Review: Beautiful Lies by Jessica Warman

Beautiful Lies
By Jessica Warman
422 Pages
Published by Walker Childrens
Publication Date: August 21, 2012
Source: NetGalley

From Goodreads:

Rachel and Alice are an extremely rare kind of identical twins—so identical that even their aunt and uncle, whom they’ve lived with since their parents passed away, can’t tell them apart. But the sisters are connected in a way that goes well beyond their surfaces: when one experiences pain, the other exhibits the exact same signs of distress. So when one twin mysteriously disappears, the other immediately knows something is wrong—especially when she starts experiencing serious physical traumas, despite the fact that nobody has touched her. As the search commences to find her sister, the twin left behind must rely on their intense bond to uncover the truth. But is there anyone around her she can trust, when everyone could be a suspect? And ultimately, can she even trust herself? Master storyteller Jessica Warman will keep readers guessing when everything they see—and everything they are told—suddenly becomes unreliable in this page-turning literary thriller.

I’ve always kind of wondered what it would be like to be a twin. I find identical twins fascinating. Not in a creepy way, just in a “what would that be like?” way. What would it be like to share everything with someone – birthday, appearance, etc. Would it be awesome or would it just get tiresome after a while? Would I be one of those people who are content to look identical to someone else or would I be one of those people who tries very hard to look different and set myself apart? And the idea that identical twins can feel each other’s pain is crazy fascinating to me. I am not sure I buy the possibility of it – to me it sounds like a Time Life books subject or whatever – but I’m neither a twin nor a scientist, so who knows?

As far as the twins in the book, I loved it that Alice and Rachel are older teenagers at 18. I would almost place this more in the new adult category than in YA, but that’s really just splitting hairs. I didn’t feel like we got to know either one of them particularly well but there was a good reason for that and it really didn’t bother me as I was reading the book itself. We learn a little about the twins and they each have very distinctive personalities, and it’s plenty. There are also quite a few minor characters and most of their friends are frankly kind of annoying, but I did love Ryan. Hot cop!

This is a book that will keep you on your toes. There are tons of twists and turns and revelations that you won’t see coming. It does sometimes get a little convoluted because there are so many twists and there are a few different minor plots going on, but for the most part it’s pretty easy to follow. There are a few moments where I was scratching my head a bit but it was more because something happened that I just did not see coming. It’s also surprisingly sad in some places and I found myself with tears in my eyes more than once. I also give the book bonus points because it takes place in the Pittsburgh suburbs, so woo.

I did kind of figure out early on who the villain of the story was going to be, but it was partly a guess and partly a very strong suspicion. There really are several possibilities so I just kind of picked the most likely one and it turned out to be right. Even that didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the story because there were still plenty of surprises.

I do have to say that one potentially major revelation in the story was spoiled for me, and I don’t even remember where I read it. I actually thought it was in the marketing blurb but re-reading it it’s obviously not in there. Must have been on GoodReads somewhere. I don’t think it was intentional but it’s very easy to give away spoilers about this book without meaning to (I’ve been really careful not to do so here – even I almost did it and ended up cutting part of this review because it inadvertently gave something away), so read reviews with caution.

This was my first Jessica Warman book but it won’t be my last.

4/5 Stars

Leave a comment


  1. Sounds like a good one! Glad you enjoy it. I haven’t heard of this author.

  2. I find the idea of twins really fascinating too! Eesh about the secondary characters though, I hate it when the friends are annoying. I’m really curious about the twists and turns of this book now and if I would guess the villain!

  3. I love twins. I always wanted to have a twin, but now I dont think I would wish that on someone. lol. The poor girl would be traumatized to have come from the same womb as me, I’m sure.

    I have this from netgalley. I requested just because it said twins in the description. you seemed to really like it so I should move it up my pile. I should really get around to my galleys. I’m an f’n slacker this summer.


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