This Story Is A Lie - Pollock, Tom

This Story Is A Lie by Tom Pollock

Fast-paced, captivating, and complex. This Story Is A Lie by Tom Pollock is a unique and compelling take on your average mystery novel.

Seventeen-year-old math prodigy Peter Blankman has suffered from panic attacks ever since he could remember. He’s always afraid and nervous, but when his mother wins a prestigious award for her work, Peter is determined to be there beside her like a normal kid would be. And that is when, for the first time in Peter’s life, his worst fears are realized. His mother is stabbed and nearly killed, while Bel, his twin sister and the only person who ever understood him disappears, presumably kidnapped by his mother’s attacker.

With his family gone, Peter doesn’t know what to do. Can he trust Mom’s so-called colleagues who he finds suspicious, his only best friend that knows more than she’s letting on… can he even trust himself?

This Story Is A Lie is a thriller that picks you up and doesn’t put you down until the very end. Every other chapter is a flashback into the past and this technique helped give me the information I wouldn’t have understood otherwise. As the book goes on, though, the flashback chapters get shorter, and they repeat what we’d already read. I found this interrupted the overall flow of the story, although they did help hammer the point home. The characters in the book are sharp and well-rounded and their relationships with each other are beautifully complex and realistic.

This Story Is A Lie discusses mental illnesses in-depth, and I liked that Tom Pollock (the author) had personally suffered similar issues and chose to address them in his novel. I also loved how educational this book is, and not educational in a boring way. Theories, mathematical formulas, equations, and mathematicians are interwoven throughout the book in a way that made me actually interested. (imagine if schools taught that way :0)

(next few sentences contain a tiny spoiler) About halfway through the book, though, we learn that Peter isn’t exactly the most reliable narrator. I don’t mind that usually, but it means that as a reader, I have to focus on other characters and their actions in detail, which does again, interrupt the flow of the story. (spoiler is over, guys) Another thing: I love plot twists. They add to the story, and they give an element of surprise. BUT: if there are too many plot twists, and if they are entirely out of the blue, it gets frustrating. When I picked up this book and read the first fifty pages, I fell in love. But it’s like (simile time!) when two people who are helplessly in love move in with each other, realize what the other person is really like, and then end up hating each other. (weird simile, sorry)

This Story Is A Lie disappointed me — and the ending especially — let me down. I had high hopes for this book when I started, and it just didn’t end up as good as I imagined it would be. I give it a 7/10 because despite having an ending I despised and far too many unexpected plot twists, it was a fun and unique read. I would recommend it to people who don’t mind open endings and who don’t get too caught up in the characters and story.

P.S. Can we talk about the cover? WAY TOO MISLEADING. I don’t know why I even picked it up. I love the title though, so (I guess) it makes up for it.