The set-up: Socially-awkward Evie likes to stretch the truth as far as it will go. And then just a little bit more. Her childhood friend, Elizabeth, is found dead in the woods, and Evie’s stories start getting her in trouble.
Main character’s goals: I think Evie just wants a friend. The goal is simple, and she never actually says it, but that seems to be what drives a lot of her stories (read: LIES). Even when friendship isn’t a direct or predictable outcome to a lie, she often lies to make people feel better, so she has this desire to please, which stems from her loneliness.
My reaction: Evie’s observations and her voice are just amazing. She’s funny, and self-deprecating. As a teenager, I would’ve been scared of her, because she has this ability to find the nitty gritty flaws in everyone. As a mother, I want to give her a hug and tell her she is loved. Sappy, I know, but that’s what I got, people.
Of interest to writers: Who the H-E-double-hockey-sticks is the antagonist? This is one of those books where I really can’t find a single agent who is really all that terrible, although we do have some messed up people populating these pages (amen, alliteration). Is the antagonist Elizabeth’s killer, or is it Evie’s own issues with telling the truth, or is it her loneliness…or none of the above?
Bottom line: Read it, enjoy it, and think about it long after you’ve finished. Evie’s a character who stays with you.
NEW FEATURE – Because my brain is constantly working (fine, spazzing out, whatever) and making new connections, this “Reminds me of” note might seem totally random. It will usually be a book, but you never know. I might write “Reminds me of” something that will have you wondering “what?” and that is fine with me. Feel free to ask why if you’re curious…or better yet, make a guess.