G. Bianco, 2019
Set to be released on November 10th, Chelsea Pitcher’s newest YA thriller follows a shocking murder and four friends as they navigate the secrets surrounding one another. Her novel, Lies Like Poison, takes a look at what darkness lurks beneath the surface and what it takes to find your way out of it.
Poppy, Lily, and Belladonna would do anything to protect their best friend, Raven. So when they discovered he was suffering abuse at the hands of his stepmother, they came up with a lethal plan: petals of poppy, belladonna, and lily in her evening tea so she’d never be able to hurt Raven again. But someone got cold feet, the plot faded to a secret of the past, and the group fell apart. Three years later, on the eve of Raven’s seventeenth birthday, his stepmother turns up dead. But it’s only belladonna found in her tea, and it’s only Belladonna who’s carted off to jail. Desperate for help, Belle reaches out to her estranged friends to prove her innocence. They answer the call, but no one is prepared for what comes next. Now, everyone has something to lose and something equally dangerous to hide. And when the tangled web of secrets and betrayal is finally unwound, what lies at its heart will change the group forever.
This book was a fairly quick read, but was very dark. There’s mentions very heavy themes including child abuse, child neglect, murder, death, sexual identity, deception, and loss. So massive trigger warnings before reading this book! But I liked the parallels that were drawn between fairytales and the events in the novel. It gave the book a very ethereal tone reminiscent of the Grimm Brothers or a dark version of A Midsummer’s Night Dream.
The actual mystery and figuring out who the killer is isn’t overtly obvious, but some parts of the story were confusing. There are a few flashbacks and a lot of alternating viewpoints so keeping everything straight is a bit of a challenge with this book. But eventually all of the pieces start falling into place and the true villains start to become clear.
Admittedly, I’m not a big fan of thrillers, but I did find this one enjoyable in some aspects. If you’re looking for a book with messed up characters and twists after every chapter, then this is the read for you. However, it might not be the best book for first-time thriller readers due to its dark themes.
*I received an eARC from NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion.
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