“Lies My Girlfriend Told Me” by Julie Anne Peters takes the reader on a disappointing rollercoaster. I would love to recommend this queer young adult novel because queer representation matters, but I can’t. While the first half of the novel was great, the ending of the novel left something to be desired.
The novel’s rising action and climax were great. The main character follows Alix after she finds out her girlfriend, Swanee, dies unexpectedly from a heart attack. This piqued my interest because it’s not every day (maybe it is, I didn’t look up the statistics) a young teenaged girl dies from a heart attack.
Naturally, Alix is upset about her girlfriend’s death and after the funeral, Alix wants to go through her things for a keepsake; a memory of Swanee to hold on to. This is where I knew Alix was going to get into some sort of trouble because teenagers are notorious for hiding things. Though I had no idea of what exactly Alix would find, but I continued reading to find out.
When Alix was in Swanee’s room, Peters described the room and the items in it well. I was able to picture it in my mind and imagined my room. At this point in the novel, Alix looking for the “perfect keepsake” but ends up finding Swanee’s phone. The weird part? The phone was was continuously ringing with flirtatious texts with someone named “L.T.,” a person who clearly didn’t know Swanee died. This part had my jaw drop. I had to find out who was this person was.
The suspense of following Alix’s attempts of finding out who L.T. is and what L.T.’s relation was to Swanee were engrossing. Peters wrote about Alix’s feelings and thoughts so vividly that it felt like a first-hand memory. While I don’t have a dead ex-partner (thankfully), the cheating portion hit too close to home.
But here’s the part that killed me: the denouement of the novel fell flat. Once L.T.’s identity and their relation to Swanee was revealed, the story took a strange and unexpected turn... in a bad way. The way things were strwen together in the end felt as if Peters gave up.
The ending is too much a cliche; it’s an unrealistic happy ending. Maybe I’m bitter but the ending left a bad taste in my mouth.
If you like happy, unrealistic endings, perhaps this novel is for you. If you prefer realistic endings, don’t read the full novel; read it until you find out who L.T. is and then put it down.