Beautiful Lies Beautiful Lies by Jessica Warman
My rating: 4/5 cats
One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

let me just come right out and say what you are all thinking: worst title ever. i know, i know, titles are haaard, but so is writing a book. this title is lazy and it doesn’t even seem appropriate for the story. i already ranted on this review about these “dime a dozen” titles, so i am not going to repeat myself, but dayuuuum…

and, no, i don’t have any suggestions. because i am not a writer. i would probably have called it monochorionic monoamniotic ginger twins: the scariest kind!! which is probably worse. but at least it is memorable.

okay, enough about that. because i liked this one, even though i have some missed-opportunity-regrets, and some pretty serious questions and complaints.

my four stars cats are for the journey. i read this in a day when my nook* broke in the middle of a book i was reading, and i had to grab something before work. i had read Between by this author, and it was fine, and i was in the mood for something quick that i could read while i was waiting for nook-replacement. why should you care? you shouldn’t—this is just how i write book reports. i ease in. you may skip ahead.

and this one was also fine, but better than Between, so it gets an extra star cat, is my method of starcat-rating. i enjoyed reading it, it was a definite page-turner, and i got really caught up in all the twists and turns. i had some problems, which i will go into in probably too much detail, but overall, i thought this was a fun ride.

long-winded caveat over.

right-o, so, as i have mentioned, this book is about monochorionic monoamniotic twins. which means, in the strictest scientific terms, they are creeeepy. and also that they shared, in the womb, one amniotic sac and one placenta. and that they shared, in the outside-life, physical manifestations of each others’ pain. so when one twin goes missing, and the remaining one starts waking up with black eyes and shackle-burns on her wrists, and a big bloody gash on the back of her head, she knows her sister is probably in a really bad place.

and she has to find her, because no one else seems to be trying too hard, honestly. their parents both died long ago, and the twins have been living with their aunt and uncle and slow-but-sweet cousin charlie. but the adults don’t seem overly concerned about her bleeding head-wound, either. her aunt just tells her to go take a shower and then she will disinfect it for her. which, i don’t know—showering unsupervised with a bleeding head wound of unknown origin doesn’t seem like the best course of action. fortunately, she disobeys and instead steals her uncle’s car to go look for her sister. danger averted! (this all takes place before page 60 of a 400-page book, so don’t get all squirrelly on me)

and it continues from there.

this seems to be a book-version of “don’t ask, don’t tell.” don’t ask too may questions when things seem unclear or confusing; don’t tell the ending.

and i can certainly obey the one, but i can’t not ask questions. because i have questions.

the inclusion of the metaphysical in this story seems to be an opportunity to write a lot of shit that doesn’t really go anywhere, plot-wise, or goes too far and is too convenient. it works well as imagery, but a lot of it just seems to make the situation more complicated than it needs to be.

for example: View Spoiler »

and why View Spoiler »

what gives??

i thought i was done there, but i’m not. so—how convenient was that ending, though?? it galls me when criminals are that chatty. “i am going to itemize all my crimes for you, out loud, but it is okay, because you will never escape my clutches because i am so sinister!!”

View Spoiler »

sub-rant: View Spoiler »

very impolite.

because this is kind of what i was hoping for. in the scene where she is recounting the car accident that killed her parents, she says:

I’m not sure how anyone else might have reacted in the same situation. A small part of me understood what had happened, but it was like my mind wouldn’t allow me to fully grasp the reality. Maybe I was in shock. I didn’t cry or scream or get out of the car. I just sat back down, waiting for someone to find us. I stared at my sister, who was still unconscious, and it occurred to me that she wouldn’t remember any of this once she woke up. But I would…Even that night, as I lay in bed at my grandmother’s house, I stared at the ceiling and mouthed the same phrase, until the rhythm of the words on my breath finally put me to sleep. I thought of Rachel in the next room, the fact that she hadn’t woken up until an EMT held smelling salts beneath her nose, and repeated the words like they were a prayer: I wish I were you. I wish I were you. I wish I were you.

and so

View Spoiler »

but noooooo, she went in another direction, and it kind of makes the parts that are problematic for me stand out more than they would otherwise. but—again—i did enjoy reading this, and if you want a really fast-paced mystery novel with lots and lots of reversals and twists, this is a good one. but don’t sit down afterwards and pick it apart. it is a diversion, not a perfectly-constructed book with no authorial oversights.

*totally my fault and not any indication of the fragility of the product, which i got replaced for free and everyone was happy again. team BN!

read my book reviews on goodreads

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