Review: Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney

Title: Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense
Length: 272 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


My name is Amber Reynolds. There are three things you should know about me:
1. I’m in a coma.
2. My husband doesn’t love me anymore.
3. Sometimes I lie.

Amber wakes up in a hospital. She can’t move. She can’t speak. She can’t open her eyes. She can hear everyone around her, but they have no idea. Amber doesn’t remember what happened, but she has a suspicion her husband had something to do with it. Alternating between her paralyzed present, the week before her accident, and a series of childhood diaries from twenty years ago, this brilliant psychological thriller asks: Is something really a lie if you believe it’s the truth?


Weaving back and forth between the present, the recent past and diary entries from 1991, Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney is a twist-turny, suspenseful novel that is absolutely riveting.

Amber Reynolds is in a coma yet she is aware of what is occurring around her. What she is unclear about is the sequence of events that led up to the coma. As memories begin to come back to her, she is afraid of her husband, Paul, uneasy about her sister Claire’s presence and terrified of the stranger who keeps showing up in her hospital room. Unable to make sense of these confusing facts, Amber continues to try to remember what happened to her and who is responsible for the accident that left her in a coma.

In the present, Amber tries to piece together the wispy memories and her discordant emotions in an attempt to figure out how she ended up in a coma.  A variety of events taking place around her don’t jibe with the facts she remembers so she is extremely puzzled about various happenings.  Her marriage to Paul is a bit strained so is that the reason she is afraid he had something to do with the accident? Claire and Paul do not like one another, so why are they spending so much time together in her hospital room? And even more troubling, why are they actually getting along? But most important, who is the stranger who keeps showing up in her room? Why is Amber so frightened by what he is saying and doing while he is with her?

In the week leading up to the accident, Amber is on the cusp of losing her job at a local radio station. Her relationship with co-worker and popular radio host Madeline Frost is fraught with tension. Luckily for Amber, her good friend Jo helps her devise a plan to tarnish Madeline’s reputation in order to prevent the disagreeable radio personality from making the threat of job loss a reality.

Already stressed over her job situation, Amber also notices a few inconsistencies with Paul that her make her very suspicious that he might not love her anymore. She is also rather troubled by a few discoveries that make her question whether or not Claire is up to something nefarious but Amber is uncertain whether or not her sister would do something to deliberately hurt her.

The diary entries are written from an eleven year old girl’s point of view. The young girl’s family moved around quite a bit but they recently located to help her grandmother who recently passed away. Her home life is quite unhappy due to her parents’ constant arguing and their excessive drinking. A bright spot in her situation is her recent friendship with a classmate but there are disturbing elements to their friendship that will definitely give readers pause.

Sometimes I Lie is an absolutely spellbinding and suspense-laden mystery that raises many intriguing questions. Is Amber a reliable narrator? As she lies in a coma, can she trust her memories? Can she trust Paul? Have Paul and Claire resolved their longstanding differences and if so, why? Who is the stranger who keeps visiting her and is she right to fear for her safety? As Alice Feeney brings this novel to a jaw-dropping and stunning conclusion, readers will be left wondering whether or not they can trust anyone in this twist-filled page-turner.

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