Author: Himanjali Sankar
Publisher: Duckbill Books
“Seventeen-year-old Irfan Ahmed is handsome, easy-going and deeply in love with his girlfriend, Uma. However, when Uma dumps him for his best friend, Rishi, Irfan’s life begins to unravel.
Things haven’t been good at home ever since his sister left. And soon, they get worse. He stops playing cricket, gives up music, cuts himself off from all his friends and withdraws into a world where his only solace comes from writing emails to his sister.
But when a photograph of Uma begins to circulate among their classmates, everyone suspects it’s Irfan taking his revenge on his two erstwhile best friends. But is it? Is Irfan really going out of his mind or is there someone else out there playing games with him?”
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‘The Lies We Tell’ is a book by Himanjali Sankar. Irfan Ahmed, the protagonist, had been best friends with Uma and Rishi since they were in preschool. As they grew older, Rishi and Irfan drifted apart, but Irfan and Uma fell in love and had been dating since they were fifteen. However, once Uma broke up with Irfan, past feelings and regrets began to stir in him, worsened by rumours and a photograph of Uma circulating among their classmates.
Due to stress in his home life, worry concerning his future, and anger towards Uma, Irfan’s psychological state began to take a toll on him. He found solace in talking to his sister but starts to cut himself off from the rest of the world. His older sister, ‘Appi’, was the only one he could depend upon during this laborious time, however, past memories began returning and changing his reality as he knew it.
Himanjali Sankar has been able to create a stimulating plot with an intriguing and unsettling climax. She has successfully incorporated important events that have taken place in the life of a teenage boy living in Pakistan, in her writing. She reveals the implications of a traumatic experience on the individuals in the book. The author did an excellent job of developing the characters throughout the story. As the plot changes, the author has been able to depict the impact of the events in the plot on the characters. Furthermore, the author has interestingly used screenshots of WhatsApp chats and emails to show communication between the characters. In my opinion, the book had an understandable and enjoyable plot that helped me comprehend events taking place. The characters were well-developed and showed growth throughout the book. Though the resolution was fitting, I felt as though it were a touch hurried and could have been concluded better in by adding another page or two to the book.