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YOU NEVER FORGET YOUR WORST.
“A twisted modern love story” (Parade), Tell Me Lies is a sexy, thrilling novel about that one person who still haunts you—the other one. The wrong one. The one you couldn’t let go of. The one you’ll never forget.
Lucy Albright is far from her Long Island upbringing when she arrives on the campus of her small California college and happy to be hundreds of miles from her mother—whom she’s never forgiven for an act of betrayal in her early teen years. Quickly grasping at her fresh start, Lucy embraces college life and all it has to offer. And then she meets Stephen DeMarco. Charming. Attractive. Complicated. Devastating.
Confident and cocksure, Stephen sees something in Lucy that no one else has, and she’s quickly seduced by this vision of herself, and the sense of possibility that his attention brings her. Meanwhile, Stephen is determined to forget an incident buried in his past that, if exposed, could ruin him, and his single-minded drive for success extends to winning, and keeping, Lucy’s heart.
Lucy knows there’s something about Stephen that isn’t to be trusted. Stephen knows Lucy can’t tear herself away. And their addicting entanglement will have consequences they never could have imagined.
Alternating between Lucy’s and Stephen’s voices, Tell Me Lies follows their connection through college and post-college life in New York City. “Readers will be enraptured” (Booklist) by the “unforgettable beauties in this very sexy story” (Kirkus Review). With the psychological insight and biting wit of Luckiest Girl Alive, and the yearning ambitions and desires of Sweetbitter, this keenly intelligent and supremely resonant novel chronicles the exhilaration and dilemmas of young adulthood and the difficulty of letting go—even when you know you should.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
We were totally into this risqué drama about a young woman’s challenges of growing up and letting go. College student Lucy is trying to escape the orbit of her overpowering mother when she meets Stephen, a guy so alluring—and so terribly manipulative—that she instantly becomes obsessed. Switching between the past and the present, Carola Lovering digs deep into her characters’ psychology, showing us what fuels Lucy’s hopes, fears, and unhealthy attachment as well as Stephen’s disturbing tendencies. From teen angst to college antics to trying to make it big in New York City, this is a beguiling and sometimes shocking coming-of-age story.
Lovering's winning debut chronicles the on-again, off-again relationship between beautiful Lucy Albright and the charismatic sociopath Stephen DeMarco. As a freshman at California's Baird College in 2017, Lucy is depressed and still disturbed by the memory of glimpsing her mother having sex with a younger guy when she was 14. She keeps her knowledge of the incident a secret until she has a heart-to-heart with Stephen, a junior whose mother is bipolar. Lucy misinterprets Stephen's reaction, thinking he cares for her, when, in reality, Stephen is a calculating, unempathetic person who has a history of cheating on his girlfriends. He views Lucy as his latest conquest. While alternating Stephen and Lucy's points of view, Lovering does an excellent job of showing how Lucy's depression drives her codependency. Stephen's sections allow for a look at his remorseless Machiavellian sensibilities: unable to genuinely feel affection, he studies people in order to learn how to act normal and get what he wants. The story falters slightly when one too many coincidences pile up, but that doesn't detract from this potent novel or its strong characters. Correction: An earlier version of this review misspelled the author's name.
Stephen from the book is way crappier of a person than in the show. Definitely a sociopath. Lucy in the book is your typical damaged teenager and make decisions based off that. He totally love bombs every chick he is with and tricks them into believing he actually cares when in reality all he cares about is himself and his needs/wants. I think most people have dated a crappy person that might be hard to quit. That is basically the theme throughout the book and show. Luckily most of us grow up and learn from our mistakes.
Wanted a bit more
Lots of build up but not enough resolution. Great read though.
Wanted to love the book as much as I love the show. Thank goodness for rewrites! The book is awful, so much building for no real outcome. The male main character is a horrible person who never faces any true consequences. Lucy, the female lead, has the potential but she lets Stephen ruin her. Just awful. Stick to the tv series.