Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Book of Lies by Mary Horlock

The Book of Lies by Mary Horlock begins with a confession from fifteen-year-old Cat Rozier, living on the island of Guernsey in 1984, who recently killed her best friend Nic, although she swears it wasn't her fault. Instead, Cat blames history and in order to understand what happened she not only reminisces about the past, but also includes letters written by her father as well as transcriptions of tapes left behind by her uncle regarding the German occupation of Guernsey during WWII. As The Book of Lies is pieced together, Cat lets the reader in on the arrival of the startlingly beautiful and charming Nicolette and how the two soon become best friends. Until, that is, Nic thinks that Cat has betrayed her and decides to take her own cruel revenge.

Cat has an engaging and unique voice and much of The Book of Lies reads almost like a ramble from an eccentric, somebody who doesn't realize quite how ridiculous they sound and is all the more entertaining for it. It also reinforces the natural drama of being a teenager, how each relationship and friendship feels like the most important thing in the world, an aspect Horlock captures flawlessly. That said, I definitely think Cat is a little crazy! At one point she says,  "Do not think for a minute I am a violent person. Just because I like watching mindless violence on television doesn’t mean I want to go round cutting throats (or that I would know how to)."

Although I loved Horlock's writing and the believably teenage voice of the narrator, I did find the ending of The Book of Lies to be a bit of a cop-out. It is the kind of ending that tries to please everyone but ends up pleasing no one (or at least not me.) The book is written in several formats including transcripts, letters, and a confession but it was definitely Mary's voice that I enjoyed the most. That said, the insight into life on Guernsey during WWII was really interesting and was a nice compliment to what I already knew from reading The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows last year.

Overall, The Book of Lies was an entertaining and quirky novel so despite being disappointed by the ending I got enough enjoyment out of Horlock's book that I'd definitely consider reading future offerings by her.

Release Date: March 3rd, 2011
Pages: 368
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This review was a part of TLC Book Tours. Click here to read what other tour hosts thought. For the purpose of this review I was provided with a copy of the book which did not require a positive review. The opinions expressed in this post are completely my own.

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