________________ CM . . . . Volume XXIV Number 20. . . . January 26, 2018


The Book of Lies.

Teri Terry.
New York, NY: Clarion Books (Distributed in Canada by Raincoast Books), 2017.
372 pp., hardcover, $24.99.
ISBN 978-0-544-90048-6.

Grades 7-9 / Ages 12-14.

Review by Crystal Sutherland.

**** /4

Reviewed from Advance Reading Copy.



Can she really have so many fabulous things that a few more or less make no difference to her at all? Piper seemed almost bewildered by my reaction to her home and all her stuff. She has so much, and doesnít appreciate any of it.

This sweater is blue, but it should be green: green for envy. Her life should have been my life. I shouldnít be feeling grateful for a few gestures from Princess Piper. I should have a room like hers, with its own TV, laptop. Sound system, bathroom, a walk in closet full of beautiful clothes. There are so many things in Piperís house I still want to see, to touch not least Isobelís room. Piper skilled quickly past it when showing me around It was full of cupboards and shelves of books and other interesting things, a desk, a funny piece of furniture that was half like a couch and half like a bed, where Piper said Isobel used to read stories to her when she was little. Hunger to know more about my parents, about the life I never had, consumes me. That should be my house. I have every right to it. I have every right to everything inside of it.

I should go there now.


Her motherís funeral has brought many firsts for Quinn: itís the first time her grandmother, who raised her from birth, has allowed her to travel; itís the first time sheís been out of her grandmotherís sight; and itís the first time sheís seen her twin sister she didnít know she had. Quinn suddenly understands why her grandmother allowed her to go only if she promised to stay out of sight. Her grandmother has always told Quinn that she was born evil, and keeping her stuck on a remote mountain, never allowed to leave until now, was surely the best way to keep her twin, Piper, safe Quinnís grandmother, a fortune teller, has an uncanny way of knowing things, and Quinn has every intention of keeping her promise. When Piper approaches her, however, Quinn canít walk away until her questions are answered. It quickly become clear they have many of the same questions, but very few answers. One thing is clear to Quinn: with a nice home with their mother and a rich father who spoils her, more clothes than she could ever need, and a hot boyfriend, Piper has everything Quinn has always wanted but couldnít because, as her grandmother told her time and time again, evil follows Quinn and will destroy anyone sheís connected to.

     If she canít have a normal life. Quinn feels she needs to at least know more about her mother and, before she can talk herself out of it, finds herself punching in the security code at Piperís house. She only wants to touch her motherís belongings until she comes across a bracelet: she canít remember ever seeing her mother without it and feels compelled to take it. Taking one piece of her motherís jewelry to remember her by doesnít seem like a big deal, but that bracelet is more important than Quinn could ever imagine, and, as lies unravel, may be the one thing that keeps her safe from evil.

     As they get to know each other, it occurs to Piper and Quinn that, with their bright red hair, Piperís father may not be their real father. Quinn wants to find their real father as much as does Piper but, protected by her motherís bracelet, Piperís ability to manipulate and control people close to her becomes more apparent to Quinn. Bringing Piper back to their grandmotherís house could be dangerous, and not only because their grandmother would not be happy; thereís no way to tell if Piperís powers will be weakened or strengthened in their family home. Gaining power may be the only reason Piper wants to talk to their grandmother, but Quinnís desire to possibly find her real father is too strong for her to ignore.

     Through their grandmother, the twins find their real father as well as a family history cursed with violence their grandmother and mother had gone to great lengths to end, keeping the twins far apart to ensure their powers would never come together. With their grandmotherís help, the twins are able to find their real father, but even their grandmotherís power canít keep the twinís discovering why it was so important to separate them. Piper overpowers the braceletís protection and, for a short time, pulls Quinn into ďrunning with the Wisht (Witch) HoundsĒ, a curse put on their family generations ago, causing the twins to go on a murderous spree with a pack of dogs. Quinnís muddled memories leave her unsure of her role and questioning whether she is responsible for any of the dead bodies found the days after she and Piper run with the Wisht Hounds. However, it becomes clear itís Piper, the true evil twin, who had killed numerous people over a few short days, including their real father. The murders force their grandmother to tell them why they were kept apart, and that the ďbook of liesĒ, a magical book that turns any lie written in it into fact, is their birthright. It has caused decades of tragedy, and the twins must decide whether to continue the curse or destroy the book and end the curse. The twins know that destroying the Book of Lies will also destroy one of the twins, and co existing is impossible. In the end, good triumphs over evil, but the cost may be more than itís worth.

     With chapters narrated in turn by Quinn and Piper, the lines between truth and fiction and good and evil quickly blur. From the beginning, Quinn is aware she was labelled the evil of the two sisters by her mother and grandmother; as their family history is pieced together, everything Quinn thought was true is turned upside down. Both twins are flawed in ways that will make readers empathize while not being sure whether theyíre only being manipulated. Readers will cheer on the twins in turn, finding themselves reconsidering their loyalty to either Quinn or Piper with each page. With unwaning suspense, The Book of Lies will leave readers reconsidering their perception of right and wrong, and good and evil. A blend of fantasy and mystery, thereís something for everyone in The Book of Lies.

Highly Recommended

An MEd (Literacy) and MLIS graduate, Crystal Sutherland is the librarian at the Nova Scotia Advisory Council on the Status of Women and lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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