Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley
Pub. Date: September 30, 2014
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Format: Hardcover, Paperback, eBook
Sarah Dunbar, one of the eight black students who will now be attending Jefferson High School, marches through the crowd of white kids shouting names and insults. When the Supreme Court ruling was set in place, white people fought it and fought it; but now it’s happening. Integration. Sarah is one of the first black kids to set foot in Jefferson High, the local white high school. She knows they won’t accept her because of the color of her skin, but she hopes she’ll get by until graduation. She doesn’t expect so much hate and discrimination. She doesn’t expect her friends to get hurt. She definitely doesn’t expect to fall in love with a white girl against integration.
This is 1959 Virginia. And black people are not welcome.
Lies We Tell Ourselves was both eye-opening and enthralling at the same time. I liked how we got to know the characters well, and The dual POV made for a more interesting story and comparison between the thoughts and feelings of the characters. The setting of the story during integration almost made conflict its own character in the book. I found Sarah and Linda’s arguments for and against integration interesting, and at the same time, it made me sad that Linda was so blind. The characters developed as the book progressed becoming more independent and finding their voices. Although the characters self-questioning got a little repetitive at times, that repetition didn’t hinder the plot and gave helpful insight into their characters. Sarah is a role model for all other YA characters; not only does she protect her sister, but she is independent and fights for equality. Sarah and Linda’s relationship was both heartbreaking and delightful, making me wonder about their future together. With its characters, conflict, and LGBT+ elements, Lies We Tell Ourselves is a historical fiction I recommend.