When Alix's charismatic girlfriend, Swanee, dies from sudden cardiac arrest, Alix is overcome with despair. As she searches Swanee's room for mementos of their relationship, she finds Swanee's cell phone, pinging with dozens of texts sent from a mysterious contact, L.T. The most recent text reads: "Please tell me what I did. Please, Swan. Te amo. I love you."
Shocked and betrayed, Alix learns that Swanee has been leading a double life—secretly dating a girl named Liana the entire time she's been with Alix. Alix texts Liana from Swanee's phone, pretending to be Swanee in order to gather information before finally meeting face-to-face to break the news.
Brought together by Swanee's lies, Alix and Liana become closer than they'd thought possible. But Alix is still hiding the truth from Liana. Alix knows what it feels like to be lied to—but will coming clean to Liana mean losing her, too?
◆ A copy was provided by Little Brown for review ◆
Lies My Girlfriend Told Me is a likable story with likable characters.
Following the death of their girlfriend Swanee, Alix and Liana discover each other and the double life that Swanee has been living. Both have been emotionally abused by Swanee and have a lot of pent up sadness and anger. As the only ones who understand what the other is going through, they find themselves drawn to each other. Initially, it's hard to connect with them as they alternately withdrawing and lashing out at the world in their grief. Alix especially because she doesn't provide an adequate explanation for why she was so depressed and in denial about Swanee's death.
I also don't see how Alix and Liana could be so drawn to each other in such a short period of time. Okay, I can kind of understand considering my own relationship experiences, but both of them were so very strongly drawn to Swanee—as in they thought they were holding forever. I'd expected more of a mourning period even after finding out that Swanee had been duping them. There isn't a strong development of the whole Swanee angle, which I expected considering how large of a role she played in the girls' lives, but it's okay since the story is mostly one of recovering, forgiveness, and finding new love.
It also feels like the stealing Swanee's phone and texting Liana angle was made out to be a greater deal than it is. Alix doesn't seem to have a reasong for withholding this bit of information from Liana, and Liana seems overly angry about the "prank texts" she received. It also doesn't come up all that often in the story—to the point that I wonder why it's there at all. It's not the only plot thread that's loosely woven in the story. All in all, there's a lot of potential for complexity in this novel, but it just didn't live up to them and ended up being a quick read. (Which isn't entirely bad.)
One of the greatest things about this novel is how it could be about anyone. As other reviewers have pointed out, you could replace any of the girls with someone else, boy or girl, and the story would be the same. While there is mention of the girls' sexuality, it isn't made out to be a huge deal or factor largely into the plot, which I liked. It's important to have books addressing the issues that come with sexuality, but it's also important to have books that accept it as a part of life.
Overall, Lies My Girlfriend Told Me is an interesting, captivating read once I got past the first pages and was able to form a connection with Alix and Liana. I recommend this as a quick contemporary read that addresses some serious topics.