See How They Lie by Sue Wallman
Mae believes that the reason she’s lived all her life in a psychiatric hospital is because her father is a psychiatrist. Everyone says she’s lucky to be there. With its high-end facilities and 24-hour surveillance, no one could be safer. But why is she being watched too? And how come she can never leave?
Every so often, I absolutely love a good YA novel. My teenage daughter got me into reading them and I in turn introduced her to some of my favourite adult fiction authors. So sharing YA titles has fast become a very positive experience and an open chance for lengthy mum/daughter book chats!
This novel opens up in Hummingbird creek, within the confines of an elite wellness retreat. This gated community monitors every aspect of patient’s and the staff’s children’s lives. Mae is the daughter of Louelle and Hunter Ballard, the retreats founders. Mae and the patients are teenagers, experiencing life and effectively growing up in an environment that promises to nurture their every need mentally, physically and spiritually. However, everything is not as it seems……
The retreat operates under a token system. Tokens are rewarded for good behaviour and are available to spend on a wide range of treats such as spa visits. It is paramount to all the teenagers that they must conform with the creeks ethos (rules). With the ‘tranquillity manifesto’ giving specific details of what’s allowed and what is not tolerated. But like all teens, Mae becomes rebellious against the controlling nature of the retreat and a mystery develops……
The relationship between the mother and daughter Mae is one of complexity and almost silence. But like all the characters within this novel, it is what helps maintain its grip on your attention. The characterisation is massively on point and I was fascinated by all of them and their behaviours etc. Noah, Thet, Greta, Zach, Raoul, Austin, Jenna and Ms ray all make for a wide variety of personality’s. When Mae finds herself on zero privileges due to her rule breaking, the pace really picks up!
A gripping, edgy mystery in the YA genre 4.5*