Lies You Never Told Me by Jennifer Donaldson

Lies You Never Told Me

Jennifer Donaldson

Told in parallel narratives, this twisty, shocking story shows how one bad choice can lead to a spiral of unforeseen consequences where not everyone will survive.

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"A compulsive page-turner with a shocking twist--get ready to stay up all night!" --Sara Shepard, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Pretty Little Liars

"This conversation-starting page-turner is...Fatal Attraction meets Big Little Lies." --Kirkus Reviews


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.


Advance Galley Reviews

Posted on www.bickeringbookreviews.com on 8/10/2018 Summary: Elyse lives in Portland and is the only child of a drug addict.  She is quiet and tries to hide in a crowd.  Her only savior is theater which her friend, Brynn, encouraged her to pursue.  When Elyse wins the coveted starring roll in the school play over Brynn a fracture begins in their friendship which leads Elyse down a path which involves her drama teacher and a terrible secret. Gabe lives in Texas and has two professional parents and a little sister that idolizes him.  Gabe also has a girlfriend, Sasha, who is starting to show signs of unstability.  When Gabe  breaks up with Sasha because of emerging feeling towards new transfer student Catherine Sasha begins a plot to destroy everything Gabe loves. Elyse and Gabe appear to have very separate lives but their stories are about to become entwined. Review: Oh, this book.  I love drama.  I am a big fan of over the top melodrama but it has to have a purpose.  "Lies You Never Told Me" just has drama for drama's sake.  Both Gabe and Elyse's storylines are melodramatic to a Lifetime movie point of melodrama.  If there is one over the top moment that you can think of it is in this book.  Kidnapping?  Yes!  Teacher/student affair? We got it!  A shoot out with two different and unrelated gunmen?  Yep, we've got that crazy, too!  The whole story moves from one over the top drama moment to the next with the characters reacting in the most soap opera way possible.  They are not real characters they are just stereotypes that react and it got old real fast.  Plus, every one of these over the top moments has the most obvious outcome.  I was able to guess every twist and turn chapters before it happened which made the book really disappointing and a little boring.  It is possible that some readers who just want a lot of action without substance will enjoy this book but sadly I need a little more plot with my drama.

This book was an incredible read. 5 stars

Incredible and masterful. Some novels stay with the reader and have such an impact on them with their excellent writing. Lies You Never Told Me is one of those novels. The most significant challenge this novel has is the fact that it is writing two stories here. There are two stories about two different characters with two different set of problems and lives in two very different places in the United States. These characters have nothing to do with one another, and yet they both fit together so perfectly. That is due to the tone of the novel. There is an overarching tone of the novel, a premise about toxic relationships, that covers both perspectives of the novel, bridging both together into one unifying story, even while both exist as separate entities. Moreover, it is incredible how the story functions because both characters are so different and come from very different types of lies. Gabe has no worry in the world; he has a happy home and a happy family whereas Elyse comes from a broken home with a parent who has just checked out. Their lives are so different, and yet, despite that, the reader is not distracted or pulled out of the story. It is clear that Donaldson put her heart into structuring this novel so that it flowed, moving between characters and telling each story to it’s fullest, developing the characters impeccably. Each persona is fully developed and grown out excellently, blossoming at the end and becoming better through everything they have learned and endured. However, the undeniably captivating part of this novel is how it broaches the subject of “toxic relationships.” They are not cut and dry and can look like any relationship. Gabe is in a relationship with a cheerleader and Elyse, well hers is much different, but both are dangerous. Both relationships function differently and in different ways. Moreover, it is essential for young readers, or any reader, to be able to identify what forms a toxic relationship, how does it become toxic. It is not always about controlling the other person; it is about manipulating the other person, about putting the person in precarious situations, about putting oneself first, and more. This novel explores all of those details and more. It’s essential for the reader to connect with the characters in this aspect because everyone should be in healthy, happy, and safe relationships, and to be able to identify the dangers of a bad one is paramount, to connect with the character and see the danger they don’t, that is what makes an impact. That is what makes the novel gripping and thought-provoking. The novel is amazing. While some of the characters are unlikable, and even some may make the reader gasp, there’s a connection between the reader and the story. It is a gripping novel that shifts between perspective beautifully without losing sight of the big picture and without losing sight of the story.

The synopsis sounded interesting and I was interested to see how the author was going to tell Gabe’s and Elyse’s story. The story is revealed through the POVs of Gabe and Elyse. Both are high school students, but they live in different parts of the US. Initially, I was more interested in Gabe’s POV, because it seemed a little more fast paced and dramatic than Elyse’s. But eventually, my interest in the entire book waned and I found myself skimming some parts. I had high hopes for this book, but it didn’t grab my attention like I thought it would. I was intrigued by the synopsis and was excited to read it. Maybe the reason for my lack of interest was more related to me just not being in the right mindset for this type of book rather than a criticism of the author’s writing or the story itself. I would be willing to read it again at a later time to see if my opinion changes, but unfortunately this is one of those books where once you know what the twist is, then it won’t be as intense or suspenseful. I will say that I did not predict the twist of the story, how the two storylines eventually overlap. But then again, the reason for that could be related to my lack of investment in the story.

What an incredible book! Loved it from beginning to end. I rate this book a 5 Star ??

This was an enjoyable YA thriller. I didn't realize it was YA when I picked it, but I'm still glad I did. It will need to have all the Trigger warning labels, but it was quite the trip. It was a quick read for me too, because I got invested in the two main characters so fast. I was shocked to read this was a first book for the author. I'll be looking for whatever is next from her.

YA thriller genre is sorely lacking, until Lies You Never Told Me hit the shelves. First lets start with this is a debut novel, its fantastic. This is a YA thriller, yet it feels fleshed out and carries depth unlike most. Jennifer Donaldson has saved this subset genre for me! Told from multiple point of views we follow several characters and the decisions they make, good and bad. Mostly bad. Even though the stories are not fully connected I couldn't help but be interested in them. The drama created was intense and kept you flipping pages. I was so anxious for the characters, so invested. So many questions, this wasn’t a neatly wrapped up story and I need more!

Gabe is a high school kid in Austin, Texas, a skateboarder, a good friend, a devoted brother of his Down syndrome little sister, who won the heart of a beautiful girl on the school's dance team. On the outside, the look like a happy couple. But Gabe has a secret. When he doesn't go along with whatever Sasha wants, she gets angry. And when she gets angry, she gets vindictive. So when Gabe breaks up with her and starts talking to Catherine, a quiet girl with a sassy sense of humor and an overly controlling father, it's clearly not going to go well.  Meanwhile, Elyse is in another part of Texas. She is being raised by her single mother, an opiod addict who has trouble paying the bills sometimes. Elyse works at a movie theater to help as well as going to school. And when the time comes for the auditions for Romeo and Juliet, she knows her best friend Brynn will get Juliet--she gets all the leads--but Elyse thinks she has a good shot at a smaller role. So when the new drama teacher casts her as Juliet, Elyse is ecstatic. She floats through rehearsals, making the role hers and enjoying the extra attention, even from the new drama teacher.  As Gabe and Elyse go through the school year, taking chances with their hearts, their parallel stories end up colliding in the craziest way. Their relationships take them to places they could never anticipate, and only through the secrets and lies they've had to live with are they able to find their truest loves.  Lies You Never Told Me is Jennifer Donaldson's latest offering in the hot YA thriller category, and it will take you on a ride that you won't soon forget. I didn't know much about it going in, and so the twists and turns I would normally be on the lookout for, I didn't see coming. I had no idea where the story was going, until the ending was right on top of me, and I got turned around in an instant. This thriller is a slow burn, each chapter building slowly, Gabe and Elyse taking turns telling their own stories, until the explosion at the end.  For that surprise ending, I will always be a fan of Lies You Never Told Me.  I really enjoyed this book. I liked the characters and could understand their situations. I liked how they were smart about their mistakes and honest with themselves about their relationships. The secrets and sacrifices of Gabe and Elyse show their strength and their choices show their true character. As their stories unfold in alternating chapters, Lies You Never Told Me unfolds like a rise. You just have to watch out for the thorns.  Galleys for Lies You Never Told Me were provided by Penguin through their First To Read program, with many thanks.

I’ll start by saying I didn’t realize this was technically a Young Adult thriller until a few chapters in. Yes, I knew the characters were in high school, but I once steered clear of YA thrillers. Many of them are not very well-written and lack real character depth. Jennifer Donaldson BLEW ME AWAY with her debut novel. The fact its her first published work is a tremendous feat given the success of this story. The story is a mix of a whirlwind of bad decisions by both Gabe and Elyse and the supporting characters. Most of the book, I felt like I was reading 2 different stories and I was fully engaged in both of them. I was cheering for them both while also following the psychological drama from them both. I wanted Elyse to stop her downward spiral and I wanted Gabe to just get away from Sasha for the love of all that’s good and holy. I wanted to tell the drama teacher to stay in his lane while wishing the mother would just be a mother to a child who needs some guidance for what she’s dealing with. But then the ending knocked me off the bed at 2am and questions are answered. Lies are revealed. And more questions arise. That is what makes a book great. This wasn’t a neatly wrapped up story with rainbows and butterflies at the end. This ending was a grueling battle and I didn’t want it to be over.

I really did not know how Elyse, Gabe, Catherine, and Sasha would come together. I adored Gabe as he was a sweet character who loved his sister. Catherine intrigued me. I struggled with Elyse but adored her best friend Brynn. I recommend going into the book blind as it is easy to spoil. Sasha scared me quite a bit. I feel that storyline highlighted how men have a hard time getting protection against female abusers. Much of this story pissed me off but it is designed to do exactly that, and was clearly the author’s intent. I don’t know if the book finished with reading discussion questions but I think it would be helpful if it did. A solid YA suspense for readers looking for a different YA book.

This was a quick read that kept me turning the pages. I was able to guess the plot twist pretty early on, so it was a bit of a letdown in the end since I was hoping to be surprised, but maybe I have just read too many of these types of books recently. I think this will be very popular!

Gabe's story had me interested from the first chapter and it just kept getting more and more interesting. There were so many puzzles to figure out. Who was the hit and run driver? Was it really Sasha messing with his life? What was going on with Catherine? Elyse's story was dull in comparison. I almost started skipping her chapters just so I could read more about what was happening with Gabe. But, I'm glad I stuck with both. There's a point in the book where Elyse's story really gets interesting. The book is amazing and I've already been recommending it to friends and family. I received a free advanced copy of this book from the First to Read in exchange for an honest review.

The writing style of LIES YOU NEVER TOLD ME definitely took some getting used to. Donaldson writes every other chapter from the view of one main character or the other (all the odd chapters from Gabe's, all the even chapters from Elyse's) and there were times where I wanted to read ahead several chapters in either one's story because I wanted so badly to know what was going to happen next to both of them (though I'm glad I didn't...resist the temptation...). The twists and turns are everywhere in this book; the issues dealt with cover almost every line of "abuse", from drug abuse to mental, physical and sexual abuse to narcissistic manipulation. Definitely see this being a big summer hit with the YA crowd.

A twisty, suspense thriller for the YA crowd. Better than I expected, and a good balance with shifting perspective between Gabe and Elyse. A great summer read for someone who likes Riverdale, Pretty Little Liars and other teen suspense.

Slow starts can make books difficult to stick with. This one was worth sticking to. The twist was everything.

Lies You Never Told Me had just enough suspense to keep it unpredictable, and there was a clever plot twist thrown in to make it worth the read. Much of the ironic beauty of this book is revealed through perspective. Everything changes depending upon whose eyes you see it through. Author Jennifer Donaldson parades her characters through all kinds of Fatal Attraction drama, but through the narrative, the reader discovers the truth behind the veil. I correctly guessed some of the ending, but was still surprised by how it all panned out.

I keep flipping back and forth with a rating for this book. 4 or 5? I've finally decided on a 4 because I didn't love *everything* about it. But that twist!!!! It was amazing. It was super fun to see my name in a book, this is only the second time! The only other time is The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler. I enjoyed the POVs. One is Gabe, a teen from Texas and the other is Elyse, a teen from Oregon. How do they make one story? There's so much I can't talk about but this book was such a great thriller!

I definitely was into the book. It was sensitive subject matter. And a unique premise for a YA story. I didn't realize the twist until the ending . I was stunned. Lies You Never Told Me is a timely depiction of emotional abuse. I liked Gabe's character more than Elyse but I understand how she was lead astray. Jennifer Donaldson is a powerful and impressive writer. I recognized the theme of acceptance. Bravo

This was a fantastic YA mystery/suspense book.  I don't see many YA mysteries out and about so I was thrilled to get to read this one.  This was definitely a page turner.  I am pretty sure I read this book in 24 hours; I just couldn't put it down! There is a HUGE twist at the end that I totally didn't see coming.  Highly recommend this one.

Following the perspective of two different high school students, Elyse and Gabe, this book tells the story of love, obsession, and all the teenage drama.  First, I will say that this book is easy to read and hard to put down.  The chapters are short and there was enough tension to make me keep reading.  The drama in this book is pretty crazy though, and not at all believable.  If you are able to deal with the unbelievability of the characters and the nutty situations the find themselves in, though, this is  pretty fun book to finish off in a few sittings.  I received a complimentary ARC of this book through BookishFirst in exchange for an honest review.

Though Lies You Never Told Me starts off a little slow and takes its time with introductions to the characters, Gabe and Elyse, it all pays off with a stunning twist and a captivating second half. Two stories are told in parallel--that of Elyse, a teenager in Portland, OR who has been cast as the lead in her high school theater production and for the first time is in the spotlight and who lives with her drug-addicted mother and of Gabe, a teenager in Austin, TX dealing with a psycho ex-girlfriend. I was more drawn to Elyse's story initially; its more of the stereotypical thriller plot, but Gabe's character is one we rarely see in literature and that is given a voice--a Hispanic teenager with loving, well-off parents and a sister with Down's syndrome. The side relationships in this novel also are captivating--from Gabe's relationship with his sister, Vivi, and his friends, Caleb and Irene, to Elyse's relationship with her mom and her best friend, Brynn. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and would recommend it to others. Thank you to FirstToRead for my free advance reader's galley.

Elyse and Gabe have never met but are tied by destiny. They tell the story of their lives in parallel narratives, sharing their secrets little by little. Elyse is entering a forbidden relationship and may be repeating her mother's footsteps. Gabe finally realizes that the relationship he is in may be more dangerous than he thought. Each will have to decide if the path they are on is the right one or beginning a new one is work their lives. Pro: Gabe and Elyse are enduring characters and it was a pleasurable experience to get to know them. I did like hat Gabe was not the Hispanic kid from the wrong side of the tracks who is dating the popular girl. Yet, he comes from a wealthy and educated family who loves him, with a sister who has a developmental disability adds to the dimensions of his story... This is a character that does not get told as a protagonist much in contemporary literature. Elyse as well does not come from a typical family background. Her mother is an addict and must be an adult faster than she should. It was interesting to see how stories unfold. The tempo of the story is a steady unfolding. At the start, it is a little hard to move along with because of the missing connection between both characters. I was constantly guessing who the had done what and how the stories were connected. Con: The character development is a little shallow throughout the whole book. I had wanted a little more depth into the characters, the story would have been more well rounded. Elyse and the strained relationship with her mother’s addiction could have been explained more. As well as Gabe's family life and heritage compared to his girlfriends. The plot twist was interesting at the end but it took away from what the book could have expanded on and explored. Throughout the whole time, I just had a why these two question and it frustrated me a bit that it took so long to connect. More could have been done to make the plot twist not so predictable or give another twist that could have enhanced the plot.

Wow! What a read! Gabe and Elyse are completely realistic characters with an engaging story. Who would have realized their lives would intersect the way they did? What an amazing thriller. Filled with twists and turns you don't realize are happening until you are halfway through them. I will be keeping Jennifer Donaldson on my must read list!

I didn't know what to expect going into this book, and while I was left surprised, I ultimately did not enjoy Lies You Never Told Me. I thought the twist in the book was really good. I didn't see it coming and it really put previous events into perspective. However, I thought the pacing of the book was too fast. Things just seemed to happen and there was little development. Also, some events where so unbelievable it was frustrating.

Elyse and Gabe have difficult decisions to make, ones that will leave lasting repercussions that they could hardly foresee coming. Elyse, used to playing the supporting role, finally has the spotlight on her. She's the new lead in her school's production of Romeo & Juliet and may just be the new lead in her drama teacher's life, as well. Gabe has a great family, great friends, and a great spot in the popular crowd thanks to his relationship status with one of the most popular girls in school. But when her possessiveness and controlling behaviors become too much, Gabe has to decide if he wants to end things for good. When he's captivated by Catherine, the new girl in town who saves him after a hit-and-run, his decision becomes a bit easier. But his ex-girlfriend isn't going to let him go so easily, and she's determined to make him hers forever, even if it destroys him and everyone he cares about in the process. For Elyse and Gabe, what was once love has turned into deadly obsessions with dire consequences that readers will never see coming. This book had me on edge from start to finish! Lies You Never Told Me has the type of drama that's meant for the big screen, and I wouldn't be surprised to see a movie or TV adaptation. Gabe's and Elyse's stories will captivate readers so much that they won't even wonder how they fit together until it's right in front of their eyes. It's been a long time since I've read a mystery/thriller whose plot I couldn't guess, so I am indebted to author Jennifer Donaldson. The surprises just kept coming, the tense moments never let up, the plot was fast-paced, and the weaving of the two stories will leave you breathless. I cannot wait to purchase this title for my high school students and I plan on recommending it to all of my adult friends. I hate the term "unputdownable", but this book truly fits the bill!

While the beginning was a bit sluggish for me to get into, I’m glad I continued reading! I wanted to find out how our two main characters, Gabe and Elyse, were connected by these stories. Full of realistic characters and heavy situations such as a parent who struggles with addiction, a sibling with Down syndrome as well as manipulation and emotionally abusive relationships. The twist at the end is great fun!

Lies You Never Told Me is a gripping psychological thriller! A scandalous mind blowing book about mind games!! I was hooked from the beginning! I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough! Elyse, who is not used to the spotlight, was cast as the lead in Romeo and Juliet, in her high school play. Her best friend is Brynn is usually the one in the spotlight! She meets Gabe, who she knows is totally wrong for her! Gabe and Elyse both end up falling for the wrong person!! That one bad choice can lead to horrible consequences!! This book has some crazy twists and turns! It will stay in your head long after you are done reading this book!! If you love crazy twisted books, then I would definitely recommend this book for you! You won’t be disappointed!! I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own

The story was slow paced to start but once you get into it.. It takes you for a great journey filed with suspense and thrill that will have to wanting to finish it just to find out who these characters really are. We are told 2 separate stories that will eventually blend together as one. Gabriel Jimenez the high school boy who is dating the popular, bossy and controlling Sasha. Breaking up with her sets off a series of events that has him defending himself and protecting the ones he loves and care about. Elyse McCormick the girl that has had a rough life with an addicted mother who has checked out more times than she can count. She and her best friend Brynn join the cast for Romeo and Juliet. Elyse is getting the attention that she never did before and she eventually falls someone who is off limits and forbidden. Although the story was eventually easy to figure out it still made for a great read with the twists and turns of young and forbidden love with the twists of a suspenseful thriller.

Once I got far enough into the book, I couldn't put the book down. I thought the story was engaging, but I had a couple of issues with some of the characters and the tone that they brought to the story. Some of the plot points were stereotypical, so it made the story over all fall a little flat for me.

This book takes me back. Both of our main characters, Gabe and Elyse, are in high school (cue emo music). Their stories are told in a parallel narrative which I loved. Each time I shifted from one to the other, I was left in suspense but also enthralled in the others characters story. I could not put it down. High school is a trying time, add romance to the mix and bad things are bound to happen.

I wasn't sure what to expect with this book but it didn't disappoint. While a few parts did seem kind of stereotypical, I thought the story as a whole was good. I never saw the twist coming at the end, either. I would definitely recommend this book.

3.5 stars. Young Adult thriller. The writing is pretty spectacular. The words flowed flawlessly in Lies You Never Told me. We follow the lives of two teens Gabe and Elyse told in both their point of views. As you get to know their story it is clear that their lives become more and more out of the ordinary. I enjoyed the drama, the instability and the suspense. It culminated perfectly. I couldn't wait until everything exploded all over the page. I had so many theories floating around in my head. I couldn't wait to find out what exactly was going on. To keep this review honest, I was underwhelmed with the big plot twist. I figured it all out way to quickly, and that disappointed me. I wanted another shoe to drop, and I wanted pure shock to come out of nowhere. I felt cheated on the big, "I didn't see that coming at all" finish. I am no expert with the Young Adult Thriller, yet, if I needed to recommend a suspenseful age appropriate thriller on the spot, it most certainly would be Lies You Never Told. I read it almost in one sitting.

Contemporary romance; romantic suspense; thriller. Young Adult/New Adult. Even though both main characters are teens, there are really adult situations going on, so I have put this age between YA/NA. Dual-POV. Two stories happening in parallel narratives. One is happening in Austin, the other in Portland. Stand-alone. (Hopefully it will have a sequel.) Addictiveness: Highly addictive. It grabbed me before the end of the first paragraph and it kept me on the edge of my seat until the end. A romantic thriller!!! Character: hero 4/5, heroine 4/5, secondary characters 5/5, growth 5/5, real 5/5 I love them both. They were both easy to love, connect and understand. Gabe is a high school student in Austin. He is a Chicano dating a white girl that lets her steamroll him all the time. Gabe was a bit of doormat until he finds his backbone. After that, the craziest things happened in his life. There was a lot for a teen to deal with. He did pretty well. He was a good guy, with his heart in the right place. Of course he had his too-stupid-to-live moment, but we have to take in consideration that he was a 17-year-old boy. Elyse is a high school student in Portland. She is part of the theater crowd and she has just gotten the role of her life as Shakespeare’s Juliet. She has had a tough life taking care of herself and her mom. She used to be an invisible until this important role at the school play. Elyse’s choices were not the best, in fact, I believe they were worst than Gabe. At the same time, she is only 16 years old and was a victim, even without knowing. I liked her, even though I’ve cringed a lot with her choices. Both characters are multidimensional with a lot of depth. There are several secondary characters that I also loved. Gabe and Elyse’s best-friends were great. They were loyal and true. Freshness: ONE-OF-A-KIND! Really, this book is unique, different. Plot: believable 4/5, conflict 5/5, dialogue 5/5, ending 4/5, enjoyment 5/5, opening 4/5, pace 5/5, setting 5/5, subplots 5/5, twists 5/5 Great opening and good ending. Amazing conflict and dialogues very well written . Fast-paced with enough suspense to keep the reader guessing until the end. Even though I knew from the beginning how their lives would intersect, it was amazing. The plot is different and thrilling. I kept trying to guess and cringe every time they acted as teenagers and did something wrong. ?? I’ve yelled and mumbled while reading this book and my family, specially my teens kept shaking their heads as if I was crazy. ?? (Only readers can understand how cathartic reading a book can be) Romance: believable 5/5, chemistry 3/5, description 4/5, development 4/5, steam 1.5/5 Yes! This was unusual. Really, they had so much going against them, each character inside a crazy relationship, that the end was perfect, even though shocking!!! Writing Style: Amazing writing. Well constructed characters, unique plot and shocking ending. Cover: art 3.5/5, title 5/5, subtitle 4/5, color-font 5/5, buy 3.5/5 I’m obsessed with book covers. I love to find snippets of the stories within the art. This is not a great art for me, but at the same time it is catching. I love the title and the color/font used here. I was attracted to it, so I think that maybe I would have bought this without reading the blurb. I’m shocked. I did some research on the author and found out this is her début novel. WOW! This was so good already, I can see how amazing her books will become in the future. I’m counting this is going to become a huge success and that Ms. Donaldson will write a sequel to this book. I really need one!!! 29/35 STARS – 4 STARS (between 28 stars and 31 stars) Addictiveness: 4.5 Character: 4.5 Cover: 3.5 Freshness: 5 Plot: 4 Romance: 3.5 Writing Style: 4 Action 3/5 Angst 4/5 Darkness 0/5 Humor 0/5 Romance 5/5 Suspense/Mystery 4/5 Would I recommend? Yes. An amazing début!!! Would I re-read this book? YES! Would I re-read this series? Hopefully it will become one, or at least a duet. Would I read more from the author? I’m looking forward to it. You MAY read this because you like thrillers; you SHOULD read this because you enjoy angst romance; you MUST read this because you are looking for a new author to crush on!!!

'Lies You Never Told Me' By Jennifer Donaldson is an exploration into the heartache that ensues in our lives because of the choices that we make. Although this novel is YA, it is not at all juvenile.This tale is an important glimpse into the lives of two teens, and unfolds through their voices.The novel flips back and fourth between the two, which makes it super fast paced, and compulsively readable.The story, in all its heartbreak and tragedy, focuses on the consequences and tragic outcomes of the countless decisions they make throughout the course of the story in their search for love, family, friendship, acceptance, a bright future, and an escape from the painful chapters in life; that we all find ourselves desperately trying to move on from. Unfortunately, positive outcomes in these life endeavors are never a guarantee, especially when the future hangs in the balance of misplaced trust.When the illusions of the smoke and mirrors have finally cleared, life in rubble and ruin is what is left. Donaldson's novel is a cautionary tale of how what we think we want and dream of, is often vastly different than what fate has in store.How the harsh, cruel realization that the price paid for these dreams, decisions, choices, actions, mistakes, or even lack of experience, can be all too high.In many instances, like those in the book, painfully and regretfully irreversible.Utterly unfixable in the worst of ways, leaving only the aching desire to turn back time.The twist inhabiting these pages swiftly and brilliantly, changes the dynamic of the novel altogether. It reveals that even in the midst of tragedy and heartache, fate can be an extraordinary friend.This book is highly relatable, vividly human, wholey tragic, partly cruel, intriguingly deep, at times bittersweet, and in a sense terrifyingly real. Jennifer Donaldson also did an amazing job of weaving in one of societys most brutal, most crucial, and most deadly of current events. It really is helpful to people when the things happening in their lives are represented and/or acknowledged. Especially in the form of literature, since some of the things that help us, we carry with us, or are a huge comfort to us (in one way or another), are the things that make us relatable and understood; and are a definitive part of what we read, mainly, a story we love.100% recommended to everyone.'Lies You Never Told Me', is like a shocking slow motion trainwreck, and is a thrill ride that should not be missed!

I have to admit that I enjoyed this more than I thought I would. I received a e-galley of this book through First to Read. I requested it simply because it's YA, which is rarely included in Penguin's First to Read program but is the majority of what I normally read. It's probably because I don't normally read thrillers or suspense novels that I really didn't have many problems with this. Yes, they were pretty much stock characters but it was an engaging read that I looked forward to picking back up every night (which is more than I can say for other First to Read copies I've received). I'm usually good at figuring out what the twist of a book is pretty early but it took me a while to catch on to this one, probably because there was a mistake (that I hope was caught before the final draft comes out) where one character is in Texas and the novel says another one makes her way to California but then they end up meeting. ??? Like I said, I'm sure that was just a mistake and that was the only continuity issue I picked out but it did take me out of the story for a second. Other than that, I enjoyed this!

This was pretty stereotypical, from the characters to the storyline. There was one twist, but it felt like more of a stumble than a full twist. I wish the book had been a little less obvious about what was happening - and had wound the two stories together a little more.

Jennifer Donaldson's Lies You Never Told Me has officially brought my reading slump to an end, and I couldn't be happier. To put it simply, this book is WILD! It's suspenseful, action packed, and the perfect amount of creepy. Reading this book during the day was one of the best choices I made because I think I would've been scared of my own shadow if I had read it at night. There were some truly chill-inducing moments contained! Lies You Never Told Me features two POVs - Elyse and Gabe. I thought Jennifer did a fantastic job of switching between them. She always ended the chapters at the most perfect moments. There were so many times, I was like "Wait, I need more!!" only to be switched to Elyse's POV or Gabe's POV, which made me read this book even faster! I also found Elyse and Gabe easy to like. While they made some truly horrible decisions over the course of Lies You Never Told Me, I still wanted nothing but the best for them. I wanted Elyse to see that happiness and freedom shouldn't come at the cost of alienating the ones closest to you, and I wanted Gabe to find his voice again, to take control rather than cave to his ex-girlfriend's stalker-like actions. I also appreciated that there were so many fun, lovable side characters introduced. I loved getting to know Gabe's and Elyse's best friends and families, and I especially loved seeing such positive, loving friendships! Gabe's and Elyse's friends would do anything for them. When Lies You Never Told Me begins Gabe and Elyse appear to be in different parts of the country; however, as the book progressed and the action built up, it made me feel as if they were closer than we were lead to believe. While I did accurately predict the big twist, I still found the reveal to be exciting and well done. I was still fully shook. Plus I just love when I correctly call a plot twist! It makes me feel like a super sleuth. While the romance did give a slight insta-love feel, I wasn't too bothered by it. I found the connection to be believable, and I loved the Romeo-and-Juliet feel that came with it. Perfect for fans of Pretty Little Liars and the The Truth Beneath the Lies, Lies You Never Told Me is an exhilarating debut; however, if you're anything like me, be sure you block out a few hours to read it. Trust me, you'll NEED to know what's next - so much in fact that you'll be considering canceling all your plans. I know I was!

Something must have gone wrong with the download, every other page was missing. From what I could read, it was interesting and I enjoyed how the two characters got together. Pretty good for a young adult book.

It was interesting how the story was told from two different viewpoints. I enjoyed the book even though I am not a “young adult.”

I honestly didn't know what to expect from Lies You Never Told Me by Jennifer Donaldson, and I must say I was pleasantly surprised. The book starts more like diary entries for high schoolers Elyse and Gabe but gradually shifts into a thriller that leaves you wondering how these two teens from Portland and Houston, respectively, are connected. Although I suspected most of the major plot twists before being confirmed in the narratives, I still enjoyed each page and wanted to know how it all played out.

I couldn't put this book down - literally, I read about 85% in one sitting. The book starts with seemingly normal high school students who begin to get pulled into the orbit of really unstable people, and what starts as low-grade dread and unease builds slowly and steadily throughout the book with each bad decision. It's this gradual amping up, along with the realistic details of the characters' lives, that makes the explosive ending seem a bit less out-there and somewhat in the realm of possibility. I do think that everything was wrapped up a bit too quickly and conveniently for the two protagonists, but overall this was a really good read.

Gabe and Elyse are brought together by coincidental circumstances. Elyse has made some chioces she is trying to escape and by doing so she manages to run into Gabe. A true Romeo and Juliet tale with a twist.

I was pleasantly surprised by this book. The plot was engrossing and I found myself yelling at the characters like I would for an old horror movie where you can clearly see the danger coming even if they don't notice it. I loved the twists and the mystery and had a lot of fun reading this. That said, the characters did feel a little off. This might be because I am too far removed to related to them or it may be that they were unrealistic. Overall a great book though that I struggled to put down.

I wasn't quite sure where this one was going when I first jumped into it. Gabe's story is interesting, if not a little frightening. He's in a relationship that he is clearly not in charge of and his girlfriend is a little scary. She's manipulative and scary in a very Gone Girl for teenagers kind of way. Elyse's narrative is a little different. Her life and sad and she falls for the wrong person. Things get crazy from their. When Gabe breaks up with Sasha an starts dating someone else, Sasha loses it. Things go from bad to worse for Gabe just as Elyse's life starts to blow up in her face. I can't say much without spoiling it, but I liked the way that the stories were told and how they finally came together. The twist was good, and I appreciated the suspense that the author provided us with. Both Gabe and Elyse are interesting characters who think that what they are doing is the right thing. Whether it's for themselves or for their family, they feel like their actions are justified. This was good. Nice and twisty and a little creepy.

This is a story about two teenagers that live in different states. They don't know each other and are talking about their lives. Gabe is in a relationship with a psycho and Elyse is about to enter a relationship with someone that is taboo. As we go through the book there is no link but slowly there becomes a link between the two. Very good transition to get together.

I really love that this book was told from two different viewpoints. I could not guess who was who until towards the very end. I was extremely drawn to the way this author writes and will definitely be reading more from her in the future and will be recommending this book. What a ride! Thanks for the ARC, First to Read.

Lies You Never Told Me is told from two different points of view, Gabe and Elyse. Gabe lives in Texas whose girlfriend is making him unsettled and after getting hit my a car starts to fall for somebody else. Elyse who lives in Oregon and just got the lead role in her school production of Romeo and Juliet and she is starting to fall for the wrong person. This sounded like it was going to be a great read and I was really looking forward to reading it. Upon completing this book I realized that my expectations were to high. For me this book really dragged on and was quite boring. This year I have been reading book with the same twist ending so I felt like I seen it coming from a mile away and when it finally did happen I was underwhelmed. The characters all seemed a little bratty and annoyed me very much. This is not a book that I would recommend and I wish I saved my time by not reading it.

4 stars. Wow, was surprised and shocked how this turned out. So many "oh no" moments. Elyse high school student in Portland Oregon taking care of her drug addicted mom, job, school and lead as Juliet in Romeo and Juliet Play. Gabe, a high school student in Austin, Texas who is in a relationship with a sexy "mean" girl, who he realizes too late is very unstable. Book goes back and forth between the two telling their separate tales and you wonder how are they going to be tied together and the story definitely doesn't disappoint. You have Elyse a vunerable teen and a older guy she trusts and falls for. Is he a predator, is she naive and dumb. Gabe across the country sees a new shy girl at school and feels compelled to seek her out. Who is Catherine and why is she so fearful of her dad. What is her tale and why has she moved around a lot. Lots of surprises.

2.5 stars I feel a little conflicted over this even though this should be a relatively straightforward review. There's something about this book that made me not like it as much as I could have, and it's not something concrete like writing style or a specific plot element. It's more like I have this uncomfortable feeling when I think about this, if that makes any sense. I think this lies within Elyse and her relationship with her teacher, but parts with Sasha also make me uncomfortable. This is all my own opinion, but I feel like I got the wrong vibes with regards to the treatment & portrayal of women in this book. The thing between Elyse and her teacher isn't technically pedophilia because of how she's not prepubescent, but it was very manipulative and is something that isn't right as he's around twice her age. Obviously this shouldn't be condoned and it's talked about at the end of the book by some of the characters, but it also felt like Donaldson was using this manipulative relationship as a plot device and I didn't like this. Of course you can write about large age gap manipulative relationships as a plot, but this didn't feel like a plot, but rather a plot device. It's part of the bigger picture and although telling this story is almost half the book's content, it's also something that leads to the big #SHOOK moment. I wished that there was more commentary on why this is something that isn't right besides the fact that the guy turns into a bad person. Even if he stayed nice to her, it's not something that's really connect as he is taking advantage of a minor. (If she was of age, it would be different.) It kind of gave off the vibe that if the guy remained nice, then all of this would have been hunky dory, which it is not. (Also, she gets really jealous of her perfectly nice best friend who she accuses of trying to steal her role in the play and I wish there was more making-up between them in the end of the book.) With regards to Gabe's plotline, I also felt uncomfortable with how women were portrayed in this storyline. There's two main women in his life--Catherine, the demure, sweet girl that Gabe has a crush on because she's nice and quiet and nothing like his ex-girlfriend, and Sasha, the psychotic ex-girlfriend who does a lot of bad things and comes off as unhinged and frames Gabe and is a complete antagonist in the whole story. I wish there was more complexity to each of them because although we get reveals about who Catherine is, it also felt like Catherine and Sasha were both complete stereotypes and didn't really have any complexities beyond their stereotype (especially Sasha). For the whole story, Sasha was an antagonist and she was that evil bitch of a mentally unstable ex-girlfriend that you don't want. I wish there was more to her character because she felt so simplistic in being an antagonist. What I did like in this book was how suspenseful it was and the way the storylines intersected was really cool, but it also felt like it was telling something that had happened and then revealing how it all fits together, rather than being there as things happen. Overall, I think this had potential to be a really strong read, but I wish there were more openly powerful and stereotype defying women in the novel. It was paced nicely and a super easy read, though. These are all my own personal opinions and it's just that the vibes I got didn't really flow for me. If you read it, this book might translate completely differently for you, but in the way I interpreted it, there were things that I thought needed a little work. I probably wouldn't recommend this if you're looking for a psychological thriller.

I did not realize this book had a teacher-student relationship. If I had, I would have never requested it. I just cannot read books with this in it—it’s an automatic DNF every time.

Although this didn’t completely blow my mind, Lies You Never Told Me was an extremely readable and entertaining book. Told from the two perspectives of Gabe and Elyse, this story unfolds as we see through the eyes of each of them every other chapter. After completing just the first two chapters, both storylines had my interest and I was curious to see how they would connect. I had a few guesses, one of which took the lead fairly early on and ultimately was correct. Even though this made for a predictable read, it didn’t detract from an overall enjoyable reading experience. Donaldson’s writing style worked really well for this suspense driven novel. Lies You Never Told Me deals with some tough subjects focusing on different kinds of toxic relationships, but it was written in such a way that it was difficult to put down. The plot was nicely constructed and moved along at a fast clip. But the characters weren’t quite as developed as I would have liked; they could have used some fine tuning to make their actions more believable. I did really enjoy the smattering of pop culture references, though, including Gilmore Girls! Despite a few issues, Lies You Never Told Me was an enjoyable read. I’d recommend this to fans of young adult suspense.

Well, this was a surprise. The whole book was a surprise just like the secrets and lies held within, all the way until the end. I feel like it’s one of those books that’s going to fly under the radar and it shouldn’t. Debut author Jennifer Donaldson has written a very cleverly crafted young adult mystery/thriller that for a good portion of it, reads like a contemporary novel, and is told through with the voices of two main characters, Gabe and Elyse, who seem to live very separate lives. There are also two other main characters central to the story, Catherine and Sasha. Gabe is a young Hispanic skater boy who tries to break up with a very possessive, but popular, high school girl called Sasha, and she is making it be known that she is not happy about this. He has a six year old sister Vivi, with special needs, who he cares very much for, and is close with his family. Elyse, on the other hand, lives a very different sort of life. She has basically fended for herself for years, even paying the household bills with jobs while she has been in high school; her mother is addicted to opiates and spends most of the time out of it lying on the couch. She has come to rely on nobody but herself, and doesn’t expect anything good of the world. Which is why, when she gets chosen for the lead in Romeo and Juliet, she can’t believe she has got the part over her best friend Brynn, but soon is swept off her feet by the school drama teacher, Mr. Hunter. I generally try not to guess endings of stories, and I’m not one to skip ahead, so, at least for me, this novel cleverly gives you one wallop over the head when you realize what the big twist is at the end. I can not say one thing more, lest I give anything away, but this is one clever book and had me engaged entirely. There are some big topics involved here too - scary exes with major infatuation problems, and teacher-student relationships, not to mention addiction issues - but the two running storylines are excellently written and don’t rap you over the head with the morality stick (you get to think about those afterwards). I hope this gets picked up by a good lot of people who enjoy thrillers with a side of romance (there’s a lot of ‘sweet’ to go with the ‘salty’), and it’s super smart. I’d be on the lookout for what Jennifer Donaldson writes next because I believe there are a lot more phenomenal books in her yet.

I loved this book. This book alternate chapters between 2 characters, Elyse and Gabe. Both 16 year old kids in 2 different states. Their lives are so different yet so the same. I read this book in one day. I couldn't put it down. I loved the way the characters were developed and how the story progressed. When it was over it left me wishing the book was longer just so I had more to read. I didn't want it to be over.

Hoooooly cow! This book is full of heart-pounding suspense and gut-wrenching twists that just keep coming. The double narrative style is perfection. In hindsight, I especially appreciate the fact that Elyse is cast as Juliet in her school's production of Romeo and Juliet. Another character says the play is full of dumb people making dumb decisions, and while I wouldn't say the book's characters are dumb, the author's choice of play is definitely a reflection of the story at large - naiveté and blissful hope incite a string of poor decisions and deceit that inevitably come coming crashing down in the face of reality.

Lies You Never Told Me was a page turner. I liked how the story went back and forth between Elyse in Portland and Gabe in Austin. Their lives were very different yet kind of the same. Elyse is a 16-year-old who decides to go out of her comfort zone and audition for the school play. She has a junkie for a Mom who can’t keep a job and can’t keep off the stuff so Elyse has had to grow up young and try to keep them in an apartment. Then there is Gabe who lives in Austin. Gabe’s girlfriend is very popular and she knows it. She controls him and is very jealous if he even spends time with his down syndrome sister Vivi. Sasha thinks Gabe should be with him all the time. She isn’t nice to any of her friends either. She is the true queen bee of the school. As Gabe and Elyse make choices that change their lives, the story ramps up even more, pushing the reader on a journey where you are scared for one character and want to reach in and slap sense into the other. (I don’t want to give anything away about the choices because it will give too much away and I would rather people find out themselves, trust me, they are big.) This was such a fantastic story. I’m so glad I read it. I hope other people enjoy Lies You Never Told Me as much as I did.

Wow! I love this book! I loved the parallel narratives. The characters were great. You might love them or hate them, but you know them. This book was like two stories in one. I couldn't stop reading. I couldn't wait to find out what happened next. This book is very suspenseful. It has love, jealousy, teenage drama, and a lot of things I won't mention. I would recommend this book.

Told through the eyes of Gabe and Elyse, Lies You Never Told Me alternates chapters in their views to align their lives together. Elyse has made the lead in the school play, and while her best friend Brynn has given her grief, thinking the part should have been hers instead, Elyse takes the role and runs with it. Her drama teacher, Mr. Hunter has taken quite the interest in her, perhaps too much of an interest. Gabe has had enough of his girlfriend Sasha, the popular girl with all the snark, she rules his life and he's unhappy. But breaking up with her might just cause more problems than staying together with her. Donaldson has done a superb job of creating a suspenseful story in Lies You Never Told Me. Just when I thought I was onto the plot, she threw the readers for a massive loop. It's a fast-paced, impossible to put down read that is sure to leave you on the edge of your seat with your jaw dropped with each new twist.

This books tells the tale of 2 teens in alternating chapters- Gabe in Austin, TX and Elyse in Portland, OR. The author was able to genuinely capture the characters' voices to convey a life in high school. The complicated relationships that the teens face make this an compelling tale and the surprise ending makes it all gratifying for readers of all ages. Thanks to First to Read- Penguin Books USA for the free copy of this book.

I read this story every chance I got to catch up on the lives of Gabe and Elyse. As I read I kept trying to figure out where these two people were going to invade each others lives. When It happened I realized I should have known. Although, I had an inkling I hadn't guessed. I really hate trying to figure it out. I like to be surprised. Kudos to Jennifer Donaldson. Great story.

This book was very interesting and easy to get into from the beginnning and only got better as it progressed. Its a YA novel so of course theres going to be some teenage drama, and yes, some of it will make you roll you eyes and wonder why certain characters are so phsyco but overall the plot line and twists were very intruging and satisfying to read. This book switches perspectives between to seemingly unconnected characters. First theres Gabe who is dating a super controlling girl and he eventually decides to break things off with her. She doesn't handle rejection well and goes through great lengths to black mail him into continuing their relationship. Then theres Elyse. After being cast as the lead in the school play, her life takes a positive spin until she catches the eye of someone and a forbidden romance begins to bud. This book will draw you in with little snippets of Gabe and Elyse's lives as you watch them navigate through their unwise relationships and make common mistakes. Its an easy and enoyable read that I found myself flying through. Overall great writing, characters and premise which the author really it home with the ending. Would recommend for anyone who really loves a good YA novel that has a bit of teen drama.

This book is definitely earning it's way onto my top 100 YA books to read. There's a romance that takes time to cultivate instead of happening instantly, a plot that I never would have guessed myself, and characters that make stupid, young mistakes that make them real-- no chosen one trope here. Jennifer Donaldson took all of those tropes you grow to loathe as a reviewer and shattered them to pieces, coming out with a work that is refreshingly imaginative.

Elyse isn't sure if she's up for the task of playing Juliet in her high school play of Romeo and Juliet. Her best friend, Brynn, is the one with more experience in the spotlight. But when someone shows he believes in her, Elyse gets caught up in a web of secrets and lies that could have horrifying consequences. Gabe wants to break up with his high school girlfriend, a controlling and manipulative girl named Sasha. But she's not going to let him go without a fight. This is a story of obsession and the lengths people will go to in order to get what they want. Despite being able to figure out early on where the story was headed, this was still a "can't put it down" type read. To me that's the sign of a good book, you pretty much know what's going to happen but you still want to see it all play out. I thought the author did a good job with the back and forth narration between Elyse and Gabe. The story had a good flow and never felt disjointed when switching to a different character. The only real criticism I have is I wasn't a huge fan of Sasha and her story line. At times it really made me question the plausibility of some of her actions. Overall though, this was a good read and I definitely recommend if you like young adult fiction. Thanks to First to Read for the advance digital copy!

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.

Sadly due to my bluefire readers spinning wheel of death I could not finish this book. I tried to download the other recommended apps but since I had already downloaded the book on to bluefire the duplication error appeared. YA is a fave genre of mine and after reading the reviews I am very sad I never got to read it. But will definitely be picking it up when it is released to the public. Hopefully with my next download I will have better luck and get to read and enjoy the book.

Lies You Never Told Me by Jennifer Donaldson is a brilliant YA novel. It was a quick and enjoyable read making it difficult to put down. The Story is told in alternating perspectives of the protagonists. So many unexpected twist and turns that demonstrate some of the hard consequences of decisions made by individuals. I would highly recommend this novel. Thank you to First to Read for the advance copy.

WOW! This is a great YA fiction book which I loved. I could not put this book down and I did not see the ending coming! Chapters alternate back and forth between the main characters. It does deal with some very mature topics, which I would take into consideration when recommending this book to a teenager. Some individuals maybe turned off by teacher/student relationship and I almost stopped reading the book at that point but decided to give it a shot. I am glad I continued to read. It really brings to forefront the baggage many students bring with them to school on a daily basis and how vulnerable they are.

*I received a copy via First To Read in exchange for an honest review* Definitely a book I would recommend. I figured out what was happening pretty early on but still wanted to finish the book. I enjoyed Gabe, Elyse, and Catherine but Sasha was a miss for m especially after the second half of the book. Some of her actions were a little unbelievable. There was also a tad bit of insta love but overall a solid read with some nice twists. I would check out more from Jennifer Donaldson.

I loved this book and read it in 2 days. It was definitely an easy read, but the characters sucked me in. I could not wait to see how the 2 stories would intersect, and I did not see it coming. Great book!

What a great read! It was a slow start and at first I wasn’t sure about this one, but so glad I kept on going because it did not disappoint. Great ending, just loved this one. Thanks so much to Fist to Read for my ARC, I throughly enjoyed this one.

Rating: 3.5 Stars If I had rated this book halfway through, I would have given it 1.5 stars. It started so slowly, and although I read a lot of YA, this felt like very young YA. Very teen angst, with a heavy dose of roll your eyes drama. However, without going into spoilers, the plot picked up, and once it got going I was absorbed enough to devour the second half of the book in just a couple hours. I did figure out the twist before the reveal, but it was a good one, and original enough to be interesting. The characters were a bit overdrawn in some places, coming off almost as caricatures, and there were a couple things (with Sasha in particular) that felt both like a reach for the character and trivial in context (it felt a bit forced to make the Sasha plot line competitive with others). But those issues felt small overall and didn't ruin my enjoyment of the book.

***Thank you to First to Read for providing me a complimentary copy of LIES YOU NEVER TOLD ME by Jennifer Donaldson in exchange for my honest review.*** 3.5 STARS In Oregon, Elyse lands the part of Juliet in her school play while beginning a dangerous relationship. In Texas Gabe’s ex girlfriend doesn’t want to let him go. And she’s willing to stoop to crime to get him back. These teens stories come together in a deadly conclusion. Almost from the beginning, I knew how Elyse and Gabe’s lives would ultimately connect, most readers will. That didn’t keep me from being glued to LIES YOU NEVER TOLD ME, caring about both characters and rooting for their lives to work out. Donaldson switches first person points of view between chapters end each with cliffhangers that kept me interested until the end. The characters are interesting, albeit not fully fleshed and the minor characters were tropes. Still, I cared and couldn’t put down LIES YOU NEVER TOLD ME as a fun reading experience.

I loved the twists and turns this book took, however, I have to admit that I had a hard time connecting with the characters. I enjoyed the story, but the characters got on my nerves and I often found myself wishing that the dialogue between them was less. Still, it was an amazing story and I didn't see the end coming.

 


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