I have been looking forward to The Best Lies ever since I won a giveaway a few months ago and asked them to pre-order this book for me. And I’m so glad I did. The Best Lies is a story about friendship, obsession, and love.
Remy Tsai used to know how her story would turn out. But now, she doesn’t even know what tomorrow will look like.
She was happy once. Remy had her boyfriend Jack, and Elise, her best friend—her soulmate—who understood her better than anyone else in the world.
But now Jack is dead, shot through the chest—
And it was Elise who pulled the trigger.
Was it self-defense? Or something deeper, darker than anything Remy could have imagined? As the police investigate, Remy does the same, sifting through her own memories, looking for a scrap of truth that could save the friendship that means everything to her.
(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
The Best Lies has a careful elegance to the words. There’s a distinct psychological thriller feel to it: the eerieness and the expectation for lies. The Best Lies looks at friendship, obsession, and love. It’s a story about the trauma we experience, how we move on (or not), and the lies we are willing to tell for those we love.
The characters are where Lyu takes on an emotional roller coaster. We witness the trauma Elise and Remy felt when our bonds are severed, tossed aside, so fraught and invisibly thin. The pull we have for someone who makes us feel electric. As if we have been waiting to come out of our skin and bloom, even if there’s a hint of danger, of not rightness about us, about it. But we ignore it, because of that thrill, that hum under our skin, pulling us along.
A part of the story is how Remy doesn’t conform to the model minority myth. How she isn’t as ‘ambitious’ or ‘driven’ as her mother and brother. But also about how they feel pressure of their own to perform, to not show weakness, to succeed. And how, at the end of the day, we just want to feel valued, seen, or loved.
Elise also has this sharp sense of revenge, of justice, of people who deserve to be exposed. And it’s about a person who represents a chance to be seen. The potential obsessive nature of the friendship and the way it takes over, becomes something more and ugly, possessive and overshadowing. All while describing the very important theme that trauma and love are different things. That we shouldn’t confuse them for each other. That love isn’t need. And love shouldn’t be used as a weapon to force decisions or make ultimatums.
The Best Lies is about the obsessive orbital pull of friendship, of someone who finally understands and sees us truly for the first moment in our life of clarity, of recognition. It’s about when that moment turns into something more. Something dangerous. When our lies serve our truths, when they can protect someone, a memory. When we all have secrets and are trying to be people we aren’t, facades of happy faces, shadows of shades, and masks of merriment. Would you rather have good lies, the best lies, than terrible truths?