Release Date: May 01, 2018
Genre: Young Adult / Mystery / Suspense
Everyone in Tenney’s Harbor, Maine, knows about the Garrison tragedy. How an unexplained fire ravaged their house, killing four of the five family members. But what people don’t know is who did it. All fingers point at Pearl Haskins’s father, the town drunk, who was the caretaker of the property, but she just can’t believe it. Leave it to a town of rich people to blame “the help.”
With her disgraced father now trying to find work in between booze benders, Pearl’s future doesn’t hold much more than waiting tables at the local country club, where the wealthy come to flaunt their money and spread their gossip. This year, Tristan, the last surviving Garrison, and his group of affluent and arrogant friends have made a point of sitting in Pearl’s section. Though she’s repulsed by most of them, Tristan’s quiet sadness and somber demeanor have her rethinking her judgments. Befriending the boys could mean getting closer to the truth, clearing her father’s name, and giving Tristan the closure he seems to be searching for. But it could also trap Pearl in a sinister web of secrets, lies, and betrayals that, once untangled, will leave no life unchanged . . . if it doesn’t take hers first.
The Lies They Tell by Gillian French is a slow burn, young adult mystery, and I love that it’s one of those books that hooks you from the very beginning. We start with a bang and then are transported into the future and to what Pearl’s life with her dad is like now. There is some suspense, lots of drama, tough subjects, and a big surprise right at the end. Even though it is a slow burn, this book was also quite the page-turner for me, and I was completely invested in finding out just what happened to Tristan’s parents. There is some sailing lingo that I wasn’t super familiar with, but that in no way took away from the main plot of the book for me.
For some reason I’m always a fan of reading about rich kids engulfed in mystery, and The Lies They Tell definitely scratched that itch for me. This is a character-driven story which is part of the reason I think it is a slower burn, but it is also so much more than just a mystery. I really felt for Pearl and no matter what age you are, I don’t think it’s hard to connect to her. I listened to the audiobook and I thought Caitlin Davies’ narration was a bit stilted, but other than that I really enjoyed listening to this one. If you are in the mood for a contemporary/mystery young adult novel that takes itself seriously I would recommend checking out The Lies They Tell. Just make sure you are prepared for a slow burn and not a fast-paced thriller.
Thank you to the publisher for my advance review copy via Edelweiss. All opinions and thoughts are my own.