Beautiful Lies by Jessica Warman
Published by Walker Children’s
Publish Date: August 7, 2012
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)
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 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.
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.
YA Mystery & Suspense
(with an element of Contemporary)
Twists & Turns EVERYWHERE,
(particularly the end!)
Beautiful Liesby Jessica Warman
Beautiful Lies Blog Tour
where I will have a Guest Post from Author Jessica Warman
and a Giveaway of the book!