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Little White Lies

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"I'm not saying this is Sawyer's fault," the prim and proper one said delicately. "But." Eighteen-year-old auto mechanic Sawyer Taft did not expect her estranged grandmother to show up at her apartment door and offer her a six-figure contract to participate in debutante season. And she definitely never imagined she would accept. But when she realizes that immersing herself "I'm not saying this is Sawyer's fault," the prim and proper one said delicately. "But." Eighteen-year-old auto mechanic Sawyer Taft did not expect her estranged grandmother to show up at her apartment door and offer her a six-figure contract to participate in debutante season. And she definitely never imagined she would accept. But when she realizes that immersing herself in her grandmother's "society" might mean discovering the answer to the biggest mystery of her life-her father's identity-she signs on the dotted line and braces herself for a year of makeovers, big dresses, bigger egos, and a whole lot of bless your heart. The one thing she doesn't expect to find is friendship, but as she's drawn into a group of debutantes with scandalous, dangerous secrets of their own, Sawyer quickly discovers that her family isn't the only mainstay of high society with skeletons in their closet. There are people in her grandmother's glittering world who are not what they appear, and no one wants Sawyer poking her nose into the past. As she navigates the twisted relationships between her new friends and their powerful parents, Sawyer's search for the truth about her own origins is just the beginning. Set in the world of debutante balls, grand estates and rolling green hills, Little White Lies combines a charming setting, a classic fish-out-of-water story, and the sort of layered mystery only author Jennifer Lynn Barnes can pull off.


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"I'm not saying this is Sawyer's fault," the prim and proper one said delicately. "But." Eighteen-year-old auto mechanic Sawyer Taft did not expect her estranged grandmother to show up at her apartment door and offer her a six-figure contract to participate in debutante season. And she definitely never imagined she would accept. But when she realizes that immersing herself "I'm not saying this is Sawyer's fault," the prim and proper one said delicately. "But." Eighteen-year-old auto mechanic Sawyer Taft did not expect her estranged grandmother to show up at her apartment door and offer her a six-figure contract to participate in debutante season. And she definitely never imagined she would accept. But when she realizes that immersing herself in her grandmother's "society" might mean discovering the answer to the biggest mystery of her life-her father's identity-she signs on the dotted line and braces herself for a year of makeovers, big dresses, bigger egos, and a whole lot of bless your heart. The one thing she doesn't expect to find is friendship, but as she's drawn into a group of debutantes with scandalous, dangerous secrets of their own, Sawyer quickly discovers that her family isn't the only mainstay of high society with skeletons in their closet. There are people in her grandmother's glittering world who are not what they appear, and no one wants Sawyer poking her nose into the past. As she navigates the twisted relationships between her new friends and their powerful parents, Sawyer's search for the truth about her own origins is just the beginning. Set in the world of debutante balls, grand estates and rolling green hills, Little White Lies combines a charming setting, a classic fish-out-of-water story, and the sort of layered mystery only author Jennifer Lynn Barnes can pull off.

30 review for Little White Lies

  1. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea Humphrey

    While this was a fun read, it could have easily been shaved down by 25%. The bloated nature gave it a feeling of dragging on, and I think the story could have benefitted from being a bit shorter to give it more of a taut feeling. That said, I adored Sawyer and her journey while being thrown into a world that makes her feel uncomfortable and a little bit like an outcast. This definitely felt like a standalone version of Pretty Little Liars, but much more tame and age appropriate for the younger s While this was a fun read, it could have easily been shaved down by 25%. The bloated nature gave it a feeling of dragging on, and I think the story could have benefitted from being a bit shorter to give it more of a taut feeling. That said, I adored Sawyer and her journey while being thrown into a world that makes her feel uncomfortable and a little bit like an outcast. This definitely felt like a standalone version of Pretty Little Liars, but much more tame and age appropriate for the younger side of the YA spectrum. And man, I can't wait to see what that cover looks like in person; it's simply gorgeous! *I received a review copy from the publisher via NetGalley.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Cait • A Page with a View

    This is totally like Gilmore Girls meets Gossip Girl! I sat on this review for a few months because my thoughts were all over the place... I had SO much fun with most of this book, but really can't deny that I was seriously underwhelmed by the end and kind of stopped caring. I think the main issue is that the story focused more on the mystery than the characters, but the stakes were nowhere near high enough to be taken so seriously. The "scandals" were really tame, weak and didn't warrant all th This is totally like Gilmore Girls meets Gossip Girl! I sat on this review for a few months because my thoughts were all over the place... I had SO much fun with most of this book, but really can't deny that I was seriously underwhelmed by the end and kind of stopped caring. I think the main issue is that the story focused more on the mystery than the characters, but the stakes were nowhere near high enough to be taken so seriously. The "scandals" were really tame, weak and didn't warrant all the buildup. I wasn't expecting anything too serious and just wanted a fun read, so I was super into the first half! I loved the idea of Sawyer's character — she's an auto mechanic who agrees to join her estranged grandmother's privileged world and become a debutante the summer after high school so she can afford college. The story jumps between the past & present where some unnamed girls have been arrested for unknown reasons and it's supposed to be all sorts of mysterious as that part of the story unfolds through the lens of a painfully incompetent cop. (Most of the characters were pretty bland and hard to pin down, but that guy was just irritating.) So the first half of the book was funny, endearing, and intriguing, but I think I needed to either have more character development or 100 pages cut out of the story. It just became a lot of watching people run around wondering stuff until i started to realize that the "bigger" thing that the story felt like it kept building up to in order to really get going was just... not going to happen. It was still a fun idea, though, and I genuinely did love the first half! It really did feel like a blend of Gossip Girl, Gilmore Girls, and a tame version of Pretty Little Liars. Thank you to the publisher for sending me an ARC.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Fafa's Book Corner

    Mini review: DNF I received this E-ARC via Disney Hyperion and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Jennifer Lynn Barnes is one off the many authors whose works' I have been trying to get into. Partly because of the heroine in The Fixer. I have come to accept that this isn't an author for me. What intrigued me was the synopsis. A mystery whilst taking place during a debutante? Sign me up! The beginning was interesting if a tab bit cringy. The first chapter did genuinely creep me out. The gr Mini review: DNF I received this E-ARC via Disney Hyperion and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Jennifer Lynn Barnes is one off the many authors whose works' I have been trying to get into. Partly because of the heroine in The Fixer. I have come to accept that this isn't an author for me. What intrigued me was the synopsis. A mystery whilst taking place during a debutante? Sign me up! The beginning was interesting if a tab bit cringy. The first chapter did genuinely creep me out. The grandmother's entrance was very dramatic and odd. I didn't care much for Sawyer either let alone any off the other characters. I did skim the end, and I have to give the author credit for that twist. But after that revelation I was certain that the book wasn't for me. I don't really get along with books that have a lot of scandals. And I'm really tired off the mind games all the characters pull. Overall this was a personal thing. I do really believe that other people will enjoy it more. Still recommend.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)

    Definitely one of my favorites not only from this author but for the year as well! Full review to come closer to release date. *EDITED TO ADD REVIEW: 4.5 Stars! became a huge Jennifer Lynn Barnes fan after reading her Naturals series and then even more so after her Fixer series so it was with little hesitation that I accepted a copy of her latest book. I knew that if anyone could blow me away with a good mystery in the YA genre, it would be her and I wasn't wrong at all. Sometimes you can pick up Definitely one of my favorites not only from this author but for the year as well! Full review to come closer to release date. *EDITED TO ADD REVIEW: 4.5 Stars! became a huge Jennifer Lynn Barnes fan after reading her Naturals series and then even more so after her Fixer series so it was with little hesitation that I accepted a copy of her latest book. I knew that if anyone could blow me away with a good mystery in the YA genre, it would be her and I wasn't wrong at all. Sometimes you can pick up a book and within the very first few pages just know you are going to fall in love with the main character. That you are going to want to be there friend and know them and maybe even be them. That is the talent that Barnes has and that is exactly what happened to me, yet again, when I meet Sawyer. Fun, sassy, sarcastic, a little bit sweet and a while lot of fierce and determined, Sawyer was a character that I couldn't help but instantly like and want to know more about. Throwing this anything but sunshine and smiles girl into a world of fake compliments, even faker smiles and friendship, frilly dresses, and money galore, and you have one heck of a good setting and an even better story. One that will leave you eagerly turning the pages and soaking up every single fascinating ball, scavenger hunt, and elite event in a world that most have never experienced and only dream about. *ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*

  5. 4 out of 5

    mith

    This was not what I expected. THERE'S A PLANNED SEQUEL GOD BLESS AND GOODBYE

  6. 5 out of 5

    Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller

    [3.5/5 stars] Jennifer Lynn Barnes is one of my favorite writers for her intelligent, almost interactive writing style. She’s an author I trust to take me on a wild ride and keep me guessing the entire way. Little White Lies had all of those great components (even if it was a little more lighthearted than I’m used to reading from her) topped off with some good old southern charm… and snark. I have to say, the story took a while to get going. I never read more than the first one or two sentences o [3.5/5 stars] Jennifer Lynn Barnes is one of my favorite writers for her intelligent, almost interactive writing style. She’s an author I trust to take me on a wild ride and keep me guessing the entire way. Little White Lies had all of those great components (even if it was a little more lighthearted than I’m used to reading from her) topped off with some good old southern charm… and snark. I have to say, the story took a while to get going. I never read more than the first one or two sentences of an overview (mostly to avoid what I consider spoilers), relying on author familiarity and friends’ endorsements to choose titles. As a result, I leave it up to the book to provide an inciting moment to kick things off… however, it took reading almost 20% of Little White Lies before I felt I had a grasp on what the story was supposed to be working towards (which is passable, but still a tad to long for my tastes). Aside from the slow beginning, most of the book provided that addictive, engaging plot full of twists and turns. The basic idea behind the story was perhaps not as compelling as that found in her Naturals series (it’s a bit easier to feel suspense when you’re dealing with a multiple homicide story as opposed to a reluctant debutant playing a game of “who’s your daddy”), but as always, she found a way to make it fun.. The characters in this book were wildly entertaining, but I never really felt a connection with any of them. Their profiles were animated enough that they almost came across as caricatures than actual people (which upped the fun but lowered the substance). The main character had a good inner story, but she never really let down her tough exterior front to let the reader in. The Naturals series had several instances of deep character explorations dealing with motive (frighteningly poignant at times), so I think my expectations were inflated by how wicked cool I’ve seen her present characters in the past. Overall, they were good, but I think me wanting a little more was the biggest factor against my rating. Series status: the Debutantes series is currently slotted for two books, and I’ll definitely be picking up the second one when it comes out (fall 2019?). Recommendations: Little White Lies is a fun (I’ve said that word a lot this review) YA story about debutants getting up to no good. The shenanigans will give you a few laughs and the mysteries will keep you turning pages. It’s not the most profound thing I’ve read from this author, but it’s still worth noting if you like these types of books. :) Via The Obsessive Bookseller at www.nikihawkes.com Other books you might like:

  7. 5 out of 5

    Lia (a paper pigeon)

    Jennifer Lynn Barnes, my love. She's finally back and I had no idea T_T

  8. 4 out of 5

    Sara (A Gingerly Review)

    3.5 stars I *love* this author so I could not pass up her latest book. It did not disappoint! I enjoyed the characters, the scandal, the one-liners, the zingers, and the banter. Well done, Barnes. -------- Full review can be found here: https://agingerlyreview.wordpress.com... This book was far more fun than should be allowed. It was witty, snarky, with just enough who-dun-it to be wickedly entertaining. Short recap: Sawyer Taft has never been close to her mother’s family. Everything about that chang 3.5 stars I *love* this author so I could not pass up her latest book. It did not disappoint! I enjoyed the characters, the scandal, the one-liners, the zingers, and the banter. Well done, Barnes. -------- Full review can be found here: https://agingerlyreview.wordpress.com... This book was far more fun than should be allowed. It was witty, snarky, with just enough who-dun-it to be wickedly entertaining. Short recap: Sawyer Taft has never been close to her mother’s family. Everything about that changes when her estranged grandmother shows up on her doorstep with a contract in hand offering Sawyer a very large amount of money for one season. That’s right, one season … a debutante season in the South. The thing is, Sawyer doesn’t know anything about that life. She is a foul mouthed mechanic who never backs down from a good insult. But she has a very hard time resisting the six-figure contract and the opportunity to find out who her real dad is. She decides the deal is worth it and packs up to spend the season with her grandmother. Will she be able to survive the season though? I did go into this story with all of the hopes and dreams that the fun and snark I’ve come to know and love with Barnes books would not fail me… and I was not let down! From the very beginning I was on Team Sawyer. This girl felt like my spirit animal. The girl was gritty, tough, and never back down from anything. She had wicked street sense and knew how to handle herself in most situations. I say most because if it came to holding her tongue or not sassing someone, she was terrible at it. This girl could speak her mind. I loved it. Sawyer was quick witted, sassy, tough as nails, yet mature enough to back down and admit defeat when necessary. She was the perfect MC. The girls she befriends (maybe too strong of a word…) while staying with her grandmother were such a hoot! They had the perfect balance of pure innocence and smarts enough to play the part. I wanted to be friends with them in a demented sort of way. The way the story unfolded did feel a little confusing at the start, but obviously made more sense as the story continued. It was told in alternating “before and after” chapters. The After being girls in dresses being arrested and questioned by police officers. The officers were quite unsure of why the girls were arrested to begin with. But as they continued to tell their story, the Before chapters/story came in to fill in the blanks. Brilliant, really. As stated, the characters were on point. The storyline was also very fun and entertaining. One fun fact about this story – nobody dies! There is no murder so it is a little bit of a change from Barnes other books/series. Everything unfolded and came to light in the right order, just we all knew it would. But the way it was presented was just a treat to read. I really won’t stop gushing about how much I enjoyed this story. I hope everyone gives it a try. I know I cannot wait until the next book comes out next year.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jen Ryland

    Fun and fast paced. Loved the "fish out of water" premise and the emphasis on family and friendship over romance. Plot in a nutshell: Wayward daughter of a fancy Southern family gets pregnant as a teenager and years later, her own teen daughter, a mechanic and bar employee, gets bribed by her grandmother to re-enter the family as a deb. Hilarious makeover scenes ensue. My only negative is that I thought the pacing felt off. Things moved at a leisurely (Southern? lol) pace for some time and then t Fun and fast paced. Loved the "fish out of water" premise and the emphasis on family and friendship over romance. Plot in a nutshell: Wayward daughter of a fancy Southern family gets pregnant as a teenager and years later, her own teen daughter, a mechanic and bar employee, gets bribed by her grandmother to re-enter the family as a deb. Hilarious makeover scenes ensue. My only negative is that I thought the pacing felt off. Things moved at a leisurely (Southern? lol) pace for some time and then the end was crammed with revelations, some resolution, but also some loose ends. Maybe this was one of those possibly standalone, possibly duology books. Also (view spoiler)[ hoping that the next book spends more time on the "pregnancy pact" because what even??? And in the beginning of the book, Lillian pretty much invites Sawyer to come figure out who her father is. Given what is revealed at the end, why would Lillian so that except to stir up some serious shizz? (hide spoiler)] Read more of my reviews on JenRyland.com! Check out my Bookstagram! Or check out my Jen In Ten reviews on Youtube - get the lowdown on current books in 10-30 seconds! Thanks to the publisher for providing an advance copy for review!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Stacee

    I am a sucker for anything with debutantes, so I was all over this book when I saw the synopsis. I loved Sawyer. She’s sassy and sarcastic and it was a blast being in her head while all of this unfolded. There’s quite a group of characters here and even though I loved all of the girls, I think Boone stole every scene he was in and I could easily read a million pages of him and Sadie-Grace. Plot wise, it was captivating. I loved the “present” scenes intermingled with with “past” scenes. It was a I am a sucker for anything with debutantes, so I was all over this book when I saw the synopsis. I loved Sawyer. She’s sassy and sarcastic and it was a blast being in her head while all of this unfolded. There’s quite a group of characters here and even though I loved all of the girls, I think Boone stole every scene he was in and I could easily read a million pages of him and Sadie-Grace. Plot wise, it was captivating. I loved the “present” scenes intermingled with with “past” scenes. It was a clever way to keep things interesting. My main complaint is the sheer amount of people. There were so many families and so many connections and I finally gave up trying to keep track of everyone. Overall, it was a fun story with characters I sort of want to hang out with. I don’t know if this is going to be a series, but if so, I’m definitely here for it. **Huge thanks to Freeform for providing a finished copy free of charge**

  11. 4 out of 5

    PinkAmy loves \u0026#x1f495; books\u0026#x1f4d6;, cats\u0026#x1f63b; and naps\u0026#x1f6cf;

    Sawyer lives with her inconsistent mother, barely scraping by. Then her aristocratic grandmother Lillian makes an offer the eighteen-year-old can hardly refuse—spend the debutant season living with her grandmother and she’ll receive half a million dollars. Sawyer doesn’t expect to find a same age cousin who will become a friend, another friend and a frenemy or a mystery about her paternity. I didn’t expect to enjoy LITTLE WHITE LIES as much as I did. Jennifer Lynn Barnes gave Sawyer such a sharp, Sawyer lives with her inconsistent mother, barely scraping by. Then her aristocratic grandmother Lillian makes an offer the eighteen-year-old can hardly refuse—spend the debutant season living with her grandmother and she’ll receive half a million dollars. Sawyer doesn’t expect to find a same age cousin who will become a friend, another friend and a frenemy or a mystery about her paternity. I didn’t expect to enjoy LITTLE WHITE LIES as much as I did. Jennifer Lynn Barnes gave Sawyer such a sharp, witty voice I couldn’t help falling in love with her. She wasn’t easy, slow to warm up and trust, with good reason. Her moral compass and empathy made her easy to root for. The minor characters had distinct personalities and complexity. The first in the DEBUTANT series, LITTLE WHITE LIES will have readers eagerly awaiting the next installment and fallout from revelations near the end of the book. Even with the cliffhangers #LittleWhiteLies answers the important questions.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Dianne

    My rating: 4.5 Stars! The twenty-first century still has debutante balls? Do they still make white gloves? For $500,000, street-savvy Sawyer is about to find out about more than which fork to use when her long-lost grandmother, matriarch of a wealthy southern family makes her an offer she cannot refuse. Then again, Sawyer isn’t one to back down from a challenge, ever. Besides, it will give her the golden opportunity to find out who her father really is and why her mother left her grand estate for My rating: 4.5 Stars! The twenty-first century still has debutante balls? Do they still make white gloves? For $500,000, street-savvy Sawyer is about to find out about more than which fork to use when her long-lost grandmother, matriarch of a wealthy southern family makes her an offer she cannot refuse. Then again, Sawyer isn’t one to back down from a challenge, ever. Besides, it will give her the golden opportunity to find out who her father really is and why her mother left her grand estate for a rundown apartment on the other side of the tracks. What dirty little secrets hide behind the oh-so-proper gentile society her mother ran from? Are these debutantes as innocent as they seem? Sawyer is about to school them all in the reality of life and they are about to school her in the art of deception. Jennifer Lynn Barnes’s LITTLE WHITE LIES is a cleverly devious, charmingly witty young adult mystery about truth, lies, family and the fact that even those white gloves can get a little dirty! I fell in love with Sawyer’s quick wit, keen sense of survival and her ability not to lose herself in the glitz, glamor and facades of the upper crust! Her nemesis may have gone one threat too far and just maybe I wanted a couple of things clarified, but all in all, I loved it. Quirky, chaotic and filled with surprises, this is one heck of a twisted ride! I received a complimentary ARC edition from Disney Book Group! Publisher: Freeform (November 6, 2018) Publication Date: November 6, 2018 Genre: YA Coming of Age | Mystery Print Length: 400 pages Available from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble For Reviews, Giveaways, Fabulous Book News, follow: http://tometender.blogspot.com

  13. 4 out of 5

    Samantha (WLABB)

    This was really fun and filled with twists. I am going to tell you right now, Grandma Lily was some sort of badass, and I loved her! I also thought Sawyer was fabulous. She made me laugh quite a bit. But the strength of this book was the mysteries and the relationships Sawyer made with her new family. I really liked seeing the girls bond and their friendship grow. BLOG | INSTAGRAM |TWITTER | BLOGLOVIN | FRIEND ME ON GOODREADS

  14. 4 out of 5

    Joy Novel Thoughts

    What a fun and exciting read! I was highly entertained and I never wanted the story to end!! Sawyer Taft's story was riveting and complex, but also an easy read with so many twists and turns that you never knew what would really be happening next! All of the girls in this group of debutantes had their own secrets, which thickened the plot even more. I personally love the idea of debutantes and I love a good murder mystery, even though Little White Lies didn't have any murder seeing the many myster What a fun and exciting read! I was highly entertained and I never wanted the story to end!! Sawyer Taft's story was riveting and complex, but also an easy read with so many twists and turns that you never knew what would really be happening next! All of the girls in this group of debutantes had their own secrets, which thickened the plot even more. I personally love the idea of debutantes and I love a good murder mystery, even though Little White Lies didn't have any murder seeing the many mysteries getting solved was just as enticing. All of the major plots were closed in Little White Lies, but one story was lined unresolved just enough that we are set up perfectly for another book to come to life and I'm truly hoping that we will in fact get more from these angry debs! Little White Lies is filled with revenge, discovery and lies. You don't know who Sawyer can trust, not her mother, her new friends or her grandmother and the rest of her new family. Little White Lies is riveting and I couldn't put it down. Open this story and watch it unfold before your eyes!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    I think this book was about 100 pages too long. What starts off as an intriguing mystery devolved into a slightly less interesting family drama. I love this author, so I hoped to love this one, but I think her Naturals series is stronger.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Mogsy (MMOGC)

    4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2018/12/09/... I knew when I picked up Little White Lies that it might be a little outside my wheelhouse, but what I didn’t anticipate was how much fun it was going to be. Set in the world of debutante balls and grand estates, this novel might as well be set on another planet for all I know about Southern high society, but Jennifer Lynn Barnes ushered me through this beguiling YA mystery with a certain kind of mastery and finesse I’ve fo 4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2018/12/09/... I knew when I picked up Little White Lies that it might be a little outside my wheelhouse, but what I didn’t anticipate was how much fun it was going to be. Set in the world of debutante balls and grand estates, this novel might as well be set on another planet for all I know about Southern high society, but Jennifer Lynn Barnes ushered me through this beguiling YA mystery with a certain kind of mastery and finesse I’ve found only in the most skilled of writers. For as long as she can remember, Sawyer Taft’s world only consisted of herself and her mother. Eighteen years ago, pregnant with Sawyer, Ellie Taft was kicked out of the house and practically disowned by her high society family, presumably for the shame and scandal she brought upon them. Since then, the two have been eking out a living in your typical small Southern town, with no other contact with family since Ellie was cut off. As a result, Sawyer was raised with little to no knowledge of where she came from. Her mother hardly talked about her past, and certainly not anything about Sawyer’s father, whose identity has been kept a closely guarded secret from her daughter. Then one day, a mysterious stranger shows up on Sawyer’s doorstep, introducing herself as Lillian Taft—her maternal grandmother. The stately woman has also brought our stunned protagonist an offer she can’t refuse: half a million dollars to spend the next nine months living on Lillian’s estate, at the end of which Sawyer will be presented at the debutante ball. Despite her initial misgivings, Sawyer knows she will accept. The money itself is incentive enough, solving all her financial problems, not to mention a real shot at going to college. However, Sawyer’s true motivation lies rooted in the realization that living in her grandmother’s world might mean finally learning the answer to the question that has dogged her all her life: who is her father? What follows is an absurdly entertaining tale that is one-part twisted intrigue and mischief, and one-part fish-out-of-water story about an unassuming young auto-mechanic who suddenly finds herself thrown into a world of makeovers, dresses, and southern style etiquette. And of course, no story about high society would be complete without your fair share of secrets and scandals, so rest assured Sawyer stumbles upon quite a few of those in this novel too. It’s a little over-the-top, but not to the extent that it would turn me off. Most of Little White Lies is told in flashback, with little snippets of the present preceding some chapters. In this way, readers are teased with the knowledge that something “big” has happened, and the plot gradually unfolds to describe exactly the series of events that take place before this huge bombshell. Other chapters are also preceded by cryptic messages from some strange tumblr-like website—yet another mystery to be solved. Needless to say, by the time everything falls into place, readers are guaranteed to be left wide-eyed by all the surprises, betrayals, and personal dramas the author has managed to weave into this addictive novel featuring a number of unpredictable plot threads. Speaking of which, this was my first novel by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. Within the first ten chapters, I was thoroughly sold on her writing. She has a talent with words, which paired with a great sense of timing made it easy to become utterly absorbed with the story. Like I said, this is a society I’m totally unfamiliar with, but Barnes was able to create such a clear picture of the setting from the get-go, everything else about the culture and the people just came easy. And there are a lot of characters in this book. Thankfully though, you don’t need make a web diagram to keep track of all the names and relationships, because the author does such a fantastic job with characterization, giving every individual memorable dialogue and personalities. One of the biggest joys of this book for me was being able to discover this world alongside Sawyer, as well as getting to know all the people we meet along the way. There are some bitter rivalries and hostilities, but some pretty epic friendships too. I was also caught off guard by the ending. Just when you think everything has been sorted out and put to bed, this book has a final surprise for us. You just never know what could happen next on this crazy wild ride. It bodes well for the sequel, and yes, I was thrilled to learn Little White Lies is the first book of a series. I look forward to more fun with Sawyer.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Erin Arkin

    Little White Lies by Jennifer Lynn Barnes was everything I hoped it would be when I picked it up. There are so many things that are uncovered throughout this book that I can’t even get into it all but I promise, no spoilers. Sawyer Taft grew up on the wrong side of town and the only family she has ever known is her mother who isn’t necessarily reliable. When her grandmother Lillian Taft, someone she has never met, shows up at her door with a deal she doesn’t really want to say no to, she finds he Little White Lies by Jennifer Lynn Barnes was everything I hoped it would be when I picked it up. There are so many things that are uncovered throughout this book that I can’t even get into it all but I promise, no spoilers. Sawyer Taft grew up on the wrong side of town and the only family she has ever known is her mother who isn’t necessarily reliable. When her grandmother Lillian Taft, someone she has never met, shows up at her door with a deal she doesn’t really want to say no to, she finds herself mixed up in something she never expected. In exchange for participating in the current debutante season, Sawyer’s grandmother will give her five hundred thousand dollars. Now you might be thinking…why would someone just agree to live with a stranger for a year for money, but her grandmother throws in the one thing she knows will push Sawyer to agree, the opportunity to figure out who her biological father is. As Sawyer moves in with her grandmother, she is immediately thrown into a family that she knows nothing about. One thing she does learn very quickly is that everyone has secrets and those secrets can be dangerous. I loved how Barnes set up the story by giving the reader a bit of the current situation and then immediately jumping back to where everything started. It helped me start to connect the dots around what was going on…with that said, there were a few twists and turns I didn’t see coming. I really liked the characters in this story. I won’t cover them all but there are some key players that you need to know about. First there is Sawyer’s cousin, Lily. She does everything she can to fit into her mother’s image of perfect but remember what I said about secrets? She has a big one and it is that secret that starts some of the trouble Sawyer is pulled into almost immediately. They also come to be good friends and although they don’t agree on everything, they support each other. There is also Lily’s best friend, Sadie-Grace, who Another key character is Campbell Ames, the daughter of a senator and everyone tends to refer to her as the devil. Which, full disclosure, she is definitely a piece of work. As the story unfolds, we learn a lot more about her story and secrets as well. As I mentioned earlier, one of Sawyer’s motives for taking the deal with her grandmother was to figure out who her father is and there are 4 potential options. As Sawyer starts to dig, she learns more about everyone in this debutante circle and it isn’t necessarily a good thing. It’s no wonder that her mother left and didn’t have any desire to go back although that isn’t necessarily the full story…but I’m not going to say any more about that. Ultimately this story is about more than the mysteries though. It’s about family and friendships and as Sawyer learns more about hers, she has to decide if they are who she wants to be around or if she wants to go back to living above a bar and working as a mechanic with only her mother to rely on. Overall, I enjoyed this book. It was fast-paced, had some interesting characters, and enough twists to keep me guessing until the very end. Although this was only my first book by Barnes, it definitely won’t be my last. I enjoyed every bit of this and can’t wait to check out her others. If you’re looking for a story that has all of that, consider checking this out when you can. Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for the copy in exchange for an honest review.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Trianna

    3.5/5 I think my main problem with this story is that the characters are not super developed and the focus is on the plot. I tend to prefer character driven novels and wish we got to see more devolvement from these characters; they all seemed to have promise. But, since I did not have an emotional attachment to the characters, the stakes and the risks they undertake did not have me on the edge of my seat. There is a dual timeline thing going on. The mystery is revealed to us in various flashbacks 3.5/5 I think my main problem with this story is that the characters are not super developed and the focus is on the plot. I tend to prefer character driven novels and wish we got to see more devolvement from these characters; they all seemed to have promise. But, since I did not have an emotional attachment to the characters, the stakes and the risks they undertake did not have me on the edge of my seat. There is a dual timeline thing going on. The mystery is revealed to us in various flashbacks. Although flashback makes them seem short. The present day sections are more like snippets. I did think this was interesting and did add to the intrigue of the mystery. The mystery itself was layered and the story went places I did not expect it to. The ending is abrupt and a little underwhelming, but I am hearing rumors of a sequel? I did enjoy this, some parts more than others, and might read book two if the premise seems interesting. If you like the “drama” of Southern Society with a touch of Pretty Little Liars, The Rebel Belle Trilogy, and Gilmore Girls, then I would recommend this to you. Plus, the cover is gorgeous. *Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review*

  19. 5 out of 5

    Amelia

    Barnes has done it again. When she writes mystery, she writes it good. And her characters are certainly memorable. First of all, the plot was an interesting one. There are a few chapters from the future, but most of it is from "the present". It was quite fun getting to see how they ended up in that situation and it really surpassed my expectations. We people generally make assumptions about people and events, sometimes we are right, most of the time, we are wrong. In this case, I was very wrong. Barnes has done it again. When she writes mystery, she writes it good. And her characters are certainly memorable. First of all, the plot was an interesting one. There are a few chapters from the future, but most of it is from "the present". It was quite fun getting to see how they ended up in that situation and it really surpassed my expectations. We people generally make assumptions about people and events, sometimes we are right, most of the time, we are wrong. In this case, I was very wrong. I thought these girls are gonna be spoiled, annoying and completely the same. Instead, I got slightly spoiled, sometimes annoying and completely different badass women who know what they want and how to get it. At first, I was a bit skeptical considering they all had similar personalities, but once you pass the first few chapters, you start to see how different they are. The girls were great and I really did enjoy reading about them. But also, there were A TON of characters. And I'm not that good with names which means that I spend the first half of the book trying to remember who was who and is he related to this one or that one. It was a mess. I'm still not entirely sure who's part of whose family but it doesn't really matter. The girls themselves were such interesting people it was impossible not to like them and be fascinated by them. The plot twists were amazing. Honestly, I tried to guess what's going on but I missed every time. And that's what Barnes does best - writing surprising twists and making you think you know something but you actually don't. The ending was a good one and the whole plot took quite a different turn, which I'm glad. I really did enjoy this one and Barnes will forever be one of my fave authors, but still - I can't give it 5 stars, because at times, I was slightly annoyed that we weren't getting any answers and the plot took a slower pace. But besides that, I'm glad I read the book and I'll definitely read the sequel :D

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jen (The Starry-Eyed Revue)

    Y'all, I love me some Jennifer Lynn Barnes. I love when she goes dark and creepy and serial killer. And now I love when she goes poofy and poised and in search of clues. A mystery of debutante proportions? Yes, please! The family dynamic was perfection, as was the narrator for the audiobook. And the fact that I didn't have everything figured out from page one! I love some actual mystery in my mystery stories. JLB is really good at the suspense, too, even when it's just, "Who's my daddy?" and not Y'all, I love me some Jennifer Lynn Barnes. I love when she goes dark and creepy and serial killer. And now I love when she goes poofy and poised and in search of clues. A mystery of debutante proportions? Yes, please! The family dynamic was perfection, as was the narrator for the audiobook. And the fact that I didn't have everything figured out from page one! I love some actual mystery in my mystery stories. JLB is really good at the suspense, too, even when it's just, "Who's my daddy?" and not "Who's the killer?" 😂 I would have liked a little closure, but I just saw that this is a series now, so I'm happy as a debutante in pearls.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Madison

    I would usually steer away from books about Debutante balls and the drama that might accompany such events, but Little White Lies is written by Jennifer Lynn Barnes, so instead it became one of my most anticipated reads of 2018. And it did not disappoint. Only Barnes could create such a setting and accompany it with breathless tension and mystery, expertly combined with humour and good old insult-laden compliments. Sawyer Taft has never known who her father is - her mother refused to speak of hi I would usually steer away from books about Debutante balls and the drama that might accompany such events, but Little White Lies is written by Jennifer Lynn Barnes, so instead it became one of my most anticipated reads of 2018. And it did not disappoint. Only Barnes could create such a setting and accompany it with breathless tension and mystery, expertly combined with humour and good old insult-laden compliments. Sawyer Taft has never known who her father is - her mother refused to speak of him or the life she left behind. But when Sawyer’s maternal grandmother makes a sudden appearance, she promises both answers and a whole lot of money if Sawyer will agree to live with her for nine months and become a Debutante. While trying to find her own answers about her mother’s past and her unknown father, Sawyer becomes entangled in another mystery, all while juggling brunch, dress fittings, and the special kind of horror that is a spa day. Little White Lies is both a fun contemporary novel and a mystery. It took the majority of the book for me to figure out what on earth was going on in this story. What was the mystery about, how would it all play out? I knew there were clues along the way and things would slowly fit into place, but the big picture didn’t become clear until the very last part of the book. And that’s when my interest was really captured. That ‘ah ha’ moment was awesome, and the way it all fit so neatly together was clever, and very much Barnes’ style. Little While Lies carries Barnes’ signature writing style - classy, clever, witty and wholly unique. I instantly, instantly loved Sawyer. There is such a thing as love at first sight, or perhaps in this case it is love at first line, because when she threatens a rude customer with wire cutters and archaic torture methods I knew she and I would get along just fine. Her dry sense of humour is the perfect contrast to the sugar-sweetness of her new companions. The flow and tension of the story is helped with before and after sections, as well as artwork from a very interesting Tumblr page. The artwork was not included in my ARC but explanation of its inclusion is just one of the many clues that are revealed as the story unfolds. While I didn’t enjoy Little White Lies as much as I love Barnes’ The Naturals series, I know readers will love this mix of mystery and cotillion, secrets and ball gowns, devious plans and hairdos, opening Barnes’ writing to new and old fans alike. As to that ending, well, I even wrote to the publicity department to check that my copy is a complete and accurate representation of the final book. I never heard back and so I must assume that it is. Which means Little White Lies has one hell of an ending. Yet readers are still left with a sense of conclusion, even if they (as I am) will be desperate for the second book in what promises to be a very exciting, unique, and clever series. The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own. Find more reviews, reading age guides, content advisory, and recommendations on my blog Madison's Library

  22. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    Pub date: Nov 2018 I love Ms. Barnes YA mysteries and this one is even better with awesome main character Sawyer Taft! Her deadpan humor and take no BS attitude while having to navigate her newly found Southern high society family is fun and addicting. While the mystery of her father’s identity is the driving force, the challenge of finding out what a fellow evil debutant is doing is just as interesting. Ahhhh- but what a cliffhanger! I’m convinced that my advanced copy was shorted by a couple of Pub date: Nov 2018 I love Ms. Barnes YA mysteries and this one is even better with awesome main character Sawyer Taft! Her deadpan humor and take no BS attitude while having to navigate her newly found Southern high society family is fun and addicting. While the mystery of her father’s identity is the driving force, the challenge of finding out what a fellow evil debutant is doing is just as interesting. Ahhhh- but what a cliffhanger! I’m convinced that my advanced copy was shorted by a couple of pages...talk about evil. But it’s soooo good, it’s worth it. This doesn’t come out until late fall, but I couldn’t wait to read it, having read an excerpt in her last Naturals series ebook. Can’t wait for the next one! Fans of Ms. Barnes, Rachel Hawkins and Veronica Mars will love it too.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Resch Reads

    *Book Received in Exchange for Honest Opinion/Review* Three words to describe this book, I AM OBSESSED. I stumbled upon Jennifer Lynn Barnes when she first published The Fixer and I have been devouring her novels since then. I saw Little White Lies being mentioned on social media and immediately knew I had to have it! This book blew me away, southern bells, money, power plays, and plot twists had me on the edge of my seat. I was captivated by the glitz and glamour of the debutante world and exhil *Book Received in Exchange for Honest Opinion/Review* Three words to describe this book, I AM OBSESSED. I stumbled upon Jennifer Lynn Barnes when she first published The Fixer and I have been devouring her novels since then. I saw Little White Lies being mentioned on social media and immediately knew I had to have it! This book blew me away, southern bells, money, power plays, and plot twists had me on the edge of my seat. I was captivated by the glitz and glamour of the debutante world and exhilarated by the endless bombshells and revelations. This is Jennifer Lynn Barnes at her best yet. I am struggling to put into words how good this book was. I think what I love most about this book is that romance isn't necessary, the numerous plots, characters, and drama are more than strong enough to stand on their own. Sawyer is a strong, take no crap heroine and I am so excited to see what she uncovers next. Her dynamic personality and sheer determination was admirable, watching her transform but remain true to herself was awe-inspiring, and seeing her raise h*ll in such a prim and proper place had me laughing-out-loud. Sawyer isn't the only amazing character though and I could write a short story about how wonderful most of the characters are. Boone provided the perfect amount of comic relief, Sadie-Grace was as sweet as pie and oblivious to everything, Walker and Nick were puzzles I wanted to solve (still waiting to solve Nick), Campbell was the perfect anti-villian, but the real scene stealer was non-other than Lillian Taft...Sawyer's Grandma. That woman is sassy, has eyes in the back of her head, and every conversation left me with more questions than answers. I do believe that's exactly how Sawyer felt too. This book was so fun, refreshing, and unique. The story starts off with Sawyer's hunt for her father and I am still reeling from how it all plays out. Let's just say that I would have never seen that coming. I was bouncing between a constant state of giggles and utter shock throughout the book. Not to mention I have a million more questions and am already dying for more! This book was just bless-your-heart perfection and I can't wait for the next one!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Alicia

    I liked Sawyer as a character, an eighteen year old mechanic who has learned to do everything on her own because her mother was a teenaged mom not interested in truly caring for and loving her daughter. They've lived together and handled their business while she flits to jobs and men. Then enter grandma, who Sawyer has never known, there to make a deal. Sign a contract that guarantees plenty of money for life and college on the condition that she spend a year with the grandmother. This southern I liked Sawyer as a character, an eighteen year old mechanic who has learned to do everything on her own because her mother was a teenaged mom not interested in truly caring for and loving her daughter. They've lived together and handled their business while she flits to jobs and men. Then enter grandma, who Sawyer has never known, there to make a deal. Sign a contract that guarantees plenty of money for life and college on the condition that she spend a year with the grandmother. This southern style includes plenty of "bless your hearts" and debutantes until a darker mystery unravels-- who is Sawyer's father, who was really culpable for breaking up the family, and what will Sawyer do in the end? A bit of an uppity mystery / mean girls story that was fairly engaging even though this kind of book is not my type. Sawyer had a great voice.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Beth Bryden-miller

    Am I angry enough at the ending that I won't read the next book? Or am I curious enough about how Barnes will start the sequel to pick it up? Precise writing, decent character building (many characters and I can keep them apart in my mind), format improves the book with its flashback and increasing timeline. Not a huge fan of making the characters, especially Sawyer, good at all the things. Some convenient plot jumps.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kristi Housman Confessions of a YA Reader

    Little White Lies was a pleasant surprise for me.  I found it hard to put down and times. Sawyer lives with her mom who is hardly ever around.  But she makes do on her own.  Her mom got pregnant with her when she was a teenager and kicked out of her house.  Sawyer doesn't know much about her mom's past.  She knows that her family had money.  Her dad is someone that her mom won't tell her about. One day,  her grandmother, Lillian, shows up with an offer for Sawyer.  If she agrees to live with her f Little White Lies was a pleasant surprise for me.  I found it hard to put down and times. Sawyer lives with her mom who is hardly ever around.  But she makes do on her own.  Her mom got pregnant with her when she was a teenager and kicked out of her house.  Sawyer doesn't know much about her mom's past.  She knows that her family had money.  Her dad is someone that her mom won't tell her about. One day,  her grandmother, Lillian, shows up with an offer for Sawyer.  If she agrees to live with her for nine months and become a debutante, Sawyer will get half a million dollars to pay all her college and living expenses.  She also tells Sawyer that she can find out who her father is.  Sawyer's mom is away with a guy she just met, so she gives in. Things are so different there for her, but Sawyer does bond with her cousin, Lilly, and Lilly's best friend, Sadie Grace.  She also spends a lot of time with the Ames family.  Walker, Campbell, and their cousin, Boone.  Sawyer has her father narrowed down to four men and she could be siblings to any of these people. The book goes back and forth in time.  There are chapters that are current with the four girls being arrested, but the officer dealing with them has no idea why.  He also doesn't know who they are, the richest girls in the area with families of power.  The other chapters go through the months leading up to the ball.  Campbell is trouble and is blackmailing Lilly.  She also has secrets that she's keeping from everyone else.  They become her alibi and end up being involved in the plan towards the end. The girls are not the nicest people, but I ended up liking them anyway.  Especially Sadie Grace.  There were a lot of scandals and mysteries throughout the book.  The ending made me wonder if this will end up being a series.  If so, I would definitely pick up book two. Thank you to netgalley for sending me a copy for review.  I gave this one 4 stars and recommend it to anyone who liked Pretty Little Liars, Little Monster, or We Were Liars.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Liralen

    Wildly unrealistic in a way that is entertaining from start to (almost) finish. I have yet to forgive Barnes for not carrying on with the Squad series, but if this series continues, I will take it as an excellent olive branch. This is Southern high society at its high-and-mightiest, and its bless-your-heartiness. Sawyer does not fit in. Sawyer does not want to fit in. But she's used to doing what she has to do to get by, and if taking up her estranged grandmother's offer to become a debutante is Wildly unrealistic in a way that is entertaining from start to (almost) finish. I have yet to forgive Barnes for not carrying on with the Squad series, but if this series continues, I will take it as an excellent olive branch. This is Southern high society at its high-and-mightiest, and its bless-your-heartiness. Sawyer does not fit in. Sawyer does not want to fit in. But she's used to doing what she has to do to get by, and if taking up her estranged grandmother's offer to become a debutante is what it takes...well. She'll do her worst. What I love about Sawyer is this: she never, throughout the book, loses sight of who she is. She knows she's out of her element, and she's okay with that. Her not fitting into Southern society has little to do with polish and much, much more to do with a secure sense of self. This isn't the sort of book where we see her stumbling in her heels and making embarrassing social gaffes. This is the sort of book where she uses her bobby pins to pick locks and has no problem—ethically or otherwise—wreaking havoc where havoc is due. The other thing I loved: the rivalry with Lily is minimal. Lily has little reason to want Sawyer in her life, but she doesn't go hyper-catty on Sawyer; instead, they form an alliance that is at first uneasy but strengthens as time goes on and they each learn more about the other. It's much more interesting that way. Even the evil-incarnate character gets to be more complex (and less evil) as things progress. Now, the end...the book asks the reader to take in a lot of new information at the end (and then have a proper resolution deferred until a later book). Cliffhangers (of sorts) are really not my favourite, and for that matter series are rarely a bit hit with me. But this is fun. Fingers crossed that there's a second book in the near future.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Brenda Ayala

    Little White Lies ended up being so much more fun than I expected! I imagined this would be more like The Selection, all fluff and idiotic behavior without any real substance. And it sort of started out like that, but then ended up being far more exciting (and unexpectedly wholesome) than I prepared for. The biggest draws for me were the female friendships. I thought it was going to be catty one upping each other, but that quickly faded into a fun but surprisingly serious romp through all kinds o Little White Lies ended up being so much more fun than I expected! I imagined this would be more like The Selection, all fluff and idiotic behavior without any real substance. And it sort of started out like that, but then ended up being far more exciting (and unexpectedly wholesome) than I prepared for. The biggest draws for me were the female friendships. I thought it was going to be catty one upping each other, but that quickly faded into a fun but surprisingly serious romp through all kinds of illegal activity. The debutante stuff wasn’t forefront either, which probably helped my rating a lot. I have no patience for incessant details about clothing or hair or decorations, so the quick descriptions by the author before returning to the plot was absolutely perfect.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Bethany

    Gossip Girl meets Steel Magnolias, Little White Lies is a social family drama set in the American South with a mystery element. It is full of twists that keep you reading, and characters that jump off the page. At 18 years old, Sawyer Taft works as a mechanic and tries to stay grounded for her flighty mother who is always off with her newest flame. Unexpectedly, her estranged grandmother shows up and offers her a deal: $500K to pay for college in exchange for 9 months of Sawyer living in her hom Gossip Girl meets Steel Magnolias, Little White Lies is a social family drama set in the American South with a mystery element. It is full of twists that keep you reading, and characters that jump off the page. At 18 years old, Sawyer Taft works as a mechanic and tries to stay grounded for her flighty mother who is always off with her newest flame. Unexpectedly, her estranged grandmother shows up and offers her a deal: $500K to pay for college in exchange for 9 months of Sawyer living in her home and participating in the debutante season. Given the chance to afford college and perhaps uncover the identity of her biological father, Sawyer accepts and is thrust into an unfamiliar world of social niceties with a dark underbelly. I really enjoyed the plot of the book and many of the characters were incredibly entertaining. Lillian Taft is the unflappable matriarch of the family and none of Sawyers outrageous behavior makes her blink. There are also some really wonderful female friendships that develop through the course of the book which I appreciated. I did think that the dual timeline was an unnecessary addition and a linear plot would have worked well. Overall, it was a fun, quick read with great characters and a twisty plot. I received an early review copy from NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Mara

    3.5 stars - As usual, Jennifer Lynn Barnes delivers on quality prose that makes for a cracking read and a great cast of characters. I think trope-wise, this isn't as good of an alignment for me as her Naturals series is, and I'm always a hard sell for a dual timeline. That being said, I liked the ending twist, am interested in continuing the series, and would recommend this for people who are looking for YA mysteries with quality writing (also, def strong Gilmore Girls vibes here)

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