The Truth Is, There’s a Whole Lotta Lying Goin’ on in YA Lit

Cindy: After last week’s midterm elections concluded, one issue had bipartisan support: everyone applauded the end of the political TV ads and robocalls. I figure we have six weeks or so before the 2020 ads appear and perhaps some of you don’t know what to do with your free time, now that you’re not fact-checking lies in political campaigns. Never fear, Bookends is here to help you fill that gap. Ever since the release of e. lockhart’s novel We Were Liars (2014), there’s been a whole lotta lying goin’ on in YA lit. Forget politics—these books have lying friends, lying romantic partners, lying parents, and even untrustworthy memories. No matter what your taste is, there’s something here for you to read while you wait for the next round of campaigning. And as the promo for We Were Liars suggested, if anyone asks you how these books end, just LIE.

The Big Lie, by Julie Mayhew

The Book of Lies, by Teri Terry

The Color of Lies, by C. J. Lyons

The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett, by Chelsea Sedoti

A Lie for a Lie, by Robin Merrow MacCready


The Lie Tree, by Frances Hardinge

The Lies They Tell, by Gillian French

Lies You Never Told Me, by Jennifer Donaldson

Little White Lies, by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Love, Lies and Spies, by Cindy Anstey

Love Songs and Other Lies, by Jessica Penninton

The Lying Woods, by Ashley Elston

One of Us is Lying, by Karen M. McManus

Strange Lies, by Maggie Thrash

Tell Me No Lies, by A. V. Geiger

This Story is a Lie, by Tom Pollack

Trusting You & Other Lies, by Nicole Williams

The Truth Beneath the Lies, by Amanda Searcy

The Truth Lies Here, by Lindsey Klingele

We Were Liars, by e. lockart

Thank you, Booklist Online for the Advanced Search option that I hoped would fill in a few extra titles for me. It did that—and more. Apologies to the 96 search results I could not include here. There really IS a lot of lying goin’ on!



About the Author:

Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan are Booklist reviewers and middle-school librarians who have chaired both ALA’s Best Books for Young Adults and the Michael L. Printz Award for YA Literature committees. Follow Bookends on Twitter at @BookendsBlog. You can also find Cindy at @cdobrez and Lynn at @482april.

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