Etched in Lies (by A. M. Hughes)
Imagine feeling every lie that someone tells. Imagine it causing you pain in such a way that your whole body will shake and shiver but you have no idea what is happening to you or why. A simple paper cut could multiply each time you hear a painful lie. Dylan Lord learns through many lessons that are difficult for her to understand that her life as she knows it is one big lie. Every time she speaks of hears a lie the pain will increase and the blood will flow from wherever the cuts originate. But, things start to take a different turn in school as she cannot focus at times, hears others talking about her and a young teen named Jack will uncover a hidden truth for her that will change it all. Each time Dylan feels the pain and the lies he feels them too. Telling her that she died and that she is a Fide and needs to understand what that means sends her flying in a frenzy making each cut deeper and wider. Only he and his mentor Vi can feel and heel lies. Dylan refuses to believe this and thinks nothing is happening. But, it is! Taking a letter opener it slices her hand. The cuts on her arms an even her legs become more prominent and pronounced. Every wound and cut she feels Jack does too. Using a disseminator to cure her cuts and then not believing him watching them return, feeling the pain, where the lies rip her open, her stomach is on fire and Dylan finally has to find a way to accept a fate she never wanted or asked for. What would you do if you became a human lie detector? How would you cover up your pain because Band Aids can do just so much when they spread all over her. Being a Fide as he explains means fixing the lies that are across her body and spreading and believing Jack before it’s too late for them both. What would you do if your body became Etched in Lies?
Things start to heat up as Jack explains the definition of Fides and the fact that there are others called Feeders who thrive on lies, use them to control others, try to turn Fides and the end result the person cannot discern between lies and truths. As Dylan and Jack get closer she and her best friend Megan draw apart. Torn between honesty and friendship Dylan faces making some hard choices. Understanding that both Vi and Jack feel the lies that come at them and that Jack’s body reacts to the lies she hears and tells, she has to find a way to stop the lies, hear truths before it’s too late for him.
What would happen if everyone told the truth and no one lied? Could we live in a world of truths?
As Vi explains more about the Fides and Feeders, Dylan realizes the complications she will encounter, as she knows she has to save Megan’s father, make him face and tell the truth before she and Jack suffer the consequences. Someone lies; they hear the lie and then have to convince them to tell the truth in order for them to heal. Not only do they feel the lies but they have to deal with hearing them too. Realities become more evident as a tragedy brings it all to light when Dylan understands the meaning of being a Fide, what happens when she will finally get her own dissimulator to carry the lies and the fact that Jack is carrying hers within his own? But, her brothers are in need of her help, especially the youngest Tony who constantly hears his parents arguing and no matter how many times she tries to interfere or does the end result will shock readers, as Dylan has to deal with what happens. Just 16 and dealing with her parents poor marriage, her young brother, becoming a Fide, being able to deal with truths and lies and the end result you just won’t believe. With her best friend Megan trying to understand what is happening to her, a father who just might not really care and a young man named Jack who is risking his life for hers.
A life for a life! What will happen when Jack’s disseminator turns black? What about the truth about her father and Megan’s father? How will Dylan handle being a Fide and what about her younger brother can he handle the truth? When the police come around and question them will they lie too? As Vi and Jack continue to explain to Dylan the meaning of being a Fide and she thinks two Feeders manipulated her what will she finally decide? Will she believe that they care about her? Will she turn and run to ward off her anger? Just who wants her dead and why? As the lies pour in her body feels the pain and some can be healed while others remain and the ache will not go away.
Dylan is hotheaded at times and does not always think through what she needs to do and without the help and guidance of Vi and Jack she just might not survive. Confronting Mr. Lewis they learn about his lies and what he is hiding from his family. Will he tell them the truth since this is the biggest lie she is carrying? What about her father? Is he guilty of what they think? Where is he and what happened to her younger brother? Why did he run away?
The search was on but not in the way you would think and the author creates an ending that is filled with twists, suspense, surprises and harsh realizations that Dylan has to face. Can she take down three Feeders? Will she find her brother? What will her fate be and who was behind the tragedy and why? Lies: They can really hurt you and are quite painful, as Dylan now knows. What would happen if you felt every lie felt every untruth and knew that the only way to heal your cuts, scratches and pain was to uncover the truth and rid yourself of the lies? Could you see past the lies and find the truth? “Courage has always been her nemesis.” “ When people lie, it isn’t original. The little lies, the little slices in our fingers are simple lies. If you can pinpoint the liar and talk to them, they will probably lie again. If you continue talking to them you can usually get the truth.” Truths, lies, deceptions, fear, hope, friendship, trust and family loyalties and love are at the heart of this novel by A.M. Hughes. What would happen if everyone told the truth? What would happen if and when Dylan gets her own dissimulator to help store and heal the lies? Would you rather hear the truth or live with your life Etched in Lies? What would you do if you were Dylan? A great novel for YA’s and Adults to talk about what happens when we don’t face our own lies and truths.
Fran Lewis: MJ Magazine: Just Reviews: gives this book FIVE HONEST TRUTHS