(Website, Twitter, Goodreads)Also by this author: The Fixer, The Lovely and the Lost
Published by Disney Electronic Content on November 6th 2018
Genres: Coming of Age, Family, Fashion & Beauty, Young Adult Fiction
"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 by Jennifer Lynn Barnes was everything I hoped it would be when I picked it up. There are so many things that are uncovered throughout this book that I can’t even get into it all but I promise, no spoilers.
Sawyer Taft grew up on the wrong side of town and the only family she has ever known is her mother who isn’t necessarily reliable. When her grandmother Lillian Taft, someone she has never met, shows up at her door with a deal she doesn’t really want to say no to, she finds herself mixed up in something she never expected. In exchange for participating in the current debutante season, Sawyer’s grandmother will give her five hundred thousand dollars. Now you might be thinking…why would someone just agree to live with a stranger for a year for money, but her grandmother throws in the one thing she knows will push Sawyer to agree, the opportunity to figure out who her biological father is.
As Sawyer moves in with her grandmother, she is immediately thrown into a family that she knows nothing about. One thing she does learn very quickly is that everyone has secrets and those secrets can be dangerous. I loved how Barnes set up the story by giving the reader a bit of the current situation and then immediately jumping back to where everything started. It helped me start to connect the dots around what was going on…with that said, there were a few twists and turns I didn’t see coming.
I really liked the characters in this story. I won’t cover them all but there are some key players that you need to know about. First there is Sawyer’s cousin, Lily. She does everything she can to fit into her mother’s image of perfect but remember what I said about secrets? She has a big one and it is that secret that starts some of the trouble Sawyer is pulled into almost immediately. They also come to be good friends and although they don’t agree on everything, they support each other. There is also Lily’s best friend, Sadie-Grace, who
Another key character is Campbell Ames, the daughter of a senator and everyone tends to refer to her as the devil. Which, full disclosure, she is definitely a piece of work. As the story unfolds, we learn a lot more about her story and secrets as well.
As I mentioned earlier, one of Sawyer’s motives for taking the deal with her grandmother was to figure out who her father is and there are 4 potential options. As Sawyer starts to dig, she learns more about everyone in this debutante circle and it isn’t necessarily a good thing. It’s no wonder that her mother left and didn’t have any desire to go back although that isn’t necessarily the full story…but I’m not going to say any more about that.
Ultimately this story is about more than the mysteries though. It’s about family and friendships and as Sawyer learns more about hers, she has to decide if they are who she wants to be around or if she wants to go back to living above a bar and working as a mechanic with only her mother to rely on.
Overall, I enjoyed this book. It was fast-paced, had some interesting characters, and enough twists to keep me guessing until the very end. Although this was only my first book by Barnes, it definitely won’t be my last. I enjoyed every bit of this and can’t wait to check out her others. If you’re looking for a story that has all of that, consider checking this out when you can.
Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for the copy in exchange for an honest review.