Saturday, December 15, 2018

Review: The Lies They Tell by Gillian French

Author: Gillian French
Publisher: HarperTeen
Date of publication: May 2018

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.

I really wanted to like The Lies They Tell.  The synopsis seemed interesting and like it might be a good mystery.  It involves the Garrison family who  all die in a fire except the oldest son, Tristan.  Pearl's father is blamed by everyone in town.  He was on guard duty that night at the mansion.  Pearl hates to see what is happening to her father and decides to try to solve the mystery on her own. To do this, she has to get close to the rich kids there for summer vacation.

I really didn't enjoy the book,   I finished it, but barely.  I was really bored throughout the bulk of the story.  It is on the short side, so I guess it had that going for it.  None of the characters were very likable.  Pearl was really dull and one dimensional.  There was conflict created with her best friend when there didn't need to be.  I didn't understand why Reese wouldn't just ask Pearl at the start what she was doing with the rich crowd.  It would have saved a lot of angst on that front.  There were a lot of rich kids constantly putting down the "townies".  That got old really fast.  None of the rich kids were likable either, even Bridges. I never believed any of his sincerity.  What really happened the night of the fire was easy to figure out.  Overall, it was pretty disappointing and I wouldn't' really recommend it.  


Jessica at Booked J said...

Aw, man! This is the second less than favorable review I've seen about this book which is unfortunate. I'm sorry it didn't connect with you! I am probably going to skip it myself.

SavingsInSeconds said...

Thanks for your honesty. I didn't like the last Gillian French book I read, so will probably skip this one.