By Anagha Gouru
Date of Publication: January 6, 2015
Author: Nick Lake
Number of Pages: 464
“There are things that, when they break, they keep on functioning, just in some other, lesser way. Like an elevator: it breaks, and it's a room. An escalator: it breaks, and its stairs The heart is the same. It breaks, and you might not even notice, because you still feel things, you still have emotions.”
Summary: Award-winning author Nick Lake’s newest novel is the ultimate thrill ride about a concept that appears constantly in our lives: lies. The lies we tell ourselves, and the lies heard from others. The novel switches between two worlds: modern-day Arizona and “the Dreaming” a fantastical world abundant with characters of Native American folklore. Shelby Cooper, the protagonist, is a deaf girl who lives with her strangely overprotective mother. Her mother homeschools her and doesn’t even let her walk on her own to the library. Towards the beginning of the book, as a result of Shelby’s loss of hearing, she isn’t aware when a car comes speeding towards her and hits her. After she is knocked over, a coyote appears in her mind and gives her the message: “There will be two lies. And then there will be a truth.” From then on, Shelby embarks on an adventure where she must work out the lies. Eventually, when the truth is revealed, she potentially has to deal with something that erases her entire sense of self.
Lake cleverly creates the voice of Shelby as flamboyant and sarcastic, but at the same time appealing and convincing. In addition to fighting troubles in the modern world, Shelby has problems in the Dreaming as well. She is given a quest by Coyote, the same coyote whom she envisioned when she was hit by a car. She must kill the Crone and rescue the child, or the world will end.
All children dream that they are in some way different, and Lake explores one girl dealing with her identity. Are we the same person throughout our lives? What are the things that go into making us who we are? Is it family, or simply circumstance? The book immensely covers Shelby’s shock and surprise when discovering new revelations about herself.
Favorite Character: Shelby, because even though she is learning new and unexpected facts about herself every day, she maintains a convinced, confident, yet sarcastic attitude.
Themes: Identity, Love, Deception
Why should people read it?
Nick Lake deftly maneuvers between Shelby’s world in the present and Shelby’s fantasies in her dreams. A clever and immersive thriller, Lake’s second novel leaves the reader asking many questions about identity. There Will Be Lies is a book that is nearly impossible to put down and truly a thriller!