By Michael French
Once Upon a Lie is about two strangers who become unlikely friends, only to unintentionally put each other's life in jeopardy. Jaleel Robeson, a gifted, eighteen year-old black man, falsely accused of murdering his father in a small Texas town, is on the run. He assumes a new identity in 1980s Los Angeles as a successful student on his way to college. Alexandra Baten, a restless sixteen year old while girl, lives in a privileged Toluca Lake family but feels trapped by her parents' values. One weekend, she rides her bike into a run down neighborhood, meeting a young black man selling lemonade. Thus begins a friendship between opposites, at least on the surface, but they learn they have more in common than they imagine. Told from each character's point of view in alternating chapters, we become involved in a gripping tale of two Americas where discontent and violence always lurk under the surface. When they erupt, no one is safe. Once Upon a Lie is both a family drama and a crime drama, as well as an exploration of interracial love, mother-daughter relationships, and redemption through courage.
Once Upon A Lie is about two young adults, Jaleel and Alexandra "Alex," and how their young love came to life. Both come from completely opposite lives. Alex has the perfect family facade, while Jaleel is an orphan. They face many emotions-betrayal, love, and courage.
Once Upon A Lie is absolutely amazing! I was faced with so many emotions involving both characters. I felt horrible about Jaleel's situation while shocked by Alex's. I couldn't get enough, each page pulled me deeper into their story. I really enjoyed the alternating chapters, it made the book more complex. Also I'm a sucker for well-written multiple character perspectives.
I felt that situations that I wanted to happen in the future happened, and I loved it. There were many surprises that shocked me. They were hidden perfectly and jumped out at the right moment. Once Upon A Lie is great! Five stars!
Michael R. French graduated from Stanford University where he was an English major, focusing on creative writing, and studied under Wallace Stegner. He received a Master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University. He later served in the United States Army before marrying Patricia Goodkind, an educator and entrepreneur, and starting a family. In addition to publishing over twenty titles, including award-winning young adult fiction, adult fiction, biographies ad self-help books, he has written or co-written a half-dozen screenplays, including Intersection, which has won awards in over twenty film festivals. He has also had a long business career in real estate, living in Santa Fe, New Mexico. His passions include travel, collecting rare books, and hanging with friends and family. He describes his worst traits as impatience and saying "no" too quickly; his best are curiosity, taking risks, and learning from failure.