Hello readers! Welcome to my stop on the Inkyard Press Fall 2021 YA Blog Tour for This Is Why We Lie by Gabriella Lepore! Thank you to Inkyard Press and the author for giving me the opportunity to be a part of this tour.
Title: This Is Why We Lie
Author: Gabriella Lepore
Genre: YA, Mystery/Thriller
Published: September 14th, 2021 (Inkyard Press)
Synopsis: Everyone in Gardiners Bay has a secret.
When Jenna Dallas and Adam Cole find Colleen O’Dell’s body floating off the shore of their coastal town, the community of Gardiners Bay is shaken. But even more shocking is the fact that her drowning was no accident.
Once Jenna’s best friend becomes a key suspect, Jenna starts to look for answers on her own. As she uncovers scandals inside Preston Prep School leading back to Rookwood reform school, she knows she needs Adam on her side.
As a student at Rookwood, Adam is used to getting judgmental looks, but now his friends are being investigated by the police. Adam will do whatever he can to keep them safe, even if that means trusting Jenna.
As lies unravel, the truth starts to blur. Only one thing is certain: somebody must take the fall.
Thank you to the publisher, Inkyard Press, and NetGalley for providing me with an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Jenna Dallas is near the beach at dawn, taking photos as she usually does when she hears a cry for help, only to discover that it is Adam Cole, who has found a body in the water – Colleen O’Dell, who attends the same school as Jenna. The coastal town is shocked by the news, especially after it becomes clear that this was no accidental drowning. Jenna and all her friends are interviewed by the police in light of this revelation and when her best friend, becomes a key suspect, Jenna is determined to get to the bottom of things. As she examines the possible suspects, she is increasingly certain that the boys at Rookwood Reform School, where Adam is also a student, know more than they are letting on. Adam, meanwhile, is just trying to finish up his time at Rookwood and when Jenna starts digging, he wants no part of the drama. But as his friends begin to be investigated, trusting Jenna to find the culprit might be the only way to keep them safe.
I love a good murder mystery, so I could hardly pass this one by when I’d been hearing about it since the beginning of the year! The pace of the narrative was well maintained throughout and the story was an intriguing one from start to end, so much so that I read the entire thing in one go! However, I felt that there wasn’t too much about this book that particularly stood out – much of it felt like it was a script I’d seen before, intermixed with a lot of high school drama. The inclusion of the police interview transcripts were a nice touch though, as they gave the perspective of the characters that don’t have POVs. I didn’t see the point of the flashbacks initially, but they turned out to be key to the mystery later on. I also liked that there were so many possible scenarios that kept popping up and it was really hard to pin down any one suspect from a reader’s angle.
As far as the characters go, Jenna and Adam were solid protagonists and their POVs were easy to follow, giving us insight into the two major groups of people surrounding the mystery. Adam was quite interesting as it was rather obvious that he was hiding something right away and the story leaves that thread hanging for a while. I was hoping to get more of a backstory for both him and Jenna and some of the side characters as well, because they show up very frequently. Unfortunately, character development was this book’s major weak point. I found it really hard to connect to any of them and the romance, although quite minimal felt very unnecessary and out of place. There simply wasn’t enough time in the story to allow for it.
The ending was quite unpredictable, and personally I thought that there weren’t enough hints at who was behind the whole thing, so a more drawn out reveal would have really helped. Overall, this was a quick and easy read, and an entertaining one too. I think this book would be a great choice if you’re in the mood for a mystery that’s not overly complex or for any reader who is new to the mystery genre.
This Is Why We Lie releases on September 14th, 2021.
About the Author
Gabriella Lepore is a YA author from South Wales in the United Kingdom. She lives in the countryside with her husband James and daughter Sophia. When she isn’t reading or writing, she can usually be found exploring the coastline. She enjoys cups of tea, bookstore coffee shops, stormy beaches, and autumn days.
Do you plan to read this book? Let me know in the comments below!