Review: Lies You Wanted to Hear by James Whitfield Thomson

Lies You Wanted to Hear - James Whitfield Thomson
In the end, I wasn’t sure who had been hurt more, her or me.


Well, I did read it for the title, and the title alone. I had no prior thoughts about what this would contain as a story, except for lies. I barely knew the genre before picking it up, because, as I said, the title made the call. As it turns out, Lies You Wanted to Hear is about a love gone wrong between Lucy and Matt, and it deals with them meeting, their relationship beginning to show its ugly side, and the aftermath of a break-up, all in the time of about two decades.

Even without expectations, Lies You Wanted to Heardisappointed in parts. I'd like to start with saying the writing is good, really good. Props for such great writing in a debut novel. Despite being bored a great deal throughout the book, the writing sort of made up for it in those parts. I has great flow, even if a bit stiff at times. 

As for the rest... well, many things could've been done better. While the characters are layered and genuine, there is little growth coming from either Matt or Lucy. Matt's a regular good guy, working as a cop, and well, just your ordinary guy. Lucy on the other hand is comes from a rich upbringing, is trying to work her ex-boyfriend out of her system when meeting Matt. Of the two, Lucy is definitely the harder to sympathize with or even care for. Matt on the other hand, in the beginning, is rather likable, even if a bit dull. The main problem when it comes to the characters are the lack of development in them. The changes they go through are small, and neither grow very much. And it's a long book. Divided into three parts, the first two are really slow, and does little in development of them. For the third part, they grow some, but not enough for me to be satisfied. Mostly this is because when realization dawns, it's too quick and too simple for both characters.

For the plot, I can't give a too detailed description because it'll spoil the crucial events. But as I said, the first part is painfully long, and at first glance feels pointless. I still think it could've been shortened a great deal, but I guess I understand why it stayed so long even after editing. There really isn't much I appreciated in the first part, because it focused on Lucy and her past with her ex, Griffin. For me, this part could've been done better, because I never understood her real attraction to him, or why she was so set on him. It's far from bad, but at the same time just not enough. The second part wasn't great either; both the first and second part passed slow, with little conflict presented. However, the last part was much more interesting when everything ugly have been done and Matt takes matter into his own hands. 

Also, I swore to myself when I understood where Lies You Wanted to Hear was heading, that I wouldn't compare it to or even mention Gone Girl. You see how this is failing. Because, whileGone Girl is more thriller/mystery, there are so many parallells to be drawn between how Matt and Lucy are met by authorities. And I enjoyed Gone Girl immensely more than this one, mainly because the faster moving plot and deeper exploration of the human psyche. is, just like Gone Girl about love gone wrong. With the former its more realistic, yes, but also much more boring. This book would've been much better met by me had it been less focus on the first part and deeper on Lucy and Matt's thoughts in Part three where things actually happens. 

Nevertheless, I did find myself read this quickly, and was invested in the story despite my issues. After all, it does present a somewhat realistic story. I could understand why both Matt and Lucy reacted certain ways, and some points hit very close to home for me personally how they were treated, both by each other and others. In whole, I'd say this is a good debut, and I'll be looking for the author's next work, hoping that will sit better than this one.