About the Book
Book: I’ll Take the Lie
Author: Nancy E. Wood
Genre: Christian YA
Release Date: June 28, 2019
Does the truth really set you free?
Paige Hall doubts it, after her boyfriend Justin tells her he’s over it, leaving her with a broken heart and crushed dreams. When Justin disappears, she can’t help but try to find out what happened to him. But when the more she searches, the more problems arise, she can’t help but wonder if it would be better to just accept the lie…
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About the Author
Nancy E Wood was born into a missionary family and lived in Hungary until she turned twenty. Her whole childhood, she loved reading and stories, writing some of her own, but never believing she actually had the talent to be an author. Speaking multiple languages, she never thought she would be good enough in any to become a wordsmith.
Her senior year of high school, she was encouraged to write short stories, one of which turned into Perfect, a novel that couldn’t stay short. After sharing it with a few people, she decided to get it published a couple years later. She went to college in Florida, where she studied English and Music. After graduating, she married and moved to California. She published her second standalone book, I’ll Take the Lie, in the summer of 2019 and is currently working on a sequel to Perfect. She also runs a blog for young women, where she writes relatable and motivational posts that point to God. She has also done some speaking in different Christian schools and youth groups, encouraging teens to pursue Christ through some of the most difficult years of their lives.
More from Nancy
What’s truth? Why is it important? Does everyone have their own kind of truth or is there only one?
Those were questions I was dealing with in my college Apologetics class while I wrote I’ll Take the Lie, and I thought that theme would fit so well into the story.
The idea came to me a long time ago. I was really into The Great Gatsby at the time and wanted to write a story from a bystander’s point of view. Originally titled What’s Wrong with Alex?, Paige, the worried sister of Alex, who drastically changed over his first semester of college, wants to find out what happened to him. But the deeper I went into the story, the more Paige’s character shone through, and she soon became the protagonist with her ex boyfriend’s mysterious disappearance. The whole theme tied into what I was studying about apologetics and truth, so the messy pieces all came together into a solid plot.
Paige isn’t a believer, and she doesn’t really care about the idea of truth and spirituality until she gets dragged into it. It’s my hope that this book story helps young adults like me think deeper and question their beliefs. We get so caught up with our own happiness, we don’t always want to accept the hard truth. But, like Paige, we need to think about whether we can keep living pretend lives or if the truth really does set us free.
“Who would’ve known that saying yes to the hottest football player would lead to me sitting in a police station alone, waiting to be questioned in his disappearance?”
After finishing this book, I feel as though I’ve just watched a program on Investigation Discovery, and that’s not a bad thing. I found this story to be quite compelling and easy to read as far as comprehension is concerned. Despite figuring out the solution to the mystery fairly early on, I did not want to stop reading until that last page was turned. I’ve always enjoyed mysteries, so it’s a treat when I have the opportunity to get a review copy of one.
As indicated by its title, “I’ll Take the Lie” features a first-person narrator, high school senior Paige Hall, whose ex-boyfriend goes missing at the outset. Author Nancy Wood does a commendable job of introducing Paige’s backstory, as well as that of the other characters, at a measured pace that keeps things interesting. By withholding some information, she sets readers up for surprises later on, a technique which I personally find enjoyable in this genre. In my opinion, there were not many likable characters in this story, but I did like Freddie for his loyalty and kindness. Amy is likewise endowed with patience and the love of Christ, which stands in stark contrast to the majority of Paige’s family.
In fact, it’s the family and relationship dynamics that bothered me about this book. While bearing in mind that of course no meaningful relationship is without its conflicts, those in “I’ll Take the Lie” are destructive and dysfunctional. From the Hall family itself to each member’s personal lives, there are multitudinous issues which those involved attempt to ignore or brush away, leading to tragic consequences. As Paige begins to question, “Justin had been the best thing that had happened to me. But had he also been the worst?” This is a story that remains true to life because Wood portrays young people as they can be in real life, with the partying, cheating, and getting drunk and high. In spite of this, however, she does keep this an otherwise clean book, with no profanity or bedroom scenes. The faith element remains very subdued, and only in the final chapters does it start to truly shine through, revealing that God has a purpose for each of us, and for our pain. Don’t settle for the lie; trust the Lord and see Him at work in your situation.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through Celebrate Lit and was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.
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