Thursday, April 25, 2019

The Lies They Tell by Gillian French-- Also, the boats they sail on....

The Lies They Tell

Six months ago, tragedy struck the tourist town of Tenney's Harbor.  4 members of a family were killed in their million dollar home.  The whole town is on edge, including Pearl-- a townie whose father was on duty as the night-watchman the night the Garrisons were murdered.

Pearl spends her summer working at "the club", a place where the rich summer people lounge.  There's something different about this summer though-- and it's more than just the haze of tragedy in the air.  This summer, the summer boys are paying attention to Pearl.  And she's paying attention right back.  This is her ticket into the world of the people who knew the Garrison's best (including their only surviving member, Tristan, who wasn't in town that terrible night).  This is her chance to prove that her father wasn't negligent that night.

I'm always looking for great YA Mystery writers, and I think I've found one in Gillian French.  Her stories are so much more than the actual mystery, and I love the intricacy that feels easy.  There are so many things I loved about this book, it's hard to figure out where to start.

First, I'm always going to be a fan of the us vs. them trope.  The haves and the have-nots.  For whatever reason, I like seeing the way the lines are drawn and what happens when people cross them.  I also love having a glance into the world of the rich and the reckless.  Pearl enters into this walled-off world in order to see if there's anything to find out, and it's interesting seeing how she handles it.

Second, the setting.  I love a small-town, beach-town setting.  I haven't read very many books set on the coast of Maine, so Tenney's Harbor (a fictional town on the real island of Mount Desert Island) was a welcome setting for this book.  I also really liked the dynamic that these people that Pearl needed to get in with only live in this place for 3-4 months per year.  It's like, they blow in and create all this tension and drama, but also they are what sustains the touristy town's economy-- can't live with them, can't live without them.

Finally, the mystery.  This family, particularly Cassidy (the daughter), haunted me throughout this book.  It was like she was there just below the surface the whole time. But it was so much more than: What happened to the Garrison's?  It was friendship and family too.  I especially liked the way Pearl had to deal with her father's drinking problem and how that was a factor in the book.  Also, the way she crushed on her best friend Reese-- and all the pain that caused her.

Now that I'm officially a Gillian French superfan, I'm counting down the days until the release of The Missing Season!

OVERALL: Giant yes!!  This is what YA Mysteries should be.  I loved the beach-town, the intricate characters, and how it was a mystery with so much more going on.  Totally 100% recommend.

Date Published: 5/1/2018
How I got this book: Purchased
Publisher: HarperTeen

Add it to your To-Read List!!

My Rating: 5/5

Character: Pearl Haskins
Book: This Adventure Ends by Emma Mills

  • Beach setting, father problems, love hardships, making and keeping friends.  This has Pearl written all over it.


  1. I love mysteries and thrillers. Excellent review on a new book to me. Off to Goodreads to add it.

    1. Thanks!! Glad I could introduce to you a book you didn't know about!

  2. I feel like my first (an only) French book was a poor choice, because I have seen raves for her other books. I read The Door to January, which was ok, but her other books sound like they were so much better. I am glad you have found someone to fill your YA mystery need.

    1. YES!!! I read Door to January earlier this year and it was totally different from her other 2. I'm thinking it was written before the other 2 because it's way less developed and feels like it's from a completely different author.

  3. Hey Blogger is refusing to remember me so hope this works. Anyway, this sounds like just the kind of book I would love!
    Jen Ryland

  4. Oh wow this sounds so good! I read one of the author's books, I cannot even remember which (it was awhile ago) and I mean, I liked it enough, but I really do want to try another of her books and this one sounds like it'd be a great one to go with! I love the sound of it, especially that it isn't *just* a superficial sort of mystery! Awesome review, so glad it was a win!

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