My Thoughts On: Beautiful Lies by Jessica Warman

Posted August 16, 2012 by Asheley in Uncategorized / 20 Comments

Beautiful Lies by Jessica Warman
Published by Walker Children’s
Publish Date: August 7, 2012
422 Pages
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

Rachel and Alice are an extremely rare kind of identical twins-so identical that even their aunt and uncle, whom they’ve lived with since their parents passed away, can’t tell them apart. But the sisters are connected in a way that goes well beyond their surfaces: when one experiences pain, the other exhibits the exact same signs of distress. So when one twin mysteriously disappears, the other immediately knows something is wrong-especially when she starts experiencing serious physical traumas, despite the fact that nobody has touched her. As the search commences to find her sister, the twin left behind must rely on their intense bond to uncover the truth. But is there anyone around her she can trust, when everyone could be a suspect? And ultimately, can she even trust herself? –(summary excerpt from Goodreads)

Beautiful Lies by Jessica Warman

My Thoughts: YOU GUYS! I was so excited to read Beautiful Lies by Jessica Warman! Why, you ask? I’ll get to that in a minute. But before I do, let me tell you that I don’t know of many stories with a mystery/thriller element that I’ve enjoyed as much as this one. 

1. The Characters. Alice and Rachel are 18-year-old identical twins that have a bond that the vast majority of people will never understand. They moved in with their aunt and uncle after losing their parents at a young age. Although the girls are identical in looks, they are different in personality. Lately, Alice has taken to a ‘wilder’ lifestyle than Rachel, and it has led to a bit of a personality change. Alice also likes to draw and is very artsy. Rachel, on the other hand, is much more laid-back, academic, and well-liked in general.

Aside from the twins, there is a nice-sized cast of characters. They each have their own personalities and quirks, and they each have their own place in the story. The twins’ family and friends are all unique and play pivotal roles in each girl’s life. After the disappearance, the investigators working on the case and the neighbors helping out have unique characteristics and quirks that also make them stand out against one another. The cast in general is just fabulous, in my opinion. 

2. The Story. Alice and Rachel are attending a community carnival with their friends one evening when Alice vanishes. Rachel knows instantly that something is wrong because of this strange and powerful twin connection the two have, and she is immediately uneasy and afraid for her sister. Rachel’s friends and family do not understand why she is so upset about Alice – this isn’t the first time Alice has disappeared. In fact, they are all inclined to believe that she has run away because of her sketchy behavior in the past. Still, Rachel just knows that her twin is in danger – she is certain – but she knows that if she explains how she knows, no one will believe her.

See, since the girls were young girls, whatever has happened to one of them has happened to the other one. If one choked on food, they both had trouble breathing. If one was bitten by a dog, they both had bite marks. When Rachel’s head begins bleeding and she begins to see bruises on her body, it confirms her suspicions about Alice being in serious danger. 

The entire story – from start to finish – is a guessing game. I constantly was guessing where I thought Alice was and then changing my answers. As more of the story is revealed (!!!!) it became both harder to make my guesses, and more fun (kind of like a literary game of Clue, if you will).

3. The Story. This is my first Jessica Warman story, and – after glancing around at them – it seems like this author tends to write more suspenseful, mystery, thriller stories. This has probably been my favorite book like this so far. The plot was exciting and compelling, and the pacing was great. There were times when I was either holding my breath or my heart was beating out of my chest – sometimes both. 

Sometimes with stories like this, I can predict the ending – I can honestly say that with Beautiful Lies, I had no idea how the story would end up. I loved that. It was absolutely thrilling and creepy, but one heck of a ride. There were twists and turns everywhere. Everywhere. And the twist at the ending – WOW. I just loved it. 


I love what Jessica Warman has done with Beautiful Lies. She’s taken a story that has realistic, contemporary tendencies and given it some incredible suspense and mystery. There’s also a definite creepiness to it that I oddly found charming – it drove me to want to read harder, as if I could help find the missing girl that way.

I loved these characters. I loved the twins – equally, of course – and I loved the entire supporting cast, good guys and bad guys. They each brought something to the table, be it significant or insignificant. I was able to connect with each character that was written. The only thing I would change in terms of characters is that I would throw more of this one supporting character in the story – TJ, and only because I liked him so much. He is mentioned a few times and then has a bit of a small role in the ending. This isn’t a complaint about the story or characterization at all – simply an observation about one of the characters. Great, great cast. 

Beautiful Lies is just mind-bending and mind-blowing. My mind worked here and there to try and piece the clues that were weaved into the story and throw together the mystery before it was too late for these sisters to be reunited. I felt invested in the rescue. I’m not sure if my connection to these girls is stronger because I am a mother of identical twins girls that are just like them or not, but it was a strong connection and the two were well-written. And I will say that as I was reading, every time I guessed and felt like AHA! I’VE FIGURED IT OUT! – I was wrong. So wrong! I loved that the author took me on an adventure with this book. 

If you are a fan of suspenseful, thrilling mystery stories that incorporate a nice thick thread of contemporary into the mix, Beautiful Lies just might be the book for you. Don’t expect to pick it up and have everything figured out a few chapters in, halfway in, or even two-thirds in…because the twists keep coming right up until the end. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and will eagerly seek out more books by Jessica Warman – and probably bite my fingernails as I read through them, just as I did with this one. 

Beautiful Lies will appeal to fans of:

YA Mystery & Suspense
(with an element of Contemporary)
Great Characterization
Twists & Turns EVERYWHERE,
(particularly the end!)

Beautiful Lies by Jessica Warman

is currently available for purchase.

**I received a review copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest opinion and review. I received no compensation for my thoughts. Thank you Walker Childens and NetGalley! 


Watch for my stop on the
Beautiful Lies Blog Tour
where I will have a Guest Post from Author Jessica Warman
and a Giveaway of the book! 


About Asheley

Asheley is a Southern girl. She loves Carolina blue skies, Ben & Jerry's ice cream, and NC craft beer. She loves all things history but prefers books over everything.

You can find her somewhere in North Carolina, daydreaming about the ocean.

Find Asheley on Litsy @intothehallofbooks!


20 responses to “My Thoughts On: Beautiful Lies by Jessica Warman

  1. Wasn't it just the craziest ride EVER? But in a GOOD way? I reviewed this one too, and I really liked it more than I thought I would.

  2. Can you believe I'd never heard of Beautiful Lies until your review? Seriously. This sounds totally creppy and totally awesome, I can totally see why you were anticipating it. I LOVE that it's wild, unpredictable and crazy and that it will keep the reader on it's toes and have you guessing the whole way through. Definitely intrigued! Thanks for bringing this to my attention and foe the lovely review 🙂

    • Rebecca, I guessed literally from the beginning to the end. I'm usually pretty good about figuring things out but I kept being off over and over. I HAD to know! And there were twists everywhere. It was nail-biting and so, so good.

  3. Okay, my TBR is seriously getting out of control! I wasn't that interested in this one, but knowing that the suspense lasts right up until the end makes me want to give it a shot. Great review, Asheley. 🙂

  4. Alyssa Susanna

    I haven't read that many mystery, suspenseful novels. It's not so common in YA (or is it? I may not have noticed). I'm glad you enjoyed it! It looks really cool. Is it a standalone? That would be awesome if it were a series though. Thanks for the review!

    • I'm not sure how common the suspenseful books are, Alyssa, because I don't often read them either. I've never read one that I enjoyed as much as this one. It IS standalone as far as I can tell. I recommend it! It was crazy, but in a good way.

  5. I really enjoyed Between when I read it and have been looking forward to reading more from this author. This sounds like a fantastic read. I'm always looking for something that packs a punch.

  6. Yay! I have this one and haven't read it yet. Firstly, I love the new cover SO much better. Kudos to the team for changing things up!

    I like books about twins too. My dad is a twin, so I always wondered if I would have twins one day (I didn't but I'm still fascinated by them!) but the last couple of books about twins I read fell short (I'm specifically thinking of A. Niffeneggar's "Her Fearful Symmetry") so I'm excited to see that this one was a winner with you Asheley!

    • Regarding the cover: AGREED! It looks really neat. Love it.

      These twins in this book are the exact same kind of twins that I have, so it made me enjoy the book that much more, I think. I haven't read too many twin books, but I should read more.

      Even better than the twin stuff was the actual mystery. I just loved it, devoured it. Couldn't stop biting my nails. I hope you love it too. I'm gonna try and get to Ms. Warman's backlist now that I've loved this one. There's certainly something interesting and fun about the issues she writes about, or at least there was in this book. It was such a game or puzzle or something for me to try and figure out.

    • Oh how cool that you're a twin! I have identical girl twins, exactly like the ones in this book (MoMo twins, they are nicknamed) and I loved reading about these girls that were very similar to my girls. This contemporary was awesome but the thriller/mystery was incredible. I'm just not sure that I've read one that had me guessing over and over and over like Beautiful Lies did! There were so many twists and turns. The pacing was great. The characterization was great. It was just a fabulous book. I hope people love it.

  7. Oh Asheley I just LOVE your review of this book! I picked it up at BEA and have been hoping to free up time to read it. I love that this one is mysterious and suspenseful! I don't think I read enough of those types of books so finding one like that, especially one that you say keeps you guessing, well then I just get even more excited!

    • This book is crazy suspenseful and I guessed and had to re-guess over and over and over! It was incredible. I could never have the imagination to make a story like this but I enjoyed the heck out of reading it! I think you should read it soon and I can't wait to read your thoughts. There were seriously twists and turns up until the very end.

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