Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Time Will Tell - Barry Lyga

Feeling the need for a fix of YA reading, I picked up Barry Lyga's new novel, Time Will Tell. The publisher's descriptor, "Perfect for fans of One of Us is Lying" sealed the deal.

I quite liked the premise - four teenagers dig up a time capsule that their parents buried in 1986. And amidst the retro memorabilia they find a knife with what looks like dried blood along with a note. "I'm sorry. I didn’t mean to kill anyone."
So many places this tale could go!

I'm hooked on teen detectives and always wanted to be Nancy Drew. Lyga gives us four great leads, all very different personalities, each with their own strengths - and weaknesses. Liam and Elayah were the two I enjoyed the most and they have a stronger presence than the other two.  Lyga's characterization of the teens is spot on in my opinion. The angst and joy of being a teen is very believably portrayed.

Now, get those four characters cemented in your brain because...Time Will Tell is told in a past and present narrative! And the past belongs to the parents who buried the capsule. Those past chapters and characters are well portrayed. There's one player that I absolutely despised and it was very easy to draw on my memories of high school and visualize him. 

So, as the kids in the present are piecing together what may or may not have happened, we slowly begin to build our suspicions as to the whodunit from the clues and avenues in those past chapters. Clever, clever plotting. And some nice twists. I'm an avid mystery reader and Lyga had me guessing to the final pages.

Lyga weaves social issues through his plot - racism, sexual orientation, violence, mental health and more. Kudos to Lyga for utilizing sensitivity readers of ethnicities and orientations in his writing.

If you're a Nancy Drew or Riverdale watcher, you'll enjoy Time Will Tell. See for yourself - read an excerpt of Time Will Tell.


Ethan said...

I can see why you'd be hooked on this one. I was always into Encyclopedia Brown as a kid, so I'm loving the teen detective angle of this one.

Kay said...

Luanne, thanks for mentioning this one. Sounds really good to me and I'm off to see if the library has it!

Luanne said...

Ethan, it was well written and not easy to suss out who the whodunit was. Hope you enjoy it.

Kay, I'm glad to hear this one appealed to you as well. My library had it.