1971. Stanford University. San Francisco
Two girls, Charley and Julia find themselves amidst people with abilities almost similar to theirs. They are gifted children, some have been hiding their abilities, while the others- not so much. As they are grouped together in the prestigious Stanford University, away from their home and into a set of experiments, they begin to feel that they have finally found their place on Earth, among real friends who understand their dilemmas.
Set during the Cold War, the laboratory promises to use their abilities for the good of the nation, as warfare and a means to contribute to the ongoing war with The Soviets. The experiments, however, get darker and painful with time, leaving the participants to wonder if there’s more than meets the eye.
Alsever deftly creates an atmosphere of secrecy, especially the kind we expect with projects involving the government. She builds the plot meticulously, every detail taken care of. She also skillfully narrated the wanderings of a teenage mind, the innocent curiosity and their inherent sense of danger. There are silent betrayals and risks to be taken.
Extraordinary Lies, is a ride you sit back and enjoy. The author lets her imagination run wild (and in a good way, mind you) and weaves a thrilling story that will surprise you. Alsever is quite talented when it comes to building a world she has in her mind, just like in Ember Burning, which I loved. Her characters stay in a way that we want to hold on to them. Pick this up if you are looking for some good thriller set in the 70s.
Buy it here: |Amazon Kindle|
Blurb (as on Goodreads):
Julia and Charley may come from two completely different worlds, but they’ve been called the same names all their lives.
Psycho. Liar. Witch.
It’s the price of being a supernaturally gifted female in sexist, narrow-minded 1971. Until they’re invited to join the Stanford Research Institute.
There, a team of scientists are conducting experiments on people like them—people with the ability to tell the future, read minds, move objects without lifting a finger.
At first, the institute seems like a safe haven. For the first time, Julia and Charley are not alone. Surrounded by others with powers like theirs, they finally make real friends.
But as the experiments become darker and more dangerous, and the test subjects’ lives are increasingly at risk, the two girls must work together to unveil the truth behind the scientists’ experiments—and the extraordinary lies they’ve been told to keep them in the dark.
Set in San Francisco during the Cold War, Extraordinary Lies is a page-turner mystery perfect for fans of Stranger Things, Lauren Oliver and Leigh Bardugo.
Thanks to Jennifer Alsever for the e-book. All opinions are my own.