The Best Lies

352p. S. & S./Simon Pulse. Jul. 2019. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781481498838.
Gr 9 Up-Elise and Remy are more than best friends. They're family. Soulmates. Their bond is forged fast and intense over shared but secret family traumas. While Remy's response to her parents' neglect and fighting has always been to fly under the radar, Elise funnels her rage through increasingly hostile pranks. Early in their friendship, Elise makes Remy feel seen, special, and understood for the first time in her life. But when Remy begins dating Jack, who is calm and compassionate to Elise's electric and erratic, Elise's friendship warps into something possessive, dark, and destructive. The sensitive handling of trauma and cycles of abuse lend both a gravity and urgency to this psychological thriller. Remy's dawning awareness of the reality of her situation feels true and unsettling, while alternating past and present chapters keep the tension building breathlessly until the twist ending. This is an #OwnVoices book; like the author, Remy is Asian-American and a trauma survivor.
VERDICT Highly recommended for fans of complex psychological thrillers, as well as those interested in bibliotherapy connected to trauma, abuse, and toxic relationships.-Leighanne Law, Scriber Lake High School, WA

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