Miranda MacLeod – Telling Lies Online


When her dating app decides she’s a man, what’s a lonely lesbian to do?

Jamie Richards is a scientist who embraces reason, except when it comes to romance. Tired of her impulsive streak leaving her heartbroken, she’s determined to do everything right the next time she’s in love. But her resolve crumbles when a technical glitch matches her with Claire, a woman who lives on the opposite side of the country. Who is straight. And under the impression that Jamie’s a guy. But Jamie can’t help being smitten. Would one tiny lie be so terrible if it gets her closer to the woman of her dreams?

Claire Flores is a dreamer and a believer in signs, but she has a secret that keeps her cautious about love. All she wants is a family of her own, but she has never met a man who attracts her. Until now. Throwing caution to the wind, she goes from Portland to Boston to meet Jay, her online love. Instead she meets Jamie, his work colleague, who befriends her in Jay’s unexpected absence. Claire’s heart is aflutter. Jamie stirs up feelings Claire never knew possible, but how close can she get without having to admit that she’s been lying to herself about her dreams all along?

What starts as a simple fib soon snowballs as Jamie fabricates increasingly ridiculous tales to keep her identity as Jay under wraps, until a comedy of errors threatens to topple the whole charade to the ground. Can true love prevail when it’s founded on a lie?

Oh, what fun this digital age is turning out to be: catfishing, internet-trolling, and Gwen Stefani finding out that her husband Gavin Rossdale is cheating on her with the nanny from an unsecured iCloud account. Oh, the woes! Childhood dreams shattered! As if dating isn’t complicated enough, let’s just add a fun little layer of technological confusion to the equation and see how it pans out!

This digital digital get-down (Nsync, anyone?) turns out to be the living nightmare of the protagonist in this story, Jamie aka “Jay”. Half of the novel, I wanted to throw homegirl a life preserver to save her from herself. The problem with lies is that you have to keep lying and lying some more. This is exactly what happens when the technological glitch (not Jamie’s fault) turns into a Mt.Everest of lies (totally Jamie’s fault). Strap on your hiking boots and pull out your trekking poles, folks. There’s gonna be some hard climbing ahead!

What I appreciate the most about this debut novel by Miranda Macleod, is that the elements of this story are not presented in “black & white”. The story exists somewhere in this beautiful grey space, which allows its readers to explore their own thoughts on some of the questions asked in this novel (wrong vs right, lies vs truth). The author also shows its readers in Telling Lies Online that appearances can be deceiving, especially when it comes to these “signs” that are referenced throughout the novel. What appears to be one thing, can turn out to be something entirely different, and this entirely different something can transpire and transform into the most wonderfully unexpected surprise. It’s all just a matter of perspective, and perhaps, a little bit of nudging from fate.

And an added bonus, Telling Lies Online also features a pretty diverse cast. Bravo!

Macleod articulates this love story tenderly and with great care towards her characters, who experience the first stages of love and it’s fragility.

The pace and style of the writing are consistent and it’s a gentle transition from chapter to chapter.

One helluva debut and a solid start, I would say. You bet I can’t wait for the next one!

1. St Lucia – Dancing on Glass
2. Panama Wedding – Uma
3. B0rns – Past Lives
4. Great Good Fine Ok – You’re The One For Me
5. Kings of Convenience – I Don’t Know What I Can Save You From (Royksopp Mix)
6. A Boy and His Kite – Cover Your Tracks
7. Adele – Remedy
8. Tori Kelly – Paper Hearts
9. Hardwell – Dare You (Acoustic feat. Matthew Koma)
10. Cider Sky – We Are in Love

This book would be best read with a….

-1 bottle of Merlot
-1/2 ripe mango (cut into 1-inch cubes)
-1/2 Washington apple (sliced)
-1/2 Sumo tangerine (sectioned), or regular navel orange (sliced)
-8 tablespoons of sugar
-1 oz of vodka
-3 oz of apple whiskey (this is the kicker)

Combine all ingredients in a large pitcher. Place in the fridge for an hour. After an hour, stir the mixture and place back into fridge. Let the fruit soak at least one more hour before serving. The kicker is quite the kicker. If after consumption you find yourself in a foreign place, don’t say I didn’t warn ya!


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