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Extraordinary Lies

Narrated by: Moira Todd
Length: 11 hrs and 9 mins

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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2020 Jennifer Alsever (P)2020 Jennifer Alsever

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  • MeandtheMutts
  • 11-10-2020

Suspenseful and exciting

I’m not usually a reader of YA fiction, but I loved the premise of this story: the study of young adults with “special” abilities such as mind-reading and telekinesis within a government-backed research setting. Set during the Cold War era, and told in alternating chapters from the perspectives of Julia and Charley, the story follows them their “real” lives before going to the Institute right through to a dramatic conclusion. The two girls are as opposite as can be when it comes to the background and childhood experiences, but they do share one thing: being marked out as different from the rest of their peers. The students enjoy getting to know each other, appreciating the different skills they have. They’ve found a place that doesn’t treat them as weirdos or freaks, and their confidence and trust in each other provides them with friendships they’ve never had before. The research institute promises to explore their abilities and to offer an explanation for them. The reason for this research is sold to them as being for the good of the nation; the kids are playing their part in helping to win the Cold War against the Soviets. Yet, things are not as they seem. The experiments get more sinister as time passes. The tests the girls and the other “skilled” students are put through have another purpose, and the scientists in charge don’t want that information to go public. The plot builds on the basis of secrecy – the government and scientists are hiding the true purpose of the experiments, while the students are forced to hide their suspicions – if they want to stay safe … or even alive. Does everyone survive? Who will have the upper hand? The narrator of this audiobook superbly conveys the enthusiasm of the teenagers, their innate curiosity, their need to bond with like-minded individuals, and their reaction to the danger they find themselves in. It’s impossible not to get drawn along for the ride. The era is the perfect backdrop for this kind of story, and the twists and turns of the story perfectly suit that period in time. The audio version of Extraordinary Lies delivers an engaging story, with great characterisation and a tense plot. I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Jennifer Alsever. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

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  • Zoe
  • 11-10-2020

LOVED This One!

You guys! This book is just the gift that keeps on giving! Not only is it narrated splendidly, but it's also such an amazing story! AND it's set in the 70s, which is one of my all time favorite time periods! It's the time of love, peace, and human experiments? Well, that's what it is in this book. Following our two main characters as they navigate a place that makes it seem like they can finally be themselves. Or can they? This book came at a really great time for me because I actually just took a course on human research a few semesters ago. And with that comes lots of time looking at how people have been exploited throughout history. And even before this course (and book) it has been a topic of great importance/interest to me. Plus this one is about psychics, and that's always an immediate place it in the "must read" pile for me! And after reading this book I can say that I thoroughly enjoyed it! There were so many great moments and interesting plot twists and turns! Now, since I read this book as an audiobook I want to take some time to applaud the narrator. I think listening to this story added some depth to the characters as it added another sense to the story. Because this is a fast paced book some of those additional details got lost, but when you're listening to it it just makes sense.; Plus I just really enjoyed this narrator as a whole, I found that I could listen to her for long stretches without getting exasperated or losing my focus.

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  • Angelique Vorster
  • 11-10-2020

I literally loved every second of the story.

There is just something about reading or listening to a book that is based in or played out in the early 60’s, 70’s and 80’s that makes me feel older and wiser than I am. The Vietnam war is something that doesn’t play a big role in my history as a South African but I have read so many books and watched so many movies that made reference to it. And each time it breaks my heart a little more. The time and lives wasted on it is incredibly sad. In Extraordinary Lies you get another glimpse into the same mind frame and it gives you a little history of the Vietnam war and the ongoing struggles with espionage and Russia. Julia and Charley are immensely special and well rounded characters. Two young girls who come from completely different back grounds who are so strong in their own ways. Julia has had to learn to thrive in a world where everything but love was handed to her freely. Where – at the whim of the family’s patriarch she gets sentenced to a summer of experiments against her will. And somehow she still manages to find her way to herself. Even if this self isn’t incredibly outspoken or out there, she is still a strong character who knows what she wants and tries her best to get it. Charley is this amazing young girl – a little selfish and unsure of what to do with her talent at times. A little morally misguided, but at her core a really kind and generous person. I loved watcher her character develop. These two girls, although the main characters were not the only noteworthy ones in the story. Surrounded by other teens who are just as gifted as they are in different ways these girls make friends, enemies and uneasy allies with the other kids at SRI. This was an incredibly intriguing story, with so many little plot twists, surprises and intense moments that at times I either had to pause the book or pull over as I found my concentration being drawn from driving the car or doing my work. I literally loved every second of the story. The narration was just as excellent. Each character – including the supporting cast was so easily distinguishable that it almost felt like I was listening to more than one person narrating the story. She had an incredibly melodic voice that was so easy to listen to and get lost it. I received a free copy of this audio book in exchange for an honest review from Audiobookworm Promotions. I was in no other way compensated for my opinions / thoughts on this book.