Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney

“Sometimes I lie.”  And so do the ratings.

Genre: thriller. ⭐️Stars from Goodreads: 3.89. ⭐️Stars from me: 1

Do you know what the worst thing about a bad book is? It poisons your own language. The disfigured style plays in your head even after the book has finished. Just like the characters in the book you are no longer able to express your thoughts coherently. You suddenly find yourself squeezing in words you don’t need, making unnecessary sentences. As if you were now also cursed with having one wish only, and that is to hear the sound of your own voice.

The symptoms of the curse are phrases like these. (They are actual quotes!)

  • “It doesn’t make any sense, but somehow it does.” It doesn’t sound like bullshit, but somehow it is.
  • “Sometimes saying nothing says too much but somehow the words won’t come.” Sometimes writing nothing is better than writing something but somehow the nonsense still comes.
  • “We all die in the end, I suppose. We are all born in the beginning, I guess. Although some seem to have been dropped by storks.
  • “We couldn’t get kids. We didn’t know why. The docs said it might be genetic.” Definitely dropped by storks!
  • And the one coming from a comatose paralysed patient, “I mustn’t move. I mustn’t make a sound.”

If Stephen King suddenly got very much into drama, but lost all his talent for building characters and dialogues he could write this book. The plot, though, is also not of Stephen King quality. There are lots of loose ends sticking out from it like threads from an old tablecloth.

The author spins a few implausible characters in front of you, hoping to make you dizzy enough so that you wouldn’t figure out who the villains and the victims are. If you use the trick of ballerinas and focus on one point only, you’ll see through these juggles very quickly.

The plot itself got infected with the worst disease possible. The disease is called stupidity dependence. When this disease occurs the plot can develop only through the stupidity of characters and by the means of implausible facts. The intrigue at work progresses only because one character is an idiot who doesn’t notice things under her nose. A dangerous situation happens because a character is dumb and does not warn another one. A complicated scheme works out because apparently you can post two cat photos to a new Twitter account and get viral overnight for a gossip. Stealing drugs from a hospital and poisoning anybody with them, including hospital patients, is easy. Nobody notices because the plot is sick with stupidity dependence.

I had an audiobook version. Do you know the difference between an actor and a narrator? The narrator of this audiobook doesn’t. She dramatically breathes into the microphone through most of the lines, but if there are modal verbs she has to cry them. Like “I have to open the door but I CAN’T”. Whenever there’s a dramatic situation (and there are lots of them) she gets super intense. She literally sobs through some of the lines which made me want to calm her down rather than continue with the book. There are also lots of kid rhymes at supposedly scary moments and she makes it sound even more cliche because she sings them like in an outdated horror movie.

The only thing I’m thankful for is that there was no quasi-suspense like in Something in the Water. No actions were cut midway by a boring Wikipedia article. Instead, every time an action was interrupted a previously interrupted one was resumed. That’s the only thing that helped me move through the book. This, and a colony of ants I had to battle with on my balcony unable to press a stop button without contaminating my headphones.

I didn’t expect to have a one-star book so soon on my blog. I choose books carefully but I was tricked by an almost 4-star Goodreads rating and an interesting description. Sometimes I Lie is indeed not boring, but is still not worth your time.

4 thoughts on “Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney

  1. This is so interesting!! I read the ebook on a flight from Glasgow to Seattle and I gave it “4 stars (I think)”. It’s amazing how the different formats can clue you into different things. I didn’t notice any of the rhyming schemes that you did. Even the quotes you cite – it’s like I glazed over them completely. I think I was quite generous with my rating, because as I think back on reading it, I find it hard to remember much of what I thought I was enjoying at the time. Also, there aren’t many things worse than a bad audiobook narrator and whoever read this sounds terrible.

    1. I agree, this is interesting. I had this conversation with my husband once, on the topic of why some books are liked by some people and disliked by others. He said it’s because if you like something very much about the book, you are ready to ignore all the flaws. Just like you said, you glazed over them. I had the same situation with The Mermaid and Mrs. Hancock, for example. I loved the writing and the intricate setting so much that I didn’t mind that it was slow sometimes, but some people couldn’t bare it. Probably because they didn’t care about the writing at all. Thus, I think it’s the same with this book. I didn’t have anything to really like in this book and it made me notice all the other things.

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