" that Coyote warns Shelby about? What is the one truth? Lake's new novel is perplexing and disorienting, full of the rich language and heady epiphanies readers have come to expect from the Printz-award winning author of In Darkness (Bloomsbury, 2012). The plot draws on Native American mythology and the haunting vastness of the Southwest landscape. The battles between elks and wolves, narrow escapes from authorities, and the looming mystery (Who is Shelby?) will make teens want to tear through the pages. Encourage them to temper this impulse lest they miss a single one of Shelby's heartrending revelations that happen on her journey to save the Dreaming and herself.—Chelsey Philpot, Boston University
After a car accident, her mother whisks seventeen-year-old Shelby from the hospital for a road trip with the revelation that her father isn't really dead. Shelby has her own reveal: "BTW, I'm deaf." And then there's "the Dreaming," an alternate reality tinged with fairy tales and American Indian mythology that Shelby visits while asleep. This hallucinatory, kaleidoscopic novel's nuanced themes are eminently discussable.
Who is Shelby Jane Cooper? As she tells it, she's a seventeen-year girl who lives with her overprotective mother in Scottsdale, Arizona. She's homeschooled, and most often goes out only to the batting cages and the library. But that's not who Shelby Jane Cooper really is, and it takes a car accident for her to begin to separate the truth from the lies. Her mother whisks her away from the hospital for a surprise road trip and with the revelation that her father isn't really dead after all. A few chapters later, Shelby has her own reveal -- "So, yes, BTW, I'm deaf" -- a fact cleverly disguised to this point by Lake's use of italics, rather than quotation marks, to indicate dialogue. And then there's "the Dreaming," an alternate reality tinged with magical realism, fairy tales, and American Indian mythology, where Shelby lives when she's not awake. The Dreaming mirrors the real world and helps Shelby process her newfound knowledge about her family. While the Dreaming scenes serve as welcome relief from the fraught family dynamics, they can also hamper the pace of the novel. Nevertheless, this hallucinatory, kaleidoscopic mix of plot, characters, and setting is eminently discussable for its nuanced themes. After winning the Printz Award for his first novel, In Darkness (rev. 3/12), Lake continues to practice his craft at a high level. jonathan hunt

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