Lies are an essential part of storytelling. No first-person narrator can catch all the important details that will lead to an exciting and satisfying end to their adventure. But some narrators are intentional with their lies, hoping to make their plight more sympathetic to the reader. Everyone sees themselves as the hero of their story, and with the right storytelling tools, a well-written narrator can garner sympathy for their actions. (Remember how convinced we Harry was that Hagrid was the Heir of Slytherin, thanks to a diary with very selective memory?)
In Here Lies Daniel Tate, Daniel is a magnetic, talented, and desperate con artist who has stumbled into the scam of a lifetime. Assuming the identity of long missing boy, Daniel Tate, he is no longer at the mercy of the foster care system, and gains the security of a home and a family that loves him. But he soon discovers his new home is more sinister than it seemed on the surface…and the Daniel he has replaced might not be missing at all.
I loved this book because the odds are stacked against fake Daniel ever being seen as trustworthy. His own backstory gives more insight as to why lies are so a part of his nature, and it’s certainly easy to feel real sympathy for his plight. But looking back, it was pretty difficult to separate the fact from the fiction of Daniel’s story. His lies blend so seamlessly with the truth. I missed my stop on the train twice when I read [REDACTED].