Monday, September 13, 2010

Where the Truth Lies by Jessica Warman

Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Walker Books for Young Readers (September 28, 2010)

Book summary: On the surface, Emily Meckler leads the perfect life. She has three best friends, two loving parents, and the ideal setup at the Connecticut prep school where her father is the headmaster. But Emily also suffers from devastating nightmares about fire and water, and nobody knows why. Then the enigmatic Del Sugar enters her life, and Emily is immediately swept away—but her passionate relationship with Del is just the first of many things that aren't quite what they seem in Emily's life. As the lies she's been told start to unravel, Emily must set out to discover the truth regarding her nightmare; on a journey that will lead her to question everything she thought she knew about love, family, and her own idyllic past.

My review: Reading Where the Truth Lies reminded me of looking at pictures. Do you ever see a shot where the people in it look almost perfect and you wonder, is what you're seeing real ? This book's cover depicts Emily walking away from the private boarding school she attends in the background. With her head down the shot really captured the feel of this story. Emily's the classic 'good girl': she does what is asked and what is required, either by her parents, teachers or friends. She suffers from horrible nightmares. For me the most important aspect of a contemporary novel is the main character's voice and Emily's really connected with me. Her life may be perfect but she knows it isn't. And when the charismatic Del Sugar transfers to her school, she takes notice, which only complicates things for her.

The new guy notices her too and Emily, suddenly throwing aside what she's supposed to do in favor of her feelings, begins to break the rules to spend time with him. Emily falls for Del and it's no wonder; Del is hot, is a definite rule breaker, and appears to care for her. Soon she's lying, conniving, even stealing, to keep Del in her life. But we know Del is hiding something and her life becomes complicated by a stirring mixture of events. Those nightmares also play an important role in this complex tale. 

There is a lot going on in this book (which I will keep spoiler free) and for the most part I was taken by all of it. Emily's journey was interesting and I enjoyed the surprise twists in the storyline. The ending was what I had hoped for all along (yeah! I like seeing true endings, not fake ones). Warman's writing is realistic and lyrical. Where the Truth Lies shows what happens when one young woman's life is complicated by the lies told by herself and by those who supposedly love her.  I liked how this book unraveled at a leisurely pace giving the story depth and left me feeling satisfied. Fans of contemporary YA fiction should definitely check this book out.

Rating: ++++

Favorite excerpt: From page 61, ARC edition.
     "I want to stay here with him all afternoon, to make him feel safe and happy. I've never felt this way with anyone until now.
     "I shouldn't be out here with you," I say.
     He laughs. "Too late."
     "People will talk about us." I think of Max and Hillary earlier in Winchester. "They already are."
     "Oh yeah?" What will they say?" And he takes his fingertip and brushes it over my eyelids so that they fall closed.
     "They'll say we're going to get into trouble." I can feel his face close to mine, his breath against my cheek. "Are we?"
     "Yes," he tells me. "That's the plan."

Cover comment: I really like it.

Book source: Good Golly Miss Holly book tours

Reviewed by: Laurie

1 comment:

  1. This sounds awesome and exactly like something I'd really enjoy. Thanks for your review! :)