Review: “Lies You Never Told Me,” by Jennifer Donaldson

I just realized this morning that I never posted an April Wrap-Up!  Whoops!  And we’re already halfway through May!

I’ll get working on my month overview soon, but in the meantime, here’s a little book review to tide you over. 😉

Lies You Never Told MeFive-Star-Review

First of all, I want to send out a huge thank you to Penguin Teen and Bookish for providing me an ARC of this book in exchange for a review.

After reading the small “first look” of this book on the BookishFirst website, I knew I wanted to read the whole thing–and the book did NOT disappoint!  Lies You Never Told Me  is a twisty, turny, nightmare-type masterpiece with just the right amount of suspense and mystery to keep you flipping pages (there’s a reason people stay up all night to finish it!).

This story is unbelievable.  I have to admit: I figured out the Major Twist on page 95.  I know this, because I was so mad at myself for nailing it down so early on!  This is not a jab at Donaldson–her mystery is phenomenal.  I’m just that good at figuring out major plot points…

But seriously, this plot is so good.  You really should be guessing clear until the very end!  It’s action-packed, and frighteningly plausible. The interplay of the storylines is so complex and intriguing.  This book has all the tenants of old mysteries with a modern and youthful twist.

The characters are also grand!  Donaldson does a GREAT job of helping you love the good guys and making you hate the bad guys (and she leaves you guessing about a few that seem to fall in between…).  One of my favorite characters is Vivi, who is just so wonderful. In fact, if I were to offer up a critique, it would be that I would have liked to see her fleshed out more.  Gabe and Elyse are excellent protagonists, who keep you engaged with their stories all the way through. This cast is wonderful, and I can’t praise it enough.

So, it’s probably no surprise that I loved Donaldson’s writing in this book.  Her style is fast and quick-witted. Despite the dark themes of the text, I found myself laughing out loud at more than one point.  The language and dialogue feels authentic, and Gabe and Elyse’s voices are easily distinguished from each other. And, as previously mentioned, the plot is laid out at the perfect pace–just the right amount of information is dished out at just the right time.

In short, I’m totally fangirling over this book.  I highly recommend it to all mystery lovers, even if you aren’t into YA–while the book may be set in high school, the themes are for anyone.

Also, I want more!!! Jennifer Donaldson did such a good job, I hope to see more books from her in the (please let it be near) future.




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