The Truth About Lies

The Truth About Lies

The Truth About Lies
Tracy Darnton

Stripes Publishing

ISBN 9781847159489

Jess has an incredible memory. She can remember every single detail of every single day since she was eleven. But Jess would rather not be remarkable and, after years of testing at the hands of a ruthless research team, she has finally managed to escape. Just when Jess thinks that she's managing to settle in to living a normal life, everything changes. Her boarding-school roommate dies and the school is thrown into a state of chaos and grief. Then new boy Dan appears and Jess can't help but find herself drawn to him. But building relationships is hard when you can't reveal who you really are and Jess is getting hints that someone knows more about her than she would like. Is it time to run again? Will she ever be truly free? Perfect for fans of E. Lockhart, Eve Ainsworth and Sophie McKenzie.

Librarian's Book choice

Jess has a remarkable memory. She has hyperthymesia. This is like having a library in her mind where she can take out a book and remember every single detail of that day. Even if that day was years ago. On the surface this sounds wonderful. However it is both a blessing and a curse. Imagine not having the ability to forget or for time to heal. Being able to relive your most humiliating moments, with clarity, over and over again...

Jess was part of a research programme, run by Professor Coleman, before she escaped and made a fresh start for herself at a boarding school on Dartmoor. She remembers her roommate Hanna falling from their window. What isn't clear, however, is whether she fell or whether something more sinister occurred.

Then Jess starts to receive cryptic postcard messages and things go missing from her room. She is determined to search her mind to get to the truth of what happened both with Jess and with her mother at the research centre. With shady characters reappearing from Jess's past, is it time for her to run again? Can she ever be settled and happy?

I hadn't heard of hyperthymesia before reading this book so it was a really intriguing concept. I enjoyed the way that the secrets of Jess's past were revealed as I read. It was a pacey thriller which kept me guessing to the end. The idea of Jess having an infallible memory is what made this book such an interesting read for me.

Note contains: - Use of Ouija board, Suicide theme, mental health issues and sex (not detailed).

256 pages / Ages 14+ / Reviewed by Clair Bossons, school librarian.


Reviews

The Truth About Lies5/5

The Truth About Lies

Tracy Darnton

Review

Jess Wilson is a teenager escaping from the grief and torture of her past. Able to recall every minute detail of her life and experiences from the age of 11, she has been tested to see if her condition, hyperthymesia, can be altered with alternate memories.

Previously known as Freya, she has reinvented herself at a remote school to escape from the sinister Professor Coleman and the 'programme'. Haunted by the death of her roommate and surprised by the new boy Dan, she starts receiving cryptic postcards and wonders if Professor Coleman may have found her again.

The Truth About Lies is a clever story of intrigue, lies, corruption and grief. The author has clearly researched the many capacities of the brain and although memory is the key element, other specialities are mentioned such as super-recognisers. It is easy to like the many characters and their flaws or idiocyncracies, especially Dr Harrison and Lena. The plot is released slowly but without the book becoming stale as there are other events and teenage angst to keep the reader interested.

This book will appeal to students as it has all the elements for a thriller with some romance and teen problems thrown in. Added to that are the epigraphs throughout with memory tests as well as the super-recogniser test at the end. All in all a great read. Recommended.

341 pages / Ages 12+ / Reviewed by Lorraine Ansell, school librarian.

Reviewed by: Lorraine Ansell