Even When You Lie to Me – Jessica Alcott


Fans of John Green’s Looking for Alaska as well as Lauren Oliver and Sarah Dessen will embrace this provocative debut novel, an exploration of taboo love set against the backdrop of a suburban high school.

Charlie, a senior, isn’t looking forward to her last year of high school. Another year of living in the shadow of her best friend, Lila. Another year of hiding behind the covers of her favorite novels. Another year of navigating her tense relationship with her perfectionist mom.

But everything changes when she meets her new English teacher. Mr. Drummond is smart. Irreverent. Funny. Hot. Everyone loves him. And Charlie thinks he’s the only one who gets her.

She also thinks she might not be the only one with a crush.

In this stunning debut, Jessica Alcott explores relationships-and their boundaries-in a way that is both searingly honest and sympathetic.


This book was very uncomfortable. Most of the characters were highly unlikable. Charlie, girl, you need to go and LOVE YOURSELF. Her low self-esteem was crippling. She was so detached from most of her peers. I think I can understand that, but I don’t know why she would make herself spend time with Lila and people she didn’t relate with, instead of those that were more similar to her (like Dev and Asha). I get the idea that Charlie and Lila’s friendship was grandfathered in from a more similar (but distant) past. But the truth is, sometimes friendships aren’t worth keeping.

Mr. Drummond was something else. He seemed kinda screwed up, honestly. He was married right after high school? WHY? I guess it’s good to see that the teacher in this instance had some real problems. I guess it only makes sense that people who get in the position that he did are not the most well-adjusted, self-controlled souls.

Charlie’s relationship with her mother was abysmal. I felt myself cringe after each interaction. We end off by having Charlie’s mom finally admit that Charlie’s greatest insecurity is true. How sad. Does she not have her mother’s genes at all? Even if she looks like her dad, wasn’t he attractive enough anyway? It was a bit puzzling.

Overall, this story was kind of dark and dreary. I wasn’t happy with the resolution.

Related Reading

  • Pieces of Us – Marie Gelbwasser
  • Like It Never Happened – Emily Adrian
  • Unteachable – Leah Raeder

Rating: 2/5


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