Author: Will McIntosh
Publisher: Random House Children’s
Recommended to: Fans of political novels, fans of dystopian novels, fans of 1984.
To be Published on: July 24th, 2018
In a dystopian near-future America, Sam and his friends have been using their free time to work on a reliable lie detector. For Theo, it’s about creating a better world where no one can lie.
Just when they finish their lie detector, and turn down an offer to sell it to what appears to be a huge corporation, full of “serious people” Theo is murdered after Sam refuses to sell the device, so he sets his sights on exposing everyone accountable.
They now face a difficult question: Is the world capable of operating without lies, or are lies what hold it together?
I decided to take a chance on this book, the title alone gave me a reason to pause, as did the cover. I wasn’t sure what I was in for when I requested it off of Netgalley, but I’m so glad that I did.
What you will find between these pages is a struggle that America might be facing in the very near future. A world where there are little to no jobs, high schools have been shut down, and there are curfews and if you’re caught- you can send 10 days in prison, or do whatever the cops tell you to, to get off-. In a world of corrupt companies, a President who seems to be more like a dictator than working for a democracy,
However, the main character, Sam is problematic, there are a few things he does that are perceived to be because he’s “an angsty teenage boy” .
He is fatphobic:
“Rebe was overweight, but in the right places.”
There are a couple of times where Rebe’s weight is mentioned, and it’s not exactly with the best of intentions. He overly sexualizes his friends, which was very weird to read about since, you know, they are his friends.
He also went on video chat with his friend, Molly, and watched her shower when she thought she had hung up the phone. He watched the entire thing, without any remorse at the time and he never told her about it. I feel like Sam could easily be one of those teens who believes himself to be entitled to women, just because he has been “a nice guy” to them.
Regardless of Sam, the novel overall was pretty good. I liked the concept, creating a truth app but perhaps, not seeing the consequences of it further down the line. The writing made it so that you were really drawn in and engaged with the world. I honestly would have given this novel a much higher rating, if it wasn’t for Sam’s problematic character.
I appreciated the diversity in the novel, with Theo and the disabled veterans as characters.
There is however, a time where someone potentially lies with the truth app. Beltane tells the Pilgrims of Truth that she has killed people, only Russians. However, in Chapter 31, it is assumed that she is the one to kill the kid with the Snoopy shirt and a few other people.
I was given this novel in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Netgalley and Random House for letting me read this novel!