Sometimes I Lie: A Novel

by Alice Feeney

Hardcover, 2018




Flatiron Books (2018), First editiion 262 pages


Fiction. Thriller. HTML: "Despite the challenges??an unreliable narrator, an intricate plot, a shifting timeline, and myriad characters??Stephanie Racine gives a flawless narration of this audiobook...This intense thriller is made even better by her performance." ?? AudioFile Magazine From renowned journalist Alice Feeney comes a riveting new audiobook, Sometimes I Lie. My name is Amber Reynolds. There are three things you should know about me: 1. I'm in a coma. 2. My husband doesn't love me anymore. 3. Sometimes I lie. Amber wakes up in a hospital. She can't move. She can't speak. She can't open her eyes. She can hear everyone around her, but they have no idea. Amber doesn't remember what happened, but she has a suspicion her husband had something to do with it. Alternating between her paralyzed present, the week before her accident, and a series of childhood diaries from twenty years ago, this brilliant psychological thriller audiobook asks: Is something really a lie if you believe it's the truth? More praise for Sometimes I Lie: "With tension comparable to 'Gone Girl' and 'The Girl on the Train,' plus the imaginative Now-Then-Before construction, Feeney unfolds just enough in each chapter to keep you page-turning for more, and her character development is excellent." ?? NJ.… (more)


½ (486 ratings; 3.7)

User reviews

LibraryThing member flourgirl49
Clunky, twisty, confusing, annoying, thoroughly unlikable characters. The ending left me saying "huh??"
LibraryThing member susan.h.schofield
What a book - every time I thought I had it figured out there was another surprising twist! The story of Amber Reynolds jumps from present day to where she is currently in a coma, to the events of the week before that led to her coma and to diaries from 25 years earlier when she was a 10 year old.
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It may sound confusing but it was pretty easy to follow along. This is a quick read - you will want to get to the end to find what is really going on. This is a great psychological thriller that I will definitely be recommending. Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC.
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LibraryThing member karenvg3
Holy camoly didn’t see that one coming. So my fellow librarian brought this one over to me after he processed it for circulation and said I read the first page and think it’s totally your kind of book. Boy he was right. Read it in one day because I just couldn’t put it down. I didn’t see
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the twists coming and that ending...😳😳. 5🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟for sure. Totally enjoyed this.
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LibraryThing member hobbitprincess
Through all the twists and turns of this novel, I had a hard time putting it down. I don't read a great deal of suspense, but this book was certainly worth the time. Amber is in a coma but knows what is going on around her. Things are not all as they seem, whether it's what she hears and knows to
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the back story. The chapters take place in 3 different time periods: now, then, and before. I had to put the book down a couple of times to take in what I had read. Well written!
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LibraryThing member MinDea
I don't even know where to begin with my review on this book.

On one hand I finished this book in less than 24 hours, which would indicate it had my attention and had me wanting to know what was going on. Some of the twists I thought were really good and satisfying.

On the other hand I finished the
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book and thought W.T.F? There were 2 too many twists and flip flops of who it was and why, that I got confused at the end, and then got even more confused at the very end. I don't know if the author intentionally left the readers confused on who was bad and who was a victim but the ending left a bad taste in my mouth. It seemed like there were too many endings to the story too. Some loose ends were neatly tied up and explained while others were completely not and left me not wanting more and just feeling very confused. I really feel like this book should have been called "Sometimes I Confused". Whether that's the characters or the author, I'm not sure, but the reader definitely was left confused. I also did not like any of the characters. Not even a little bit.

I have spoken to my friends who have read this book and folks in the Litsy community and not one person understands the ending. I don't think that's what should be going on here. I'm sort of blown away by this book but in a bad way...a confused way.

I feel meh about this book, but I don't know if I would discourage someone from reading it. Some people don't mind the ending and that actually made them like the book more, but for me it made me dislike the book when I was really liking it. If you do read this, please talk to me about it!!! I'd love to hear your thoughts on it! :)
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LibraryThing member mootzymom
Wow. This book was a wild ride. Just when I thought I knew what was going on my jaw dropped again. I couldn't put this book down and highly recommend it!!
LibraryThing member terran
There are three things that impressed me about this book.
1. The characters are virtually all unlikeable.
2. The "plot" has as many switchbacks as a mountain road.
3. The main character tells many lies.
I did end up knowing what happened by the end of the book, but often wondered why I was still
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reading it.
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LibraryThing member angiestahl
Upfront disclaimer: I don't seem to hold the majority opinion.

While the reviews are positive overall, this type of story is right in my honeypot, and I had this on hold through my library since it was released and was anticipating getting sucked into it. Too bad it didn't play out that way.

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turned out to be an overhyped, ham-handed stinker - bananas, but not in a fun way.

What's good: the 123 teaser on the first page.
What's not so good: everything else.

Three observations without spoilers:

1) Apparently there's a hornet's nest of psychopaths operating independently out there - there are at least 3 if not more represented in this book alone. That's not psychological suspense, that's zero probability.

2) There's a sexual assault on a person who is in a highly vulnerable state. It's completely gratuitous. In fact, the entire subplot/character is just like a big WTH because it's all so bizarre and unnecessary.

3) The ending is supposed to rock your world. It didn't rock mine. Not because it wasn't a twist but because - by that time - I was hoping for a nihilist natural disaster that would wipe out all the characters, because there wasn't a single one I cared anything about. Or, at least for my memory to be wiped.

Needless to say, I don't recommend this one.
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LibraryThing member c.archer
This is a twisted and perverse book. It is meant to confuse you early on, but things begin to become clear as you work your way through the book. If you enjoy a read that keeps you asking questions and turning pages, this will probably be right up your alley.
LibraryThing member LMJenkins
Sigh. I hate to give this review, just seemed like another of the same. So similar and predictable to many like it being published lately. Now granted, I didn’t guess the exact particulars but the overall formula was just tired. Maybe I read too much, but I keep hoping will surprise
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me like “Gone Girl” did.
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LibraryThing member debkrenzer
2.5 Stars

This book has been on my TBR pile for a while. I kept looking at it and telling myself I needed to read that next. Somehow, it was always forgotten and I started on another one. That is until one day earlier this year. Apparently, my sub conscience was trying to tell me something.

I really
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tried to get into this book. However, it just didn't happen for me. I think the premise was a great one, but it just wasn't working for me with the writing style. I just could not get into it.

I did, however, like the fact that the book was written from the coma patient's point of view. I think the author did a great job with that part.

Apparently, I am in the minority with my thoughts on the book, so it may just be me. I was glad to see that there were others who felt the same way though.

Thanks to Flatiron Books for providing me with a free ARC in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.
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LibraryThing member bah195
Interesting book that is very suspenseful. It can get a little confusing, especially in the last fourth of the book.
The Television rights have been bought by Legendary Entertainment. Can't wait to see the tv movie because I still have questions.
LibraryThing member teachlz
My Review of "Sometimes I Lie" by Alice Feeney

WOW! Kudos to Alice Feeney , Author of "Sometimes I Lie", for the riveting, captivating, intense Psychological Thriller. The timeline of the story deals with mostly the present and the past, and leaves one wondering about the future. Alice Feeney
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describes her characters as complex and complicated. Some are pathological, and even the narration is told in possibly unreliable voices.

Amber Reynolds is in a coma in a hospital and tells you three things from the get-go.

"1.I'm in a coma". 2. My husband doesn't love me anymore. 3. Sometimes I lie."

The author goes to the past, and brings in diaries of younger lives, and as we are in the present, we are with Amber as she hears the voices around her, not being able to do anything. How did she get here? Who's was she with? Why did this happen?

As the story progresses, so does the intensity. All of the characters seem to have secrets, and seem to be suspect. There are many twists and turns, and what you think, is questionable. From the beginning to the end, there is tremendous anxiety and tension.

Of course, at the end, I will just say, I said "OMG!!!!!" I would highly recommend this book for readers who enjoy a face paced exciting, thrilling, psychological mystery that is hauntingly very engrossing. I received this Advanced Reading ARC for my honest review.
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LibraryThing member Sharn
Tricky tricky little thing the author did there. Reminded me a bit of I Let You Go especially when I had to rethink everything I had read.

I have no idea what to make of the ending and after reading questions posted regarding the book, I see I'm not alone. Did I miss something there?
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Either way, I really liked the book. I will not attempt to review this because I don't want to ruin anything for anyone else. Go in blind, like I did, it was worth it but sometimes I lie....

If you haven't read it, DON'T read my spoiler....
[If they are trying to lead me to believe that Edward is still alive, then how did he get the bracelet? Claire gave the bracelet to Amber and then took it back when she left so how would he have ended up with it?]
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LibraryThing member smik
The story opens on Boxing Day 2016. Amber Reynolds works out that she is in hospital, unable to open her eyes or move. Something very bad has happened and she cannot remember what or when. Two nurses come into the room to look at her and from their conversation Amber works out that she is in a
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The story leaps from one time frame to another: first of all back to events one week earlier, then back to present time, then to 1991 when Amber began to write a diary. In 1991 Amber was almost ten, and beginning at a new school. Her Nana has recently died, and her parents argue a lot. A month later at school Amber is sitting next to Taylor who is exactly the same age as her, and they become friends.

The story flits from one time frame to another, and gradually a picture builds of Amber's life over the last 25 years, and then she begins to remember the most recent events that have resulted in her being in a coma.

This became one of those books that I really wanted to race through. I thought initially that a single voice was telling the story, but now I am not so sure. It is one of those books that could probably do with a second reading.

For those thinking of using the book with a reading group there are some searching questions at end for discussion.
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LibraryThing member Beamis12
From the title alone, one knows they will more than likely be dealing with an unreliable narrator. Not to believe everything you are reading, and not to even try to figure out where this is going. Despite knowing this going in, this novel still made my head spin. I began to doubt everything I was
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being told, or most of it, and honestly couldn't figure out where this was going. I liked that, it has been a very long time since I have read a novel quite this psychologically twisty.

The chapters alternate with Amber, now in a coma, but able to think but not move or reach out, with chapters from before, detailing what happened, and journal entries of a young girl. Creepy too, since Amber is my eldest daughters name. Does anyone remember the bad seed? For the longest time couldn't quite figure out what the journal had to do with anything, but as with most everything else in this novel, the author reveals exactly when the author wants to reveal. Unlikable characters? You bet! Didn't matter though, was too caught up in the story.

It was nice to read a thriller where I cold just go with the flow, just follow along. Not that I had much choice since I could never quite figure out what was going on. Well, some things were obvious and as they appeared but the ending, in my estimation very, very well done. With a cliffhanger to boot.

ARC from Netgalley.
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LibraryThing member DPLyle
Alice Feeney has written a fascinating novel—-and I was surprised it was her first. SOMETIMES I LIE does not read like a rookie effort, but rather more like an experienced and skilled storyteller. The story, which continually moves around in time, is convoluted and often surprising, and
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ultimately has twists and turns the reader will never see coming. There are enough damaged and psychologically unbalanced characters to go around, and each is deeply drawn.

Amber is married, she has a sister with whom she she has a stormy relationship, and sometimes she lies. She climbs out of a coma only to find herself in a hospital, unable to move, or speak, or communicate. What happened? As she listens to those who talk around her, and explores her own memory, she begins to believe that her condition was no accident. Someone tried to kill her. Her husband? Her sister? Her ex?

The story alternates between her present situation, the week (Christmas week) before her injury, and her childhood. As the time shifts and the characters evolve, the reader will need to pay agnation, keep up, and try to sort through who is who, what is what, and who is lying.

DP Lyle, award-winning author of the Jake Longly, Samantha Cody, and Dub Walker thriller series
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LibraryThing member bsquaredinoz
Amber wants you to know three things about her:

1. She is in a coma
2. Her husband doesn’t love her anymore
3. Sometimes she lies

I would add three more things that you ought to know before you embark on her story:

1. She is a narcissist
2. She has no sense of humour
3. She could whine for England

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would never have read this book but for the fact it was this month’s selection for my book club. So I persevered through to the bitter, bonkers end of what is known in these parts as GIRL IN A COMA.

The book unfolds in three narrative strands. One is Amber’s present, it’s Boxing Day and she is in a coma. Though not, alas, enough of one to stop the whining. The second thread starts about a week before that and teases out the events that led up to the coma. The third is extracts from childhood diaries that, presumably, provide some insight into a corresponding adult’s life. This multiple timeline structure has become a common approach to storytelling but to be as fair as I can – given I wanted to pull the plugs of every machine keeping fictional Amber alive – Feeney handles the complexity as well as anyone. The writing is not the problem here.

The problem is that when a book uses an admittedly unreliable first-person perspective that central person has to engage me. Amber didn’t. She is self-absorbed and takes everything so bloody seriously I wanted to carry out physical harm. If you can’t find a little bit of self-deprecating humour in the life you are sharing with others then you should at least be fabulously windswept and interesting. Amber is not. Amber is full of angst at the petty injustices of her world. Amber is a colossal bore whose potential demise I cared nothing about, except to hope for it to become a reality sooner rather than later.

As far as suspense goes it is almost the half-way point of the book before anything approaching drama starts to build (the coma itself doesn’t count as it is announced on the book’s front cover). That’s quite a lot of boring details of an uninteresting life to wade through before anything vaguely interesting arrives. Things do pick up after this. There are the requisite twists and lots of ‘reveals’ but for me it was too little, too late. The book is another in that category where an interesting or quirky premise is not backed up with nearly enough depth. A book needs to be much more than its blurb.
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LibraryThing member Stardust_Fiddle
“Sometimes I Lie” is an evocative thriller that takes readers down the rabbit hole with protagonist Amber Reynolds. The action switches between the present, when Amber is in a coma, and the week prior, and is also interspersed with diary entries from her childhood. This combination keeps the
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reader guessing as the story unravels and becomes more and more intriguing and, eventually, shocking. This is a psychological thriller at the highest level, complete with the unreliable narrator and a sinister reality distortion. A domestic thriller on par with the works of B.A. Paris, “Sometimes I Lie” provides a pulse-pounding, mindboggling journey of incredible finesse that reminds readers to keep your friends close and your relatives closer.
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LibraryThing member jess_reads_books
Amber has woken up in a hospital. She is unable to move, speak, or open her eyes. She can hear everything happening around her. She can hear everything people are saying about her. Amber is trapped inside her body thanks to a coma she is now in. The circumstances of what brought her to be in a coma
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are unknown to Amber. In fact, she can’t remember anything about what has happened to her, but she does know that her husband’s presence in her room is giving her an uneasy feeling.

Amber’s life slowly starts to come back to her as the novel alternates between the past week of her life, her present condition, and a series of childhood diary entries. As each day brings Amber closer to the day of the incident her suspicions for those closest to her begin to rise. Who can she truly trust? Who and what is at the root of the accident that has left her in a coma? Is anyone telling the truth?

Alice Feeney just wowed the pants of me with SOMETIMES I LIE! I could not put this book down. Amber’s character is absolutely captivating from page one. She is the ultimate unreliable narrator. I was never sure if I could trust a word of what I was reading. The past unfolds in such a methodical way that the reader is constantly kept at the edge of their seat and desperately needing to know more. The diary entries are another source of brilliance that draws the reader even deeper in to what makes Amber tick. I was so confident I knew what was happening. Wrong. And then Alice told me I was wrong again and again and again! This book is everything I want from a psychological thriller: equal parts mystery, intrigue, and downright what the heck just happened!

Thank you so much to Flatiron books for sending me a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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LibraryThing member Carolesrandomlife
I really enjoyed this book. I am actually a little surprised by how much I ended up liking it. I decided to read this book because I was intrigued by the description. It was that same description that had me worried that this book may not work for me. I love the idea of unreliable narrators but I
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have had mixed luck with them. Let me just say that this book worked very well for me on all levels. I read almost the whole book in a single day and could seem to stop turning pages. I am so glad that I decided to give this book a try.

This is Amber's story. Amber is in a coma and can hear what is going on around her but can't respond. I was immediately drawn into the story because I felt like I needed to know how Amber ended up in that coma. I wouldn't really say that I liked Amber or any of the other characters in the story but I didn't dislike them either. I had no idea who to trust at any point in the story.

The dual timelines in this book worked well. Piece by piece, we learn the details of what events led up to her hospitalization as well as everything happening around her while she is in the coma. I was really equally interesting in both timelines and thought that the story switched from then to now at just the right moments to keep the story moving forward.

This book was full of twists and turns. It is really best to go into this book as blindly as possible which I was thankfully able to do. As I read the book I quickly discovered that everything that I thought I knew about the story was completely wrong. I was taken by surprise many times over the course of the story and sometimes had to take a short break just to process what I had just learned. I quickly began to expect the unexpected and I still found that I was shocked by some of the twists along the way.

I would recommend this book to others. I loved how this book kept me guessing until the very end. I am really impressed with Alice Feeney's style of writing and hope to read more of her work in the future.

I received an advance reader edition of this book from Flatiron Press via NetGalley.
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LibraryThing member debbiesbooknook
Actual rating: 3.75 Stars

My Takeaway

"Lies can seem true when told often enough."
Alice Feeney, Sometimes I Lie

Sometimes I Lie was a fast-paced roller coaster ride! This is not a book you want to read at a lax pace. I read it in one sitting and was at times soooo confused and yes, I have a ton of
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questions! Without spoiling the plot, I can let you know the main characters, Claire and Amber are unreliable narrators. From my experience, unreliable narrators can be a pain in the butt because one never knows who to trust or believe. Oh, and Feeney is a sharp writer (sneaky sneaky woman) so pay attention!! I did find some parts of the story to be kind of blah, but the gist of the thriller sticks. This is Feeney's first novel and I wonder if she's writing a sequel to this thriller. . . if she's not and her intention was to leave me wondering and pondering, she succeeded. 'Cause girlfriend I need answers!

A huge thanks to Flatiron Books for graciously sending me an arc of this sneaky, twisty thriller! (Send me more, please!) :-)
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LibraryThing member niaomiya
O.M.G. I could not put this book down. "Sometimes I Lie" is a whopper of a psychological thriller from first-time novelist Alice Feeney.

The book starts with Amber Reynolds waking up in a hospital unable to move or even open her eyes. As the reader, we journey with Amber as she struggles to remember
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how she got there. The book switches among three different perspectives: Amber's thoughts as she lies helpless in the hospital, one week earlier with events leading up to the incident that put her in the hospital, and entries in a childhood diary.

I love novels like this, where the reader is just as lost as the protagonist, figuring out the puzzle along with her. In some novels the other perspectives give the reader a leg up on the protagonist, but not in this case. In this case, we are exactly where Amber is in our level of cluelessness. The childhood diaries appear to give background, but it is unclear to the reader how it fits into the big picture until - BAM! - one sentence about 3/4 of the way into the book shows you exactly how it fits in. Holy moly. It's as if at the start of the book a train is approaching slowly, gaining just a little bit of ground as it gets closer, and it picks up speed as the book moves along, and when that one sentence comes, the train all of a sudden smashes into you when you had no idea it had gotten that close to you. I froze after reading that sentence and flipped back to skim sections I'd already read because I couldn't believe it. I can't say more without spoiling the book.

It's not a spoiler to say that the book has quite a twist (a couple of twists, actually) at the end. I am confident that no reader will be able to anticipate the ending. It was so diabolically good.

It's been a long time since I've been so gobsmacked by a book. Well played, Ms. Feeney. I very much look forward to reading your next novel.
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LibraryThing member over.the.edge
Sometimes I Lie🍒🍒🍒🍒🍌
By Alice Feeney
Flatiron Books

The story begins with Amber in the hospital - in a coma. Can't move, speak, or open her eyes. But she can hear everything around her, but no one realizes it...
The story alternates between her paralyzed state ("Now"), a week before
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the accident (Then") and memories from her childhood diary ("Before").
I loved all the twists, but the final twists left me speechless. It brings full circle the lifeline of a lie...
....a lie told enough times may become someone elses truth...... something really a lie, if you believe it is the truth....
Fantastic story, perfect pace....Highly Recommended!
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LibraryThing member Susan.Macura
We first meet Amber in the hospital where she is in a coma. However, we must delve into her story, both past and present, to understand how and why she is in this situation. While this proved to be a fascinating tale, all of a sudden the story took a new turn, something I never expected. This is
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definitely one of those rare can't put down thrillers that leave you surprised and not wanting it to end. I can't wait for this author to pen another tale!
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Original language


Original publication date

2018-03-13 (US)
2017-03-23 (UK)

Physical description

262 p.; 8.2 inches


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