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Book Club – Sometimes I Lie

Sometimes I Lie by popular Atlanta blogger, Happily Hughes

I love how our book club is going so far!  Our book last month was The Alice Network.  This month it is going to be (drumroll please) Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney.  This book is very much a thriller along the same vein as The Girl on the Train and The Woman in the Window

I love thrillers like this!  They’re so hard to put down and yet so enjoyable.  This particular book had twists I did NOT see coming.  Now it’s time for the discussion!  Please leave your thoughts in the comments and we can continue to talk!

Sometimes I Lie Discussion:

  1. Did you audible this, or read it?  I read it but heard the Audible edition is fantastic!
  2. What was your favorite twist to the novel?  I have a couple. I think my absolute favorite was finding out Claire was the writer of the diaries, not Taylor/Amber.
  3. What did you think about the imaginary friend Jo?  I am interested to hear your theories on this one!  I think Taylor/Amber has schizophrenia.
  4. Who’s the REAL villain? Whew this is one for discussion.  While I agree Edward was a crazy evil person and so was Claire, Taylor/Amber is by no means faultless.  I mean killing Claire and her husband to get the twins?  SO messed up!
  5. Did you enjoy the nursery rhymes? Why or why not? I thought they were creepy!
  6. Did you understand the ending?  I had to read it a couple of times to understand!  It’s the anniversary of when Taylor/Amber killed Claire and got the twins. 
  7. What else do you want to talk about?  I loved the never-ending twists of this book!



8 thoughts on “Book Club – Sometimes I Lie”

  1. This just makes me want to start a book club! It all sounds and looks awesome and like so much fun

  2. Thrillers are interesting and can be hard to put down as you said. Thank you for the reading suggestion!

  3. I have seen the movie the woman in the window and I always wanted to read the book. This one looks pretty awesome too! Great suggestion!

  4. That’s so cool that you loved the book and love how your book club is going. I really would love to be a part of one. But I just don’t know whether I have the time i would need for one.

  5. I read this book in one sitting… it was SO good! I just finished reading the book yesterday and I have LOTS AND LOTS of thoughts and questions about it, so bear with me as I reply with a mini novel…

    Some of your points I’d like to add on to/ discuss further:

    2. I completely agree with you- my favorite twist was finding out that Claire was actually the author of the diary entries and that Amber was actually Taylor. I didn’t see that coming! It honestly made my head hurt.. I almost wanted to reread the whole book over at that point so I could realign all of the facts I’d learned with the correct sister!

    3. I’m a little torn on the whole Jo thing… it kind of reminded me of the Nicholas Sparks’ book “Safe Haven” when the main character, Katie, essentially made up the existence of her neighbor who she later became close friends with for the sake of her own sanity. Ironically enough, the made up friend in that book was also named Jo. Anyways, back to Sometimes I Lie, I’m torn between two possibilities. Either, one, like you said, she has schizophrenia. Or, two, she was well aware that Jo was a figment of her imagination but she hung on to her imaginary friend simply because it helped her to not feel alone in life, just like it did when she was a child. I fear that believing she has schizophrenia discredits everything she said throughout the entire book. If the creation of Jo is a sign of any kind of mental illness, then how much of what Amber said happened can we believe actually happened the way she said it did and how much of what she said was an exaggeration or even completely made up based on what she chose to see/ how she chose cope with any given situation?

    4. Oh my.. I feel like there are so many villains in this book! Claire is a main and obvious villain, as is Edward. But, I completely agree with you, Amber is a villain as well. However, while Claire appears to have had villainish way since she was a child, Amber’s appear to have formed later in life. Possibly because of everything Claire put her through as a child (making Amber watch as she burned her parents’ house down, threatening her if she spoke out about it, essentially taking over Amber’s family and life starting with stealing the bracelet and cutting her hair into a short bob to look like Taylor all the way to basically brainwashing the mom into adopting her, giving Amber the doll just to steal in back and make Amber watch it be run over by a car, etc.) As sick and twisted as it was, part of me understands why Amber killed her sister- Claire had put her through hell her entire life and was still holding stuff over her head throughout their adult lives… it’s possible Amber thought that killing her was her only way to ever be free of her. However, the fact that she willingly killed her brother-in-law in the process and was willing and wanting to steal the kids in hope that they would grow up believing she is their mom, is where I lose the “she felt trapped and like this was her only way out” thought…. sure, killing Claire helped her be free of her, but I believe her main intention of killing Claire and her brother-in-law was to gain custody of the children she could never have on her own but believed she deserved more than Claire. And, that, makes her a major villain and just as messed up in the head as Claire was. In addition, she had been planning on killing Claire from the very beginning of the book. It was completely premeditated and well thought out. At the beginning, we are led to believe that Amber is trying to make Madeline Frost lose her job simply because Madeline isn’t a good or nice person. Much later on in the book, we learn that Madeline Frost is actually Claire’s biological aunt and everything Amber did, including taking the job that was, as Amber said, beneath her, was done because Claire told her to in an attempt to seek revenge on the aunt who abandoned her and stole her grandmother’s house. However, we also learn that Amber agreed to help take down Madeline but she told Claire that she was going to do it her own way… that alone shows how much of a villain Amber actually is. While she was doing it for Claire, the way she went about doing it- all of the awful and twisted things she did to Madeline- they were all Amber’s own ideas. Even bigger than that though, Amber chose to “do it her own way” because it allowed her to eventually set Madeline up for the death of her sister. We are given proof of that based on all of the letters Amber writes to Madeline- she signed the last one from Claire, which is what I believe was her plan all along. “The final blackmail note I delivered before the Christmas party had Claire’s name on it, so there’s no misunderstanding about who’s responsible.”- She chose to make Claire a part of her plan long before things truly went south between the “sisters” (Claire threatening to to hurt Paul because she believed he read her diaries, Claire causing Amber’s accident, etc). In addition, also before she had a true reason to believe her husband was in danger or any of that, she planted the fuel cans in the trunk of Madeline’s car… the fuel cans that she would later be using to set Madeline up after she burned her sister’s house down. I don’t think she killed Claire for self preservation or safety or anything like that, I think she did it because she wanted to and she’d been planning to do it for a while. Amber is clearly a victim at points throughout the book, but she is far from innocent at any point in the book. Except for maybe during her childhood.

    5. The nursery rhymes were beyond super creepy! But, just like Amber’s imaginary friend from her childhood, I think the nursery rhymes are something else from Amber’s childhood that she’s not able to let go of. Something that taunts her just like the fire and everything else Claire did to her as a child taunts her.

    6. I 100% did not understand the ending. This point is the one point of yours that I completely disagree with. I’m clueless as to what “anniversary” they are referring to. I was SO excited when you said you had to reread it a couple of times to understand it because I thought I’d finally found someone who caught something that I (and apparently everyone else who’s read the book) missed. However, your theory doesn’t match the timeline of the book. The accident happened in December of 2016. Amber woke up from her coma in January of 2017. Amber killed her sister and brother in law on February 15, 2017. The moment on the beach and the “anniversary” they’re referring to happened in Spring of 2017. That would only be between 1-3 months after she killed her sister and took the kids in February of 2017. I’m still left completely clueless about the anniversary. Either I missed a subtle hint somewhere earlier on in the book that I’ll need to reread to try and find. Or, we’ll just have to pray for a sequel to the book that will further explain both the anniversary and who left the bracelet.

    Which leads me to my question… who do you think left the bracelet? I honestly have no idea, but these are my predictions in order from most likely/logical to least:

    1) Paul actually read the diaries during the time that Amber was in the hospital and/or is just as mentally messed up as the “sisters”. And, now, now choosing to play games with Amber’s head. (I never trusted Paul. His character never set right with me and he just always seemed a little off, even though everything he did/Amber said he did eventually got explained away. I feel likely he’s a much darker and untrustworthy character than this book led us to believe.)
    2) As brought up in your third point, maybe Amber does have schizophrenia or some kind of mental illness. In which case, maybe an alter ego of her’s planted the bracelet.
    3) Edward? We have no proof that he’s dead. In fact, the way they brushed off not being able to find him/ his potential “accidental” death made no sense to me. It’s possible he’s still alive and the bracelet is his way of letting Amber know that.
    4) Claire? The other three are completely plausible while this one likely isn’t…. she was all but paralyzed in bed at the point of the fire, so the likelihood of her escaping the fire/recovering from being poisoned is next to none. But, it can’t be completely ruled out. We know for a fact the brother-in-law was dead, but the last we heard of Claire, she was laying in bed with her eyes opened looking at Amber. So, there’s a slim possibility she somehow escaped, survived, and is now out to torment her “sister” in an attempt to seek revenge.

    With that being said, two things would have to be in play in order to choose to taunt Amber that way. First, the person would need to know the significance of the bracelet and, second, they’d need to have access to the bracelet. Clearly both Claire and Amber know the significance of the bracelet. If Paul did in fact read the diaries, then he also now knows the existence and significance of the bracelet. But, Edward? I’m not sure it’s reasonable to think he does. He did break into Amber’s house so it is POSSIBLE he found the diaries and read them, but that seems highly unlikely. As for having access to the bracelet… Claire and Amber seem to be the only obvious suspects for that… Claire returned the bracelet to to Amber the day she woke up from her coma. However, the book states that Amber closed her eyes and when she opened them both the bracelet and Claire were gone.. which would lead us to believe that Claire took it back and makes her a possible suspect. And, if Claire did take the bracelet back, it was likely in her house, and possible for Amber to take back when she was inside the house the night she set it on fire. I’m not sure how Paul or Edward would ever have gotten their hands on the bracelet or even known where to have started looking for it. UNLESS, one of them took it from the hospital. Claire brought the bracelet back to give to Amber, so it seems a little odd she chose to take it back AND we know there were multiple times throughout the book that Amber would close her eyes and/or fall asleep and lose track of time. So, it’s possible that Amber closed her eyes after Claire placed the bracelet down and THOUGHT she opened her eyes a few moments later to find them both gone when, in reality, maybe she had her eyes closed and was potentially actually asleep for much longer than she thought…. and, during that time, Amber could have left the hospital (leaving the bracelet in Amber’s room) and, while Amber had her eyes closed/was asleep, either Paul or Edward could have come in and taken the bracelet. Assuming either (or both) of them read the diaries, at this point, they would know the significance of the bracelet and would easily be able to recognize it based on it being tiny, engraved with the date of birth, and having the paper clip holding it together… Paul would easily have had access to it, as he was waiting right outside the door while Claire visited her sister. Even if Amber was only out for a minute or two, that’s all the time it would have taken for Paul to walk back in after Claire left, see the bracelet, take it, and walk out again before Amber woke back up to find that the bracelet and her sister were both gone… Edward worked at the hospital, so it’s also possible he snatched it. However, that it HIGHLY unlikely since he is now being searched for by the cops and everyone (cops, hospital staff, Claire and Paul) all know exactly what he looks like.. so being able to get into the hospital, into Amber’s room, and back out without anyone seeing him seems next to impossible.

    Then there’s Madeline? We know for a fact she’s alive and she has EVERY reason to want to seek revenge on Amber. The bracelet could be her way of letting Amber know she knows she was framed by her… but, that seems most unlikely because there’s no reasonable explanation to how Madeline found out what happened and/or how she knows about the existence, significance, or whereabouts of the bracelet.

    One last question: What was your take on Claire writing “Taylor told me to do it.” at the end of her diary entry about burning her parents’ house down? Do you think Taylor has been crazy from the get go and actually told Taylor to kill her parents? Or, do you think Claire wrote that because, like always, she was thinking 20 steps ahead and wanted to be able to frame Taylor/ put an equal amount of blame on Taylor if Taylor ever ratted her out/ anyone ever found out what actually happened? I’m torn on that one. I’m leaning more towards Claire just putting it in there as a way to be able to throw Taylor under the bus too if needed… however, going back to your third point, if Amber does have some kind of mental illness… it’s possible she did in fact convince Claire to kill her parents. And, it’s believable Claire listened to her because she stated she hated her parents multiple times, she was willing to do anything to protect Taylor, and she clearly had no remorse for any of her actions.

    Okay, I’m done!

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