Little White Lies

Jennifer Lynn Barnes. Freeform, $17.99 (400p) ISBN 978-1-368-01413-7
Eighteen-year-old Sawyer—a car mechanic and daughter of a single mom in the South—is offered a deal she cannot refuse: her estranged maternal grandmother, Lillian, a wealthy socialite, will give Sawyer half a million dollars if she agrees to live with her for one year and become a debutante. Sawyer accepts in the hope of discovering her father’s identity within her grandmother’s social strata, and she is soon wooing attractive young men at society events and befriending her cousin, Lily. Lily has plenty of secrets of her own—secrets that help unspool the mystery at this novel’s center, having to do with a missing girl and a scandalous blogger. Time jumps between chapters and blog post interstitials may create confusion at the story’s start, but after the structure smooths out, the momentum picks up, as do the secrets. Though Barnes (The Fixer) paints Sawyer as an outsider, and the young woman constantly protests the moneyed world into which she is dropped, the ease of her assimilation saps tension—she seems born for this life. Full of gossiping, conniving, and back-stabbing, this breezy read is light on mystery and heavy on made-for-film debutante antics. Ages 12–up. Agent: Elizabeth Harding, Curtis Brown. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 10/01/2018
Release date: 11/01/2018
Genre: Children's
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