This Is Why We Lie
reviewed by Cara DiCostanzo
Colleen O’Dell is a popular cheerleader who tries a little too hard, both liked and hated by strangers and friends. But when her body is found floating in the bay by a student who attends a school for wayward boys, it’s anyone’s guess who killed her.
This Is Why We Lie grabs you from the first page and drops you right back into high school and that feeling of what it’s like to be a teenager again. The story centers around Jenna Dallas, who attends the prestigious Preston School for girls, and Adam Cole, who attends Rookwood, a wayward school for boys. While on the surface, it’s about the mystery surrounding Colleen’s murder, the story is just as much about a girl who falls in love with a boy from the wrong side of the tracks, and how they come together to defend Jenna’s best friend, Hollie, accused of murder.
Serena, another popular cheerleader, is in love with Max West. Though she knows he has lied and cheated on her, she always forgives. When Hollie, her best friend, accuses Colleen of being the one who cheated with Max, they get into a fight in the Cafeteria. When Colleen is killed that evening, Hollie immediately becomes the prime suspect.
There are many secrets in this book and Colleen seems to have been involved in or knew all of them. The story is told through flashbacks of Colleen intermixed with the current day and the investigation of who could have killed her. She was brash and loud, and there were many who found fault with her.
This Is Why We Lie is written as a young adult mystery, but Lepore’s writing will grab readers of any age from the start. Every character has their own secrets and their own story. Both of the main characters are well developed, and the reader will have an instant connection. Meanwhile, the side characters, including Jenna’s aunt who is a police detective, are all interesting and relatable, as well.
This story is about friendship, young love, and what happens when secrets are revealed, but it is also about how we judge people, and the bias that can happen in a murder investigation. As the reader, I could not even begin to guess who murdered Colleen O’Dell, though I was certainly shocked by the ending.
With This Is Why We Lie, Gabriella Lepore has written a book anyone would love: fast-paced, interesting, and keeps the reader on their toes trying to guess who has killed the popular cheerleader.