Good Girls Lie

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 31 Jan 2020

Member Reviews

This book is so good. Once you get going this book will keep you reading. Once the action starts you really can’t put the book down. What an amazing ending!
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“Good Girls Lie” by J. T. Ellison is the story of a teenage girl who wants to remake herself at a private school, “The Goode School. “ The present tense, first person narrative makes the action, immediate, personal, and compelling; readers are in the moment along with characters. Ellison establishes the school and its position within society immediately, and keeping secrets is part of what “those” schools do. There are both nasty as well as good girls at The Goode School, and the school itself has a dark past, a terrible tragic past.
The girls excel because that is what “Goode” girls do. Of course, they also lie to themselves and to others as a way to look important, to be included, to belong. The characters are compelling not because of what Ellison tells readers about them but because of what readers are not told and discover themselves. 
The Narrator is mysterious, cunning, manipulative, and secretive. Readers emphasize with her because Ellison designed her in the first person present. Readers know what she says to people and what they say to her, what she thinks about people and what they do and say. However, to whom is she speaking – herself? The reader? Or someone else?
 “There are truths, and there are lies, and then there is everything that really happened, which is where you and I will meet. My truth is your lie, and my lie is your truth, and there is a vast expanse between them.”
The book opens with a tragic scene, but narrator is unconcerned, unmoved. Chapters are labeled with dates, and the narrative alternates between different periods. Readers wonder how people got themselves into those very nonstandard situations, what influenced them, and more importantly, who is lying and about what. Hovering over all is that shocking first chapter. How does it fit into the whole picture? 
“Good Girls Lie” is compelling because it is realistic and relatable. Ellison, herself, stated that she did not have to do a great deal of research for this book, and rather based much of her story her own experiences. Now that is a compelling mystery story. I received a copy of “Good Girls Lie” from J. T. Ellison and Harlequin - Mira Publishing. It is a rush of lies, lies, and more lies, and then the consequences…a spider waiting at the center of the web for the fly.
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Received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for a honest review. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own 


This isn’t a book where you’re on the edge of your seat, but it’s a nice book to lose yourself in for a couple of hours. I didn’t see the ending coming and I really enjoyed the book
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Everything about the Goode School sounds intriguing! What a book! Ash is the daughter of a very wealthy family in the UK and comes to the boarding school in Virginia to prepare for college. This is not your typical boarding school novel although it certainly has all of the intrigue you would expect! The school is old, traditioned and somewhat haunted by its past. There are secret societies, incredible learning, hazing and a story so awesome you won’t know it hit you! I was really into the story and then all of the sudden – a huge gruesome twist that made the story EVEN better. The characters are relatable and well developed and the author does such a good job with her setting that you feel as if you’re in the school yourself in just a couple chapters! Good girls don’t lie but Goode girls certainly do and you will LOVE this book!

PS. I loved that the author built this story using her knowledge of boarding school. It makes it so much more real - but the thing is, you don't know this until you read the acknowledgements at the end! It just makes perfect sense!
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The Goode School is an elite prep school in Marchburg, Virginia. Each class contains only fifty girls, hand-picked by Dean Westhaven herself. The school has been in the Dean's family for generations. The girls all go on to college--mostly the Ivies--and are the daughters of the rich and elite. Goode is filled with traditions, rumors, haunted tunnels and arboretums, and secret societies. Coming to Goode from England this year is Ash Carr, now Ash Carlisle. Ash's wealthy parents are dead and Goode gives her a chance to start over without the notoriety that follows in her home country. But soon, a student is dead at Goode. She apparently had a secret--and she isn't the only one.

I am a total sucker for a good boarding school mystery. Add in the fact that this one is set basically in my backyard, the Blue Ridge mountains of Virginia, and it's written by one of my favorite authors, J.T. Ellison: I'm all in. GOOD GIRLS LIE didn't disappoint. This was a captivating thriller that kept me frantically flipping the pages of my Kindle. I didn't know who to believe, what to believe, or what on earth was going on. And I loved it.

The book opens up with a death--a body is found hanging on the school's gates. From there, the story backs up, and you are left guessing, wondering if Ash is a reliable narrator or not. For a story that features teenage girls, it's surprisingly adult and dark.

"Of course, there are a few people who know exactly who is hanging from the school's gates. Know who, and know why. But they will never tell."

This is a mystery filled with juicy backstories and gossip. The town of Marchburg has a storied past, and I found myself caught up in all of it. The Dean and her mother--twisted past. An old incident at the school--twisted past. Ash and her family--twisted past. Do you see a pattern emerging? Around every corner, a new dramatic turn emerges. If you like your thrillers with lots of drama and surprises, you'll enjoy this book. It's different, dark and twisty, and quite good. 4.5 stars.
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There is a mystic about boarding schools. Uniforms, dorms, secret societies....it's appealing when you are a girl growing up in a small town. I always wanted to go to a school like The Goode School. Exceptional women on a fast track to an Ivy League college.

BUT, not everything is as it seems. Cruel teasing, bullying, suicide, rumors, and the fact that everyone around Ash seems to die.... Good Girls Lie from J.T. Ellison is a perfect thriller. There are secrets. There are lies. There are questions. There are answers. The Goode girls are not so good.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for the opportunity to read and review this book.
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3.75 stars

Fast paced, fantastic setting, and the amount of drama that you'd expect from Pretty Little Liars, this is a fun romp for fans of boarding school mystery/thrillers.

Pacing: ★★★ 1/2
Setting: ★★★★★
Reveal(s): Not overly surprising, but incredibly entertaining
Enjoyment: I love boarding school mysteries, so... yes.

Nestled in a small town in Virginia, there sits a prestigious all-girls boarding school catering to the elite. Appearances and social ties are everything, and these girls are primed for success at any cost.

Enter Ash, a girl with a secret and everything left to lose.

Ash has come to the Goode School to escape her tragic recent past and remake herself in the image of a Goode girl. Goode girls are honorable, smart, and polished. Goode girls are dedicated to their studies and are guaranteed spots at Ivy League schools. Goode girls can't afford to have setbacks or secrets.

But this "perfect" boarding school is built on secrets, hazing, and lies. Nothing is what it seems, and Ash finds herself not only in danger of revealing her true past but also getting crushed by Goode's other members—who have some serious qualms about an English girl one-upping them on their home turf.

I loved this devious, back-stabbing, girls' revenge mystery/thriller story. It definitely knows its audience, and it caters to us well. There is plenty of intrigue, hidden romance, double-crossing, atmospheric school stuff, and of course murder(s).

In particular, I loved the framing of the story—we have several POVs, and certain facts that I took for facts turned out to have different conclusions. Which was sometimes a nice surprise and sometimes an easily guessed—yet entertaining—reveal. I will say that I definitely guessed the largest mystery plot point, but I still kept reading because the story itself was so entertaining.

My main reluctance to rate this higher was due to the easy to guess plot points and the pacing. At times, this felt long. It IS long, but unlike some long books that feel short, this one feels as long as it is.

Come for the drama, stay for the drama! This is definitely a worthy inclusion into the genre of boarding school mysteries. I loved it.
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I did not make it all the way through this book. I stopped at 32%. I did not find the story believable and I did not like any of the characters. I just wasn’t invested enough to continue.
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Good Girls Lie is a truly twisty prep school murder mystery. In an exclusive girls' boarding school that is not-so-subtly called Goode, a popular student is found dead in a gruesome manner. A beautiful, intelligent, and troubled British student named Ash was admitted to Goode, based in rural Virginia, for a fresh start after both of her parents died. But Ash just can't seem to keep her head down. Trouble keeps finding her, and she has a lot of secrets. She's not the only one.

JT Ellison switches between perspectives, and sometimes it's hard to tell who is speaking. It's clear that not everyone is a fan of Ash. I liked that Ellison included the headmistress, a thirtysomething woman who reluctantly inherited her position and would love nothing more than to leave it. Goode is isolated and full of elaborate rules, secret societies, and centuries of lore. That all adds to the fun.
 
If you enjoy suspense with a psychological element and layers upon layers of lies, Good Girls Lie is definitely for you. Ellison will keep you guessing, often wrongly. But secrets can't stay hidden forever, and karma does its job.

Thanks to NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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GOOD GIRLS LIE was a twisty good read. Ash's story intrigued me and I found the beginning well-developed. I finished in a couple days and remained engaged throughout the read. There were lots of twists and turns at the end of the story, however that made me wonder if it was a bit much. But, I would read more from this author. Thank you Netgalley.
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This book had a lot of potential for me, I was really interested in the premise because it sounded like it was going to be the murder mystery version of Gossip Girl, which I love. The idea was great, I just felt like the story kept the same tone and pace throughout the whole book, which was fairly slow and light. So I found myself lacking the suspense I needed. I may have read too many mystery/thrillers because I was able to predict all the plot twists and the ending. I will say I thoroughly enjoyed where she took the Epilogue and it was the perfect ending. 

The characters throughout the story stayed pretty consistent and I didn’t notice too much development. I found myself getting a little frustrated with some of them. The dean of the students for example, felt like a push over and made a lot of obviously wrong decisions.

Overall, I honestly think this book was pretty good based on an interesting story line and the quality of writing, I just was hoping for a little more depth.  I also feel that a lot of people would enjoy this story and I definitely might be the unpopular opinion here so I encourage you to check it out for yourself.
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I LOVED Good Girls Lie.  Boarding school novels are some of my favourites and Good Girls Lie takes that genre and delivers an addictive read that I could not put down!

You have rich girls, mean girls, decades of tradition, secret societies, newcomers with mysterious pasts and murder! What more could you ask for from a book!?

Secrets are currency at The Goode School. And  the pupils, the Dean and teachers and the townspeople know how to use secrets and the past against each other in ways that make for a thrilling read. Ellison does an amazing job creating the atmosphere of the school and its place in the town, as well as developing the characters and the relationships they have with each other. Fans of The Secret History should love this read.

This book has cemented J.T Ellison as an auto-read author for me and I can't wait to read her next book.

Thank you NetGalley, Harlequin MIRA, and J.T. Ellison for an advanced copy in exchange for my honest review.
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The massive, black, wrought iron gates to the school stand open in greeting for orientation day. Term starts tomorrow, Thursday, so Tuesday and Wednesday are set aside for students to get settled in the dorms, buy their books, sign up for activities and sports teams, hand over their phones, and otherwise run amok on campus, reuniting with their friends and making...Great Read Enjoy it very much
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This one really intrigued me. I only read one other book by this author, and my feelings on both books are similar.

This book started out pretty good. It was very mysterious and interesting. Then, it eventually wasn't. I have the big reveal figured out pretty close to the beginning. So when it happened, it didn't surprise me. If I'm being honest, it was revealed without much fanfare after such a build up.

The characters eventually grated on my nerves. The book kept slowing down at parts. I found it hard to finish. I wasn't overly impressed with the writing either.

This book, for me, was just so-so. I wasn't a fan, but I didn't completely dislike it either.
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Perched atop a hill in the tiny town of Marchburg, Virginia, The Goode School is a prestigious prep school.  The story begins with a young girl found dead  - murder or suicide?  Then retraces the weeks and events preceding.  Alliances, friendships, deceit - all things expected of girls regardless of their background.  And then a twist.
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A secluded boarding school, secret societies, and murder. What’s not to like? Will keep you entertained.
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The setting of the book seems innocent enough. A teenage girl, Ash, has recently lost both of her parents and she leaves England to attend an elite all girls high school in the US. However, the school is full of secrets, despite the strict Honor Code, that requires all the girls to act in the best manner possible and report or self-report any indiscretions. It all begins to come apart when a teacher dies before classes even begin for the semester. This was not to be the last death of the semester....

I was enthralled with this book. Ash's past is complicated and her life on campus has not been made easy. I loved the setting! I have always loved the history and older buildings of the schools on the east coast and the description of the school is gorgeous! I could visualize the setting the entire time I was reading the book.

The book keeps you guessing until the very end. The only reason I did not give this book 5 stars is I was slightly confused by the ending and did not completely understand who the characters were so I didn't know if justice was fully served or who came out ahead.
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Oh the mean girls are here! This book is a compulsive read with everything thrown in to each sordid chapter:secrets, lies, murder, suicide,affairs,hazing, alcohol, drugs, and so, so much more . Highly recommend this twisted read!
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This one was a bit difficult to get into… but once you’re past the first third of the book, the action picks up and Good Girls Lie is hard to put down!

This book had plenty of potential: an intriguing setting, all-girl school drama, secret societies and murder. However, the “big reveal” or the “big twist” of the story was easy to figure out as it was hinted at quite early on in the novel.

Back to the setting: I quite enjoyed the boarding school setting. Though it was sometimes hard to remember the girls are only in High School, as it had a more of a college feel (drugs, alcohol, parties, sorority-like secret societies, etc). Also, some of the rules were hard to believe, as a reader: such as, the no-cellphone-allowed-on-campus rule. A No-Cellphone rule during class would be easy to get behind, but cellphones not even allowed on school grounds, in this day and age, is simply unfathomable. Especially since kids are away from their parents during the whole school term.

There were many narrators and I particularly enjoyed Dean Westhaven’s point of view. She is an interesting character, with many facets of her personality, that make her easy to relate to. The main character though, Ash, sometimes feels a little cold and shallow. Her personality is harder to empathize with. 

As I mentioned earlier, the first 30% of the novel was difficult to get into. I sometimes felt like it dragged on a bit too much. Once the action picks up, however, I devoured the rest of the novel quickly. The ending was also a bit disappointing, no huge twist that I hadn’t seen coming.

All in all, I give Good Girls Lie 3 stars, for the action-packed second half of the novel, and for the setting, which I enjoyed imagining.
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The opening scene of this book is amazing and you know immediately going in that this is going to be a book that will be hard to put down! Welcome to The Goode School in Marchburg Virginia, an all girls  prestigious boarding school that  only the wealthy can afford, they send their young daughters to this school prepare them for the Ivy League futures. Behind the walls of this elite school holds some very dark secrets that include, murder and secret societies. Enter Ash Carlisle she’s from England she’s alone, recently losing her parents to a horrific murder suicide. Immediately picked on by the head girl she soon discovers her school isn’t the getaway she was hoping for. Not al of the girls are who they appear. Ash has her own secrets she’s hoping to keep hidden what they are we aren’t told right away, she hopes to keep them in her past. Soon the lies begin to pile up and when a murder happens you start to see not everyone is who they appear to be... this book had me at the edge of my seat. The author did an amazing job weaving each character in and had me guessing what was going to happen. I loved how everyone had their own secret and appearances are deceiving especially when you throw an all girls boarding school!! Five stars!
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