Beautiful Lies

*AVAILABLE AUGUST 21, 2012*

Summary from Amazon–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? Master storyteller Jessica Warman will keep readers guessing when everything they see—and everything they are told—suddenly becomes unreliable in this page-turning literary thriller.

^tentative cover

This was certainly an engaging, intriguing book that definitely kept me guessing right until the end. There were many things I liked about this book, and others that I think could be improved.

I love a book that plays with ideas of reality. I really do. Jessica Warman introduced that idea nearly right away when she had the twins switch places at the beginning of the story. However, I would have liked there to have been a few more clues before she announced it so it didn’t feel so completely out of the blue.

I thought Warman did a fantastic job writing about the dynamic between the twins though one twin was absent for the majority of the book. When she had scenes of flashbacks, they always seemed to come at the perfect moments and never made the plot seem choppy, like inserting a flashback can sometimes do. Warman also managed to maintain a sense of mystery throughout the book, which can sometimes be difficult in a young adult work over 300 pages.

While maintaining a sense of mystery is a very good thing, I still felt a little confused when I finished the book. (SPOILERS) I couldn’t tell which sister had died, though Kimber addressed Rachel at the very end, and I never really knew which twin had been missing. For a while, when it became clear that Alice’s sense of reality was shattered, I actually wondered if she even had a twin, or if the twin had died in the accident with her parents.

Despite that major confusion, I thought Warman tied up all of the other loose ends in interesting ways, namely those of Jamie Slater and Robin Lang. Still, I wish the twin issue had been made a bit more clear, as that was the focus of the whole book. All in all, Beautiful Lies was an interesting read, but I think it was a little too mysterious for its own good.

I would also like to thank NetGalley and the good people at Bloomsbury Children’s Books for allowing me the privilege of reading this ARC.

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