Book Review: Little White Lies by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Genre: YA

Rating: 5/5


I’m not saying this is Sawyer’s fault,” the prim and proper one said delicately. “But.”

Eighteen-year-old auto mechanic Sawyer Taft did not expect her estranged grandmother to show up at her apartment door and offer her a six-figure contract to participate in debutante season. And she definitely never imagined she would accept. But when she realizes that immersing herself in her grandmother’s “society” might mean discovering the answer to the biggest mystery of her life-her father’s identity-she signs on the dotted line and braces herself for a year of makeovers, big dresses, bigger egos, and a whole lot of bless your heart. The one thing she doesn’t expect to find is friendship, but as she’s drawn into a group of debutantes with scandalous, dangerous secrets of their own, Sawyer quickly discovers that her family isn’t the only mainstay of high society with skeletons in their closet. There are people in her grandmother’s glittering world who are not what they appear, and no one wants Sawyer poking her nose into the past. As she navigates the twisted relationships between her new friends and their powerful parents, Sawyer’s search for the truth about her own origins is just the beginning.

Set in the world of debutante balls, grand estates and rolling green hills, Little White Lies combines a charming setting, a classic fish-out-of-water story, and the sort of layered mystery only author Jennifer Lynn Barnes can pull off.

My verdict: I thoroughly enjoyed this book and read it in a day and half. It kept me entertained with more twists and turns than a rollercoaster. Jennifer Lynn Barnes has a way of drawing you in with her descriptions of the life of southern debutant that makes you feel as though your there. The chapters are short and sharp with hooks at the end that’ll leave you hungry for more. I really enjoyed seeing sawyer and the other characters blossom and eventually seeing beyond their family and friends expectations of innocence and perfection. The three girls reminded me of Nancy Drew but as a trio. The mystery and cynicism embroiled in this plot and the idea of the perfect southern belle made it a joy to read. Even though it’s a YA book, Jennifer doesn’t dumb it down for the readers or dampen the excitement and tension. Ultimately I found this book to be about identity, family, trust and friendship in a society where you can’t really trust anyone. You can paper over the cracks but secrets have a way of coming out in the end and the outcome can spread like poison oak.

Fans of The Selection Series, Luxe with a pinch of Pretty Little Liars and Desperate housewives will love this book. The crime elements and overall tone reminded me of Tess Gerritsen, Sophie Mackenzie and Shalini Boland but aimed at teens.

A fabulous read that deserves more recognition and this writer is one to watch.

Click the image to be taken to goodreads to get your copy

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