Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Release Day Review: Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney

Pub. Date: March 13th, 2018
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Pages: 258

Genre: Thriller / Contemporary Fiction / Mystery


My name is Amber Reynolds. There are three things you should know about me:

1. I’m in a coma.
2. My husband doesn’t love me anymore.
3. Sometimes I lie.

Amber wakes up in a hospital. She can’t move. She can’t speak. She can’t open her eyes. She can hear everyone around her, but they have no idea. Amber doesn’t remember what happened, but she has a suspicion her husband had something to do with it. Alternating between her paralyzed present, the week before her accident, and a series of childhood diaries from twenty years ago, this brilliant psychological thriller asks: Is something really a lie if you believe it's the truth?

What Did I Think About the Story?

I'm on a real mystery/thriller kick right now and, I am delighted to say, there are a surprising number of highly anticipated books like this coming out this year. It's only March and this is my fourth such book so far...and I've got a toppling stack more to read. And so far they've all had that delicious "unreliable narrator' that is so popular right now and I, for one, cannot get enough! Sometimes I Lie is a great example of this suspenseful and page-turning sort of novel, while also turning the genre on its head and making it wholly original and all its own.

The story is told in three alternating timelines: "Now": Amber in a coma in the hospital but not remembering what brought her there; "Then": Amber talking about issues at her job and in her personal life, starting about a week before her coma and leading up to what happened; and "Then": diary entries from the 1990s that bring interesting insight into the terror and confusion unfolding in the present time. Through much of the beginning of the story the author keeps everything somewhat vague, with Amber talking about being an outsider at work, not having a lot of friends, and being somewhat invisible to everyone, including her family. Being that the synopsis plainly states that Amber lies I tried to take everything I read with a grain of salt while trying to figure out exactly where this story was headed. Being someone who is usually pretty good at figuring twists out I am so happy to state that I was completely thrown by the many (and I mean many!) twists this story took as the myriad of tangled truths and lies finally started to fall into place. At every turn I thought I was on to something and then was completely thrown off course by the truth. And the final pages...I had read in other reviews that they hold a shocking twist and that statement is completely true. I am still trying to wrap my head around it all!

I can't really say too much more about the plot without giving something away, but I will say that the vast majority of the main characters introduced are hiding things from the reader and that all the various connections, half-truths and straight lies do come out into the light by the last page, which I appreciate as I hate when the dots aren't connected by the end. I will also say that my favorite parts of the story took place within Amber's mind while she was in a coma as these parts were so very creepy for a few different reasons. I have a tendency to get claustrophobic, so reading things about small spaces or someone being trapped tend to make me feel anxious, which makes even more of an impression for this sort of story. The sections of the story where Amber was able to hear and feel things happening around and to her made me so tense, especially when she's let us know some of her secrets but she can't communicate with the other characters to let them know. Add on to this some horrific nightmares she has that involve a little girl with no face who creepy-sings nursery rhymes to her and I was both completely horrified and completely hooked.

Sometimes I Lie is a wonderful example of the current trend in psychological thrillers where you can't trust anyone or even your own interpretation of what you're reading. Every twist has a turn and every character has a lie on their lips. If you, like me, are eating up this sort of story than you want to pick up Sometimes I Lie!  

What Did I Think About the Cover?

I love it! So much of Amber's time is spent in her coma, looking internally and "falling" into these strange sleep/wake cycles and nightmares and this cover makes me think of that. It's quite striking in person and gives me this sense of unsettledness and off-puttedness that mirrors the story. Really simple but really effective!

My Rating: 4.5/5.0

I received an ARC (advanced reader copy) of Sometimes I Lie from Flatiron Books. All opinions are mine alone. To find more information about the book, including other reviews and links to where you can purchase a copy, see Goodreads HERE.


  1. I'm reading this right now. I'm on page 59 and I am still not impressed. Unlike you, I am finding the parts in the NOW chapters, where she is thinking while she is in a coma, kind of boring. Also, when she is thinking about incidences in the past, I notice she contradicts herself a couple of times. But these were not obvious, so I wonder if the author meant for the reader to notice or if she just made a mistake.

    1. Hi techeditor! I hope the reading improves for you. I agree that the narrator is full of contradictions and I think most of those are probably on purpose. But I could be wrong :)!