Title: The Lies They Tell
Author: Gillian French
Genre: Young Adult, Thriller
Published: May 1, 2018
With shades of E. Lockhart’s We Were Liars and Gayle Forman’s I Was Here, this dark and twisted mystery will be the page-turner of the year.
Everyone in Tenney’s Harbor, Maine, knows about the Garrison tragedy. How an unexplained fire ravaged their house, killing four of the five family members. But what people don’t know is who did it. All fingers point at Pearl Haskins’s father, the town drunk, who was the caretaker of the property, but she just can’t believe it. Leave it to a town of rich people to blame “the help.”
With her disgraced father now trying to find work in between booze benders, Pearl’s future doesn’t hold much more than waiting tables at the local country club, where the wealthy come to flaunt their money and spread their gossip. This year, Tristan, the last surviving Garrison, and his group of affluent and arrogant friends have made a point of sitting in Pearl’s section. Though she’s repulsed by most of them, Tristan’s quiet sadness and somber demeanor have her rethinking her judgments. Befriending the boys could mean getting closer to the truth, clearing her father’s name, and giving Tristan the closure he seems to be searching for. But it could also trap Pearl in a sinister web of secrets, lies, and betrayals that, once untangled, will leave no life unchanged . . . if it doesn’t take hers first.
This is the first book I have read by the writer Gillian French. I loved the synopsis and cover of the book so I knew I had to read it. (Pretty covers are my weakness).
I started the book with high expectatations. The character development and world building was amazing. I liked the setting of the place where rich people come and stay for the summer. Gillian French has done an amazing job. She has painted perfect picture of the houses and lives of the townies and the country club where the summer boys love to hangout.
Pearl Haskin is the only child in a broken family. Her father is a drunken man. He works as a groundskeeper. He was on duty when one of the summer boy, Tristan’s family was shot in sleep and their house was set on fire. Only Tristan survived. The police couldn’t find the murderer. Because of this incident Pearl’s father couldn’t get anymore jobs and Pearl had work even harder so they could pay their bills.
She works at a country club as a waiteress. Her friend Reese also works there and she has a crush on him but he is more into another girl but treats Pearl as a good friend. However, the summer boys started taking interest in her and she started hanging out with them more.
She is intent on clearing the name of his father so he could get his job back. For that, she started to investigate the murder herself. What she found out wasn’t unexpected because somehow, I guessed what had happened and who murdered the family and I was proved right.
The ending was unsatisfying, though. I felt like the story was wrapped up abruptly. Everything happened so fast and yet felt so incomplete. Mainly because Pearl was left alone at the end. She was the center of attention for the summer boys and Reese and then there was no one there for her. I would have liked this story more if there was a happy ending to the story; if Pearl had found a love interest at the end.
On the cover, we see three boys standing by the shore and sparks of the fire. The color combination of black, white and red always works and looks pretty. The cover is perfect and reflects well to the story.
The story took pretty good time to develop and everything was so detailed. Unfortunately, I did not like reading it as much as I had expected I would. I struggled to finish it because I was intrigued to know if my guess was right. This book might not be one of my favorites but nontheless it might be good enough for mystery readers. If you like a slow-burning mystery novel, then you would definitely like this novel.
I recieved an e-ARC from Edelweiss and Harper Teen in exchange for an honest review.