[ARC REVIEW] ‘Lies You Never Told Me’ By: Jennifer Donaldson

Official Synopsis:

Gabe and Elyse have never met. But they both have something to hide.

Quiet, shy Elyse can’t believe it when she’s cast as the lead in her Portland high school’s production of Romeo and Juliet. Her best friend, Brynn, is usually the star, and Elyse isn’t sure she’s up to the task. But when someone at rehearsals starts to catch her eye–someone she knows she absolutely shouldn’t be with–she can’t help but be pulled into the spotlight.

Austin native Gabe is contemplating the unthinkable–breaking up with Sasha, his headstrong, popular girlfriend. She’s not going to let him slip through her fingers, though, and when rumors start to circulate around school, he knows she has the power to change his life forever.

Gabe and Elyse both make the mistake of falling for the wrong person, and falling hard. Told in parallel narratives, this twisty, shocking story shows how one bad choice can lead to a spiral of unforeseen consequences that not everyone will survive.


Rating: 5/5 Stars


A shocking, thrilling novel full of twists and turns, this book kept me guessing right up until the end.  The plot twist was so well done, I never saw in coming.  In hindsight, I probably should have, but I didn’t.  I kept waiting and waiting for the two points of view to come together, because it felt as though I was reading two separate books up until the last 40 pages or so, but the twist was ridiculously well done.  As soon as it clicked, I literally gasped, that’s how good it was.

The novel is told from two points of view, Gabe and Elyse.  That’s all I can say about that, without giving anything away.  All throughout the book I was struggling to find the connection between the two views.  I knew that Gabe’s had to take place around the time of the present because of the mention of Snapchat.  Granted, that app has been around for years, but I only recently jumped on the bandwagon, so it feels new to me.  I assumed that both views were going on simultaneously, and only about halfway through the novel did I realize that there had been no actual evidence to support that, so I thought that Elyse’s view might be from a time more in the past than Gabe’s.  My theories ranged far and wide, even thinking that maybe Elyse was one of the other character’s moms in Gabe’s POV.  I know that sounds far fetched, but I was grasping for straws over here, people.

Gabe and Sasha.  Where do I begin.  Obviously, Sasha is a total psychopath, so she’s a wild card throughout the book.  Definitely creepy all the way around.  She’s smart, conniving, manipulative–mean girl on steroids with violent and dangerous tendencies.  (Because that’s always a great combination.  Said no one ever.). How their relationship played out through the book was interesting, and kept my attention.

The next portion of this review is going to talk about two of the characters, and you might consider it a spoiler.  The vibes were given super early on in the book, and made pretty obvious, but I thought that I would include a disclaimer anyway.  If you do decide to read this book, you’ll see what I mean.

I could tell early on that something was going to happen between Elyse and Aiden, and since it’s made to be pretty obvious quite early on, like I said, I don’t really consider mentioning it a spoiler.  It sucked, because obviously I knew it was weird and messed up, but the writing was soooo good.  So good.  Even though I knew that them starting any type of relationship was messed up, as did Elyse, I couldn’t help but find myself rooting for them.  Mostly when the shift between her calling him ‘Mr. Hunter’ and then by his first name, ‘Aiden’.  It made him seem younger, and made the age difference less noticeable.  Doesn’t make the situation any less weird, but it made it easier to get inside Elyse’s head and understand her transformation better.

Overall, this book was good throughout, and then it became great once all of the pieces were put together.  It’s because of how the two stories get connected that I gave this book a five star rating.  Do yourself a favor and go read this book.  I don’t normally read thrillers (I know I’ve reviewed a few recently, but I swear I don’t.), and I definitely haven’t read many teen thrillers, but this one read better than all of the other adult ones that I’ve read.  This book will be released at the end of May.

Connect with the author!

You can follow Jennifer Donaldson on Twitter at @jdonaldson_lies !




Barnes & Noble

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