Study Guide

Luna Lies and Deceit

By Julie Anne Peters

Lies and Deceit

Whatever Dad had said in the house that day had caused a rift in Liam's universe. A black hole had opened up and swallowed him whole. Swallowed her—Lia Marie, her first chosen name. She'd receded, retreated, withdrawn. (3.35)

Poor Lia Marie—she is forced to live a lie at such a young age because her dad doesn't let her see the light of day. He'd much rather have his son around.

"Every day, the same old thing. Hiding, lying, holding her in. It's too hard. I can't do it." (3.69)

All this lying is taking a toll on Luna. She can't support her double life and still be happy—in fact, she feels as though she'll die if she doesn't get to release Luna.

I think Carmen suspects. I don't know what she suspects, exactly. Maybe that he's gay. He isn't gay. If he were, I'd probably tell her despite the fact I'm sworn to secrecy. I don't dare tell her the truth. (5.183)

Liam's lies affect Regan's life, too. She can't tell anyone about his secret and ends up losing good friends over her sibling's double life. She needs to protect Luna though, so she sacrifices her intimacy with other people.

"Dad, I'm not lying." I felt this sudden surge of sympathy for my father. Or empathy. I went and sat beside him, setting my Coke on the coffee table. "Believe me. He isn't gay." (14.52)

Technically this isn't a lie—Liam isn't gay, he's transgender. Even though Regan knows that the truth would hurt her dad even more, she decides not to tell him yet. That's Luna's job.

He'd been in my room, too? How dare he! If he touched anything… I had my crap arranged just the way I liked it. "Stay out of my room, Dad," I ordered him. "Stay out of both our rooms." (15.45)

Another problem with parents: they sometimes don't respect your privacy. Regan doesn't have anything to hide, but she doesn't want her dad snooping around and finding info on Luna either.

"I wouldn't keep anything from you." That lie tripped off my tongue too easily. I'd never hurt her, not on purpose. Why didn't she ask Liam? Why didn't she talk to him? (15.115)

Aly is Regan's only other friend besides Luna, and she can't even be fully honest with her. It just seems like Luna's secrets are going to cost Regan every close friendship she has.

I was still questioning whether I'd betrayed Aly when I got to school the next day. Was I the one who should've told her? Did I betray our friendship? Was it my fault she couldn't deal with the truth? (22.20)

When Aly does learn the truth, she really struggles with it. She'd rather go on pretending that Liam's strange, or gay, or interested in someone else—at least that way, she doesn't have to cope with the idea that Liam is really a girl.

Hmm. I could exchange this cologne for a bottle of Passion, I thought, Luna's favorite perfume. I'd tell Liam it was from Aly, that she was beginning to come around. (23.82)

Regan even considers lying to Luna about how Aly is starting to accept the truth, but she knows that if Luna finds out, she'll only be more upset.

Dad's head spun my way. "You lied to me! You told me he wasn't gay." He pointed an accusatory finger. "I asked you point blank and you liked to me." (24.26)

No, Dad—Regan didn't technically lie to you. Gay and trans are not the same thing—one is a sexual orientation and the other is a gender identity. Regan omitted the truth in order to save her sister from being totally torn apart by your judgment.

She knew. I stood in Mom's doorway, staring at her back as she paced around the room with her cell suctioned to her ear. She'd always known. (24.123)

Regan may have been keeping Luna's secret from her parents for years, but their mom has been in on the lie too. She's always been aware of Luna's double life and hasn't done anything to address it.

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