The Secret to Lying
By Todd Mitchell
(Candlewick, Paperback, 9780763656201, 336pp.)
Publication Date: October 25, 2011
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A teenage boy’s self-reinvention gets out of control in a sharp, funny, poignant, and compulsively readable novel that gives a familiar theme a surprising twist.
James was the guy no one noticed — just another fifteen-year-old in a small town. So when he gets into an academy for gifted students, he decides to leave his boring past behind. In a boarding school full of nerds and geeks, being cool is easy. All it takes is a few harmless pranks to invent a new James: fighter, rebel, punk. Everyone’s impressed, except for the beautiful "Ice Queen" Ellie Frost and the mysterious ghost44, an IM presence who sees through his new identity. But James is riding high, playing pranks and hooking up with luscious Jessica Keen. There’s just one thing awry: he’s starting to have vivid dreams of being a demon-hunting warrior, a thrill that is spilling over into dangerous and self-destructive acts while he’s awake. As he’s drawn deeper into his real-life lies and his dream-world conquests, James begins to wonder: What’s the price for being the coolest guy around?
Todd Mitchell is the author of the middle-grade novel THE TRAITOR KING. THE SECRET TO LYING is his debut novel for YA readers. He lives in Fort Collins, Colorado.