As the talented, respected and highly acclaimed author of two adult novels — Town House, Commonwealth Regional Finalist, and Inside Out Girl, a Globe and Mail bestseller — Tish Cohen certainly doesn’t lie. Her writing is actually well-known for speaking the truth and her YA debut novel, Little Black Lies, to be released next Tuesday, October 13th, follows the same rule.
In fact, when asked about this new genre venture, the author says, “So much of this book came from a place of honesty, as well as a place of acceptance.”
“It’s really a book about the sort of conflict people deal with in life. About how very angry you can be with someone you love most in the world. About how, with some relationships, as sad as it may be, it’s best to just stop expecting that person to be what you want them to be. Realize they are who they are and if they ever offer you more, you savor that like a candy you discovered in your purse. You weren’t expecting it and may never find that particular candy again, so you enjoy it while you can.”
Difficult yet important life lessons for adults to learn, let alone adolescents. However there’s no doubt that Tish has successfully conveyed the message clear and strong with proof coming from early Praise. This “formula” review, in particular, must have had the author beaming:
“(wicked sense of humour) + (awesome characters)(searingly astute observations) — sentiment = (one great read)”
—Adrienne Kress author of Alex and the Ironic Gentleman
Because it’s that description which almost identifies the writer’s backstory. How? Well do you remember Janie Berman from Inside Out Girl? That character, a “14-year-old pseudo punk just dripping with attitude and love and anger,” latched on to Tish’s heart as she says, “I ADORED writing in her voice. Once I finished writing, I decided to write an entire novel in a teen voice—and I plan to do a few more!”
From that one character’s attitude and voice evolved a story described in this Synopsis:
Sara and her father are moving to Boston from small-town Lundun, Massachusetts. She is going to attend the prestigious Anton High school—crowned “North America’s Most Elite and Most Bizarre” by TIME Magazine—harder to get into than Harvard. As the new girl, Sara doesn’t know anyone; better yet, no one knows her. That means she can escape her family’s checkered past, and her father can be a surgeon instead of “Crazy Charlie” the school janitor.
What’s the harm of a few little black lies? Especially if it transforms Sara into Anton’s latest “It” girl. But then one of the popular girls at school starts looking into Sara’s past, and her father’s obsessive compulsive disorder takes a turn for the worse. Soon, the whole charade just might come crashing down…
What harm indeed? Here’s an Excerpt for a sneak peek.
Does Sara’s voice grab your attention? As I read the Advanced Reader Copy, well before learning how important this voice was to the author, my thoughts/feelings were:
Sara’s “voice” — even when less than honest — possesses confidence for she knows who she is, right or wrong. And it’s her decisiveness and caring that cause everything and everyone else to be believable.
There is depth to this novel, much more than about fitting in and being accepted. And, while attention is given to the loyalty and trust of relationships, the story ultimately comes down to dealing the hand you were dealt, making the best of it and successfully coming-to-terms with life.
Poor judgment, evasion and questionable (including hurtful) behavior are all a part of little black lies, yet not one of these is without its consequences. And, while Tish Cohen’s novel may be written with young adults in mind, the theme is universal and a reminder to anyone about what happens when you decide to deceive.
Little Black Lies is a winner and could well be the author’s best book yet…or so proclaim adult readers. What about the young adults, though, the teens that it was written for?
To discover this truth, The Divining Wand sought out Bookie, one of Tish’s friends on Facebook. Bookie is a teenager who loves books and has her own blog, A Corner of the Universe Just for Books, where she reviewed the ARC that Tish sent her. Since The Fairy Godmother in me wanted an adolescent’s point of view, this bright, perceptive and enthusiastic reader has graciously offered us the following:
“Little Black Lies is something special. Being a teen, I do not often find a novel so true to what one actually experiences in High School, and though Tish is out of High School her description is spot-on. The characters, from Sara to Poppy to every character, are someone that you could find at any high school. There is not one specific word that describes this book. Special and WOW are the only ones that come close.
Tish is a very special person, and she comes up with some of the most amazing stories that I have ever read. When you open Little Black Lies, you enter the world of Anton High, so vivid, so compelling, and so real. What amazes me is that Tish writes what is real and true. She does not try to make it unrealistic or gloss over what really happens at High School. Being an avid reader, it is not too often that I come across something like this.
Reviews are supposed to point out some faults. The only problem with this book was that there was not a single thing wrong! That never happens! Tell us your secret Tish! I REALLY REALLY REALLY love Little Black Lies, and I also believe that no matter what your gender or age is, you will as well. I have already read it twice. When October 13th comes around, rush to a bookstore and buy one! Also, wear pink, black and white to honor this day, one that should be celebrated.
This was the first advance copy that I have ever gotten, and it will always have a special place in my heart. Thanks again Tish!”
And thank you, Bookie! Little Black Lies will be available a week from tomorrow, Tuesday, Ocotber 13th, when you can “rush” to a local bookstore or favorite online retailer to purchase a copy…no matter what your gender or age, you will enjoy. After all Bookie and yours truly both agree and that’s the HONEST truth!
[Note: Two copies of Little Black Lies are being given away this week. Please leave a comment on this post between now and Wednesday evening at 7:00 p.m. EDT to be eligible for the random drawings. The two winners will be announced here in Thursday’s post.]