“Seven Ways We Lie”
In a novel with a multitude of different viewpoints – you guessed it, seven – I expected a confusing novel with too many voices to keep track of, but instead Riley Redgate gifted me with a complex, intriguing novel full of surprises at the turn of every page.
“Seven Ways We Lie” centers around seven different high school students, each facing their own coming-of-age problem that centers around the seven deadly sins. Each students has their own burden and their own sin to deal with, so it created somewhat of a game within the novel to figure out what sin correlated with what character.
Even though Redgate’s writing was nothing spectacular – she did not use a language that flowed off the tongue or have a special talent for building a new world that I could become captivated with. Instead, Redgate used a great method of organizing her story and making each character – all seven of them – completely different so that she created just as captivating of a story.
Redgate did a wonderful job of giving each character their own voice. Her words brought their individuality to light so none of them blended together. One of the biggest problems I find with multiple point-of-view novels is that the author does not offer enough individuality in their writing style to tell the difference between characters. Redgate made sure to make every character’s voice completely individual.
I also enjoyed the cleverness that came along with the novel as Redgate matched each character to a deadly sin. (My list for what character I believe fits every sin will be down below.) I didn’t realize until reading through how much thought must have gone into making sure the characters all could all match to their intended sins, although some were harder to identify than others
Overall, even though Redgate did not stand out because of a beautiful language or even a relatively new story idea, she still created an intriguing story that was full of twists and creative outcomes. I loved every character in the novel and enjoyed every page.
Olivia Scott: Lust
One of the most obvious characters to figure out – she slept around, although her reasoning was a bit more understandable and offered more sympathy than the much harsher and blunter word “lust,” the fact remains that she most fits the profile for lust.
Kat Scott: Wrath
All throughout the book Kat displayed her anger by locking herself away from the world and avoiding all humans, except for the few times when someone else initiated a conversation and she ended it with harsh words and hate.
Juniper Kipling: Pride
Everything Juniper did was for her pride. How people viewed her was important and she always knew how to keep a face of professionalism.
Matt Jackson: Sloth
This wasn’t difficult to figure out, but he was one of the first characters to overcome his ‘deadly sin.’ His constant slumming around, smoking pot and overall just not giving a damn about the world showed an outward laziness.
Valentine Simmons: Gluttony
I had some trouble with this one, and I still don’t know how accurate I am since I debated with Valentine being pride, but for other reasons gave it to Juniper. I think I decidedly went with Gluttony for Valentine because of his desire for consumption – not necessarily the consumption of food, which is what people typically correlate gluttony with, but the consumption of knowledge, of knowing how other people feel. At the beginning of the novel he showed an interest in understanding the interactions between people and a desire to understand – that, along with his already filled brain, Valentine fits the unconditional bill for gluttony quite well.
Claire Lombardi: Envy
Another obvious one, Claire struggled throughout the whole book with comparing herself to others and trying to compete with her two best friends to be as good as them, if not better. She fit the profile for Envy easily.
Lucas McCallum: Greed
He was another clever character that took a version of greed, much like Valentine was only a version of gluttony. At first the idea of greed was evident, as he collected expensive items for show despite his lower social class, but this was only briefly mentioned. Instead, he collected his lists. Lucas held onto the smallest things in his lists and he greedily hoarded them. Even though his greed may not have been evident to everyone, it was internal. He was a collector of moments and people (Claire mentioned this early in the novel.)