I’ll Tell You No Lies

Amanda McCrina

YA Historical Fiction

From Amanda McCrina, the acclaimed author of Traitor and The Silent UnseenI’ll Tell You No Lies is a riveting YA novel of the Cold War era about a girl in post-World War II America who becomes entangled with an escaped Soviet pilot and must learn to decipher truth from lies.

New York, 1955. Eighteen-year-old Shelby Blaine and her father, an Air Force intelligence officer, have just been wrenched away from their old life in West Germany to New York’s Griffiss Air Force Base, where he has been summoned to lead the interrogation of an escaped Soviet pilot. Still in shock from the car accident that killed her mother barely a month earlier, Shelby struggles with her grief, an emotionally distant father, and having to start over in a new home.

Then a chance meeting with Maksym, the would-be defector, spirals into a deadly entanglement, as the pilot’s cover story is picked apart and he attempts to escape his military and intelligence handlers–with Shelby caught in the middle. The more she learns of Maksym’s secrets, including his detention at Auschwitz during the war, the more she becomes willing to help him. But as the stakes become more dangerous, Shelby begins to question everything she has been told, even by her fugitive friend. Allies turn into enemies, and the truth is muddled by lies. Can she trust a traitor with her life, or will it be the last mistake she ever makes?

-Excerpt taken from Goodreads.

Check Goodreads to see the book’s ratings.

My Opinion

3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5) After the sudden death of her mother, Shelby and her father are restationed from Germany to New York, all before they could take care of her mother’s ashes. Shelby is left alone to navigate this new life as her father is called away immediately for an emergency.

Shelby soon learns about a defector from Russia and by chance, meets him. The more she learns of this man, Maksym, the more she becomes involved but also confused about his story and what others have told her.

There were quite a few times I wanted to shake Shelby in stupidity but obviously, sometimes that’s what the author is going for. She took outrageous risks to help this man, sometimes at the harm to herself or her father. There were quite a few times I was confused about exactly what was happening but I think that was due to first and/or last names being used regularly. By the end it had all come together and actually felt a little too “out there” for me to completely be on board. I didn’t fully understand their relationship or some events that happened but I was entertained and believe many will love this as a faster-paced YA thriller.

General content summary: little to no language, parental death (car crash, grief), alcohol (some underage), gun threat, prisoner is injured in interrogation (blood, wounds), cigarettes, story of being shot (previous), story of whipping (previous), m/f passionate kissing (few times),  story of family deaths (previous, no details). 

Thank you to Fierce Reads for the copy!

The book releases August 1, 2023.

**As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases. 

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