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Lies I Live By

Lies I Live By

by Lauren Sabel

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These are the facts: My name is Callie Sinclair. I am seventeen years old. I live in San Francisco. I love my boyfriend, Charlie. I work for a secret governmental agency. I am a psychic spy. This romantic, action-packed twist on the classic spy novel is perfect for fans of Ally Carter’s Embassy Row series or for any reader who enjoys cinematic


These are the facts: My name is Callie Sinclair. I am seventeen years old. I live in San Francisco. I love my boyfriend, Charlie. I work for a secret governmental agency. I am a psychic spy. This romantic, action-packed twist on the classic spy novel is perfect for fans of Ally Carter’s Embassy Row series or for any reader who enjoys cinematic writing and stories of romance and intrigue.

At seventeen, Callie is the government’s youngest psychic spy, trained to track dangerous people and weapons in her visions. When another young—and handsome and witty—psychic joins the agency, Callie’s personal and professional lives get messy all at once. If she can’t find a way to change the events she’s seen in her visions, she could lose the people she loves most . . . and her mind. Literally.

Richly painted against the backdrop of San Francisco and Berkeley, Lauren Sabel’s enthralling novel captures the thrill of exploring a unique power in a dangerous world.

Editorial Reviews

ALA Booklist
Praise for Lauren Sabel’s VIVIAN DIVINE IS DEAD: “There are thrills and chills, both scary and romantic, as Vivian finds out the truth behind the glossy lies and falls for a darkly handsome stranger. The danger piles on fast and hard and feels real and chilling.”
“An X-Men-James Bond hybrid that ought to satisfy fans of high-concept mysteries.”
VOYA, August 2016 (Vol. 39, No. 3) - Sean Rapacki
Controlled Remote Viewing is a psychic pseudoscience that many nations, including the U.S., use to try to create psychic spies who can view details of secret locations. The army spent millions of dollars and nearly twenty years in this endeavor by the time the C.I.A. finally issued a report in 1995 stating that no actionable intelligence has ever been produced through use of CRV. But what, this novel asks, if that was all a smokescreen? What if psychic spies are effective, and national security depends on their clandestine efforts? Only seventeen, Callie is the youngest of the psychic spies working for a secret offshoot of the CIA, keeping her work from both her mom and boyfriend. While they believe she works as a nanny, she actually spends her days using her psychic abilities to save lives. It is hard for her, however, to live a lie with those she loves, and when a new psychic spy her age starts working with her, she feels an attraction to someone who could actually know the entirety of her identity. Meanwhile, Callie has been disturbed by some of the things she has been seeing in her visions, and is doing some investigating on her own to see if she can figure out what horrible thing is going to happen so she can stop it. Although Callie sometimes gets distracted from saving the world by her romantic troubles, this is an interesting take on the supernatural thriller. Reviewer: Sean Rapacki; Ages 12 to 18.
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—Seventeen-year-old Callie Sinclair is the only child of her scatterbrained scientist mother; she has a gorgeous artist boyfriend, Charlie, and just happens to be a psychic spy. Callie can sense the presence of a specific kind of radiation associated with deadly, military-grade lasers. She has been recruited by the CIA to participate in their top-secret psychic-spy program. Callie feels called to this work—she loves that she can use her powers to save lives—but the secrets she must keep in order to protect those she loves are tearing her apart. And it turns out she's not the only one with secrets: Callie can't get the handsome new teenage psychic spy, Jasper, out of her mind. But is he trustworthy? The stories Callie's mom has told her about what happened to Callie's dad don't quite add up, and the new benefactor to the spy program clearly has a chip on his shoulder and an agenda all his own. This book doesn't ask very much from its readers—the characters are one-dimensional, any nuance in plot is explained simply rather than teased out, and the conflict is ultimately easily resolved—but it's undeniably fun. While it's a rather hefty length, it's a good choice for reluctant readers undeterred by size looking for an adventure. VERDICT Not a whole lot of substance, but action-packed and entertaining.—Heather M. Campbell, formerly at Philip S. Miller Library, Castle Rock, CO
Kirkus Reviews
Sabel delivers a novel combining teen romance and espionage, with a touch of the supernatural and just a dash of humor. Callie Sinclair is not your normal teenager. Graduating early from high school, she takes a job with the government, using her psychic abilities to seek out radiation signatures. She can't tell her career-driven but loving single mom the truth and can't even let her longtime love, Charlie, in on the secret. She can't move to the East Coast with Charlie to pursue college, even though that's what she wants; her job is too important for that. So when Jasper, another psychic, arrives from New York City to work with her, it's a relief. Finally, there is someone in her life who understands the real Callie. As her attraction to Jasper grows, Callie is torn between new feelings and old while continuing to see visions of destruction and despair. The plot becomes ever more complicated as Sabel balances romance against Callie's unusual job, which involves a growing host of untrustworthy characters. Sabel effectively takes Callie into murky ethical waters as she uses her talents to spy on Charlie and other loved ones, a misstep that brings her heartache and causes her to question those she thought she could trust, even as it drives the plot. Appealing characters merge seamlessly into a strong plot that captures readers early on and doesn't let go until the very last chapter. (Paranormal thriller. 14-18)

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.60(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.60(d)
Age Range:
13 Years

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Meet the Author

Lauren Sabel has a master's degree in creative writing from Naropa University and currently teaches college writing courses online. She has lived in Rome, New York, San Francisco, Chicago, and London and currently resides with her husband in Boulder, Colorado.

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