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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Review: Where the Truth Lies by Jessica Warman

Title: Where the Truth Lies
Author: Jessica Warman
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Pub. Date: 9.28.2010
Genre: Contemporary YA
Keywords: Family, Secrets, Lies, Boarding School, Love, Relationships
Pages: 320
Description (from arc):
Between the past and the future... Between pain and forgiveness... Between the ones you know and the ones you love... Is where the truth lies.
On the surface, Emily Meckler leads the perfect life. She has three best friends, two loving parents, and the ideal setup at the Connecticut prep school where her father is headmaster. But below the surface, Emily is suffering from devastating nightmares about either fire or water, and nobody knows why.
When the enigmatic Del Sugar enters her life, Emily is immediately swept away - but her passionate relationship with Del is just the first of many things that aren't quite what they seem in Emily's life. And as the lies she's been told start to unravel, Emily must set out to discover the truth regarding her nightmares; a journey that will lead her to question everything she once thought she knew about love, family, and her own idyllic past. This companion novel to Warman's critically acclaimed Breathless proves that sometimes the biggest lies you tell are for the ones you love the most.

Lately I've been reading a lot of books that are good, but not great. All that changed with WHERE THE TRUTH LIES. Jessica Warman had me totally and completely engrossed in Emily's story. I even spent dinner explaining to a patient friend what was happening in Emily's life - how compelling, yet shady I found the curiously named Del Sugar, my hypotheses about the secrets the various characters were hiding, and my fears regarding how the novel would end. I was, in short, consumed.

Poor Emily... she just can't get a break. There were very few times when I could confidently say that I knew what was going to happen next... and half of those times I still wasn't right. The more I read, the less I'm surprised by novels. That is, I feel that I've become more adept at noticing small details and interpreting foreshadowing, which means that I usually have a basic idea of how the novel will end. With WHERE THE TRUTH LIES, I honestly thought I knew where the clues were leading, but I hadn't even started to imagine all the lies and twists that were so intricately knotted around Emily and her past.

It almost seems like it'd be easy to judge Emily... for the reader to shake her head and think sadly, she was warned. But I felt as though I was there with Emily... and I was thinking, right along with her, but.... But they don't know him. But they don't know me. They just don't know. I know. And I understood her choices... her fears. Life is not simple and that fact is abundantly clear as Emily's story progresses.

Relationships are an important part of this novel. What makes a family? A best friend? A boyfriend? A true love? A mother? Yet none of these ideas are defined. Instead they are given a vague sort of shape, that can shift to fit to even the most unexpected individual... or the person you should have expected all along.

WHERE THE TRUTH LIES is a companion novel, but it isn't necessary to have read BREATHLESS before delving into this story. But I can assure you that you will want to have both novels on hand. You won't want to leave behind Warman's gorgeous writing... and, regardless, her characters will refuse to let you go.

Grade: A+

Cover Comments:
An absolutely perfect fit! Gorgeous.

Review Copy provided by publisher.


  1. This one sounds really really good and your review makes me want to buy it even more! I think I'll try Breathless first though, and I'll hope this one comes out in paperback!

  2. I've been really curious about this book and now I'll definitely pick it up after reading such a positive review

  3. I'm glad to learn that it is not necessary to have read Breathless before reading this title. I almost bought it and then put it down because I hadn't read the first book. Thanks for the review--An A+ book is always great!

  4. Great review! I can't wait to pick up this book!

  5. This book sounds really good. I love your review and I am excited to read it because I love when I can't figure out where a book is leading.

  6. This book sounds really interesting. Nothing in real life is black and white after all. Everything seems to be shaded in gray and I think, reading from your review...I will enjoy reading this book! Thanks!

  7. Books set at prep schools always seem to suck me in for some reason. Will definitely add to my Wishlist.

  8. This book sounds really good. I'm glad to know you liked it!

  9. Thank you for the review. I haven't read Breathless yet either so I'd like to pick that one up as well.

  10. Sounds good. Thanks for the review.

  11. This book looks really good. I don't usually like to get sucked into sequels or series where I haven't read all the books, but I really love companion novels, so this sounds great. :)

  12. A wonderful review! I read this book and agree with everything you said. This is on my Top 5 contemporary novels for 2010 list. I was really impressed by the story and the writing was gorgeous.

    Laurie (reader girls)

  13. I have never heard of this book or author. After reading your review on this one, I am going to put her on the to buy list!! I'm like you, and usually have a good idea of how it's going to turn out - I love a book that you can't do that. Awesome review, thanks so much.

    mlawson17 at hotmail dot com

  14. The characterization sounds superb. I can't wait to read this!

  15. Good to know you don't have to read the first book before reading this one.

  16. It's good to know that you didn't guess the ending. I always seem to and get mad because I want to be surprised for once.

  17. I love that you said this book is so engrossing and that it is unpredictable!!!


  18. I have heard tremendous things about this book. I can't wait to read it. I love the cover too--so beautiful!

  19. Being able to guess the ending is never a very good way to end a book. So, not predictable? Check.
    Emotional connections? Check.
    A+ grading? Check.
    Sounds awesome? Triple Check.
    Enter me please!!!


  20. This book sounds amazing! I would love to read it and knowing myself I would have to buy the other book too. I love the stories that are unpredictable. You hardly ever find those. One of my friends lent me a bunch of romance novels and they are cute and everything but you know how they are going to end.

  21. I had Breathless on my to-read list, I didn't realize this was a companion piece to it until I read your review.
    I like books where we, the reader understand the character's thoughts and thereby their actions.
    Thanks for the review.

  22. This book looks really good! Love when there's lots of secrets and stuff! I'm excited to hear there are lots of "intricate lies and twists." I like a book every once in a while where I have no clue what will happen! (even if it does frustrate me to no end!)

    Glad you enjoyed the book! I totally want to read this now and maybe even Breathless, too!

  23. I normally don't like reading a second book without reading the first so I might have to go out and get both!

    Great review!

    dcf_beth at verizon dot net

  24. Your review makes me want to read this book. Thanks.

    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

  25. You really make me want to read this book. Will have to look into it.

    jlynettes @ hotmail . com

  26. I have got to add this to my Goodreads to-read list!!!

    Emma Michaels

  27. I'd like to find out the Truth behind this story. :)

  28. Whoa, an A+... I can see why you want to share this book. I tend to do that too... but it then makes me sad to send the book away, even if I went out and bought another copy, because it's so great, lol. I'm a dork :)

  29. Thanks for the review! This book looks really interesting; glad to see that you enjoyed it so much!
    365DaysReading AT gmail DOT com

  30. Sounds like an awesome read! I'm really looking forward to getting it! Thanks for the review :D

  31. I like the sound of this one. Great review.
    The cover reminds me of Madapple by Christina Meldrum :)

  32. To be honest, reading the plot summary just made me want to shake my head and turn away. It just doesn't sound very appealing to me. But your positive review wowed me. I'm impressed that this novel is not what it seems and that even you were surprised. I appreciate your great review! :)

  33. Oooh-- this sounds good, and it got an A!!! I'm super- exited to read it!!

  34. What a great review. I'm extremely excited to read this book now!!

  35. Loved your review! You made this book sound so good. I would really like to read it, and find out about all the lies and her nightmares in this book.


  36. This sounds really good. I've had this on my TBR list and am glad to see your positive review of it.

    giveawaymommy at yahoo dot com

  37. Great review!! Now I definitely want to read this book! It sounds like a fabulous read.

    nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net


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