Little White Lies (Debutantes #1)
"I'm not saying this is Sawyer's fault," the prim and proper one said delicately. "But."Eighteen-year-old auto mechanic Sawyer Taft did not expect her estranged grandmother to show up at her apartment door and offer her a six-figure contract to participate in debutante season. And she definitely never imagined she would accept. But when she realizes that immersing herself in her grandmother's "society" might mean discovering the answer to the biggest mystery of her life-her father's identity-she signs on the dotted line and braces herself for a year of makeovers, big dresses, bigger egos, and a whole lot of bless your heart. The one thing she doesn't expect to find is friendship, but as she's drawn into a group of debutantes with scandalous, dangerous secrets of their own, Sawyer quickly discovers that her family isn't the only mainstay of high society with skeletons in their closet. There are people in her grandmother's glittering world who are not what they appear, and no one wants Sawyer poking her nose into the past. As she navigates the twisted relationships between her new friends and their powerful parents, Sawyer's search for the truth about her own origins is just the beginning.Set in the world of debutante balls, grand estates and rolling green hills, Little White Lies combines a charming setting, a classic fish-out-of-water story, and the sort of layered mystery only author Jennifer Lynn Barnes can pull off.

Little White Lies (Debutantes #1) Details

TitleLittle White Lies (Debutantes #1)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseNov 6th, 2018
PublisherFreeform
ISBN-139781368014137
Rating
GenreYoung Adult, Contemporary, Mystery, Thriller, Mystery Thriller

Little White Lies (Debutantes #1) Review

  • Chelsea Humphrey
    January 1, 1970
    While this was a fun read, it could have easily been shaved down by 25%. The bloated nature gave it a feeling of dragging on, and I think the story could have benefitted from being a bit shorter to give it more of a taut feeling. That said, I adored Sawyer and her journey while being thrown into a world that makes her feel uncomfortable and a little bit like an outcast. This definitely felt like a standalone version of Pretty Little Liars, but much more tame and age appropriate for the younger s While this was a fun read, it could have easily been shaved down by 25%. The bloated nature gave it a feeling of dragging on, and I think the story could have benefitted from being a bit shorter to give it more of a taut feeling. That said, I adored Sawyer and her journey while being thrown into a world that makes her feel uncomfortable and a little bit like an outcast. This definitely felt like a standalone version of Pretty Little Liars, but much more tame and age appropriate for the younger side of the YA spectrum. And man, I can't wait to see what that cover looks like in person; it's simply gorgeous! *I received a review copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
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  • Cait • A Page with a View
    January 1, 1970
    This is totally like Gilmore Girls meets Gossip Girl! I sat on this review for a few months because my thoughts were all over the place... I had SO much fun with most of this book, but really can't deny that I was seriously underwhelmed by the end and kind of stopped caring. I think the main issue is that the story focused more on the mystery than the characters, but the stakes were nowhere near high enough to be taken so seriously. The "scandals" were really tame, weak and didn't warrant all th This is totally like Gilmore Girls meets Gossip Girl! I sat on this review for a few months because my thoughts were all over the place... I had SO much fun with most of this book, but really can't deny that I was seriously underwhelmed by the end and kind of stopped caring. I think the main issue is that the story focused more on the mystery than the characters, but the stakes were nowhere near high enough to be taken so seriously. The "scandals" were really tame, weak and didn't warrant all the buildup. I wasn't expecting anything too serious and just wanted a fun read, so I was super into the first half! I loved the idea of Sawyer's character — she's an auto mechanic who agrees to join her estranged grandmother's privileged world and become a debutante the summer after high school so she can afford college. The story jumps between the past & present where some unnamed girls have been arrested for unknown reasons and it's supposed to be all sorts of mysterious as that part of the story unfolds through the lens of a painfully incompetent cop. (Most of the characters were pretty bland and hard to pin down, but that guy was just irritating.) So the first half of the book was funny, endearing, and intriguing, but I think I needed to either have more character development or 100 pages cut out of the story. It just became a lot of watching people run around wondering stuff until i started to realize that the "bigger" thing that the story felt like it kept building up to in order to really get going was just... not going to happen. It was still a fun idea, though, and I genuinely did love the first half! It really did feel like a blend of Gossip Girl, Gilmore Girls, and a tame version of Pretty Little Liars.Thank you to the publisher for sending me an ARC.
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  • Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)
    January 1, 1970
    Definitely one of my favorites not only from this author but for the year as well! Full review to come closer to release date.*EDITED TO ADD REVIEW:4.5 Stars! became a huge Jennifer Lynn Barnes fan after reading her Naturals series and then even more so after her Fixer series so it was with little hesitation that I accepted a copy of her latest book. I knew that if anyone could blow me away with a good mystery in the YA genre, it would be her and I wasn't wrong at all. Sometimes you can pick up Definitely one of my favorites not only from this author but for the year as well! Full review to come closer to release date.*EDITED TO ADD REVIEW:4.5 Stars! became a huge Jennifer Lynn Barnes fan after reading her Naturals series and then even more so after her Fixer series so it was with little hesitation that I accepted a copy of her latest book. I knew that if anyone could blow me away with a good mystery in the YA genre, it would be her and I wasn't wrong at all. Sometimes you can pick up a book and within the very first few pages just know you are going to fall in love with the main character. That you are going to want to be there friend and know them and maybe even be them. That is the talent that Barnes has and that is exactly what happened to me, yet again, when I meet Sawyer. Fun, sassy, sarcastic, a little bit sweet and a while lot of fierce and determined, Sawyer was a character that I couldn't help but instantly like and want to know more about.Throwing this anything but sunshine and smiles girl into a world of fake compliments, even faker smiles and friendship, frilly dresses, and money galore, and you have one heck of a good setting and an even better story. One that will leave you eagerly turning the pages and soaking up every single fascinating ball, scavenger hunt, and elite event in a world that most have never experienced and only dream about. *ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*
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  • Fafa's Book Corner
    January 1, 1970
    Mini review:DNF I received this E-ARC via Disney Hyperion and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Jennifer Lynn Barnes is one off the many authors whose works' I have been trying to get into. Partly because of the heroine in The Fixer. I have come to accept that this isn't an author for me.What intrigued me was the synopsis. A mystery whilst taking place during a debutante? Sign me up! The beginning was interesting if a tab bit cringy. The first chapter did genuinely creep me out. The gr Mini review:DNF I received this E-ARC via Disney Hyperion and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Jennifer Lynn Barnes is one off the many authors whose works' I have been trying to get into. Partly because of the heroine in The Fixer. I have come to accept that this isn't an author for me.What intrigued me was the synopsis. A mystery whilst taking place during a debutante? Sign me up! The beginning was interesting if a tab bit cringy. The first chapter did genuinely creep me out. The grandmother's entrance was very dramatic and odd. I didn't care much for Sawyer either let alone any off the other characters.I did skim the end, and I have to give the author credit for that twist. But after that revelation I was certain that the book wasn't for me. I don't really get along with books that have a lot of scandals. And I'm really tired off the mind games all the characters pull.Overall this was a personal thing. I do really believe that other people will enjoy it more. Still recommend.
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  • mith
    January 1, 1970
    This was not what I expected.THERE'S A PLANNED SEQUEL GOD BLESS AND GOODBYE
  • Dianne
    January 1, 1970
    My rating: 4.5 Stars!The twenty-first century still has debutante balls? Do they still make white gloves? For $500,000, street-savvy Sawyer is about to find out about more than which fork to use when her long-lost grandmother, matriarch of a wealthy southern family makes her an offer she cannot refuse. Then again, Sawyer isn’t one to back down from a challenge, ever. Besides, it will give her the golden opportunity to find out who her father really is and why her mother left her grand estate for My rating: 4.5 Stars!The twenty-first century still has debutante balls? Do they still make white gloves? For $500,000, street-savvy Sawyer is about to find out about more than which fork to use when her long-lost grandmother, matriarch of a wealthy southern family makes her an offer she cannot refuse. Then again, Sawyer isn’t one to back down from a challenge, ever. Besides, it will give her the golden opportunity to find out who her father really is and why her mother left her grand estate for a rundown apartment on the other side of the tracks.What dirty little secrets hide behind the oh-so-proper gentile society her mother ran from? Are these debutantes as innocent as they seem? Sawyer is about to school them all in the reality of life and they are about to school her in the art of deception.Jennifer Lynn Barnes’s LITTLE WHITE LIES is a cleverly devious, charmingly witty young adult mystery about truth, lies, family and the fact that even those white gloves can get a little dirty!I fell in love with Sawyer’s quick wit, keen sense of survival and her ability not to lose herself in the glitz, glamor and facades of the upper crust! Her nemesis may have gone one threat too far and just maybe I wanted a couple of things clarified, but all in all, I loved it.Quirky, chaotic and filled with surprises, this is one heck of a twisted ride!I received a complimentary ARC edition from Disney Book Group!Publisher: Freeform (November 6, 2018)Publication Date: November 6, 2018Genre: YA Coming of Age | MysteryPrint Length: 400 pagesAvailable from: Amazon | Barnes & NobleFor Reviews, Giveaways, Fabulous Book News, follow: http://tometender.blogspot.com
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  • Joy Novel Thoughts
    January 1, 1970
    What a fun and exciting read! I was highly entertained and I never wanted the story to end!!Sawyer Taft's story was riveting and complex, but also an easy read with so many twists and turns that you never knew what would really be happening next! All of the girls in this group of debutantes had their own secrets, which thickened the plot even more.I personally love the idea of debutantes and I love a good murder mystery, even though Little White Lies didn't have any murder seeing the many myster What a fun and exciting read! I was highly entertained and I never wanted the story to end!!Sawyer Taft's story was riveting and complex, but also an easy read with so many twists and turns that you never knew what would really be happening next! All of the girls in this group of debutantes had their own secrets, which thickened the plot even more.I personally love the idea of debutantes and I love a good murder mystery, even though Little White Lies didn't have any murder seeing the many mysteries getting solved was just as enticing. All of the major plots were closed in Little White Lies, but one story was lined unresolved just enough that we are set up perfectly for another book to come to life and I'm truly hoping that we will in fact get more from these angry debs!Little White Lies is filled with revenge, discovery and lies. You don't know who Sawyer can trust, not her mother, her new friends or her grandmother and the rest of her new family. Little White Lies is riveting and I couldn't put it down. Open this story and watch it unfold before your eyes!
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  • Lisa
    January 1, 1970
    I think this book was about 100 pages too long. What starts off as an intriguing mystery devolved into a slightly less interesting family drama. I love this author, so I hoped to love this one, but I think her Naturals series is stronger.
  • Trianna
    January 1, 1970
    3.5/5I think my main problem with this story is that the characters are not super developed and the focus is on the plot. I tend to prefer character driven novels and wish we got to see more devolvement from these characters; they all seemed to have promise. But, since I did not have an emotional attachment to the characters, the stakes and the risks they undertake did not have me on the edge of my seat. There is a dual timeline thing going on. The mystery is revealed to us in various flashbacks 3.5/5I think my main problem with this story is that the characters are not super developed and the focus is on the plot. I tend to prefer character driven novels and wish we got to see more devolvement from these characters; they all seemed to have promise. But, since I did not have an emotional attachment to the characters, the stakes and the risks they undertake did not have me on the edge of my seat. There is a dual timeline thing going on. The mystery is revealed to us in various flashbacks. Although flashback makes them seem short. The present day sections are more like snippets. I did think this was interesting and did add to the intrigue of the mystery. The mystery itself was layered and the story went places I did not expect it to. The ending is abrupt and a little underwhelming, but I am hearing rumors of a sequel? I did enjoy this, some parts more than others, and might read book two if the premise seems interesting. If you like the “drama” of Southern Society with a touch of Pretty Little Liars, The Rebel Belle Trilogy, and Gilmore Girls, then I would recommend this to you. Plus, the cover is gorgeous. *Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review*
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  • Madison
    January 1, 1970
    I would usually steer away from books about Debutante balls and the drama that might accompany such events, but Little White Lies is written by Jennifer Lynn Barnes, so instead it became one of my most anticipated reads of 2018. And it did not disappoint. Only Barnes could create such a setting and accompany it with breathless tension and mystery, expertly combined with humour and good old insult-laden compliments. Sawyer Taft has never known who her father is - her mother refused to speak of hi I would usually steer away from books about Debutante balls and the drama that might accompany such events, but Little White Lies is written by Jennifer Lynn Barnes, so instead it became one of my most anticipated reads of 2018. And it did not disappoint. Only Barnes could create such a setting and accompany it with breathless tension and mystery, expertly combined with humour and good old insult-laden compliments. Sawyer Taft has never known who her father is - her mother refused to speak of him or the life she left behind. But when Sawyer’s maternal grandmother makes a sudden appearance, she promises both answers and a whole lot of money if Sawyer will agree to live with her for nine months and become a Debutante. While trying to find her own answers about her mother’s past and her unknown father, Sawyer becomes entangled in another mystery, all while juggling brunch, dress fittings, and the special kind of horror that is a spa day. Little White Lies is both a fun contemporary novel and a mystery. It took the majority of the book for me to figure out what on earth was going on in this story. What was the mystery about, how would it all play out? I knew there were clues along the way and things would slowly fit into place, but the big picture didn’t become clear until the very last part of the book. And that’s when my interest was really captured. That ‘ah ha’ moment was awesome, and the way it all fit so neatly together was clever, and very much Barnes’ style. Little While Lies carries Barnes’ signature writing style - classy, clever, witty and wholly unique. I instantly, instantly loved Sawyer. There is such a thing as love at first sight, or perhaps in this case it is love at first line, because when she threatens a rude customer with wire cutters and archaic torture methods I knew she and I would get along just fine. Her dry sense of humour is the perfect contrast to the sugar-sweetness of her new companions. The flow and tension of the story is helped with before and after sections, as well as artwork from a very interesting Tumblr page. The artwork was not included in my ARC but explanation of its inclusion is just one of the many clues that are revealed as the story unfolds. While I didn’t enjoy Little White Lies as much as I love Barnes’ The Naturals series, I know readers will love this mix of mystery and cotillion, secrets and ball gowns, devious plans and hairdos, opening Barnes’ writing to new and old fans alike.As to that ending, well, I even wrote to the publicity department to check that my copy is a complete and accurate representation of the final book. I never heard back and so I must assume that it is. Which means Little White Lies has one hell of an ending. Yet readers are still left with a sense of conclusion, even if they (as I am) will be desperate for the second book in what promises to be a very exciting, unique, and clever series. The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.Find more reviews, reading age guides, content advisory, and recommendations on my blog Madison's Library
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  • Michelle
    January 1, 1970
    Pub date: Nov 2018I love Ms. Barnes YA mysteries and this one is even better with awesome main character Sawyer Taft! Her deadpan humor and take no BS attitude while having to navigate her newly found Southern high society family is fun and addicting. While the mystery of her father’s identity is the driving force, the challenge of finding out what a fellow evil debutant is doing is just as interesting. Ahhhh- but what a cliffhanger! I’m convinced that my advanced copy was shorted by a couple of Pub date: Nov 2018I love Ms. Barnes YA mysteries and this one is even better with awesome main character Sawyer Taft! Her deadpan humor and take no BS attitude while having to navigate her newly found Southern high society family is fun and addicting. While the mystery of her father’s identity is the driving force, the challenge of finding out what a fellow evil debutant is doing is just as interesting. Ahhhh- but what a cliffhanger! I’m convinced that my advanced copy was shorted by a couple of pages...talk about evil. But it’s soooo good, it’s worth it. This doesn’t come out until late fall, but I couldn’t wait to read it, having read an excerpt in her last Naturals series ebook. Can’t wait for the next one! Fans of Ms. Barnes, Rachel Hawkins and Veronica Mars will love it too.
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  • Kristi Housman Confessions of a YA Reader
    January 1, 1970
    Little White Lies was a pleasant surprise for me.  I found it hard to put down and times.Sawyer lives with her mom who is hardly ever around.  But she makes do on her own.  Her mom got pregnant with her when she was a teenager and kicked out of her house.  Sawyer doesn't know much about her mom's past.  She knows that her family had money.  Her dad is someone that her mom won't tell her about.One day,  her grandmother, Lillian, shows up with an offer for Sawyer.  If she agrees to live with her f Little White Lies was a pleasant surprise for me.  I found it hard to put down and times.Sawyer lives with her mom who is hardly ever around.  But she makes do on her own.  Her mom got pregnant with her when she was a teenager and kicked out of her house.  Sawyer doesn't know much about her mom's past.  She knows that her family had money.  Her dad is someone that her mom won't tell her about.One day,  her grandmother, Lillian, shows up with an offer for Sawyer.  If she agrees to live with her for nine months and become a debutante, Sawyer will get half a million dollars to pay all her college and living expenses.  She also tells Sawyer that she can find out who her father is.  Sawyer's mom is away with a guy she just met, so she gives in.Things are so different there for her, but Sawyer does bond with her cousin, Lilly, and Lilly's best friend, Sadie Grace.  She also spends a lot of time with the Ames family.  Walker, Campbell, and their cousin, Boone.  Sawyer has her father narrowed down to four men and she could be siblings to any of these people.The book goes back and forth in time.  There are chapters that are current with the four girls being arrested, but the officer dealing with them has no idea why.  He also doesn't know who they are, the richest girls in the area with families of power.  The other chapters go through the months leading up to the ball.  Campbell is trouble and is blackmailing Lilly.  She also has secrets that she's keeping from everyone else.  They become her alibi and end up being involved in the plan towards the end.The girls are not the nicest people, but I ended up liking them anyway.  Especially Sadie Grace.  There were a lot of scandals and mysteries throughout the book.  The ending made me wonder if this will end up being a series.  If so, I would definitely pick up book two.Thank you to netgalley for sending me a copy for review.  I gave this one 4 stars and recommend it to anyone who liked Pretty Little Liars, Little Monster, or We Were Liars.
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  • Brenda Ayala
    January 1, 1970
    Little White Lies ended up being so much more fun than I expected! I imagined this would be more like The Selection, all fluff and idiotic behavior without any real substance. And it sort of started out like that, but then ended up being far more exciting (and unexpectedly wholesome) than I prepared for.The biggest draws for me were the female friendships. I thought it was going to be catty one upping each other, but that quickly faded into a fun but surprisingly serious romp through all kinds o Little White Lies ended up being so much more fun than I expected! I imagined this would be more like The Selection, all fluff and idiotic behavior without any real substance. And it sort of started out like that, but then ended up being far more exciting (and unexpectedly wholesome) than I prepared for.The biggest draws for me were the female friendships. I thought it was going to be catty one upping each other, but that quickly faded into a fun but surprisingly serious romp through all kinds of illegal activity. The debutante stuff wasn’t forefront either, which probably helped my rating a lot. I have no patience for incessant details about clothing or hair or decorations, so the quick descriptions by the author before returning to the plot was absolutely perfect.
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  • Alicia
    January 1, 1970
    I liked Sawyer as a character, an eighteen year old mechanic who has learned to do everything on her own because her mother was a teenaged mom not interested in truly caring for and loving her daughter. They've lived together and handled their business while she flits to jobs and men. Then enter grandma, who Sawyer has never known, there to make a deal. Sign a contract that guarantees plenty of money for life and college on the condition that she spend a year with the grandmother. This southern I liked Sawyer as a character, an eighteen year old mechanic who has learned to do everything on her own because her mother was a teenaged mom not interested in truly caring for and loving her daughter. They've lived together and handled their business while she flits to jobs and men. Then enter grandma, who Sawyer has never known, there to make a deal. Sign a contract that guarantees plenty of money for life and college on the condition that she spend a year with the grandmother. This southern style includes plenty of "bless your hearts" and debutantes until a darker mystery unravels-- who is Sawyer's father, who was really culpable for breaking up the family, and what will Sawyer do in the end? A bit of an uppity mystery / mean girls story that was fairly engaging even though this kind of book is not my type. Sawyer had a great voice.
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  • Beth Bryden-miller
    January 1, 1970
    Am I angry enough at the ending that I won't read the next book? Or am I curious enough about how Barnes will start the sequel to pick it up? Precise writing, decent character building (many characters and I can keep them apart in my mind), format improves the book with its flashback and increasing timeline. Not a huge fan of making the characters, especially Sawyer, good at all the things. Some convenient plot jumps.
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  • Claire (bookscoffeeandrepeat)
    January 1, 1970
    I tried to read The Naturals but I thought it was okay. I didn't really fell in love with the story especially its characters. I also tried to read The Fixer but it also wasn't for me. I don't know why it's still in my tbr. I suppose I wanted to give it another chance. Then one day, I was on netgalley and I found this title. The premise seemed interesting so I thought it would be a great opportunity to read this one. Maybe, just maybe, I might actually like this one. Out of all the author's book I tried to read The Naturals but I thought it was okay. I didn't really fell in love with the story especially its characters. I also tried to read The Fixer but it also wasn't for me. I don't know why it's still in my tbr. I suppose I wanted to give it another chance. Then one day, I was on netgalley and I found this title. The premise seemed interesting so I thought it would be a great opportunity to read this one. Maybe, just maybe, I might actually like this one. Out of all the author's books, I might actually like this one. But alas...This was the kind of book I would've put down before reaching the 50% mark but I wanted to finish reading the story so I kept reading anyway. My feelings toward the end didn't change, unfortunately. I was left feeling bored, unimpressed, and/or indifferent. However, I did like the main character, Sawyer. Little White Lies was like a mash between Gilmore Girls and (maybe) Gossip Girl but the result had been nondescript characters, a mundane story line, and flat plot twists. The worst part was that it’s obvious that there was going to be a build-up (supposed to excite and keep readers at the edge of their seats) BUT the build-up leading to the plot twists (with an -s) were pretty lame and the threat of the scandals were weak. The stakes weren’t as high compared to Gossip Girl so it wasn’t as gripping. The threat behind these secrets and scandals weren’t as compelling. I know it’s not like Gossip Girl but this is the book I’m comparing it to when it comes to scandals and secrets. In short, this book was seriously underwhelming.What I didn’t expect was the mystery. Besides finding out who was Sawyer’s father, the reader finds out a group of debutantes were in jail and the whole mystery was also finding out why and how it happened. Can I just say that the entrance of the wealthy grandma was also cringey? This is the present time in the storyline but it abruptly ends to make way for the past storyline. I didn’t like the pacing and/or the timeline the way it was written. I thought it disrupted the narrative, switching from the confused police’s POV to the MC’s POV. I think it was supposed to be humorous but it just wasn’t enough to keep me entertained. Eventually by the end of the book, the story returns to the present storyline.Overall, I was kind of annoyed. I might view this book differently if it had been in sequential order. And since this book contained nondescript characters, I found it difficult to tell them apart especially through the police’s POV. Now, I know that the police doesn’t know the main characters but the descriptions were bland (or kind of creepy). Like a grown adult thinking a 15 year old is gorgeous. I can’t help but stop to think why I was still reading this book.Even if I wasn’t fond of the story, I liked the main character’s humor. I think Sawyer made this book bearable for me to read despite the long and dragged out family mystery drama. Also, I thought it was completely unnecessary for Sawyer to describe old women like a breed of dog because of their hair. I thought that if a man had written this book, it might look problematic.The conclusion may leave readers wanting more from the story. However, if a sequel is in the future, I don’t think I’d be interested in reading it. Some readers who liked the author’s previous novels may find the other characters (especially Sawyer) endearing. Their little flaws make them even more likable. I would recommend this book to fans of the author’s previous works.**Huge thanks to the publisher for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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  • Lost in Book Land
    January 1, 1970
    I was super fortunate to get an ebook ARC copy of Little White Lies recently and I really enjoyed the story. This was a book that I saw before the cover came out and I was purely drawn in by the story idea. Then they announced the cover and I fell even more in love and I knew I needed to read it ASAP. The cover is drop dead gorgeous. If you have not seen it take a look at it on this page!SPOILERS AHEADNow before I jump in I do not want to give too much away because this book isn’t out for a bit I was super fortunate to get an ebook ARC copy of Little White Lies recently and I really enjoyed the story. This was a book that I saw before the cover came out and I was purely drawn in by the story idea. Then they announced the cover and I fell even more in love and I knew I needed to read it ASAP. The cover is drop dead gorgeous. If you have not seen it take a look at it on this page!SPOILERS AHEADNow before I jump in I do not want to give too much away because this book isn’t out for a bit (Nov 6) and its a good read, so I want you all to get to enjoy it first hand. This story reminded me a little of the Princess Diaries which I am totally here. I read those books as a teen and then reread them when the recent one came out and anything remotely like them I love. In this book, we meet Swayer an 18-year-old who works as a mechanic until one day her grandmother who is estranged shows up and offers her a lot a lot of money to participate in the debutante season. Now Swayer is considering participating not just for the money but because it could get her information on the biggest mystery of her life, who is her father. Swayer ends up signing the contract and getting much more than the information she is looking for during her debutante season.This book was a really enjoyable and relaxing read for me. I am really stressed recently with some things going on and reading this book just kind of took me out of things and gave me the much-needed break that I knew I was looking for. Swayer’s story captivated me and for that, I thank the author and for helping to clear my mind. I gave this book 4 stars out of 5 on Goodreads! Look for it when it comes out in November!
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  • Shoshana G
    January 1, 1970
    This book ends in the middle of a sentence. One of the reasons I slowed down on reading YA, my preferred genre for most of my twenties, is that I got sick of books that didn't tell a complete story. Don't get me wrong, I love a good series or trilogy, but each book should resolve something, even if it sets up what is coming next. A lot of things were set up, but I don't actually think much was resolved.The structure also didn't work for me. There was no need to flash between the police station a This book ends in the middle of a sentence. One of the reasons I slowed down on reading YA, my preferred genre for most of my twenties, is that I got sick of books that didn't tell a complete story. Don't get me wrong, I love a good series or trilogy, but each book should resolve something, even if it sets up what is coming next. A lot of things were set up, but I don't actually think much was resolved.The structure also didn't work for me. There was no need to flash between the police station and the story - the police station stuff wasn't really dramatic enough. It felt a little more like failed comedy?Things I did like: the setting. It was believable that Sawyer would accede to her grandmother to try to find her father. Lillian was an interesting character. I was interested in the family dynamics. No one else really felt like a full character though.I want to know what happens next though, so hey!I read an e-ARC through NetGalley, so it's possible I missed something. Definitely some of the formatting was wrong, and the pictures were missing.
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  • Lissa Hawley
    January 1, 1970
    I adore Jennifer Lynn Barnes books. A little bit more twisty than my usual genre (I am not a Pretty Little Liars watcher, but I can see why those who are would love this book) but the writing and characters are so compelling. I get an air of Buffy or Veronica Mars from Sawyer without her being anything like either. (In a good way.)The Southern sassiness is evident and deftly intertwined in the story without being overblown. The romance takes a bit of a back burner and I would love to have seen m I adore Jennifer Lynn Barnes books. A little bit more twisty than my usual genre (I am not a Pretty Little Liars watcher, but I can see why those who are would love this book) but the writing and characters are so compelling. I get an air of Buffy or Veronica Mars from Sawyer without her being anything like either. (In a good way.)The Southern sassiness is evident and deftly intertwined in the story without being overblown. The romance takes a bit of a back burner and I would love to have seen more in that regards. I don't know if there are more books planned in this series, the door is definitely left open for more, while wrapping up the story at hand, and I would absolutely be interested if there are. (JLB is auto-buy for me so that goes without saying, but I liked this one so much I am saying it.)Highly recommended.
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  • Megan Alabaugh
    January 1, 1970
    Eighteen year old Sawyer is fiercely independent, but when the grandmother she never know makes her an offer she can’t refuse, she finds herself at the mercy of rules of a society debutante. All Sawyer wants is to finally learn the identity of her father and get her college money. Instead, she is drawn into to dark, secret world of the wealthy. Blackmail, backstabbing, and spa days are par for the course in the debutante world. Little White Lies is a twisty tale of southern tradition, teenage dr Eighteen year old Sawyer is fiercely independent, but when the grandmother she never know makes her an offer she can’t refuse, she finds herself at the mercy of rules of a society debutante. All Sawyer wants is to finally learn the identity of her father and get her college money. Instead, she is drawn into to dark, secret world of the wealthy. Blackmail, backstabbing, and spa days are par for the course in the debutante world. Little White Lies is a twisty tale of southern tradition, teenage drama, and buried secrets. Smart and sassy, it’s one fun and wild ride.
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  • Suzanne Kowalski
    January 1, 1970
    Three and a half stars. Basically this is a Southern debutante Gossip Girl mystery that is a fun read if you are ready to suspend disbelief and are fine with flashbacks, inconsistencies, and implausible situations. This book reminds me more of The Squad series and is less like her recent series The Naturals and The Fixer, which I prefer. I would much rather read another Fixer novel than the next one in this series.
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  • Jamie
    January 1, 1970
    I received an ARC at Book Expo.I really enjoyed this book. Sawyer is raised alone by her mother, until at 18 she is approached by her grandmother. Her grandmother will pay for her college if she participates in the debutante season. Sawyer is thrown into a world she doesn't know, with family she has never met, and a mystery at every turn.This book kept me turning pages. I'd definitely recommend it.
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  • Lauren R.
    January 1, 1970
    So good! This was equal parts mystery-lite and family drama, which worked perfectly for me. There were scenes from the present mixed in with the earlier progression of events, which definitely kept me invested in seeing how they got there when the timelines caught up. I love Barnes’s writing; it’s easy and addicting. I’m really curious to see where this goes next in book two!
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  • Cambear
    January 1, 1970
    Compulsive, twisty mystery/thriller with a snarky narratorFun and twisty page-turner about a girl suddenly sucked into the viper pit of debutant season. There’s lots of fun with Sawyer’s snarky look at high society, but there’s a lot of heart as she tries to figure out this family she’s meeting for the first time. Add in some colorful characters and lots of layers to the mystery, it’s a slick, escapist binge read.Thanks to the publisher for providing a copy of the book for review.
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  • Michele
    January 1, 1970
    super enjoyable southern belle YA mystery thriller with great characters and fun situations. very much enjoyed it. it does kind of end on the note of prepping for a sequel but i'm currently unsure if there will be a sequel.
  • Max Baker
    January 1, 1970
    Thank You Netgalley for providing me a free review copy in exchange for an honest reviewJennifer Lynn Barnes is sort of a "will they-won't they" type author for me. She's got a great mind for thrillers but this is only the second book I've read from her. Her first The Naturalists was okay. I liked it, but I found it considerably lacking in both the overall characterization and the romance. But, I'm happy to report that Little White Lies is an absolute gem of a thriller that I couldn't help but d Thank You Netgalley for providing me a free review copy in exchange for an honest reviewJennifer Lynn Barnes is sort of a "will they-won't they" type author for me. She's got a great mind for thrillers but this is only the second book I've read from her. Her first The Naturalists was okay. I liked it, but I found it considerably lacking in both the overall characterization and the romance. But, I'm happy to report that Little White Lies is an absolute gem of a thriller that I couldn't help but devour in one go.Sawyer Taft is an eighteen year old auto mechanic with a flaky mom dealing with enough financial trouble to just hang over her head. And when her wealthy grandmother shows up unannounced, baring a contract guaranteeing a half a million dollars for college on the condition she return to her home to participate in this years debutante season, Sawyer finds herself immersed in a world of false pleasantries and plastic smiles.I think the best thing about this book is the setting. Barnes did a superb job at creating a glittery, Southern debutante world that is as black as sin beneath its cheery visage. The culture and the tradition that has been baked into these girls is strong and I appreciated how much effort and research it must have taken to capture that feeling like a photograph. Barnes' writing style is detailed, but also simple. It never gets too complex, even when the mystery aspect really began picking up speed.This is a well paced book, but it does get...boring at parts. This is a long book and while it goes by fast, there are sections of this book that drag because there's just so much stuff that happens. And some of it, I hate to say, isn't that important. There's two big mysteries going on, the mystery of Sawyer's father and what Campbell is up too. And while the latter is certainly complex, the former gets almost too much mystery. There are four suspects for Sawyer's father and the mystery of that is so drawn out and so boring because it's the first person you think it is. It's not surprising, it's not a huge reveal, it's just a by-product of reading too much of the genre and knowing the tropes. But the entire mystery is given so much undeserved weight that it feels bigger then it should be.That being said, this makes for a good thriller for people who aren't necessarily into murder mysteries. While that aspect was surprising to me, I thought for sure this was a murder mystery when I started reading, it didn't dampen my enjoyment. Maybe one day I'll go back to Barnes' other works, but for now Little White Lies is enough for me. It's fun, it's enjoyable, and the plot is spectacularly thrilling.
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  • Elisha
    January 1, 1970
    LITTLE WHITE LIES by Jennifer Lynn Barnes is a novel mashup of Gossip Girl and Pretty Little Liars set in the world of Southern belles and debutantes. The book kicks off when eighteen-year-old Sawyer Taft is propositioned by her very wealthy and estranged grandmother to come live with her for a year in exchange for half a million dollars. Sawyer, who’s been surviving paycheck to paycheck, agrees, especially when she realizes this could be her one chance to figure out who her father is. However, LITTLE WHITE LIES by Jennifer Lynn Barnes is a novel mashup of Gossip Girl and Pretty Little Liars set in the world of Southern belles and debutantes. The book kicks off when eighteen-year-old Sawyer Taft is propositioned by her very wealthy and estranged grandmother to come live with her for a year in exchange for half a million dollars. Sawyer, who’s been surviving paycheck to paycheck, agrees, especially when she realizes this could be her one chance to figure out who her father is. However, being born out of wedlock to a teenage mother proves too scandalous to talk about, especially when multiple society people are protecting their own secrets. In a place where money means power, Sawyer must learn to play their convoluted games in order to get what she wants. This novel is the definition of “voice.” The writing is fresh, distinctive, and fun. From the first page to the very last, I love the author’s humorous tone and the protagonist’s consistent sarcasm. I found myself laughing out loud and always tickled by Sawyer’s quips. Sawyer, though mocking of her new lifestyle, also embraces it in a lot of ways. Of course, she’s being paid to do so, but she adapts quickly, making friends and bonding with her new family. There’s a trend in young adult novels, especially contemporary, to make the female protagonist too cool or uninterested in girly things, such as makeup, clothes, and boys. What I especially like about Sawyer is that instead of being overly cynical, she has relatable commentary. For instance, she talks about how annoying it is to wear a strapless dress, which is, in fact, the worst. When her feet are hurting, even though it’s an improper moment, she takes off her high heels, which is something I’ve done or wanted to do a million times at events. Her character is way more evolved than the boring tomboy trope, and also someone I understand. The intrigue could have been more surprising as I was able to guess the plot twists. Also, most of the debutante’s master plan didn’t make sense to me. For example, I’m still not sure what the point of being in jail was, though I did like those flash-forward scenes. That aside, I enjoyed getting to each moment with these characters. Every single person had a purpose and motivation, and as a result, I actually missed them when they disappeared from the story for a while. LITTLE WHITE LIES is a Freeform book and it is easy to picture this story as a television show. I’m hoping this first book will be the start of a new series. I would love to see these characters take down more of the prim and proper. Review originally posted on YA Books Central: http://www.yabookscentral.com/yaficti...
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  • Sascha
    January 1, 1970
    4 1/2 starsI am such a sucker for precocious teenagers who are smart, irreverent, and know how to manipulate the system. Sawyer Taft, the heroine, in Jennifer Lynn Barnes’ Little White Lies is just such a teenager.Little White Lies introduces Sawyer, a very likable character, who agrees to terms given to her by her very appropriate grandmother so that she can discover who her father is. Along the way, however, she stumbles upon scandals even larger than she could have imagined.For me, this was e 4 1/2 starsI am such a sucker for precocious teenagers who are smart, irreverent, and know how to manipulate the system. Sawyer Taft, the heroine, in Jennifer Lynn Barnes’ Little White Lies is just such a teenager.Little White Lies introduces Sawyer, a very likable character, who agrees to terms given to her by her very appropriate grandmother so that she can discover who her father is. Along the way, however, she stumbles upon scandals even larger than she could have imagined.For me, this was every inch the definition of a page-turner. I loved discovering details as I went along and then when I thought I’d learned the truth to discover that I had not, well, that wasn’t dissatisfying, but intriguing. And, despite the fact that I am a veritable hater of cliff-hangers, to know that this one has a sequel was whipped cream on pie.The characterization was very good. I loved the fact that no one was just good or evil. Thank you. I love characters having layers because real people do.As for Sawyer Taft, let’s just say that she’s like the debutante version of Veronica Mars, smart-mouthed but savvy enough to know when she shouldn’t be.And now, this is a reverse YMMV (your mileage may vary) because some readers were not as enamored as me. I don’t know. I don’t lie to you (at least to my knowledge?). I couldn’t put this book down. When I had the opportunity, I read it. I found it fun and satisfying. In fact, if the next one were available, I’d be reading that rather than writing a review. When the writing, plot, and characterization come together, I read as a reader rather than a writer, if that makes sense. When you read as writer, you tend to tear things apart, but I never experienced that here. So, I’ll leave it with YMMV.If you’re a fan of YA novels, you will like this. Also, if you like cozy mysteries, you will probably like this regardless of the fact that it’s YA. If you’re a fan of Veronica Mars, you will like this. I also understand that people who like Pretty Little Liars (I’ve never seen or read it), will like this—that’s up to you. I don’t know who will hate this…people who don’t like novels about debutantes, Veronica Mars-like characters, people who love senators…your discretion.I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Skye ~ A Court of Binge Reading
    January 1, 1970
    ** Thank you to NetGalley and to Freeform for sending me this ARC in exchange for an honest review** Drama, debutantes, estranged families, scandals, oh my! Plot Little White Lies is about an 18-year-old girl named Sawyer. Sawyer has lived her whole life in a small town with a flighty mother. In all honesty, Sawyer is the parent in her relationship with her mom. Her mom had her when she was only 17 years old--and it seems her mother is stuck acting that age. One day, when Sawyer is home alone he ** Thank you to NetGalley and to Freeform for sending me this ARC in exchange for an honest review** Drama, debutantes, estranged families, scandals, oh my! Plot Little White Lies is about an 18-year-old girl named Sawyer. Sawyer has lived her whole life in a small town with a flighty mother. In all honesty, Sawyer is the parent in her relationship with her mom. Her mom had her when she was only 17 years old--and it seems her mother is stuck acting that age. One day, when Sawyer is home alone her grandmother, whom she has never met, shows up with a proposition in hand. If Sawyer lives with her grandmother for nine months and participates in this year’s debutante season, then Sawyer will get 500,000 dollars for college. Naturally, she signs on the dotted line. However, Sawyer’s estranged family is nothing like she imagined. Soon, she starts to care for them but everyone isn’t as they appear. Everyone she meets has a secret and a scandal in tow. The only scandal Sawyer is interested in is the one concerning her conception 18 years ago. Will Sawyer be able to discern which mystery man from her mom’s past is her father? Thoughts It took a while for me to start enjoying this book. It wasn’t until around the 50% mark that I became a tad bit invested. It was hard for me to connect with the characters as there is little to no character development throughout the novel. Barnes relies solely on the mystery element of the book to entice and maintain the reader’s attention. If you are like me, then that means you skim pages until you find a part of the book that seems interesting. There was a good twist at the end of the book, but it was executed poorly. The author addresses and explains the twist in under 10 pages, then she promptly ends the book. I’ve heard there may be a sequel. I won’t be reading it. All in all, this book was pretty average. It didn’t bring anything new to the table nor did it captivate me. There were a few quotes that I particularly liked such as, “People were fundamentally predictable. If you stopped expecting them to surprise you, they couldn’t disappoint.”. I also liked this quote, “Maybe, not caring is just what ordinary people see when they can’t process what it looks like when someone cares too damn much.”
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  • Lisa Mandina
    January 1, 1970
    This is my first book by this author, other than a short story she had in the anthology called Enthralled: Paranormal Diversions. I don't remember which story was hers, however. Anyway, this story was presented to me as a mix of Gilmore Girls and Pretty Little Liars gone Southern. I'm not a reader or watcher of either of those, but I understand the general gist of what they are about. The synopsis was intriguing for sure. And when I picked it up, I was sucked right into the story. There were a l This is my first book by this author, other than a short story she had in the anthology called Enthralled: Paranormal Diversions. I don't remember which story was hers, however. Anyway, this story was presented to me as a mix of Gilmore Girls and Pretty Little Liars gone Southern. I'm not a reader or watcher of either of those, but I understand the general gist of what they are about. The synopsis was intriguing for sure. And when I picked it up, I was sucked right into the story. There were a lot of twists and turns in this, the final twist being a huge one out of nowhere! I loved that!Sawyer's snarkiness, especially her take as she was dropped into this debutante world, was one of my favorite parts of the story. The characters were all great in this as well. Not only were our four main debutante characters given incredible back stories, but all of them were even made so that you could feel sympathy for them, even if they came across as ruthless or villains at first. The book switched between the present, where the four girls, Sawyer, Lily, Sadie-Grace, and Campbell were all in a jail cell; and the past starting when Sawyer first was brought into the midst of all this intrigue and wealthy people. The present portions are kind of told from the viewpoint of one of the police officers, Mackie. Like him, I spent the book reading to find out just which of the felonious actions the girls made landed them in that cell. When you find out just how it happened, it is a little bit surprising and comical. While this may be my first time with the author, I have had her books in my library for my students to check out. Not only will I be adding this one with budget money, I will now be able to personally recommend her books based on my own enjoyment of them. I look forward to reading more from Jennifer Lynn Barnes as well If you like a good mystery, and enjoy lots of twists and turns to keep you on the edge of your seat as you read, this is the next book you need to pick up! Review originally post on Lisa Loves Literature.
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