YA Review: Where Sleeping Girls Lie

Title: Where Sleeping Girls Lie
Author: Faridah Abike-Iyimide
Kindle ARC

YA Review: Where Sleeping Girls Lie

An intriguing take on the unreliable narrator trope, Where Sleeping Girls Lie follows Sade as she finally leaves home to attend an expensive boarding school, following the death of her wealthy father. Her mother died when Sade was ten, and we very quickly learn that the teenager is haunted by visions and flashbacks of an unnamed girl she couldn’t save from drowning.

The formerly homeschooled Sade is shown round the sprawling school grounds by her roommate, Elizabeth, who helps her through the culture shock of the world of uniforms, timetables, and sneaking into places you shouldn’t have access to. But when Elizabeth disappears less than twenty-four hours after Sade’s arrival, the plot twists begin to pile up, and Sade discovers that there is more to her new school than lessons, sport, and clubs.

The key word in the title is ‘lie’. Everyone in the story lies, misrepresents themselves, and disobeys the rules – including Sade. As the story progresses, and the reader finds out more about Sade’s background and her reasons for coming to this school, the extent of the lies and omissions start to come into focus. In time all the pieces come together – what happened to Elizabeth, why Sade blames herself for the death of the girl who haunts her, and which of her friends are lying to protect a disturbing secret. It’s an interesting read, because figuring out the truth is almost impossible until Sade uncovers the secrets and puts the connections together.

Touching on sensitive subjects, including sexual assault, suicide and grief, Where Sleeping Girls Lie is a cathartic story – and an uncomfortable one. The constant lies, threats, and physical danger enhance the feeling of being lost in a new environment, and ignored by the people in authority who should be offering protection. There are some lighter moments – Sade’s friendship with Baz, Elizabeth’s best friend before her disappearance, is lovely, as is the growing affection between Sade and Persephone – but these elements of the story act as a contrast to emphasise the secrets and lies.

I’m not sure I’d go out of my way to recommend this book, but I’m still thinking about the story – and that’s probably as good a recommendation as any.

Where Sleeping Girls Lie will be published on March 14th. Thank you to NetGalley for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review.

Have you read Where Sleeping Girls Lie? What did you think of Sade’s story? Click through to the full blog to access the comments section, and share your thoughts! No spoilers, though – you can post those on GoodReads!

YA review: Where Sleeping Girls Lie cross-posted to GoodReads.

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