cover image Three Truths and a Lie

Three Truths and a Lie

Brent Hartinger. Simon Pulse, $17.99 (272p) ISBN 978-1-4814-4960-1

A weekend at a remote cabin turns deadly for the teenagers in Hartinger’s (The Elephant of Surprise) psychological thriller, which is rife with sexual tension. For narrator Rob, the trip is a chance to spend some quality time with his boyfriend, Liam, and prove that he fits in with Liam’s best friend, Mia, and her boyfriend, Galen. The four set off for Mia’s family’s lake cabin near the isolated Washington State town of Marot, but the townspeople they encounter are surly, and the rickety house leaves much to be desired. But the group makes do, with Galen even suggesting a skinny-dipping excursion. When the group gathers in the evening for the eponymous game, they start noticing things are askew, like the missing satellite phone. The pranks get more ominous until the group is trapped at the cabin, and what began as harmless fun turns fatal. Though the ultimate twist is both hard to swallow and somewhat easy to see coming, Hartinger’s depiction of the complexities of teen relationships, particularly gay ones, is on point. Ages 14–up. Agent: Jennifer De Chiara, Jennifer De Chiara Literary. (Aug.)