See How They Lie by Sue Wallman, published by Scholastic on 2nd March 2017
If you got to live in a luxury hotel with world-class cuisine, a state-of-the-art sports centre and the latest spa treatments, would you say ‘yes please’?
Well, that’s kind of what Hummingbird Creek is like. No wonder Mae feels lucky to be there. It’s meant as a rich-kid’s sanatorium, but she isn’t sick. Her dad is the top psychiatrist there. But one day Mae breaks a rule. NOT a good idea. This place is all about rules – and breaking them can hurt you…
'See How They Lie' is the second book by Sue Wallman and in my opinion, much better than her debut YA novel. This is a psychological thriller set at a wellness centre for psychiatric and troubled teens. Although Hummingbird Creek sounds amazing and appears to have everything you could ever possibly want, the residents of the centre have no access to the outside world and restrictions are placed on what they eat, when they sleep, how much exercise they get and a hundred other things, including heavily filtered access to the internet. Instead of sounding like a perfect paradise, it ended up resembling something more like a prison.
The main character Mae, lives with her mother and Doctor father at Hummingbird Creek. It's the only home she has ever really known and she has very few memories of life out in the real world. Mae has a close friendship with one of the other residents, Drew and together the two of them revel in tiny acts of rebellion which make them feel like they are living, rather than being kept prisoner.
As the story unfolds, Mae begins to suspect that everything may not be quite as it seems. Her teacher, Mrs Ray, is worried about he gaps in Mae's education. Mae herself, begins to suspect that the vitamins she is given on a regular basis, may not be quite so innocent after all and her mother exhibits worrying behaviour that leads her to investigate what is really going on.
I loved following Mae's journey to discovery and found myself gripped by multiple revelations. My only real disappointment with this book was the last few chapters, when everything was wrapped up really quickly. I would have liked more of a big finale and I was waiting for something a little more spectacular to happen. After drawing out the threads of the big reveal, it seemed like everything was concluded much too quickly. That aside, I enjoyed 'See How They Lie' a lot and found it a quick and intriguing read.