Release date: June 10, 2014
Publisher: Little, Brown BFYR
Reading level: Young Adult
Links: Author's Website/Goodreads
Overall: 4 out of 5 stars
When Alix's charismatic girlfriend, Swanee, dies from sudden cardiac arrest, Alix is overcome with despair. As she searches Swanee's room for mementos of their relationship, she finds Swanee's cell phone, pinging with dozens of texts sent from a mysterious contact, L.T. The most recent text reads: "Please tell me what I did. Please, Swan. Te amo. I love you."
Shocked and betrayed, Alix learns that Swanee has been leading a double life--secretly dating a girl named Liana the entire time she's been with Alix. Alix texts Liana from Swanee's phone, pretending to be Swanee in order to gather information before finally meeting face-to-face to break the news.
Brought together by Swanee's lies, Alix and Liana become closer than they'd thought possible. But Alix is still hiding the truth from Liana. Alix knows what it feels like to be lied to--but will coming clean to Liana mean losing her, too?
This is my second book by Julie Anne Peters and it certainly won't be my last. Lies My Girlfriend Told Me dealt with a lot of heavy subjects, but it never felt like an "issues book" to me, something that I was very happy about. For example, there was no need to make a big deal about the sexuality of the main characters, they were who they were and that was that. Family, death, and love were just a few of the topics explored in this latest offering from Peters and I would recommend it to any fan of contemporary YA with a grittier feel.
Alix's girlfriend, Swanee, dies tragically and it is only after this that Alix discovers the truth about the girl she thought she loved. The biggest plot element was Alix discovering her late girlfriend had been cheating on her with a girl named Liana. I liked Liana's character and she brought out a new side of Alix. Unfortunately Alix is hiding something from Liana and this might tear them apart forever.
Alix was a complex character. She seemed to be struggling to find herself and didn't always know the right thing to do. I liked how big of a role family played in this book. Alix's parents and younger brother were key players in the story and I especially enjoyed watching Alix's relationship with her baby brother develop. Alix also interacts with Swanee's family and it was interesting to see how different Swanee's family life was from Alix's and how that shaped them individually.
While I liked this book overall, I did have a few issues. First off, I sometimes felt frustrated with Alix's character and wanted her to be more independent and confident. I also wish we got to see more of Swanee before she died so I could better understand who she was.
Contemporary YA is one of my favorite genres and Julie Anne Peters has written a unique read that many readers can relate to in some way. She faces the struggles of being a teenager head on and I will definitely be reading more by her in the future. There are not a lot of young adult books out that feature LGBTQ characters and while Lies My Girlfriend Told Me wasn't perfect, I would still recommend it to fans of contemporary reads.