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Little Lies Paperback – November 16, 2020

4.6 out of 5 stars 2,254 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Helena Hunting takes your breath and your heart with equal force in this incredible, important novel. We all have a little bit of Lavender in us, and this book celebrates that. This book is a hug and a lesson, as well as a hell of a ride" ~ Debra Anastasia, Amazing author
 
"H. Hunting delivers what must be the most beautifully written, and certainly emotional New Adult books of the year. Kodiak and Lavender's story is going to slay you. Two soulmates with the ability to both destroy and build each other, this friends-to-enemies-to-lovers romance is not to be missed. This is the beginning of a new era, and I am so here for the ride. Fans of NA cannot afford to miss out on that one." - LJ Shen, USA Today bestselling author
 
"Helena brings all the angst and all the emotion in this beautifully written, character-driven romance about independence, healing, and the redemptive power of soul-deep love. Absolutely stunning and a must read!" Siobhan Davis, USA Today bestselling author

"You'll feel the angst Helena brings in this book deep in your soul."
~ author Alley Ciz

"Little Lies is an unforgettable and brilliant love story between two characters who have suffered so much! H. Hunting pens a heartbreaking tale that leaves readers absolutely breathless from beginning to end. One of her best books yet!" - Stacey Lynn, author
 
"While this is unlike her romcoms in almost every way, this is Hunting at her best. It's like every single road we've taken from reading all of her previous books has lead us here, to this moment, with this beautiful and emotion-filled story." ~ Caryn, iam.caryn
 
"Little Lies by Helena Hunting writing is H. Hunting is a 5 Star, Top Pick, Book Hangover inducing read... a book that had me trying to force myself to read slowly so that I could savor every word... a book that has me wishing I can just say READ THIS BOOK in shouty caps and every reader would."  ~ Denise Shh Moms Reading

"There is such beauty in this angst and suffering, as Hunting puts her characters on the path to healing and self-actualization."
~ Lauren, Goodreads reviewer
 
"What makes the story exceptional and a must read is that Helena introduces us to characters who deal with mental health issues. She shows the complexities and difficulties of families who deal with traumatic situations. She shows how love can lead people to make wrong choices in the name of protection, but readers all get to see that love, familial and romantic, can heal."  ~ Sarah, Musings of the Modern Belle
 
"I've read every single one of Hunting's books and can say, unequivocally, this is her best work . . . it's worth every moment of pain and anguish." ~ Jenn, Garden of REden
 
"Their love story is a tale about fighting demons, self-reliance, redemption and forgiveness. And I loved every second of this unique and moving journey." ~ Weronika, Little Steamy Reads
 
"With Little Lies H. Hunting has created a beautiful new adult book that is rich in character and substance with a story that will have you in tears one moment and then swept up by the romance that was always meant to be." ~ Kate, A Grand Romance
 
"It's not easy to love. And it's not easy to overcome traumatic experiences. Helena did not write a book about privileged children. She wrote about the fears, hard truths and growing pains of young adults. A fantastic beginning, middle and end." ~ Deborah, Goodreads reviewer
 
"This was one unforgettable, unputdownable and utterly brilliant new adult romance achieving something better than perfection." ~ PP's Bookshelf
 
"This book was heartbreakingly beautiful." ~ Jaime, Goodreads reviewer
 
"This is the kind of love you wish for. One without judgement, with trust, compassion, longing. Soulmates isn't even a strong enough word." ~@Booksandprime
 
"From the heartbreaking prologue to the most amazing epilogue, Little Lies is, hands down, one of the best books I've read this year!" ~ Goodreads reviewer 
 
"Simply spectacular." ~ Crystal, Goodreads Reviewer

Always the perfect gift

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Helena Hunting (November 16, 2020)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 337 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1989185142
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1989185148
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 13.6 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.5 x 0.75 x 8.5 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 2,254 ratings

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Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5
2,254 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on November 20, 2020
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2.0 out of 5 stars Such a let down
By venicelivin on November 20, 2020
I have absolutely adored most of Helena Hunting’s other books, from her Pucked through All In series, and was beyond excited to read Little Lies. I’m talking countdown to release day level of excitement. …and well, I guess this is a lesson for me about building my expectations too high, because dayyyuummmm, I haven’t felt a hype train derail and then crash and burn this hard since the final season of Game of Thrones.

I have SO MANY QUESTIONS, but as it’s currently riding the diehard fan-5 stars-can do no wrong wave in every online book group, I don’t know where to have an HONEST discussion about this book. Thus, the second half of my review will be in-depth spoilers, so don’t read past the dotted line if you haven’t read the book yet.

NON-SPOILER REVIEW:

All the other reviews explore what’s great about this book in depth, so here’s a quick overview of what I did enjoy:

• It did have a unique narrative that explored anxiety / OCD in a way that was uncharacteristic of and refreshing in this genre.
• Lavender – it’s been said repeatedly in the other reviews – but she was just fascinating (at the beginning).
• Violet – I was thrilled to see a toned down, less neurotic version of her character, on par with how she was written in Pucked – with more intelligence, empathy, and seriousness – which was a welcome change from how one-dimensional and ditzy she became later in the series.
• Rook and Lainey – seeing what incredible parents they were and how they struggled to do what they thought was best for Kodiak.
• Next Gen Friend/Fam circle – such a lovable and multifaceted group of people whose stories beg to be told. Quinn in particular was fascinating to me. He seems to have struggles similar to Lances’, and I hope his story gets written one day.

-------------------------------
SPOILERS BELOW

I can’t lie – I feel completely let down by how poorly developed most of this story was after it was marketed as being the most “angsty, heart-wrenching, beautiful love story.” For me, it was absolutely none of those things, and most of the plot felt like a scattered mess of narrative allusions that never materialized.

Let me explain:

1) FIRST RULE IN CREATIVE WRITING – SHOW, DON’T TELL

Unfortunately, Hunting fails to follow this rule for most of the book. I don’t know if this is due to the Indie Romance author trend of keeping books at about 300 pages, but the brevity of key scenes was extremely detrimental to building the reader’s connection to these pivotal moments and characters themselves. Thus, instead of the reader feel immersed in what was happening on the page, all you are left feeling is a confused dissatisfied sense of “that’s it?!??!?”

2) WHERE WAS THE PROMISED GUT WRENCHING, HEART BREAKING ANGST??

Nothing in this book felt all that angsty to me, because the aftermath of every traumatic moment where the angst, longing, or heartbreak would be, was never shown, just talked about later.

IN FACT, MOST OF THE PROMISED ANGST HAPPENS IN THE PAST OFF-PAGE, SO THERE’S NO EMOTIONAL CONNECTION TO IT FOR THE READER.

There are only snippets of stories from these times jammed into random conversations later (like learning about Kodiak’s tattoo), that just felt like clunky, out of place clues that we were just supposed to beeellliiieeeevvveee were heartbreaking.

OKAY, that all was annoying, but the hero had to be absolutely AMAZING after all this "soulmates" buildup, right????? Right??

3) NOPE! KODIAK WAS DISAPPOINTEDLY UNDERDEVELOPED AS A CHARACTER

I don't mind me some bully redemption/secret love tropes, and Kodiak had all the makings for being an absolutely AMAZING hero in this story. BUT, NO. What made me the most upset with how Hunting wrote him, was that she focused so much time and attention on fleshing out Lavender’s character, and then merely drew Kodiak as a stark line sketch, lacking any color or texture.

• In the chapters with Kodiak’s POV --> very little was explored about himself that didn’t relate to Lavender – not hockey, not his passions, not his friendships really, not with his “best friend” Mav.

• Other characters talked about his natural talent with hockey and school --> but neither were really shown or explained from his POV. In fact, there was only one scene of him actually playing hockey and the focus was on Lav attending the game. C’mon, it’s supposedly his 2nd love after Lav! What did he love about hockey or school? What made him a genius besides just getting straight A’s?

• SIGHHH… And a petty gripe, but what was with the discrepancy between Kodiak’s black hair as described in the book and the cover model’s blonde hair??? Why hire a graphic designer to make such a gorgeous cover and then not ask them to Photoshop the correct hair color on your hero?!? Seriously, I did the edit in the attached photo on my phone in about 10 seconds...

Other reviews have mentioned that Kodiak totally flipped from being a broody alpha to a demure, spineless husk of a boy-child after he admits his love for Lav, and I fully agree. He seemed to lose his own voice and let Lavender do all the talking for him after that point, which defeated the whole purpose of their supposed character development.

Okay, all of this was maddening, but what about the ROMANCE you ask? The scenes between them once they get together must have been absolutely beautiful, right???

BIG NOPE!

4) THEIR PRESENT DAY RELATIONSHIP FELT RUSHED & THEIR LOVE SLIGHTLY UNBELIEVABLE

This brings me to my main frustration with this book: Hunting spent absolutely no time allowing Lavender and Kodiak to get to know each other again both before and after they reconciled.

Hunting relied too much on defaulting to the bond they had when they were children as being the heart of their love for each other in the present. They are young adults now and surely they have changed in ways that they need to learn about / experience with the other. It would have been more believable if they actually had meaningful interactions with each other in the present, that went beyond Kodiak being mean and Lav saying “I hate you,” for the thousandth time and then hiding in her room.

LACK OF CONVERSATIONS

There were so few conversations between Kody and Lav overall. In fact, there were so few conversations in the book between ANY OF THE CHARACTERS that didn’t revolve around the status of L & K’s relationship, or tired convos about puck bunnies that Hunting really needs to move past already. No casual shooting the shiznit, no talking about pop culture, no joking around like normal college kids do, no events to bond over.

KODIAK’S NON-REDEMPTION

Another thing that irked me greatly was that Lavender didn’t discover the clues of Kodiak’s love herself, but Hunting had other people feed them to her, in yet more TELLING, not SHOWING.

So cut to Kody finally breaking and confessing his love and BAM!, LAV MAGICALLY GROWS “LADY BALLS” more fitting of a 30 something dominatrix than a 19 year old girl with limited sexual experience, and here she is grinding on a dildo she taped to Kodiak’s lap, and then they are together at last!!! <<<BIG SIGH>>>

Kodiak DIDN'T DO ANYTHING to earn her love or trust back – as Hunting kept repeatedly saying he would in all the teasers.

There were so few scenes of them together as a couple beyond the boring diner scene where their friends and family’s reactions to them FINALLY getting together were completely anticlimactic. And then in more telling, not showing, their relationship is merely described as:

“We go out on dates, we study together, we hang out with friends. It’s a grown-up version of how we were when we were kids.”

How about explore their characters through one of those dates, send them on an adventure or even just have them talk about what they have been up to while apart, or just the normal banter that Hunting is usually stellar at writing and is where the wittiness and humor reside in her other books. But nothing...NO MAGIC whatsoever.

From the time Kodiak and Lavender had sex, I just wanted to throw the whole book away. There were more words devoted to Lavender’s obsession with Lucky Charms marshmallows, then there were words in all the conversations between her and Kodiak after they rekindled.

WHERE WAS THE ROMANCE??? WHERE WAS THE ANGST??? WHERE WAS KODIAK’S REDEMPTION???
Just so many little lies told about what this book would offer, but didn't and now I feel so let down.
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Sarah Dale
4.0 out of 5 stars 4.5 delicious stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 23, 2020
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Pamela Waddell
5.0 out of 5 stars Not so little!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 17, 2020
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Miss Gill
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant read.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 28, 2021
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CazT
5.0 out of 5 stars Book of the year, for me .
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 18, 2020
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Marian Chawner
5.0 out of 5 stars Tormented by events .
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 5, 2020
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