Friday, November 6, 2009

Little Black Lies & Tish Cohen


TISH COHEN: Mother. Bestseller. YA author!

Q.) Where did you get the idea to write about Little Black Lies?

A.) One of the protagonists in my adult novel Inside Out Girl is a fourteen-year old pseudo punk named Janie Berman. Janie is desperately in love with the girl next door – a girl who barely knows she exists—and is terrified the daughter of her mother’s boyfriend is going to blow things for her at school. I loved writing from Janie’s angsty voice, so decided to write a whole novel in the voice of a teen.
Q.) Who is your favorite character and why?

A.) I don’t know if he is my favorite but I have a soft spot for Noah, Carling Burnack’s limousine driver. He’s just a guy who cares too much about a family that is crumbling fast. He’s loyal, especially to Sara, when he rescues her from the streets of Boston and keeps her secret.

Q.) Can you relate to any of your characters?

A.) I can relate to Sara Black in many ways. I was also the “new kid” in my senior year at high school and remember how terrifying it was to step into that school. And my parents had also divorced and I lived with my father so a lifetime of not having a mother around was very familiar to me—although my father was not OCD, nor was he a school janitor. And I’m not sure any of us really forget what the pressure of high school is like. It is a tough place to grow up, yet it’s where we all do so!

Q.) Do you see yourself writing more teen books in the future?

A.) I am currently writing my next teen novel.
Yay! I can't wait to read it. Now, for the review...
Little Black Lies
by Tish Cohen

# of pages: 320
Age range: 13+
rating: 4/5

Sara Black is tiptoeing across a fraying tightrope. As the new eleventh grader at Anton High–the most elite public school in the country–she sticks out like an old VW bus in a parking lot full of shiny BMWs. But being the new kid also brings a certain advantageous anonymity.In Anton High’s world of privilege, intelligence, and wealth, Sara can escape her family’s tarnished past and become whomever she wants. And what’s the harm in telling a few little black lies when it can lead to popularity? That is, until another it girl at Anton becomes jealous of Sara’s social climbing. With her balance evaporating, one small push could bring Sara crashing down.

When I first read the synopsis of this book I though, "eh, looks good. Probably isn't very deep." Boy, I was wrong. Imagine this, your Mom left you to be with your high school's science teacher, you then must go to the most elite public school in the country and have the pressure of maintaining good grades. Your father is the janitor of that school, you can't even afford the school uniform, and your Father's OCD is going out of control. In other words, your life sucks. So what's a few little lies to make it better?

As Sara gets lost deeper and deeper in her little black lies, she begins to realize what it really means to tell the truth. Readers will watch as Sara battles the demons of her past, decide what's more important; popularity or family. And, maybe, just maybe, score a hot guy.

The writing in this novel was very good, I felt as though the book moved quickly without being a "quick read" or dragged out. There was surprising depth but enough fluff to keep readers entertained. All in all it was a really great novel that expertly captured the essecence of dealing with family matters and balancing a social life. I would recommend this book for girls interested in the whole gossip girl/clique/ zoey dean books, but want to read something deeper, and for girls (or a guy - not going to be a 'genderist') who just want a good read.

The only negative things I would have to say is that I felt like character Carling was left with unresolved problems, and maybe that was the authors intention? I'm not sure. I also thought that the ending was a teensy bit quick, but that's about all.
If you liked/like this book you should check out...

Twenty Boy Summer: Sarah Ockler
Hate List: Jennifer Brown
After: Amy Efaw
The Summer I Turned Pretty: Jenny Han
How to Steal a Car: Pete Hautman

Go visit Tish at her site, HERE

Go buy Little Black Lies HERE (only $12 at amazon!)

-M.

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