Lies You Never Told Me by Jennifer Donaldson
Published by Razorbill on May 29, 2018 (expected)
Genre(s): fiction, contemporary, suspense, young adult
Format & Length: e-book, 336
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“A compulsive page-turner with a shocking twist–get ready to stay up all night!” –Sara Shepard, #1 New York Timesbestselling author of Pretty Little Liars
Gabe and Elyse have never met. But they both have something to hide.
Quiet, shy Elyse can’t believe it when she’s cast as the lead in her Portland high school’s production of Romeo and Juliet. Her best friend, Brynn, is usually the star, and Elyse isn’t sure she’s up to the task. But when someone at rehearsals starts to catch her eye–someone she knows she absolutely shouldn’t be with–she can’t help but be pulled into the spotlight.
Austin native Gabe is contemplating the unthinkable–breaking up with Sasha, his headstrong, popular girlfriend. She’s not going to let him slip through her fingers, though, and when rumors start to circulate around school, he knows she has the power to change his life forever.
Gabe and Elyse both make the mistake of falling for the wrong person, and falling hard. Told in parallel narratives, this twisty, shocking story shows how one bad choice can lead to a spiral of unforeseen consequences that not everyone will survive.
Although this didn’t completely blow my mind, Lies You Never Told Me was an extremely readable and entertaining book.
Told from the two perspectives of Gabe and Elyse, this story unfolds as we see through the eyes of each of them every other chapter. After completing just the first two chapters, both storylines had my interest and I was curious to see how they would connect. I had a few guesses, one of which took the lead fairly early on and ultimately was correct. Even though this made for a predictable read, it didn’t detract from an overall enjoyable reading experience.
Donaldson’s writing style worked really well for this suspense driven novel. Lies You Never Told Me deals with some tough subjects focusing on different kinds of toxic relationships, but it was written in such a way that it was difficult to put down. The plot was nicely constructed and moved along at a fast clip. But the characters weren’t quite as developed as I would have liked; they could have used some fine tuning to make their actions more believable. I did really enjoy the smattering of pop culture references, though, including Gilmore Girls!
Despite a few issues, Lies You Never Told Me was an enjoyable read. I’d recommend this to fans of young adult suspense.
*Many thanks to Penguin Random House’s First to Read program for providing an arc of this edition in exchange for an honest review.