[Review] Lies You Never Told Me

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Title: Lies You Never Told Me
Author: Jennifer Donaldson
Genre: Young Adult, Thriller
Published: May 29, 2018
Source: Bought @ Barnes & Noble

Quicklinks: Amazon | Goodreads


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.
I've been eyeing this book for so long, way before I even bought it. At first, I was stuck deciding whether or not I wanted to spend the money to read it. Eventually, I caved even despite the somewhat negative reviews I saw when deciding before the purchase. I ended up buying it at Barnes & Noble mostly because I was looking for a new thriller to read and keep me on my toes. With that said, let's get on with it!

Lies You Never Told Me is written in two perspectives: Gabe and Elyse. Both seem to be decently solid characters that are easy to believe, if not a bit frustrating to read. I say frustrating because I'm an adult reading two teenagers. It's been eight years since I was a teenager (19), so being the full adult that I am nearing my thirties, I've realized that this must have been what my parents went through with me (the frustration of my stupid choices). Both characters fall in love with the wrong person. Like, really wrong.

We've got Gabe who falls for an unhinged girl and for some reason doesn't seem to understand how to deal with the cards he's been, well, dealt. Then we've got Elyse who should have really known better with her choice of lover thanks to the weird insta-love thing she's got for a man twice her age. Needless to say, frustration out of the butt. Though, at this point, I'm pretty much repeating myself.

There were a few plot holes that I'd like to discuss that may or may not spoil the story (at least Gabe's story), so if you'd like a spoiler-free review, please skip this paragraph. When Gabe is being set up, the principal shows him a camera that catches Sasha's locker to criminalize him. Now, that's not a hole there, but if there's a camera that is directed at the locker, why can't they just rewind the obvious recording and see who did it to the camera? Plot hole #1. On to the last plot hole that I discovered... When the police are up Gabe's butt and he tells them about the snaps, he says they're deleted. However, with an investigation that serious, forensics would actually be able to recover the "deleted" snaps. Snapchats aren't actually gone forever and can be recovered with the right forensics crew and equipment.

Overall, I guess I enjoyed it. It was pretty much transparent, so I was able to tell what was going to happen next. At least, up until the ending. I'm gonna be honest, despite my ability to see how things would play out when they did, I did not expect the story to turn the way it did. For some reason, not once did it cross my mind for that to happen, but that does explain why it was written the way it was. The story itself was just okay. I feel like with the genre it's in, it could have been a lot better and well, a lot more thrilling. Honestly, I don't even see how the title even fits the story. There was just so much potential that wasn't taken advantage of and I think that's why this book has been getting the ratings it has been.

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