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The Truth Beneath the Lies Hardcover – December 12, 2017
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From School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Kayla wants to escape her life with her former-addict mother in subsidized housing and her job at the grocery store. She wants out, despite the fact that she has managed to fit in fairly well with her dance team and a popular group at school. Betsy is terrified. She is starting over in a completely new town and is inexplicably tied to a cell phone she hides under her bed. These two stories are told in alternating chapters detailing Kayla's intensifying interest in and involvement with the mysterious disappearances of local girls, and Betsy's attempts to extricate herself from the terrifying man at the other end of the cell phone. Kayla's narrative reveals her history in foster care and her desire for an older, dangerous man as the mystery ramps up, while Betsy is convinced that the world around her is dangerous while she is trying to fit into her new environment. The dual narratives converge with the ultimate reveal about how Kayla and Betsy are connected. The prose is terse and overly dramatic in places, which fits the genre's trappings, but the big reveal is predictable and will be easily deduced by savvy readers. VERDICT Recommended for large high school library collections, especially those with a base of suspense/thriller fans who are not quite ready for Gone Girl.—Kate Olson, Bangor School District, WI
“A smart, suspenseful, and unpredictable thriller that will keep readers turning pages until every last lie is revealed.”—Karen M. McManus, New York Times bestselling author of One of Us Is Lying
"An intricately plotted thriller that's both gritty and engrossing." —Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"Told in dual POV with unreliable narrators and red herrings, this thrilling, fast-paced, and complex story will leave the reader questioning the truth until the very end."—Booklist
Top customer reviews
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Oh Amanda Searcy, I think I’ve fallen in love with you. You shredded my heart into a million pieces more than once during THE TRUTH BENEATH THE LIES. I even hated you for a chapter or two. But now that I’m finished, I immediately have to reread this masterpiece. Please drop everything you are doing write your next book very quickly.
Do NOT read too many reviews for THE TRUTH BENEATH THE LIES. You don’t want to be inadvertently spoiled by a clue to the mysteries of Betsy’s and Kayla’s lives. Each has very different reasons for her behavior. If you read the blurb, you know only one will survive. I knew which young woman I favored, if they couldn’t both live.
This isn’t my typical review, where I’d say more about the plot and characters, make social commentary. THE TRUTH BENEATH THE LIES is too good to ruin anything. Excuse me while I go back to weeping and sitting in stunned silence processing this marvel.
In another part of the country, Betsy is living a life of secrets. She claims to be from North Dakota, but some of her new friends are suspicious of her story. They have good reason, but Betsy's suspicious of some of them too--are they working for the man who's after her?
Initially it's unclear how Kayla and Betsy's worlds will come together, but the pieces eventually fall into place. As it all comes together, the plot gets a bit far-fetched. The story of Kayla and Betsy is intriguing, but the quick wrap-up doesn't give the conspiracy the treatment it deserves. The Kayla chapters needed to reveal the seediness of what Kayla was drawn into sooner and spend more time on the aftermath in order to make it clear just how high the stakes really were.
Whew! That was a wild ride, and I loved every second of it. Searcy did an incredible job setting the tone for this gritty mystery-thriller from the very first page, and she kept me in a constant state of anticipation from that point forward.
The book followed two girls, Kayla and Betsy, who were separated by geography, but shared a common goal - survival.
Kayla was trying to adjust to life back with her finally clean and sober mom. She was working a dead-end job as she kept her eyes on the prize, which was escaping her downtrodden life for a life with possibilities. Her POVs sort of broke my heart, because she lost so much, when she was returned to her mom. I admired her keep-your-head-up attitude, but my heart ached for all she could have had.
Betsy was more of a mystery. Taunted by the burner phone, and the person on the other end, who held her life in their hands, she was in a constant state of distress, always looking over her shoulder. My curiosity was piqued, and I had to keep reading in order to get some answers. Betsy's chapters were the ones that really got my heart pumping. Her harried mental state was well written, and her emotions and fear jumped off the page. There were times that her stress was so palpable, I found myself actually biting my nails.
I really enjoyed searching for the clues and assembling the truth of this story. My first objective was to figure out the connection between Kayla and Betsy, which I did. Then I needed some answers regarding the serial killer, and I was also right there (but it was very close to the end of the book). However, there were several major reveals that left my mouth slightly agape, as I just didn't see that part coming.
I really loved the ending, because Searcy did so many things right. She gave me answers. I don't think there were any loose ends by the last page of the book. She also gave me hope. Hope for Kayla and Betsy, and that is my one requirement when I read a darker book. I can walk on the dark side, as long as I am given some hope for the future of the characters, and Searcy definitely left me in a positive state.
Overall: A fantastic thriller, where Searcy masterfully wove Kayla and Betsy's lives together seamlessly, and left us piece after piece of this complex puzzle.
Most recent customer reviews
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publishing Date: December 12, 2017
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