Author: Jessica Warman
Publisher: Walker Children's
Publish Date: August 21, 2012
Genre: YA, Mystery
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?
Alice and Rachel are identical twins. They’re not just any identical twins though. They are so very similar that even their aunt and uncle that raised them can’t definitively tell them apart. However, there are some key differences between them that lie beneath the surface. Rachel is quiet, pensive and studious, loving life in a simple anonymity. Alice, however, had a wild streak a mile wide. And when she disappears, Rachel seems to be the only one that senses something is off. It’s common for Alice to take off, but something sinister is lurking beneath the surface, and Rachel has to figure it out. There’s a dark mystery between the twins that is unraveling at the pace of runaway train.
This is the third book I’ve read from author, Jessica Warman, and I have to say that after her last book, Between, I was a bit scared to try it. I loved that book so very much that I was certain Beautiful Lies wouldn’t be able to measure up, and that always scares me. Twists and turns abound in this novel, setting the pace for a whirlwind mystery that you’ll think you understand, only to realize it’s nothing like you expected after all. With a breakneck speed, Beautiful Lies takes every single one of your preconceived notions, your character perceptions and your “understanding” and makes you reconsider it all. Equal parts mystery, anguish and spine-tingling suspense, you’re in for one heck of a ride.
Gosh, there were so many things that I loved about Beautiful Lies. Alice and Rachel, for one, were both well-rounded and powerful characters, each complete with their own backstories and this shared connection that sings throughout the novel. Equally impressive is the host of secondary characters that never seems to be too vast or cloying. This is also a fairly large novel, and mysteries can seem a bit daunting. Beautiful Lies, however, managed to weave this mystery throughout the entire book, and I never once knew who was responsible for Alice’s disappearance, or what was really happening. There is no real answer in any of the pages, as each clue we’re offered teases and taunts us in the wrong direction. It’s like the world of a madman, switching from one POV to the other with ease, but doing so cleverly enough to confuse and disorient you in the best possible way. The ending will hit you like a ton of bricks, throwing everything you thought you discovered to the wind, which is the way a good mystery should be. I will admit there were a few things that confused me, such as how Alice and Rachel could be so very connected, yet sneaky enough to hide things from one another. I also found myself confusing Alice and Rachel’s personalities every now and again, but I’m left wondering if the author wanted it that way to disorient the reader more.
I’m one of those readers that’s a glutton for the discombobulated, so Beautiful Lies worked for me despite its flaws. This is like a psychological maze, and you’re sure to be guessing throughout. I give this book a 4 out of 5, and I highly recommend it to the YA audience, especially those who enjoy the author’s work, as well as mysteries and psychological thrillers.
I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of this book.