Lies You Never Told Me

(By: Jennifer Donaldson)


"A compulsive page-turner with a shocking twist--get ready to stay up all night!" --Sara Shepard, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Pretty Little Liars

"This conversation-starting page-turner is...Fatal Attraction meets Big Little Lies." --Kirkus Reviews

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.

Published May 2018 by Razorbill


**Note: Thank you to Penguin Young Readers for providing me a complimentary copy of LIES YOU NEVER TOLD ME by Jennifer Donaldson in exchange for my honest review.**

I gave this book 3.5 stars. While it was a bit outside of my typical fantasy genre, I ended up really enjoying this read. Right away I could tell it was going to be an easy page turner and that the thriller aspect was intriguing. Both of the narratives came alive from the beginning and were so realistically teenage that I couldn't help but relate to them.

The language and descriptions in this book weren't the most sophisticated...but the writing style kept true to a teenager's mindset which was fun. It was stock full of young heart ache, quick flippant emotions, and instantaneous mood swings which easily took me back to high school. While it was fun imagining that period in my life, at times it was a bit too immature and lacking in depth to fully draw me in.

The drama on the other hand was extremely tangible, and made me cringe as I watched the characters develop and make poor choices. They walked straight into conflict, all the while showing off both their flaws and strengths in a raw way. For the most part, the characters came across very layered and alive, however, sometimes the supporting characters fell a little flat.

My favorite part of this book were the twists and turns in the plot. Ultimately, I didn't see all of them coming, so it was fun to be surprised along the way. Also, as someone who doesn't enjoy too much horror, I was grateful that while this was a thriller, it kept true to that genre and wasn't overly terrifying.

Overall, I enjoyed this book as a fun and easy read that didn't make me try too hard. However, because I was able to fly through it, there was some distance created that prevented me from leaving completely emotionally wrecked (which, ideally, a 5 star book would do). That said, I would happily read another book by Jennifer and look forward to exploring this genre a bit more now!




Have you read this book? Let me know what you think in the comments below!

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