Little Black Lies by Tish Cohen
Release Date: Oct 2009
As the new kid at Anton High, a school for wealthy geniuses, eleventh-grader Sarah Black knows she has stepped into a world she doesn’t belong. She may have the brains, but her downfall lies in her lost and found uniform and OCD janitor father. But when a little confusion over where she’s from allows her to escape her unfavorable past she jumps aboard. After all, a few little lies is nothing in the quest to be popular, right? Sara will soon learn that even the smallest web of lies can get out of hand and one little slip could end it all. Will Sara be able to hold her ground among the Queen Bees or will it all come crumbling around her?
The Short of It: I really liked Little Black Lies. It was a quick read that was very hard to put down. Cohen creates very believable characters and setting. I finished the book with no real complaints making this an easy recommend book.
Plot: I thought the story line for Little Black Lies was very believable. I never found myself thinking that her lies or the storyline were too out there. In fact, the only part that made me go really? was the whole petting couch thing. (Think a puppy pile of teens with wandering hands on a couch) But the more I think about it, the more I remember things we could get away with in high school, so it’s really not that far fetched. In fact, everything else was so dead on that I could easily see this story happening in almost any high school across the nation. Kudos to Cohen for that!
Characters: Even with all her lies, I really liked Sara. I could easily put myself in her shoes and sympathize. Sometimes the desperation to fit in takes us to drastic measures. But even in the midst of her lies, Sara still tried to reach out to others. I think the way she talked to the maids and drivers proved that at the core she was still the same old Sara. And with the guilt and consequences from her decisions I think it’s safe to say she won’t do it again. She learned her lesson and realized that being herself was all she ever needed to be.
The only slight complaint I have is the relationship between Sara and her parents. Neither one is particularly healthy. While Charlie does indeed love Sara, his OCD has taken over his life. And while his future does have a promising outlook, I only hope he gets professional help. And then her mother? Oh man, don’t even get me started there. She was the only character I wanted to like, but couldn’t. She had such a selfish attitude and I wish Sara would have stood up to her. However, while I could have wished that everything was perfect, real life never is. Part of me is kind of glad Cohen didn’t make it a white house with picket fences. It was refreshing to see an honest look at real life that didn’t end up all fairy taled.
Romance: There’s not much to say here. There’s a little underlying romance that goes on, but it never really fully blooms. There’s a couple of kisses and promises of something more and that’s about where it ends. The story was not about falling in love though, so the relationship was not a big part of the story. It was more of a natural result thing then the big to-do. However, if Cohen plans to do a sequel, I would love to see where it goes.
Writing: Honestly, no complaints here at all. There was nothing I stumbled over or made me go huh? Cohen writes a tight story. Pacing was good and I never felt like a scene was too long. There were one or two scenes that I wish had been a little longer, but nothing that really bothered me. I also liked the little tidbits about ants before each chapter. I think it added a certain charm to the book.
Librarian-Mode: Overall, I think this will be an easy sell to girls. Although, I’m having trouble deciding what category I can throw it in. There’s not a lot of romance or BFFs so I’m not sure it really fits into the chick-lit category. And while it deals with some imperfect living situations, it’s no Ellen Hopkins read-a-like. But I think if you like honest realistic fiction with a little sass Little Black Lies is the perfect book.