TELL ME LIES by Patrick Cooper


Age Range: 14 & up
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A teen embarks on a search for truth in 1960s England. After his A-level exams, 18-year-old Stephen Wiston slogs his way through village life until a visit to London reunites him with Astrid, a past crush and companion. With Astrid’s encouragement, Stephen leaves the village, attending the Isle of Wight Festival, squatting in Brixton and joining a commune led by Astrid’s former lover, Spencer. When Astrid is critically injured, Stephen learns that he’s not the only one in pursuit of purpose. Cooper avoids both period and contemporary language, strengthening a somewhat weak narrative voice through the casual word choices. Stephen’s personality is thin, overshadowed by a lack of purpose and driven by external impetuses—odd for a character on a quest. Secondary characters, from tortured Vietnam War veterans to slumming rich girls, add charm and flavor to the plot—at least until their abrupt departures. Alternating themes advocating either self-reflection or self-abandonment are finally resolved, though the positive conclusion seems unrealistic. Ultimately, there’s nothing hampering the tale, but nothing to recommend it either. (Fiction. YA)

Pub Date: June 12th, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-385-73270-3
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Delacorte
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 2007