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Review of Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley



About Lies We Tell Ourselves

In 1959 Virginia, the lives of two girls on opposite sides of the battle for civil rights will be changed forever.

Sarah Dunbar is one of the first black students to attend the previously all-white Jefferson High School. An honors student at her old school, she is put into remedial classes, spit on and tormented daily.

Linda Hairston is the daughter of one of the town’s most vocal opponents of school integration. She has been taught all her life that the races should be kept separate but equal.

Forced to work together on a school project, Sarah and Linda must confront harsh truths about race, power and how they really feel about one another.

Boldly realistic and emotionally compelling, Lies We Tell Ourselves is a brave and stunning novel about finding truth amid the lies, and finding your voice even when others are determined to silence it.

My Review

“Other people will always try to decide things for you. They’ll try to tell you who you are. Remember, no matter what they say, you’re the one who really decides.”

Such an amazingly powerful book. I struggled with the amount of hate and anger spewing from the pages. The scenarios and characters felt incredibly real which magnified the reading experience making it even more painful and uncomfortable to read. The two different perspectives provide dimension and great interest both highly educational.

Sarah’s strength and determination left a lasting impression. I supported her from the beginning, hoping she’d overcome the hostility and cruelty. Dealing with segregation and the fact she is a lesbian, no doubt she’s dealing with a lot of heavy issues. Linda initially appears downright ignorant, one of the many haters until family issues are revealed, we understand her more and her personal challenges.

An emotional read leaving you tangled in an array of emotions, evoking. Great read for all with plenty to discuss. Impactful and halting.

About Robin Talley6469490

I live in Washington, D.C., with my wife, our baby daughter, an antisocial cat and a goofy hound dog. Whenever the baby’s sleeping, I’m probably busy writing young adult fiction about queer characters, reading books, and having in-depth conversations with friends and family about things like whether Jasmine’s character motivation was sufficiently established in Aladdin.

Published September 30th 2014 by Harlequin Teen

Leave a comment


  1. I love the concept of this book. I gotta check it out on Amazon. I hope you sell a million copies.

  2. Shared and just added this intriguing book to my TBR. Thank you to Andrew Joyce for leading me here 🙂


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