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Blog tour: Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley

Title: Lies We Tell Ourselves 
Author: Robin Talley
Series: 
Pages:  336
Publisher: Mira Ink
Date of Publication: 3rd October, 2014
Source: Publisher for review*
Synopsis from Goodreads: In 1959 Virginia, the lives of two girls on opposite sides of the battle for civil rights will be changed forever.

Sarah Dunbar is one of the first black students to attend the previously all-white Jefferson High School. An honors student at her old school, she is put into remedial classes, spit on and tormented daily.

Linda Hairston is the daughter of one of the town’s most vocal opponents of school integration. She has been taught all her life that the races should be kept “separate but equal.”

Forced to work together on a school project, Sarah and Linda must confront harsh truths about race, power and how they really feel about one another.

Boldly realistic and emotionally compelling, Lies We Tell Ourselves is a brave and stunning novel about finding truth amid the lies, and finding your voice even when others are determined to silence it.

Hey guys! Welcome to my stop on the Lies We Tell Ourselves blog tour! 

My Thoughts:
Lies We Tell Ourselves is a fantastic read. I was surprised by how engrossed I was and how much it affected me emotionally. Despite reading the majority of the novel on a coach surrounded by my school friends, I found myself tearing up and getting angry, and smiling and laughing too. They looked at me funny but I was so engrossed that I didn't even care. 

I've never read anything like Lies We Tell Ourselves. Firstly, apart from Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman (which was slightly different anyway), I've never read a book where racial discrimination is so prevalent. Secondly, I think this is only the second or third book I've read where the main romantic relationship is homosexual, and the first where it's girls. It was a novel of firsts for me and for that reason I found it to be really engaging and interesting. 

Sarah Dunbar is one of the first ever eight black American students to be integrated into Jefferson High, a previously white-only school in South America. I didn't have much prior knowledge about 1950/60s America, apart from a basic knowledge of Rosa Parks and the bus boycotts. While reading the first part of the novel (it's split into five) I was shocked and horrified by the cruelty of the white students. Luckily, I've never been witness to any kind of racial discrimination in my life, so while I know it is a huge issue still, I didn't really have any experience of it. I knew that things were bad and that racial discrimination could be very serious, but I had no idea to what extent. It was really interesting to read and to try to understand what the white people were thinking, but for the most part it just made me angry and upset for the poor black people. 

I really liked Sarah (the main black girl) though and I admired her strength and courage while she was at school. I also thought it was really powerful to show her vulnerability, like when she got home from school, or when she was with Linda (the white love interest) towards the end of the novel. I thought their relationship developed really naturally and I also think that Linda's character development in coming round to the idea of integration and the fact that black people are no different was gradual and realistic. 

Lies We Tell Ourselves was a great read and it really interested me in reading more about integration in 1950/60s America. I definitely 100% recommend this book to those who like historical novels or ones which are challenging and will really make you consider yourself and those around you. Brilliant! 


Lies We Tell Ourselves is out now in paperback, published by Mira Ink.

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*I am no longer accepting blog awards :( I do not have time to go through all the things that come with it, and though I'm honoured you thought of me, I'm sure you can find someone who will love it, and be able to carry out the rules :)

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