Title – ‘See How They Lie’
Author – Sue Wallman
Publishing – March 2nd 2017 by Scholastic
Pages – 320
Format – Paperback
Book Summary –
‘All’s not well at the Hummingbird Creek wellness resort. No one can see in. No one can get out…
New from the talented author who brought you Lying About Last Summer: a psycho-chiller to wake up your darkest phobias. If you got to live in a luxury hotel with world-class cuisine, a state-of-the-art sports centre and the latest spa treatments, would you say ‘yes please’?
Well, that’s kind of what Hummingbird Creek is like. No wonder Mae feels lucky to be there. It’s meant as a rich-kid’s sanatorium, but she isn’t sick. Her dad is the top psychiatrist there. But one day Mae breaks a rule. NOT a good idea. This place is all about rules – and breaking them can hurt you…’
*Warning – Contains VERY MINOR spoilers*
This book… was bought completely on a whim if I’m completely honest. The cover initially caught my attention, there’s no denying it is a gorgeous cover and I’ve got to admit the synopsis did somewhat catch my interest but it was indeed the cover that pushed me to buy this book… not always the wisest of ways to go about book buying but… as it is I’m a book buying addict! At least my spontaneous buying of this book essentially allowed me to go into it with a completely open mind.
I’m going to start off by saying as well before I get into the main bulk of the review that I’m not the biggest fan of thriller’s or books with a psychological aspect involved… they’ve never really been my cup of tea. So whilst I went into this book with an open mind I was also well aware that I may simply not like it because of it falling under those particular genre’s.
Now… onto the ACTUAL review. I’ll start off by saying one thing… this book is a very slow burner. You get an awful lot of detail about ‘Hummingbird Creek’ for the majority of the book and frankly, half of it we didn’t need.. it took time away from the plot and in my opinion stopped if from moving forward at a more enjoyable and addicting pace. The majority of the first half of the book was also spent being introduced to a whole number of different characters, we had the ‘staff kids’, the patients, the staff themselves… and frankly some of these characters played such a small part in the novel by the end that we didn’t really need as much detail about them as what we got at the start of the book. To sum up… in my opinion there was an awful lot of time that was simply wasted.
The plot really doesn’t really move very quickly until the last third of the book and by then I think the majority of readers would honestly be a little bored possibly. I know this is a YA novel but I did expect a stronger psychological aspect… even that particular element, one of main elements of the novel itself, didn’t really start to play a part until the last half of the book. If I’m also honest I don’t think the slow burn did any of the characters justice either… I think if anything it probably made it easier to disconnect from them.
Mae… wasn’t the most lovable of characters. Don’t get me wrong I didn’t hate her but… I didn’t love her either. Later in the novel she’s told she’s smart and has potential for a great college yet not once towards the start of the novel, and frankly even at times towards the end, did she ever come across like that. Not really. She obviously wasn’t stupid but she most certainly didn’t shine bright like her teacher Ms Ray seemed to think. And frankly it took her 16 years to start questioning the routine and morals of ‘Hummingbird Creek’…. surely if she was as smart as she was made out to be she’d of clocked on a little sooner… even if she was brought up there. I think Mae, and the majority of the characters frankly, just weren’t easy to click with at all.
The only characters I really did enjoy were Ms Ray and her slightly more rebellious streak and Thet who was, for me, one of the more interesting characters and certainly one of the only ones who truly came across how they were written, anxious, nervous, scared of life outside. Mae’s relationship with Ms Ray and Thet were really the only one’s I didn’t mind… none of the others really stuck with me at all. Drew and Mae’s relationship at the start of the novel was just forced and didn’t have the spark you’d expect… even under the circumstances of which their friendship had bloomed. Plus after he left (or technically got forced out) of the Creek he kind of just disappeared from the novel… we got a very (VERY) small line or two at the end about him but that was it. For a character who played a large part in the start of the book for him to just be written out so easily just didn’t sit well with me.
Another part of this book that annoyed me was the ending… whilst the start took too long to get going the end was completely the opposite… it ended WAY too quickly. Everything happened all of a sudden without much detail, it just happened and that was that. Whilst the start could have done with some elements being taken out the end could have done with being drawn out a little longer. It simply ended to quickly. Basically the majority of the main plot points were found out in the last 100 or so pages with the majority of the ‘action’ being found in the last… 50 or so. It was just concluded way to quickly especially after how drawn out it was towards the start.
To sum up… I didn’t mind this book. It had potential to be great but just fell short for me because of the slow burning at the start and the quick conclusion at the end. As I previously said I don’t think that slow burn helped us, the reader, connect with the characters who were ok but forgettable. The writing style itself, taking away from the pace of the plot, was decent. It was easy enough to follow and wasn’t confusing at all. Probably one of the elements that helped me get through this book. And funnily enough despite my dislike of the pace I did manage to get it read in a day. I think if you’re knew to psychological thrillers and like your YA novels then this would be a decent starting point… but you do have to be aware of the slow burning start because I know for a fact it would definitely put a number of people off for sure.
Would I suggest this book to other bookworms?
I think only a very particular audience would REALLY enjoy this book to be honest.
Am I completely in love with this book?
No… the pacing was all wrong and the characters were just a little lackluster for me.
[I rate this book 2.5/5 stars]