The Lies We Tell (Hardcover)
From the author of How We Fall Apart comes a tense and thrilling YA about what it means to not feel safe in the places we call home.
Anna Xu moves out of her parent's home and into the dorms across town as she starts freshman year at the local, prestigious Brookings University. But her parents and their struggling Chinese bakery, Sweetea, aren't far from campus or from mind, either. At Brookings, Anna wants to keep up her stellar academic performance and to investigate the unsolved campus murder of her childhood babysitter. She also finds a familiar face–her middle-school rival, Chris Lu. The Lus happen to be the Xu family's business rivals since they opened Sunny's, a trendy new bakery on Sweetea's block. Chris is cute but still someone to be wary of... until a vandal hits Sunny's and Anna matches the racist tag with a clue from her investigation.
Anna grew up in this town, but more and more she feels like maybe she isn't fully at home here–or maybe it's that there are people here who think she doesn't belong. When a very specific threat is made to Anna, she seeks out help from the only person she can; Anna and Chris team up to find out who is stalking her and take on a dangerous search into the hate crimes happening around campus. Can they root out the ugly history and take on the current threat?
The Lies We Tell is a social activism/we all belong here anthem crossed with a thriller and with a rivals-to-romance relationship set on a college campus.
Katie Zhao is the author of the young adult thriller How We Fall Apart as well as the middle grade fantasy The Dragon Warrior and its sequel, The Fallen Hero. She grew up in Michigan, where there was little for her to do besides bury her nose in a good book or a writing journal. She graduated from the University of Michigan with a BA in English and a minor in political science; she also completed her master's in accounting there. In her spare time, Katie enjoys reading, singing, dancing (badly), and checking out new photo-worthy restaurants. She lives in New York City.
“Unease permeates the narrative, and the mysteries tap into the feel of contemporary social consciousness. Zhao thrills and perturbs with a fast-moving plot that examines themes of racism, fetishization of Asian women, and white privilege.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
“In addition to the fast-paced, well-crafted main plot, subthemes abound and are all given full play. . . . A complex and layered campus mystery that explores pernicious stereotypes.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review