Lies and Other Love Languages

Lies and Other Love Languages by Sonali Dev

Lies and Other Love Languages is nothing like what you would expect from the title. I don’t think I’ve ever read a story like this one. How can you even put lies and love in the same box? Well, this book showed me exactly how.

Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC of this book. I’m leaving this review voluntarily and all opinions are my own.


Lies and Other Love Languages

My voice feels changed, like everything I will ever say from now on will come out like this, surprised.

Lies and Other Love Languages by Sonali Dev

From Amazon:

From the bestselling author of The Vibrant Years comes an emotional story of three women navigating ugly truths and safe lies with only love to guide them on a journey of motherhood, friendship, and life.

Bestselling advice columnist Vandy Guru built her career teaching others how to live honestly and courageously, but after the loss of her husband, Vandy’s public veneer can barely conceal her grief. When her beloved daughter Mallika suddenly disappears and her estranged childhood best friend Rani returns, stirring up long-buried secrets, Vandy’s carefully crafted life feels at risk.

Aspiring choreographer Mallika Guru is tired of failure. When another audition ends in rejection, she signs up for a genetic study to find out why she’s so different from her accomplished family. But the results reveal her whole life to be a lie, and Rani seems to be the only one who knows the truth.

Rani Parekh sacrificed everything for Vandy once. But to hold on to the life she’s rebuilt, she must confront her troubled history and face Vandy and Mallika. Join these three extraordinary women as they journey from LA to Mumbai on an incredible path of discovery, hope, and love.

The book is out on September 26, 2023.

The story is told from Vandana, Mallika, and Rani’s POV. Vandy and Mallika’s POV gives us a glimpse of their lives in the present, and the story happens in a short time, a few days, but it’s not told chronologically. It takes many detours down various memory lines. Rani is the voice in the past primarily. The author also plays with the first and third-person narration. I think that works nicely with the plot and that lie-part of the love language.

About Lies and Other Love Languages

Lies and Other Love Languages by Sonali Dev

The story starts in a very light tone. The foreshadowing of how lies can be a form of love language is present throughout the book, but it starts on a light and relatable note. In Mallika’s chapters, we can see a fun dynamic within the family and the trust and love they have for each other. Each member has a unique personality, and it’s fun to see how that works together.

The men were great supporting characters, but this story was entirely about women and their relationships, devotion, sacrifice, betrayal and love. From each of our three main women’s POVs, there’s so much uncertainty and anxiety that poured over the paper and onto me. The story is full of grief, fear, and dance. But while the characters practice their wedding dances, they also try to dance around the issues in hopes that they won’t have to face them.

” […] Life is short, beta, and hindsight is a brutal b*tch.”

Lies and Other Love Languages by Sonali Dev

The initial worry, which was almost trivial, turned into a spiral of things that could/did go wrong. Suddenly, we’re no longer worried about where someone is but what they’ll find out there. The characters are drowning in regret so much that it rubs off on us readers, too.

The story is so very real, and that closeness to reality is what gave me mixed feelings by the end of it. The solution to some of the issues in Lies and Other Love Languages, or the descriptive choices made to create some scenes, didn’t work well for me. I probably would’ve taken a different approach to writing some parts of the story.

About the characters, their choices are not what most would agree with, but I loved how the author gave them all a space to develop and follow their beliefs. By doing so, she again brings the characters and the story closer to the reader.

Lies and Other Love Languages by Sonali Dev

This book is a beautiful illustration of the mother-daughter relationship, the mother’s love, and bonds stronger than blood. It’s not at all as light as it seems in the beginning. It gets really dark and complex. The wedding chaos, drunk thoughts, and pursuing different passions just break that darkness a little.

Lies and Other Love Languages was supposed to be my May read, and I’m running a bit late, but I’m glad I had the opportunity to read one of Sonali Dev‘s books. It was my first book from this author, and I would like to read more of her work.

Hope this post was fun, and I hope it convinces you to read this book when it comes out. Have you read any of Sonali Dev’s books before? If you have, how did you like them? Let me know in the comments! 😀

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