Little Red Lies
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Little Red Lies

3.14 (293 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

The war is over, but for thirteen-year-old Rachel, the battle has just begun. Putting childhood behind her, she knows what she wants - to prove she has acting talent worthy of the school drama club, and what she doesn't want - to romantically fall for someone completely inappropriate. Worries about her veteran brother's failing health and repugnance at her mother's unexpected and unwanted pregnancy drive her to seek solace from a seemingly sympathetic, but self-serving teacher. The lies she tells herself hoping to reach solutions to the problems complicating her life merely function to make matters worse. Ultimately, she finds a way to come to terms with life as it reaches an end and life as it begins.
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Product details

  • 12-17
  • Hardback | 346 pages
  • 140 x 190 x 33.02mm | 380g
  • Ontario, Canada
  • English
  • 1770493131
  • 9781770493131
  • 2,163,387

Review quote

Selected, Kirkus Reviews's list of Best Books, 2013 "Filled with bumbling characters who achingly love each other, this coming-of-age tale rises above a crowded field to take readers on a moving journey of discovery." - Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews
".... Johnston gives equal weight to struggles major and trivial as she sensitively examines the painful process of rebuilding one's life under the most difficult of circumstances." - Publishers Weekly
"Johnston has crafted a beautifully written, low-key, yet emotional story of a family dealing with the return of a son at the close of war. Jamie is wracked with survivor's guilt .... His letters to Rachel .... are painfully realistic, the antithesis of the glamour that teens too often assign to war ...." - Starred Review, Booklist "Rachel's down-to-earth, dry humour and ironic perspective on herself make this story sparkle with adolescent verve; at the same time, Johnston writes with emotional depth, compassion and poignancy of the very real losses that threaten Rachel and her family. Once again Johnston proves herself one of Canada's outstanding writers for young adults--funny and serious, irreverent and moving." - The Toronto Star
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About Julie Johnston

Julie Johnston's subtle and beautifully polished work has received numerous awards and honors throughout her career. Her first two novels, Hero of Lesser Causes and Adam and Eve and Pinch-Me, received the Governor General's Literary Award, and her subsequent two novels, The Only Outcast and In Spite of Killer Bees, were Governor General's Literary Award finalists. In 2003, Julie Johnston was presented with the Vicky Metcalf Award for her body of work and its contribution to literature for young people. Her most recent young adult books, Susanna's Quill and A Very Fine Line, were also critically acclaimed. Julie Johnston lives in Peterborough, Ontario. The author lives in Peterborough, Ontario.
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Rating details

293 ratings
3.14 out of 5 stars
5 9% (26)
4 25% (74)
3 43% (126)
2 17% (51)
1 5% (16)

Our customer reviews

(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Tundra Books and Netgalley.) 13-year-old Rachel hopes that things will be just like they used to be before, when her brother Jamie comes back from serving in the Second World War, but Jamie seems different. Rachel wants to be a playwright when she gets older, and when a new teacher offers to tutor her and help her, she accepts, even when her friends think that his intentions may not be pure. What is wrong with Jamie though? Will he ever get better? Can Rachel really write plays? What does her teacher really want with her? And why is her mother suddenly in bed all the time? This story was okay, but certain things annoyed me, and the ending was pretty poo. Rachel was quite a naïve character, and some of the things she came out with just irritated me. I couldn't quite believe it when one of the first things she said to her brother after he returned from the war was â€~was it exciting?'. I mean really? How about horrific, and terrifying? I wouldn't choose the word â€~excited' - as Jamie replied - some of his friends died. The storyline in this was okay, but I didn't feel like much was resolved by the end. The main storylines were Jamie coming back from the war, Jamie being ill, Rachel's dreams of being a playwright, and her misadventures with a teacher at school. These were all okay storylines, but at times I felt like the story wasn't going anywhere. I also disliked the way that people treated Jamie after he got home from the war - telling him that he had changed, and they wanted him to change back, and moaning that he wasn't eating, and that he needed to get over it. I know PTSD wasn't like a known thing back in the 1940's, but still, did nobody think he might have been affected by what had happened to him in the war? The ending was what annoyed me the most though. I was actually afraid to read the last page, because I was scared that we were about to get a very sad ending, but what we actually got was... nothing. Yes, that's right - nothing. The story just stopped! One storyline was resolved, but the most important ones were just left hanging. I could not quite believe it - I actually kept scrolling in case there was a mistake and there was more to come - but no, that was the end. I mean just what? Having finished this, I'm now wondering what the point was, and I hate it when a story doesn't seem to have any point to it. I feel like I read this whole book, went through all this mediocre stuff, and then didn't even find out how things ended. I mean did Jamie recover from his illness or not? Overall; a disappointing story, and I really didn't like the end. 5 out of 10.show more
by Sarah Elizabeth
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