Title: Little White Lies
Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Genre: YA Mystery
Release Date: November 6th, 2018
Source: Physical ARC received from publisher for review, which did not influence my opinion.
My rating: 4 stars
“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.
This is my first book by this author, other than a short story she had in the anthology called Enthralled: Paranormal Diversions. I don’t remember which story was hers, however. Anyway, this story was presented to me as a mix of Gilmore Girls and Pretty Little Liars gone Southern. I’m not a reader or watcher of either of those, but I understand the general gist of what they are about. The synopsis was intriguing for sure. And when I picked it up, I was sucked right into the story. There were a lot of twists and turns in this, the final twist being a huge one out of nowhere! I loved that!
Sawyer’s snarkiness, especially her take as she was dropped into this debutante world, was one of my favorite parts of the story. The characters were all great in this as well. Not only were our four main debutante characters given incredible back stories, but all of them were even made so that you could feel sympathy for them, even if they came across as ruthless or villains at first.
The book switched between the present, where the four girls, Sawyer, Lily, Sadie-Grace, and Campbell were all in a jail cell; and the past starting when Sawyer first was brought into the midst of all this intrigue and wealthy people. The present portions are kind of told from the viewpoint of one of the police officers, Mackie. Like him, I spent the book reading to find out just which of the felonious actions the girls made landed them in that cell. When you find out just how it happened, it is a little bit surprising and comical.
While this may be my first time with the author, I have had her books in my library for my students to check out. Not only will I be adding this one with budget money, I will now be able to personally recommend her books based on my own enjoyment of them. I look forward to reading more from Jennifer Lynn Barnes as well If you like a good mystery, and enjoy lots of twists and turns to keep you on the edge of your seat as you read, this is the next book you need to pick up!