There Will Be Lies
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There Will Be Lies

3.6 6
by Nick Lake

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In four hours, Shelby Jane Cooper will be struck by a car.

Shortly after, she and her mother will leave the hospital and set out on a winding journey toward the Grand Canyon.

All Shelby knows is that they're running from dangers only her mother understands. And the further they travel, the more Shelby questions everything about her past--and her current reality


In four hours, Shelby Jane Cooper will be struck by a car.

Shortly after, she and her mother will leave the hospital and set out on a winding journey toward the Grand Canyon.

All Shelby knows is that they're running from dangers only her mother understands. And the further they travel, the more Shelby questions everything about her past--and her current reality. Forced to take advantage of the kindness of unsuspecting travelers, Shelby grapples with what's real, what isn't, and who she can trust . . . if anybody.

Award-winning author Nick Lake proves his skills as a master storyteller in this heart-pounding new novel. This emotionally charged thrill ride leads to a shocking ending that will have readers flipping back to the beginning.

Awards for There Will Be Lies
A Boston Globe Best YA Book of 2015
A Texas TAYSHAS Pick

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Perplexing and disorienting, full of the rich language and heady epiphanies readers have come to expect from the Printz-award winning author.” —starred review, School Library Journal

“Impressively unpredictable--a motley mix of taut thriller, transportive fantasy, and poignant coming-of-age . . . Shelby narrates the surreal implosion of her life in an indignant, funny voice, à la Judy Blume.” —Entertainment Weekly

“A rare joy to behold . . . Another impressive stylistic swerve from Printz-winner Lake.” —Booklist

“Suspenseful, complicated . . . A fine exploration of the power of story itself to heal the unconscious from scars physical and emotional.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Lake returns to the mix of reality and fantasy he used to great success in his Printz-winning In Darkness . . . Shelby is highly sympathetic, and readers will stick with her as she figures out who she can trust.” —Publishers Weekly

“A twisty drama suffused with elements of folklore.” —Wall Street Journal

“Lake is truly a masterful storyteller . . . This is a strange and beautiful story that truly deserves to be read. Do not hesitate to add this to your collection.” —VOYA

“This hallucinatory, kaleidoscopic mix of plot, characters, and setting is eminently discussable for its nuanced themes . . . . Lake continues to practice his craft at a high level.” —The Horn Book

“Lake employs a powerful combination of realism and myth to craft a resonant story of survival.” —BCCB

“Intelligent, empathetic, and eye-opening.” —starred review, Booklist on HOSTAGE THREE

“Perceptive and harrowing.” —starred review, Publishers Weekly on HOSTAGE THREE

“A dark journey well worth taking--engrossing, disturbing, illuminating.” —starred review, Kirkus Reviews on IN DARKNESS

“A startling but successful feat of literary imagination.” —starred review, Publishers Weekly on IN DARKNESS

Publishers Weekly
Lake returns to the mix of reality and fantasy he used to great success in his Printz-winning In Darkness for this story narrated by Shelby Cooper, a deaf teen whose life is upended when she is struck by an out-of-control Humvee in Scottsdale, Ariz. Shelby’s injuries aren’t life-threatening, but her mother panics, spiriting her away for a Thelma and Louise–style road trip to the Grand Canyon. Heretofore, Shaylene Cooper kept Shelby on a short leash, but Shelby soon learns that their cloistered existence had a darker genesis than maternal overprotectiveness. What Shelby discovers about her past is so unsettling that she retreats into an allegorical landscape known as the Dreaming. In this alternate world, drawn from Native American mythologies, Shelby is befriended by Coyote and told she is on a quest to kill the Crone and save a child whose cries she has heard for years in a recurring nightmare. These fantasy sequences are not as taut or thrilling as the real-world chapters, but Shelby is highly sympathetic, and readers will stick with her as she figures out who she can trust. Ages 14–up. Agent: Caradoc King, United Agents. (Jan.)
VOYA, February 2015 (Vol. 37, No. 6) - Jonatha Basye
Seventeen-year-old Shelby has lived an extremely sheltered life. She and her mother, Shaylene, follow a strict schedule. Shelby is homeschooled throughout the week, while her mother quietly cross-stitches scenes from the Scottish highlands. Fridays, however, are special. Shaylene takes Shelby to the batting cages, where she never misses connecting with the ball. Then it is time for the library and, finally, ice cream for dinner. Shelby relishes her time on Fridays because freedom for her is scarce. She loves her overprotective mother but knows that something is very wrong with their relationship. Shelby’s dreams/nightmares are pushing her toward the truth, but is the truth something she can live with? Lake is truly a masterful storyteller. The way he has woven Shelby’s story into the Native American folklore of Coyote is both brilliant and wholly appropriate. He also does a clever job of hiding certain aspects of Shelby’s demeanor until the reader believes that the mystery has been solved. Each chapter flows into the next with such ease that it is difficult to find a stopping place. Readers will continue reading till the end is reached— at least, that is what this reviewer did. Lake makes readers care for Shelby and her predicament, and one cannot help but cheer for her and wish her well. This is a strange and beautiful story that truly deserves to be read. Do not hesitate to add this to your collection. Reviewer: Jonatha Basye; Ages 12 to 18.
School Library Journal
★ 12/01/2014
Gr 9 Up—"I have no words to describe how I am feeling—it's like grief, maybe, but grief for myself. I was living my life, and then something came along and killed me, erased me." Seventeen-year-old Shelby Jane Cooper's world begins to come apart after she is hit by a car in Scottsdale, AZ. Her overprotective mother takes them on the run, and a coyote (who used to be a boy) begins to bring her into the Dreaming, a magical place where Shelby is no longer deaf and the animal inhabitants believe she can save them from an evil witch. What's real, this world or the Dreaming? What are the "two lies" that Coyote warns Shelby about? What is the one truth? Lake's new novel is perplexing and disorienting, full of the rich language and heady epiphanies readers have come to expect from the Printz-award winning author of In Darkness (Bloomsbury, 2012). The plot draws on Native American mythology and the haunting vastness of the Southwest landscape. The battles between elks and wolves, narrow escapes from authorities, and the looming mystery (Who is Shelby?) will make teens want to tear through the pages. Encourage them to temper this impulse lest they miss a single one of Shelby's heartrending revelations that happen on her journey to save the Dreaming and herself.—Chelsey Philpot, Boston University
Kirkus Reviews
Over a period of eight days, 17-year-old Shelby's life is forever changed.Home-schooled in Scottsdale, Arizona, the two things Shelby's sure of are that her father is dead and that the world is a dangerous place. Her friend, Mark, tells her that "[t]hings are…starting to happen" right before she's struck by a car, fracturing her foot. As she passes out, a coyote seems to give her a cryptic message about lies and a hard truth. From then on, Shelby's life quickly unravels. Her once-shy mother's behavior becomes erratic as she drives Shelby to Flagstaff and tells her that her father, not dead after all, may be chasing them. When Shelby closes her eyes, she finds herself in the Dreaming, where Mark is the trickster Coyote and where her recurring dream of a crying child in need of rescue takes on urgency. Counting down the days toward a life-altering revelation, Shelby steps in and out of the Dreaming, its fairy-tale castles, crones and changelings blended with the sacred Eagle and Coyote of Navajo legend. Discerning readers might pick up carefully planted indications that Shelby is deaf early on. The suspenseful, complicated story slowly spins out clues to Shelby's life that have been hidden from her for years. A fine exploration of the power of story itself to heal the unconscious from scars physical and emotional. (Fiction. 13-17)

Product Details

Bloomsbury USA
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
6.60(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
14 Years

Meet the Author

Nick Lake is the much-acclaimed author of In Darkness, winner of the Michael L. Printz Award, and Hostage Three, which received three starred reviews and was named a Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal, and Boston Globe Best Book of the Year. He is also the Publishing Director for fiction at HarperCollins Children's Books UK. Nick lives near Oxford, England. Visit him online at and on Twitter at @nicklakeauthor.

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There Will Be Lies 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
TheBumbleGirl1 More than 1 year ago
One of the most unique storytellers I have ever encountered! Enthralling, emotional, shocking, flippant and twisted - there is no other story out there, right now, that can compare... First, I have to point out, the writing style is very, very different than what I am used to. Conversations are either in italics or told in third person. It was odd at first, but very necessary. I don't see how the author could have helped Shelby tell her story without taking this route. It didn't take very long to get used to this method of writing, it actually made it more interesting and hard to put down...  Next, there is also a fantasy element to the story. A sort of dream-like state. It is hard to explain without spoilers, but, every single moment that we get to witness these events are crucial moments to Shelby's state of mind. It is quite amazing to have been able to go along with her and really see and feel the upheaval of her emotions, the denial that she was living in...  Lastly, I was amazed that the book didn't finished when I expected it to. It would have been typical to leave off at a certain point and I was a bit confused to see that there was still over 200 pages left to read. There are not enough words to describe how astonished I was to get to continue on with Shelby to the very, very end of her story - watch her grow, learn, give in to her demons and then slowly come to terms to her harsh realities. The girl starts out broken, and I got to not only watch her break and fall apart, but shatter into a billion little pieces. And then be able to look on as she slowly chooses which pieces to pick up and start putting her life together was such an unbelievable experience. Every single little detail is so precise and necessary; although at points it did make certain elements predictable, but, without the particulars, it still made very moment astonishing and jaw-dropping. I don't think I would have been able to fully understand Shelby. I would not have been able to stick by her side and see her through. THERE WILL BE LIES is Shelby's powerfully sad story.  Shelby is an over-protected seventeen year old girl who has been home-schooled by her single mother her entire life. As a lock and key child, Shelby has been taught to not trust anyone, especially men, and that only her mother can help and protect her. Shelby not knowing anything different, doesn't question her mother's teachings or behavior. But as any typical teen, she longs for friendship and dreams of going to college someday; which leads to her occasionally trying to convince her mother to do things outside of their norm, but rarely ever wins that argument. When Shelby is hit by a car, her life comes to a sudden halt. She sees a coyote that gives her a warning: there will be two lies, and then the truth.  When Shelby wakes up in the hospital, she thinks that the coyote was just a dream that was brought about by her injuries... when her mother starts acting differently, asking odd questions and then rushes Shelby out of the hospital like their lives depended on it - Shelby knows that nothing that is happening is normal. But, she trusts her mom. And denial becomes her best friend. Coyote visits again. More lies. More twisted truths.  Coyote. Lies. Shelby is lost. And all she wants to do is stop time and go back to when things were the way the way before. It may have not been normal or right. But it was familiar.. and safe. I highly recommend this to those of you that are looking for something to read that is out of their element - a book that will force you to read inbetween the lines, to fully take the time to understand and see situations through another person's eyes. There is a good chance that you will experience emotions for characters that you never thought were possible. This will not be an easy quick read - Shelby deserves more than that.  *An ARC was sent to me from the publisher for an honest review. All thoughts are my own.
MissFictional More than 1 year ago
For a majority of the There Were Lies, I was absolutely clueless. It was more of this engaged cluelessness, this burning curiosity to understand what exactly is happening. Shelby is a 17-year-old home-schooled girl living with her extremely and inexplicably over-protective mother. She doesn't know much about her past--or much about anything, besides what her mom has deemed appropriate she learn. Their comfortable routine is smashed when Shelby is struck by a car, and a domino effect of events comes forth. Part a journey of self-discovery and part a search for the truth, Shelby is forced to question everything she has ever thought was true. Shelby Cooper is a very well-developed character, with strength and independence and admirable sarcasm. To me she wasn't exactly likable, per se, but watching her growth throughout the book was probably one of the best parts of the narrative. I think because not a lot of the novel is spent on character interaction, the spotlight is on Shelby's character, and the reader cannot help but know her uncannily well. She narrates this story in a very conversational tone, very teenager-esque. Maybe a bit too teenager-esque for a character who hasn't spent much time around people her age. It is a unique voice and style, though. On to the thriller aspect. If you go into There Will Be Lies expecting an action-packed, heart-pounding type of thriller, be prepared to be disappointed. Be patient; it's a very slow building book, one that creeps up on you and catches you off guard, one that definitely proves worth it in the end. But do not worry--it did live up to its genre and did, in fact, thrill me.      My only complaint is that some things go unexplained or are ignored altogether, leaving for a plot with some loose ends and a sense of incompleteness. Yes, I do understand that life tends to work that way, and for that reason alone I'm willing to look over the minor flaw. There Will Be Lies was so different from any other book I've read in YA, and I mean this in the most literal way.  It may not sit well with readers who are looking for a more conventional book, and it may not please everyone. However, for those in the mood for a YA book that not only ignores the word "normal," but also brings a completely new meaning to the word "original," you need There Will Be Lies in your life. 3.5 stars.  Thanks to Bloomsbury for sending me this copy for review!
V-Rundell More than 1 year ago
This is a book that will stay with me. Shelby lives a very sheltered life. She's almost 18 and has never gone to school. She is homeschooled by her mother, Shaylene, and spends 6 of 7 days a week in their apartment in Scottsdale, AZ. Every Friday they leave the apartment together, so Shelby can hit balls at the local batting cage, then they have ice cream for dinner and Shelby goes to the library, unescorted, for a few hours while her mother works. This library time is the only time Shelby is ever left alone outside their apartment. She has never has a friend, and has no siblings. Her father is dead, and he was horrible, or so she has been told. Then, one Friday, while waiting to get picked up outside the library, Shelby is struck by a car. In her pain she meets, well, a coyote, who advises her that she will learn two lies and one truth about her life. For a moment I wondered if Shelby had hit the peyote, but she hadn't. She did have a broken ankle, however, and in the aftermath of her care finds herself and her mother on the road. Escaping, her mother tells her, from her (dead) father. Because if he finds them, they're as good as dead. Yep. Guess Shelby's dad isn't so dead after all. Or, is he? How can Shelby trust her mom--as she watches her befriend unsuspecting men with the objective of stealing their vehicles. And, the coyote continues to return. When Shelby sleeps she falls into the Dreaming, a place of myth and mystery where she is the Maiden and must rescue the crying Child from a malevolent force in order to restore the rain and keep the Dreaming alive. In this mythical place Shelby is aided by the trickster Coyote, as well as the stalwart Elk and strong Eagle. It is here she is told she has 8 days to save the Child or the Dreaming--and Shelby's whole universe--will be destroyed. This is a strongly metaphysical book, with real and mythical touch points. In her waking life, Shelby learns that there are very big portions of her life that are lies, and the truth that is revealed is just as devastating. There are car chases, and police actions and people who try to help but end up only causing more harm. I adored the elements of First Nations mysticism and mythology that were interwoven. This book sang with cultural tenets, and a realistic depiction of a displaced teen. Shelby, herself, is at a major disadvantage as her own advocate--not because she is young (she's almost an adult) but because people assume she is disabled. She has some difficulties, but that doesn't diminish her capability. Throughout Shelby is self-possessed and as independent as she is ever allowed to be. I am not ashamed to admit there were twists I didn't see coming. I did, however, predict the bulk of the ending--as the foreshadowing was excellent. The ticking time bomb of Shelby's world is a motivator, but she can't often access the tools, or skills, she needs to complete her quest in the Dreaming, and must return to reality to marshal resources. In the end, the heartache that is Shelby's life is greatly resolved, on her terms for a change. No more isolation. Actual friendships and autonomy, and a family she never expected.
Sandy5 More than 1 year ago
4.5 stars I wasn’t sure which part of the book I loved more, the world where Shelby deals with reality or the one where she was living within the Dreaming. In the real world, she lived with her mom, her sheltered mother, who protects her as though she was a two-year old. Her mom kept a vigil watch over her every move, afraid something might happen to her and yes, eventually something does happen to Shelby. It’s after this incident that Shelby starts to experience the Dreaming, the world where Shelby’s previous dreams start to take on a life of their own. Can Shelby be the chosen one to help the Dreaming? With Mark as her guide, and the elk and their commitment to help, this world is compelling and enchanting to say the least. The story alternates between the two worlds and as they switch, I am sadden to see each world disappear and Shelby emerge into the other realm. I am so engrossed into each journey, I don’t want to let go. After the accident, Shelby is faced with more reality than she is ready to handle. Shelby learns why her mother was so protective all those years and now at the age of 17, she only has a few months before she herself is an adult. Shelby wants to go return to the batting cage and ice cream Fridays with her mother but the truth is out and you can’t erase the truth, so those days are over. I really enjoyed the mix of fantasy and reality in this story. The perplexity of Shelby age added another great element to the story also. If only my dreams could be this vivid and exciting. I received this copy of this book from NetGalley and Bloomsbury USA Children’s Book in exchange for an honest opinion.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was fairly good. It was very confusing to read because of how the dialogue was written in italics and sometimes along with regular font without quotation marks which made it very confusing but it all makes sense later on in the book. Sometimes there were certain things that didn't really make sense bu they pieced together well in the end. Also, the main character, Shelby was very sarcastic which i liked to a certain extent but got too annoying at points. The narrator was unreliable which added to the suspense of it all. overall, the book is very good but very long. i would totally recommend to those who like to read.