Sometimes I lie by Alice Feeney is a perplexing, dark and claustrophobic thriller novel, with Amber Reynolds as its protagonist. Her introduction is mysterious as we are introduced to her shortly after she has fallen into a coma. She can hear everyone around her, but no one knows this. She doesn’t remember what happened, but she suspects her husband had something to do with it.
The chapters alternate between her paralyzed present, the week before her accident, and a series of childhood diaries from twenty years ago. The reader is left wondering what lead to her current state of unconsciousness. What kept me engaged was how unabashedly Amber admits that she lies, which is how the novel starts off. I was ready to guess everything that would happen in the novel but I should have not bothered as I couldn’t foresee any of the twists that came.
With every word spoken, I was challenged to try to pick out the truths from the lies and piece them together. It was a fun game. I enjoyed how as the book progressed, the span of the dueling timelines got shorter, letting me know that the ending was getting closer. This style of writing always hooks me in as I don’t have to read months of buildup. The switches in time drove me crazy. It left me frustrated that I couldn’t figure out what was going on. I felt as if the author or the main character was taunting me, that the truth was right in front of me, but I just couldn’t see it. The plot twists at every turn were complex and at times it confused me, but the confusion only lasted a while and was a part of the experience. The more I read, the more everything started to make sense. I enjoyed this as it made me willingly fall into a story that challenged me and forced me to think outside the box. Reading this brilliant novel allowed me to pretend to be a detective to discover where it all would lead. With every little piece being revealed, I tried to understand how the story would end. I failed… And my friends were annoyed as I was very suspicious of them.
My favorite quote from the whole book that left me shocked yet excited was “’I’m back and I remember everything.” After that line, there was no way I was putting the book down. The audacity she has to lie and say something like that is scary yet entertaining. This book is a complete lie and it makes you wonder, has Amber always lied? Worse yet, does she truly believe her lies to be the truth? She claims people in her life are evil but reading from their perspectives it seems that Amber is the evil one. The change in perspectives is refreshing as we get to see what happened from another source. Amber has stated that she’s unreliable so it is refreshing to read someone else’s point of view.
When I reached the ending, I loved every action Amber had taken. This unreliable character admits to her own truth again, that she is a liar. And in doing so she takes what she wants, whatever that may be such as, taking someone’s kid, a job, framing someone for a murder she committed, etc. She got away with so many things and it’s genius. This novel has you sometimes questioning what secrets or lies the author has due to the sensual way she writes. It’s as if she is in the headspace of Amber.
I enjoyed reading this novel and it got me into the thriller genre, and I recommend it if you are looking for something to read during lockdown.