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Tell Me Lies, Sweet Little Lies

Two Truths and a Lie: A Lying Game Novel by Sara Shepard

It's one thing to accept the fact that your twin's best friend's brother is also your twin's killer when he has run away and you've never known him, let alone met him; it's a whole different matter, however, to confront your twin's murderer in her dark bedroom, alone, late at night. When Emma - still posing as Sutton - sees Thayer Vega for the first time, he's agitated and hostile, desperate and menacing. Even after Thayer's arrested for breaking and entering into the Mercer home, Emma can't relax. Nobody knows that her sister is dead, so no one is investigating Thayer for her murder. Even though she and Ethan continue their own search for the truth, Emma faces pressure from Sutton's friends to help clear Thayer, from Sutton's parents for some honesty, and from the police for what they suspect was her nefarious contributions to Thayer's disappearance and subsequent return and arrest. Piled on top of all this stress, Emma still senses that someone is following her, Laurel and Mads are angry with her for what they believe her role was in Thayer's legal trouble, and the members of the lying game club are ready to orchestrate their next prank. The one bright spot in Emma's portrayal of Sutton is Ethan... though she's not quite sure what they are to one another, but this is quickly complicated even further when Ethan becomes Laurel's lying club target of choice. In Tucson just a month, and Emma's already plunging off a rocky cliff... or maybe that's what happened to Sutton.

So, why did the girl read Two Truth and a Lie? Why, to get to the next novel in the series, of course. Now, while this is obviously a facetious question and answer, there is some truth to it, too. Although her books entertain, Shepard certainly has a modus operandi when it comes to her writing style. Because of this, Two Truths and a Lie feels like one, big red herring - a fun one but a red herring nonetheless. This is because, no matter how guilty a suspect may look during the course of a novel, readers automatically know that everything supposedly proving his or her guilt is nothing but misunderstandings. By the end of the book, the suspect will be cleared and a new shadow of suspicion cast upon someone else. So, in Two Truths and a Lie's case, Thayer is never believable as Sutton's killer. While some facts are revealed in the course of trying to paint Thayer as the guilty party, much of the book is a runaround, a means to get to the next offering (and non-guilty suspect) in the series. Thankfully, it's an easy, quick read. Otherwise, it would be rather frustrating to devote a lot of one's time to something with little to no consequence. Furthermore, the schizo narrating style - from Emma to Sutton and then back again - is still less than desirable, and the girls' characterizations are really starting to become ridiculously polarizing, making them appear like caricatures and everyone else like fools for not realizing their obvious differences. While, granted, this is escapism reading material and not classic literature, at least make the destination somewhere enviable. Nobody wants to settle for Florida when they can go to the Riviera.

Two out of Five Stars

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January 2014


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