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Lies You Never Told Me
Cover of Lies You Never Told Me
Lies You Never Told Me
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"A compulsive page-turner with a shocking twist—get ready to stay up all night!" —Sara Shepard, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Pretty Little Liars"This conversation-starting...
"A compulsive page-turner with a shocking twist—get ready to stay up all night!" —Sara Shepard, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Pretty Little Liars"This conversation-starting...
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Description-

  • "A compulsive page-turner with a shocking twist—get ready to stay up all night!" —Sara Shepard, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Pretty Little Liars
    "This conversation-starting page-turner is...Fatal Attraction meets Big Little Lies." —Kirkus Reviews

    Gabe and Elyse have never met. But they both have something to hide.
    Quiet, shy Elyse can't believe it when she's cast as the lead in her Portland high school's production of Romeo and Juliet. Her best friend, Brynn, is usually the star, and Elyse isn't sure she's up to the task. But when someone at rehearsals starts to catch her eye—someone she knows she absolutely shouldn't be with—she can't help but be pulled into the spotlight.
    Austin native Gabe is contemplating the unthinkable—breaking up with Sasha, his headstrong, popular girlfriend. She's not going to let him slip through her fingers, though, and when rumors start to circulate around school, he knows she has the power to change his life forever.
    Gabe and Elyse both make the mistake of falling for the wrong person, and falling hard. Told in parallel narratives, this twisty, shocking story shows how one bad choice can lead to a spiral of unforeseen consequences that not everyone will survive.

Excerpts-

  • From the book ***This excerpt is from an advance uncorrected copy proof*** Copyright © 2018 Jennifer Donaldson

    ONE
    Gabe

    Storm clouds clot the edge of the night sky, stained purple from the city lights; but somehow, right over the yucca-fringed yard, the stars are still visible. I spot Orion there at the center of the sky. It's the only constellation I can consistently pick out: the belt, the sword, the stars dripping away like blood. On the horizon, lightning flutters.

    It's late September, the Austin air dense and heavy. I sit in my swim trunks, dangling my feet into the pool. The flagstone patio, the carefully tended native plants, and the high-end bourbon in the monogrammed glass tumbler next to me all belong to my girlfriend. To Sasha. Sasha, whose parents are out of town. Sasha, who's swaying down the path from the house with a wooden tray of snacks, in a black-and-white bikini and a pair of flip-flops.

    "Need another drink?" She holds up the crystalline decanter, waving it enticingly.

    "Still nursing this one," I say, taking her in. Her long, muscular legs. Her flat stomach and gently rounded hips.

    "Lightweight," she says. Her blue eyes sparkle as she pops the stopper out of the heavy bottle and takes a huge swig. "Aren't you getting in?"

    "I like to get used to the water first," I say, splashing my legs up and down a few times.

    "Oh yeah?" She sets the bottle down on a patio table with a heavy clunk.

    "Yeah."

    Without warning, she launches herself straight at me. At the last moment she vaults over my head, coming down in a cannonball right in front of me. A wave of cool water washes over me, a shock in the heavy night air. I shake out my hair, laughing, as Sasha surfaces.

    "You're gonna get it now." I slide into the water and push off the side. She shrieks and swims away. I launch myself across the pool, my stroke clumsy but strong, my heart racing. She lets me catch her. I slide my arms around her narrow shoulders, and every cell in my body wakes up with a jolt at the feel of her body against mine. Her skin looks so pale next to my light brown complexion. The strings of her bikini top press hard against my chest. She slides one of her long, smooth legs between mine, and my mind goes silent. Smiling, wordless, she reaches behind her neck and pulls at the knot of her halter, slowly tugging it free. Her bikini top flutters away and lands on the surface of the water, a black-and-white lily pad drifting aimless around us.

    "Sasha," I whisper. It's not my first glimpse of her small, perfect breasts. We've messed around plenty of times, in the backseat of my car, in an empty bedroom at a house party, anywhere we can find privacy. But we've never done this so openly, without worrying about time or exposure. Shielded by the foliage, we are open to the sky above.

    And then the phone rings.

    Sasha's eyes go wide, her mouth flinching into a tight-lipped scowl. "They can leave a message," I say, but she ignores me. She gently detaches herself from my body and wades back to the side of the pool, not even bothering to cover her chest with her arms as she climbs out.

    She scoops the phone up from the tray on the patio table, where it glows green between a bowl of tortilla chips and a plate of prepackaged cookies. The citronella torch gutters as she moves near it, the orange light leaving deep shadows across her face.

    "Mom," she says.

    I swim toward the stairs, my stomach tight. Suddenly the idea of Mrs. Daley hovers over the backyard: her strained smile, her perfect red nails, the way she taps her foot. Sasha's parents are lukewarm about me, at best. I'm not sure if it's the mediocre grades,...

Reviews-

  • Kirkus

    March 1, 2018
    Two teens must survive edgy, toxic romances in this dark YA thriller. In Austin, Texas, keen skateboarder Gabe Jim'nez's desire to break up with his popular--and incredibly controlling and jealous--girlfriend, Sasha, intensifies after a hit-and-run accident leaves him semiconscious in the arms of a mysterious girl. Across the country in Portland, Oregon, Elyse McCormick can't believe the handsome new drama teacher Mr. Hunter has cast her--and not her more experienced best friend Brynn--as Juliet in the school's upcoming Shakespeare production. Gabe's and Elyse's storylines seem unconnected until it's clear they're both in obsessive, and in Elyse's case, illegal, relationships. Gabe befriends quiet, shy Catherine, the girl who comforted him after he was hit by a car, but she's understandably frightened to date him when he's got a queen-bee ex prone to creepy, stalker-ish behavior. Elyse, whose home life is troubled, predictably goes from idolizing Mr. Hunter to falling desperately for him. The characters are fairly diverse: Gabe is Mexican-American with a little sister who has Down syndrome, Brynn is Filipina-American, while Elyse, Sasha, and Catherine are white. Eagle-eyed readers may figure out one of the big twists, but this well-paced thriller is difficult to put down. This conversation-starting page-turner is a Fatal Attraction meets Big Little Lies cautionary tale for teens about dangerous relationships. (resources) (Fiction.14-18)

    COPYRIGHT(2018) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    March 19, 2018
    Gabe Jimenez’s life turns upside down when he’s a victim of a hit-and-run and ends up in the arms of a mysterious girl, whom he believes is his savior. Things intensify after he runs into the girl again at the mall and learns that her name is Catherine and that she is a new student at his school. Thousands of miles away in Oregon, Elyse is thrilled to be picked as the lead in the school production of Romeo and Juliet. Her home life with her opioid-addicted mother is less than perfect, and she welcomes the attentions of her drama teacher, Mr. Hunter, who begins to groom her for a boundary-crossing relationship. Meanwhile, Gabe’s relationship with his girlfriend, Sasha, turns sour as her jealousy of Catherine leads her to behave in more erratic and dangerous ways. Debut author Donaldson weaves together two seemingly unconnected stories that eventually merge in a way that only the most attentive readers will predict. Moments of melodrama are ultimately assuaged by sympathetic, well-rounded characters in this taut, intense thriller that could serve as a cautionary tale for obsessive teen relationships. Ages 14–up. Agent: Lanie Davis, Alloy Entertainment.

  • School Library Journal

    April 1, 2018

    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.-Julia Christensen, Michigan City, IN

    Copyright 2018 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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