Wednesday, June 20, 2018

BOOK REVIEW: Tell Me No Lies and Giveaway

By Adele Griffin
Algonquin Publishers
June 2018

Amazon Synopsis:
Lizzy Swift is a senior in high school, shyly emerging from her nerd chrysalis to take her first gamble on the Argyll social scene. She braves a relationship with her longtime crush, Matt Ashley, and befriends the reckless, enigmatic senior transfer, Claire Reynolds, who introduces Lizzy to downtown Philadelphia—its clubs, street life, and vibrant art scene. Soon art and passion take priority over homework, after-school jobs, and her longstanding Ivy League ambitions.

But almost as quickly, these delights and distractions are clouded by suspicions and doubts. Sometimes Lizzy feels that she and Matt are soul mates; other times it seems he’s holding back from her. Claire can be moody, and while she confesses bits and pieces of a breakup so heart-wrenching she changed schools, she won’t tell Lizzy the whole story. Lizzy wants Claire to confide in her, even as she keeps her own secrets from her new best friend.  When startling revelations inevitably come to light, they just might shatter these delicate bonds of love and passion, friendship and loyalty.

Set against the neon pop of the late eighties and told with authentic voice and inimitable prose, Adele Griffin’s heart-racing novel takes readers on a journey through the thrill of rebellion and the complications of first love. 

My Thoughts: First,I loved that this story took place against the back drop of the 1980's. The reference to music,clothes and culture were fun. These were the days before selfies, text messages, and snap chat. The cover of the book looks light-hearted and makes it look like it's going to be a cotton candy read but, in all actuality it's filled with very complex characters. 

Each character carries a secret that can lead to heartbreak or shattered friendships.The main character Lizzy is extremely likable as she tries to navigate epilepsy, her senior year, college choices, a possible first love, and complicated friendships. She is an easy character to root for throughout the book. On the other hand I pegged Claire as a frenemy(who becomes Lizzy's best friend) as soon as she and Lizzy met. I didn't like her at all, but as the story starts to unfold you see where Claire comes from and the empathy starts to pour in. 

As if these characters and their issues aren't big enough to deal with in a story- the author throws a curve ball of the AIDS epidemic that is running rampant through the United States during this time. It's so easy to forget what a scary time this was for everyone. The author bravely dips a toe into the lack of knowledge, the fear, and the intolerance that was happening during this time period. 

The characters in the book are easily relate-able and likable, each with their own great story to tell. I thoroughly enjoyed reading "Tell Me No Lies" and look forward to Adele Griffin's next book.

This book was sent to me by Algonquin Young Readers for review and as no baring on my review or thoughts about the book. Because this is an ARC I would like to give this away to the first person who answers this question--What is the name of Lizzy's best friend? in the comment section below.

Adele Griffin is the highly acclaimed author of almost thirty books for Young Adult and middle grade readers.Her works include the National Book Award Finalists Sons of Liberty and Where I Want to Be, as well as the popular Oodlethunks series for younger readers. Her latest novel The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone was a YALSA Best Book of 2015, an Amazon Best YA Book of the Year, a Booklist Top Ten Arts Books for Youth, a Junior Library Guild selection, a Romantic Times Finalist for Book of the Year, and a School Library Journal Top Fiction pick. Her latest novel Be True to Me is publishing in June 2017 with Algonquin Books.Adele serves on the Board of Directors of the MacDowell Colony, and is on the advisory board of 826NYC. She lives with her husband, Erich, their two young children, and their dog, Edith, in Brooklyn, New York.


  1. I guess her best friend is Claire Reynolds? Sounds like a good book!

  2. You got it! Email me at with the address can I mail your book to. Thanks for participating!