Lies You Never Told Me

336p. Penguin/Razorbill. May 2018. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781595148520.
Gr 9 Up—This novel features two parallel forbidden love stories told in alternating chapters. Elyse is a thespian, lives with her pill-popping mother and keeps their home afloat, taking on all adult responsibilities while her mom flows in and out of sobriety. When Elyse gets the role as Juliet in the school play, she falls in love and runs away with her teacher Mr. Aiden Hunter. Meanwhile, Gabe is an average teen who adores his sister Vivi, who has Down syndrome, and tolerates his popular girlfriend, Sasha. She is the most powerful teenager in her class and bullies anyone who dares to cross her. The stories collide when a teen saves Gabe after a hit-and-run car accident. He falls in love with the mysterious young woman who saved him. He tracks Catherine down at school and they begin talking on the sly because of Catherine's overprotective father and Sasha. When Gabe breaks up with Sasha, she kidnaps Gabe's sister, hides cameras in Gabe's room, and sets Catherine's house on fire, all while setting Gabe up to make him look like the culprit. This is a fast-paced and engaging read. However, the way the story lines come together stretches credulity, and may leave readers scratching their heads because of time line and continuity issues.
VERDICT Give to teens who can suspend disbelief and enjoy melodramatic thrillers.

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