Title: Beautiful Lies
Author: Jessica Warman
Release Date: Available
Jessica Warman’s Beautiful Lies is a deliberately confounding thriller about twin sisters. Alice and Rachel are monochorionic monoamniotic twins, meaning they shared an amniotic sac in the womb. As a result, they have a special connection. Whenever Rachel is physically hurt, the same wound appears on Alice. Sometimes Alice can even sense danger before it harms her sister. So when one of the twins suddenly goes missing, the other starts bleeding from an unexplained head wound and manacle marks around the wrist. This twin narrates the search for her sister, which suddenly becomes much more complicated when she starts seeing things that don’t make sense and can no longer trust her own mind.
Beautiful Lies is a thriller, but as someone who never watches horror films or reads particularly scary books, I can vouch that it is not horrifying in a way that will give you nightmares. Warman weaves family trauma, mental illness, and trust into the plot, making the story both captivating and thought-provoking. The narrator proves to be unreliable, which increases the mystery and makes the ending harder to guess. There is a whole host of characters, and any of them could be the suspect. But the unreliable narration also makes some scenes confusing, and more than once I had to go back and reread to understand what was happening.
For me, the most intriguing part of the story is Alice and Rachel’s relationship. Originally, the reader is meant to think that they are closer than peanut butter and jelly. It is understandable, but heartbreaking, to find out later that one has been keeping secrets from the other. The narrator feels betrayed that her sister has hidden important parts of her life, but the other is just trying to protect these aspects of her life from the craziness surrounding her sister. Who is right?
Although the book kept me engaged the whole way, it still felt lacking in a way that is difficult to pinpoint. It may be that the story is slightly repetitive: the narrator looks for her sister somewhere, questions her own sanity, tries to do something normal, and then becomes very upset and questions her sanity again. It also bothers me that the suspect’s motives are never fully explained. However, the ending is fantastic, complex, and unexpected. Many will enjoy this suspenseful novel, whether or not you usually read thrillers and mysteries.
Review by Sami;
Order Beautiful Lies from Book Passage