Lies Like Poison by Chelsea Pitcher

Like Like Poison was a twisted contemporary fairytale with exciting twists and centring around the friendship between four kids who would do anything for each other. Lies Like Poison was out on September third, so don’t forget to add it on Goodreads or pick up a copy from your local indie, Waterstones or Amazon – where it’s currently on sale for only £4!!!!

Overall I really enjoyed this book, it was an exciting thriller with four queer main characters, a m/m and f/f romance and discussing abuse, trauma and other topics. It was full of exciting reveals, morally grey characters and most importantly queer found family!!

The first two thirds of Lies Like Poison, were a little messy. The pacing and reveals were kind of disjointed, and I wasn’t fully enjoying it. But the last third really saved the book, where it got so exhilarating and full of reveals I didn’t expect!! This was where we really saw the soft queer found family content I had been craving, and more of my favourite characters. I really wish the whole book had been more like the last third. 

I think I would have preferred this book if Belladonna was the main character rather than Jack. She had the most distinct voice of the three, and I adored her badass and witchy vibes, plus she’s a bisexual icon. I do feel all of the characters could have done with a bit more depth, but I did really like them. Belle who is ruthless and fiercely caring, Jack who is protective and loving, Lily who is badass and learning to love herself and Raven who they would all do anything to keep safe. 

The writing is stunning at times, and very poignant. It gave the whole book a lot of atmosphere, and I loved how Lies Like Poison had fairytale aspects and hints woven among the twisted and murderous plot. The tangled storylines were super intriguing, and I really like the unreliable narrator aspects, where characters keep things hidden even when it’s their POV! This takes skill to do and I enjoyed how there were was constantly threads niggling at the story until it came together at the end. It was an intense story with many interconnected parts including flashbacks, confessions and secrets, twists and turns.

A favourite aspect of mine was how the theme of being caged or trapped was one we could see in every character’s storylines in the material plot also tie into the characters being queer and their journeys with that. Their identity’s as queer aren’t super discussed apart from Jack’s, which is great cause it’s just like “we’re here, we’re queer, we might have committed murder”, but there is a lot of subtext. I felt the story was woven with queer coding and with overall themes that are inextricably linked to the queer experience.

One thing that I did not like was how Jack being a trans boy was almost a plot twist. I already knew as the author told me the rep in the book, and I found that this being a surprise wasn’t great. 

Some aspects of Lies Like Poison felt rather unrealistic but the magical atmosphere makes the whole book feel a little out of this world, so while fans of a grounded mystery may not love this, readers who prefer something fabulist and mystical with thriller aspects are sure to fall for it.

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