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  • Writer's pictureCaitlyn Lynch

Book Review: This Is Why We Lie by Gabriella Lepore

A YA mystery thriller, the story starts with Jenna down at the waterfront photographing the sunrise when she sees a boy she knows slightly, Adam, dragging a body out of the water. It’s Colleen, a girl Jenna knows from school… and she’s dead. Murdered. And Jenna’s best friend Hollie had a public fight with Colleen just the day before in which Hollie threatened to kill Colleen. But surely Hollie couldn’t have gone through with it. Could she?

What follows is a delve into the secrets the good girls of Preston Prep have been keeping… sneaking around with the bad boys from Rookwood Reform School, the last stop before juvie. Adam’s a Rook, and he knows his friends are no angels. But none of them would have murdered Colleen. Would they?

Told in split POVs from both Adam and Jenna, this fell a little bit flat for me. The secrets everyone’s keeping are really terribly mundane, and I don’t think there was enough build up to the villain reveal at the end. Ever since I read the absolutely bat wild Private series by Kate Brian, a YA murder mystery has to have a fair bit of drama to hold my attention, and this one misses the mark I think by making both the POV characters a bit too goody-two-shoes. Give us some unreliable narration, or everything just lands a bit flat. It’s not badly written and the plot does hold together logically, but I don’t think there was a sufficient breadcrumb trail left pointing to the villain and the drama needed amping up - think more Gossip Girl than Gilmore Girls. This one felt a bit too much like the latter. Three stars.

Disclaimer: I received a review copy of this title via NetGalley.

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