Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Book Review | This is How I Lied



This book was absolutely atrocious and an insult to everyone who read it. I do not understand how it has such high ratings because it is without a doubt one of the worst books I have ever read in my whole entire life.

There will be major spoilers from here on out to showcase what an absolute shit show this book was, so if you want to read it at any point, you should stop here.


The premise was decent, intriguing even, although basic - small town, big secrets, unsolved murder of teen girl, a handful of (obvious) suspects, new evidence. I was looking forward to a quick read, a nice little thriller to cleanse my palette after some heavier non-fiction reads.

Things were going along decently, even if a bit tedious at times. The story is told from three points of view - Eve in 1995, the teen who was murdered; Eve's best friend Maggie in present day; and Nola, Eve's sociopathic sister also in present day.

Maggie was the absolute worst and I could not stand her narration because they were just painful and terribly written and nothing made sense. I don't know if the author meant for her to be unreliable early on due to her being heavily pregnant - blaming hormones or something? Whatever the reason, it totally did not work because no one could be that stupid and still make Detective, no matter how small a town, right? We are talking about a small town in Iowa though, and we all know what I.O.W.A. stands for... (If you are not from the US, we like to say it stands for Idiots Out Walking Around.)

Anyway, by 39% I was struggling. Like, I get she was emotional because this was her best friend, she is pregnant now, she is in charge of the case (how would this even be allowed, really? She's way too close to the case - and in more ways than one, but we will get to all THAT bullshit in a minute). I decided to keep going, against my better judgement.

So, I am trucking along from that 39% mark and BOOM! suddenly around 60% the book gets very, very stupid. Turns out not only is Maggie a moron, she is a BIG FAT LIAR. We find out that, "Oops, I left out key information in the first 60% of the book because I WAS THE ONE WHO HAD A FIGHT WITH EVE AND LEFT MY BEST FRIEND FOR DEAD INSIDE THE CAVE WHERE HER BODY WAS LATER FOUND...ALSO BY MEEEEEEEE!"

For fuck's sake, that is not a plot twist. That is lazy fucking writing. How are readers supposed to attempt to unravel anything if HUGE pieces of information are purposely withheld in a pathetic attempt to make them some sort of, "OmG i DiD nOt SeE tHaT cOmInG!"

Under normal circumstances, I LOVE unreliable narrators. But that nonsense the author pulled with Maggie's "big reveal" was so cheap. It did not make her unreliable, it made her a sociopath too, but low-key compared to the other sociopath in the story, Nola, who needed to be locked up. I mean, both should have been locked up, but we will get to that in a minute.

So much of the story was utterly bland and even when characters were described, there was only one thing that made them distinguishable from one another. For example, Maggie the pregnant detective. Nola is the sociopath. Eve's high school boyfriend is abusive. The pedophile is a pedophile. Maggie's husband is just there; I can not recall a single thing about him except that he is incredibly trusting to remain married to a low-key sociopath who left her best friend to die in a cave. I guess that was somehow supposed to make Maggie a complex character? It didn't. She's flat as a pancake, just like every other character in this book.

More on Maggie being awful: Somehow she never managed to have her gun when she needed it. I don't know how many times she went for it, but it was not there. Seriously? She also witnessed things that would potentially lead to the grooming and rape/molestation of a young teen girl by the pedophile. She literally watched from her car as her former abuser (who she was in love with when she was a teen, and was pregnant by - that's what the argument with Eve was about in the cave and what they fought over) singled out one of the girls on the softball team he coached, then DID NOTHING and DROVE AWAY. A POLICE OFFICER, who KNEW this man was a PEDOPHILE, DROVE AWAY. Probably because she was so pregnant and had to pee again, and she was just so uncomfortable, and she had to throw up again, and her belly was ginormous and blah blah fucking blah. Plus, don't forget about the times she trespassed by entering private property without a warrant. Hell, without probable cause even. Then there are also the parts of the story where she contemplated framing someone else to keep her role in Eve's death a secret. That was swell, too.

Let's talk specifically about Nola now, the incredibly NOT low-key sociopath. How this person was not institutionalized as a child is beyond me. She eventually holds Maggie hostage at the end in the cave (because she witnessed the fight Maggie and Eve had the night Eve died), where Maggie then gives birth. Prior to this point in the story, we also know that she planned to kill her mother but held off so the woman could suffer for a longer amount of time; she was constantly harassing/terrorizing Maggie's father, who had dementia. Maggie's brother Colin was another stupid, one-dimensional character who could never keep track of their dad and the poor man just wandered around most of the time; she became a veterinarian and was just as psycho to animals as she was to people - we see her meet with a patient (a horse), and gives it something to help speed death along, while telling the owner to bring the horse in to the clinic under the guise of  possibly being able to save the animal. She did fucked up things to animals and insects when she was a kid also, yet there she is, just out walking around as an adult. We also can't forget the part where Maggie discovered human bones in Nola's home, on one of her illegal walkabouts. Awesome. I'm totally sure the bones were not a trophy of some sort.

The ending was absolute bullshit. Maggie suffered no consequences for her role in Eve's death. Zip, zero, zilch, nothing. I get it that she was not the one who actually killed Eve, but she left out the fact that their fight left Eve severely weakened and she stood no chance against her actual murderer. Nola was charged with 'simple assault'. REEEEEEAAAALLLLLYYYYYY? Holding someone hostage in a cave while they're in labor and wanting to kill them and their baby is simple assault? Sure, okay.

But wait! It gets better!

Nola only had to spend a month in an institution so she could be stabilized, whatever that means. This bitch has been a sociopath her entire life and there are witnesses to this. But sure, a month will totally cure her. Not to mention you can't actually cure a sociopath but again, small details. Once she is out of the place that is supposed to stabilize her, Nola will have to follow the directives of a restraining order that says she must stay away from Maggie. Right. Because that will also be effective.

This book. So bad. So, so bad. Do not waste the brain cells.


  1. JSKEKRNFMALWKEJDJD! This book... can you even drive while 8 MONTHS pregnant? This sounds like an "interesting" book a 11 year old would write. I AM NOT READING THIS. EVER. The book aside I like how you described the book and how bad it was.

    1. Thank you. it was absolute garbage and nothing made sense or was remotely realistic.

    2. She's not a new author and has several other titles I think. I won't bother with any of them because this was such trash.

    3. I'm not sure how many she has written, so maybe she is one of those authors who has written so many that the publisher lets her write whatever garbage she wants? I don't know.

  2. LOL! But why don't you tell us how you REALLY feel, Sarah?

    1. And here I thought I was keeping myself in control, LOL! (Just kidding, I know I wasn't)

  3. echo Dorothy! i didn't know that Iowas had caves, i thought it was all flat...

    1. It made me so mad, I had to express it all just so people know how horrible it truly was! You brought up an interesting point about caves, but I figured there would have to be some caves along the the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers, so I checked and there are.

  4. I can't deny, it's been a while since I read a negative rant review and I am here for it :D This book sounds so ridiculous I'm wondering how on EARTH it has 3.81 stars on Goodreads?? I am confusion.

    Laura @BlueEyeBooks

    1. I try not to do these too often, but some things simply can not be overlooked or forgiven. I could not understand that rating either, or people gushing over it, how the "twist" that wasn't really a twist was just so amazing. Um, bitch lied for 60% of the book. That's not a twist.

  5. i love your review. it had me cracking up. even though it sounds like a book i would enjoy, i doubt i will read it. i echo dorothy.....-)
    sherry @ fundinmental


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