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Lies My Girlfriend Told Me

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When Alix's charismatic girlfriend, Swanee, dies from sudden cardiac arrest, Alix is overcome with despair. As she searches Swanee's room for mementos of their relationship, she finds Swanee's cell phone, pinging with dozens of texts sent from a mysterious contact, L.T. The most recent text reads: "Please tell me what I did. Please, Swan. Te amo. I love you."

Shocked and betrayed, Alix learns that Swanee has been leading a double life—secretly dating a girl named Liana the ...

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Lies My Girlfriend Told Me

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When Alix's charismatic girlfriend, Swanee, dies from sudden cardiac arrest, Alix is overcome with despair. As she searches Swanee's room for mementos of their relationship, she finds Swanee's cell phone, pinging with dozens of texts sent from a mysterious contact, L.T. The most recent text reads: "Please tell me what I did. Please, Swan. Te amo. I love you."

Shocked and betrayed, Alix learns that Swanee has been leading a double life—secretly dating a girl named Liana the entire time she's been with Alix. Alix texts Liana from Swanee's phone, pretending to be Swanee in order to gather information before finally meeting face-to-face to break the news.

Brought together by Swanee's lies, Alix and Liana become closer than they'd thought possible. But Alix is still hiding the truth from Liana. Alix knows what it feels like to be lied to—but will coming clean to Liana mean losing her, too?

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
After Alix's track star girlfriend, Swanee, drops dead of sudden cardiac arrest, the high school junior is devastated. When a mysterious girl keeps texting Swanee's phone, unaware she has died, Alix learns she was not the only girlfriend Swanee left behind. Once Alix starts spending time with beautiful and grounded Liana, her father worries that it is a rebound, but Alix becomes convinced they were "always meant to find each other." This book tenderly explores themes of loss and forgiveness, but Peters's descriptions of Swanee as uncaring and possessive (after Alix's baby brother nearly chokes to death, Swanee immediately wants to "pick up where we left off" making out) make it difficult to understand why Alix or levelheaded Liana would be so devoted to her. Supporting characters, such as Swanee's troubled younger sister, can come off as contrived, but the two central protagonists have believable chemistry, and Peters (It's Our Prom ) capably addresses teen LGBT relationships without making them the story's sole preoccupation. Ages 15–up. Agent: Wendy Schmalz, the Wendy Schmalz Agency. (June)
Kirkus Reviews
After her new girlfriend dies unexpectedly, Alix discovers that the relationship was not all she had thought.The unlikely nature of Swanee's death—a sudden collapse while running despite a lack of known health concerns—receives oddly little attention. Instead, the focus is on her double life. In her grief, Alix finds Swanee's cellphone and discovers text messages that lead her to Liana Torres, whom it turns out Swanee was dating in secret alongside Alix. There is dramatic potential between Alix and Liana as the two uncover Swanee's many lies and manipulations, but it doesn't really deliver. In fact, the story feels phoned in. A subplot involving Swanee's troubled sister is poorly fleshed out. A series of text messages Alix sends Liana from Swanee's phone are regrettable but too seemingly small a transgression for the amount of emphasis placed on them. Alix moves—with very little explanation to readers—from just barely feeling ready to have sex to initiating it almost without thinking. Most unsatisfying is the unquestioned premise that head-over-heels serial monogamy is the only imaginable approach to dating for lesbian teens. Swanee's mom's suggestion that her daughter "was too young to be serious about just one person" is treated with as much knee-jerk horror and disgust as Swanee's deceptions.Enjoyable as a romance but lacking in substance. (Fiction. 14-18)
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Alix's world is turned upside down after falling for popular and confident Swanee, so much so that ditching her friends and playing by her love's rules seems almost too easy. When her mom breaks the news that Swanee has suddenly died of an unexpected cardiac arrest, Alix has a hard time accepting that her vivacious and seductive girlfriend is really gone. In Peters's newest offering, questions of love and honesty abound. After Alix gets ahold of Swanee's cell phone, she discovers texts revealing that Swanee had been carrying on an affair with another girl. To find out more about the mysterious L.T., she sends her a message, pretending to be Swanee, before ultimately tracking her down and giving her the news of Swanee's death. Alix finds out her name, Lianna, and that they share more than just a girlfriend in common. They begin spending more and more time together, and despite her best intentions, and the fact that she's falling hard for her, Alix can't bring herself to tell Lianna that she had sent the texts pretending to be Swanee. This dilemma, which naturally resolves itself into a happy high school love affair, is the largest conflict in the plot. Questions about Swanee's controlling nature arise, as do the effect her neglectful parents had on her and her sister, but the majority of the book leaves readers with what is largely a love story with a small mystery thrown in. The book does not focus on sexuality, and it's a pleasure to read a typical teen romance that just happens to be between two girls. Romance fans of any persuasion will be swept up in this slow-paced but ultimately sweet story.—Joanna Sondheim, Columbia Grammar & Preparatory School, New York City
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780316234979
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
  • Publication date: 6/10/2014
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 95,159
  • Age range: 15 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Julie Anne Peters is the critically acclaimed author of Define "Normal," Keeping You a Secret, Pretend You Love Me, Between Mom and Jo, She Loves You, She Loves You Not..., It's Our Prom (So Deal With It), and Luna, a National Book Award finalist. She lives with her partner, Sherri Leggett, in Lakewood, Colorado.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 29, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    I just received this book in Friday afternoon's mail and was fin

    I just received this book in Friday afternoon's mail and was finished by Saturday morning.  I just couldn't put it down!

    Alix is a 17yo girl who goes to bed one night and wakes up the next morning to find that her world has changed irrevocably.  Her girlfriend Swanee unexpectedly died while running.  What follows is a twisted tale of sadness and grief, frustration and confusion, lies and betrayal, loss and change, healing and love.  At first, Alix is lost in denial, unable to believe that her girlfriend is dead.  Then the secrets begin to be revealed and she is torn between grief and anger.

    One of the things I loved most about this book was that it was, at it's heart, about all of those emotions that surround loss and betrayal, love and forgiveness.  Yes, the main characters were lesbians, but (other than a few rather minor moments) that wasn't the focus of the book.  It was just who they were.  It was refreshing to read a story that featured lesbian characters without making that the most important thing about the characters.  I often feel that sometimes so much attention is paid to that aspect of the characters that it creates a divide.  This is a story with themes that are entirely universal.

    One of the other things I loved was the growth of Alix's character.  At the beginning, she made some questionable choices, both before and after Swanee died.  By the end, she has grown considerably.  One of her most important lessons was that the grass isn't always greener in other places.  She looked at Swanee's life and family through rose-colored glasses, not ever really seeing the truth that lay beneath the surface.  This realization led to some self-discovery for Alix, which I really loved.

    There was a sweet smaller plot line that made my heart sing, too, the story of Alix and her baby brother.  There was so much I couldn't understand about that relationship, seeing Alix as a bit of a brat when it came to him.  As the book progresses, we learn so much more about that and suddenly it all becomes clear.  I loved the story!

    Things to love...

       --The fact that sexuality was a part, but not the whole, of the story.
       --The emotional journey that comes with grief, especially when combined with anger and betrayal.
       --The subplot of Alix and her brother.

    My Recommendation:  I really loved this book!  I thought that the story was beautiful and touching, with universal themes that touch us all!  I gave it 4.5 mugs!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2014


    Um...u probably would like this. Its sweet but not my style. Muah.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 20, 2014


    She did as she was told and layed down. ( stop getting locked out)

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 12, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Lies My Girlfriend Told Me is a likable story with likable chara

    Lies My Girlfriend Told Me is a likable story with likable characters.

    Following the death of their girlfriend Swanee, Alix and Liana discover each other and the double life that Swanee has been living. Both have been emotionally abused by Swanee and have a lot of pent up sadness and anger. As the only ones who understand what the other is going through, they find themselves drawn to each other. Initially, it's hard to connect with them as they alternately withdrawing and lashing out at the world in their grief. Alix especially because she doesn't provide an adequate explanation for why she was so depressed and in denial about Swanee's death.

    I also don't see how Alix and Liana could be so drawn to each other in such a short period of time. Okay, I can kind of understand considering my own relationship experiences, but both of them were so very strongly drawn to Swanee—as in they thought they were holding forever. I'd expected more of a mourning period even after finding out that Swanee had been duping them. There isn't a strong development of the whole Swanee angle, which I expected considering how large of a role she played in the girls' lives, but it's okay since the story is mostly one of recovering, forgiveness, and finding new love.

    It also feels like the stealing Swanee's phone and texting Liana angle was made out to be a greater deal than it is. Alix doesn't seem to have a reasong for withholding this bit of information from Liana, and Liana seems overly angry about the "prank texts" she received. It also doesn't come up all that often in the story—to the point that I wonder why it's there at all. It's not the only plot thread that's loosely woven in the story. All in all, there's a lot of potential for complexity in this novel, but it just didn't live up to them and ended up being a quick read. (Which isn't entirely bad.)

    One of the greatest things about this novel is how it could be about anyone. As other reviewers have pointed out, you could replace any of the girls with someone else, boy or girl, and the story would be the same. While there is mention of the girls' sexuality, it isn't made out to be a huge deal or factor largely into the plot, which I liked. It's important to have books addressing the issues that come with sexuality, but it's also important to have books that accept it as a part of life.

    Overall, Lies My Girlfriend Told Me is an interesting, captivating read once I got past the first pages and was able to form a connection with Alix and Liana. I recommend this as a quick contemporary read that addresses some serious topics.

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