Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Review by Alex- Little Black Lies

Little Black Lies by Tish Cohen
Sara Black is tiptoeing across a fraying tightrope.

As the new eleventh grader at Anton High – the most elite public school in the country – she sticks out like an old VW bus in a parking lot full of shiny BMWs. But being the new kid also brings a certain advantageous anonymity.

In Anton High’s world of privilege, intelligence, and wealth, Sara can escape her family’s tarnished past and become whomever she wants.

And what’s the harm in telling a few little black lies when it can lead to popularity? That is, until another it girl at Anton becomes jealous of Sara’s social climbing.
With her balance evaporating, one small push could bring Sara crashing down.

First Impressions: Reading that synopsis, Little Black Lies sounds pretty average. The description on the back is a bit better, but I couldn't find it online.

But while it seems a little mediocre at first, it isn't. Not even close. The characters are really unique and interesting. There's tons of quirks that make each one special. For instance, Sara's dad has OCD that acts up unexpectedly and her mom, a chef, is MIA in Sara's life.

Another thing that set Little Black Lies from other novels, is the setting. Yes, it's an elite school. But it's a completely nerdy elite school. Emphasis is on marks, averages, brains, not anything else. One of the most "popular" kids, the ones who can get away with saying anything to others, is a perverted little boy, but who has a genius brain. It might be because my school is like that, to a lesser degree, so I could relate, but the fact that the school is so mark-driven and different from other schools, is what makes the book shine.

The actual plot, Sara going to Boston, entering a new school, pretending her dad isn't a janitor, being befriended by the popular, smart girls, lying about her past and herself, falling for the most powerful girl's boyfriend, etc. etc. It's dramatic and quite Gossip Girl-esque, so it's not usually my type of plotline. It is the average part of the book. But it's made up with the previously mentioned pluses of the novel.

I do wish some of the minor characters were developed more, along with the romantic relationship. The reader learns about some of the them, but some of the others girls are just briefly described, even though they play a pretty important role in the novel. The romance feels a little forced and is only brought up now and then, but that's forgettable.

The humor and and actions are spot on. It's easy to relate with Sara, and to understand why she would lie, even though that doesn't make it pardonable. Thankfully, Sara doesn't get off scotch free, after all her lies, and everything is not tied up with a pink bows with unicrons prancing around. So add realistic as another plus.

Final Impressions: Overall, Little Black Lies takes the usual new girl lying plot and twists it to make a fun and quirky novel to read. The characters and setting are on the unusal side which makes the novel stand out dramatically. Definitely a must-read for a cross between The It Girl-like books and John Green-weird like details.

Add to Shelf: Go for it! An excellent book- and paperback! :D

Note This! The school's name is Anton, and thus, the students are "Ants". This makes for adorable titles and sayings, which actually had me giggling aloud at times.


  1. This totally reminds me of where I went to high school. I SO have to read it! Thanks for the review! :-)

  2. You're right. It does sound average. I don't think I would have bought it but I'll take your word that it's better than it sounds and I just may check it out at the library. Great review. :)

  3. I agree with what you said- excellent review! :)


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