What's the Truth?
'All-American Liars' by Emily Kazmierski shines a light on the lies people tell themselves and others to help save face and shape specific plans and possible futures.
Tristan is the golden boy of the book, destined for the All-American basketball team that is choosing students from the high school circuit. His girlfriend, Annie, while happy to be in love with him, is hiding a secret of her own that threatens the end of Tristan's good fortune. While she hides this secret, she finds herself blackmailed by one of Tristan's teammates, Rich, who has begun spinning an elaborate web of lies that he believes will bring him everything he wants, including his own spot on the All-American team, a relationship with Annie, and Tristan's takedown.
While everyone is keeping secrets, Tristan finds himself suspended from school, not able to be believed by his parents or supposed friends, and in trouble with the police for a crime he didn't commit. Rich's scheme to make it look like Tristan has been taking steroids is well on its way to working in Rich's favor. Even though Rich once in a while feels tinges of guilt for doing this to Tristan, he convinces himself that Tristan deserved it, which shows how people tell themselves anything and everything to assuage their worry and upset over how they feel things are working out.
Annie, meanwhile, is desperate to tell Tristan the truth about her part in everything, but worried that her revelation will cause him to never want anything to do with her again. It's hard in this day and age to know when someone is telling the truth or lying, and it can be truly frustrating when one knows he/she is telling the truth and can't find a way to get that across in a clear and focused way.
The book, while a bit lengthy and somewhat repetitive of the themes (Tristan's anger, Annie's upset over whether or not to tell the truth, Rich's scheming to keep it all going), did a nice job of showcasing the importance of bringing the truth to the forefront and ensuring that everyone has the facts. 'All-American Liars' by Emily Kazmierski is an interesting read that will have readers questioning their own ability to decipher what's true and what's not, while not always believing the headlines that would have you think that something is a fact right off the bat.