Title: ‘The Big Lie’
Author: Julie Mayhew
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Publication Date: August 27, 2015
Blurb via Amazon: A shocking story of rebellion and revelation set in a contemporary Nazi England.
Jessika Keller is a good girl: she obeys her father, does her best to impress Herr Fisher at the Bund Deutscher Mädel meetings and is set to be a world champion ice skater. Her neighbour Clementine is not so submissive.
Outspoken and radical, Clem is delectably dangerous and rebellious. And the regime has noticed. Jess cannot keep both her perfect life and her dearest friend. But which can she live without?
THE BIG LIE is a thought-provoking and beautifully told story that explores ideas of loyalty, sexuality and protest.
I’m going to be honest with you guys and admit that I did not like this book at all when I started it. The tone and pace was unusual and I was left completely confused. I really did not want to continue with this. But then I kept seeing reviews on line that said this book deserved an award. So I stuck with it. And I was so, so glad that I did.
After I had got used to the pace of Jessika’s voice, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I found it incredibly hard hitting, tackling issues such as terrorism, oppression and sexuality. Although I am an advocate for LGBT+ within the world of YA, I have never really read a book focused around lesbians. I don’t know if that was a coincidence or if it is a subject that doesn’t feature prominently in YA literature.
One of the most poignant aspects to this book is the idea of loyalty and how it feels when a thing like that is broken. Within this story, this is true about Jessika’s loyalty to the Greater German Reich, as well as her family. Her family was the hard part for me. Jessika’s father came across as a huge douche to me. I know that is not an official term or anything, but that truly is my opinion. There was a part when Jessika was being taken away and, even though her family did nothing to stop it, she said that she couldn’t deny that she loved them. This really hit me in the heart with a sledgehammer.
If I had to pick one word to describe this book, I would choose harrowing. Although there was a shaky start, I can definitely say that this story will stay with me for a long time and I will probably end up picking it up again somewhere down the line. There are so many unanswered questions, but yet I do not want a sequel. I don’t think I could cope with putting myself through that.
Sorry this is such a short review, but hey, it’s Monday! I give 4/5 stars to ‘The Big Lie’ by Julie Mayhew.