Cover Image: Lies Like Poison

Lies Like Poison

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Member Reviews

This is a fun murder mystery when 2 people are found dead in this small town. 4 friends are then forced to find out each other's dark little secrets to figure out the truth to what happened. Who has the recipe for murder? So many twists and turns that you will think everyone is a suspect. 
~Do you enjoy tea? Maybe you will watch your cup closer after reading this.
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What a creative YA mystery this turned out to be! 

Firstly, I enjoyed the four main characters. While Jack steals the show, I also liked Belle, Raven, and Lily. Each of them is unique in their manner. The author wonderfully highlighted the LGBT theme with queer and transgender people. It was interesting to see the characters develop over the mystery plot. Initially, it took a while for me to learn the gender role because of their names and relationships. However, once I got the hang of them, the story was so good! 

It was also interesting to see who killed Raven’s mom, Evelyn. The story also alternates between different perspectives and makes it fresh and fascinating. I also loved the flashbacks that set the relationships between the characters. Some of my favorite moments were when Raven and Belle meet, and she is scared of telling Edwin, or when Jack and Belle talk about Jack’s abusive childhood. Similarly, all the characters have broken childhoods that connect them somehow. 

I also loved the hints of the fairy tales that the author embeds in the storyline. From Jack and the Beanstalk to Snow White, the author seamlessly adds some of the classics to the storyline. Moreover, throughout the book, the author maintains a mystery level when you feel like you are slowly unraveling the truth behind all the secrets. 

Surprisingly, the story took a turn that I did not expect. The climax threw me and was pretty good. Overall, “Lies like Poison” is very intriguing with a dynamic cast.
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This book had a lot of moving parts. It moved back and forth in time and it was not always clear if it was the before or the after. There was a character who went by one name in one time and then another name in the later time. The story also jumped from one character's viewpoint to another's, and this made it somewhat confusing to read. I had to go back and reread in several places to clarify what was happening. Overall, it was an okay read, but not my favorite.
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I love a good YA thriller and the plot of this one didn't disappoint! I struggled a little bit with so many characters and the switching narration, which took away some of the suspense build up. Otherwise a fun and twisty read! Unfortunately it's too mature to be able to add to my school's collection (we have a big faction of 7th & 8th grade mystery readers, but the high schoolers are harder to convince), but definitely a title I can keep in my back pocket to recommend as needed for my stronger readers.
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I really liked this book. I am a big fan of thriller/mystery books and Lies Like Poison definitely hit the mark. The story centers around the mystery of who murdered Raven’s stepmother, who also happens to be Lily’s mother. The four best friends are trying to help their friend who is being accused of committing the murder. While the mystery is at the center of the book, it also deals with mental health and queer characters who you see overcome what everyone else in their town and life expects them to be. One thing I really liked about the book is that the author gave each of the characters a chance to tell their story in the book. It wasn’t just stated that they were queer but gave us the backstory and the happenings through each character’s eyes.

In the beginning of the book, you do question who actually killed the stepmother because everyone has different stories on where they were and what is actually the truth. The story had a lot of twists and turns which kept you reading on finding out who killed the stepmother, and it kept you guessing until the true murderer was revealed.

If you are looking for a YA thriller/mystery book with LBGTQ representation then I would definitely recommend this book.

Note: I received a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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The concept of this book truly intrigued me, which is why I requested it and wanted to read it. I think the execution could have used some work, but Lies Like Poison is a solid YA Mystery that delves into the tangled web of 4 teenagers, friends who have many secrets...

Poppy, Belladonna, and Lily got together one day to plot to kill Lily's mother, because they believed she was torturing their best friend, Raven, by causing him to want to commit suicide after his mother died. The create the recipe for the perfect murder, intending to carry it out, until one of them backs out at the last minute. Flash forward 3 years, and Evelyn has been murdered - but no one knows who. The four friends must reunite to clear their names, and discover the truth about what happened to her, as well as what was going on 3 years ago.

I overall found this book to be very enjoyable. The mystery element here was good, the characters were unreliable, allowing the big reveals not to be seen a mile away. The characters are great as a group, but only okay individually. Some more development could've been helpful. Also, prepare for some suspension of disbelief around the police procedural scenes. I had a good idea of the 'whodunnit' piece of the plot, and ended up being right. But, it took awhile to get the guess right.

Lastly, there is queer representation in a lot of the characters, which is always great to see.

** Thank you to Margaret K. McElderry Books and Netgalley for an early copy in exchange for an honest review**
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I was pleasantly surprised by this book and just how much I liked it. It was twisty, haunting, and ethereal. A glorious murder mystery that keeps you guessing. All the fairy tale references were epic.
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I just don't think this was the book for me. I am not a huge fan of magical realism and I feel like this is exactly what it turned into with a hint of paranormal. I found all of the characters to be super predictable and I often confused them with each other and their every changing names/nicknames. 

I wasn't a fan of the mystery either. It wasn't that interesting and it just took so long to get anywhere in the story.
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I received a free copy from NetGalley.  Murder mystery where it could be everyone who did it.  The narrator keeps changing from chapter to chapter but the voices all read the same, none of them like their parents and they all want to live with their friends instead.  I felt like they had a list of current hot topics and had to check them all off in the tale.

It won't go to a kindle so I had to read it in the new app on my phone.  As a result it was read in 5 minute blocks while I waited in the carpool area.  Scrolling all the time on a little screen and reading in small chunks did nothing to help make this book better.
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I am unable to read this title as it was archived. It was only available to be sent to the Netgalley app, and not my Kindle. I’m guessing the license for it expired within the app, so now I cannot access it at all.
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I really enjoyed this book! 
This was one of those that really made you think. 
Told from 4 different POVs.
While I really enjoyed the four main characters of Belle, Lily, Jack and Raven, when their parents entered the mix it was a little hard to keep them all straight.

I really enjoyed the ending. 
Kind of reminded me of Pretty Little Liars.
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Let’s talk about this book. I loved it so much. I don’t think I have the words to say how much I loved it, really. but I am going to try. Just please read this book and love it as much as me. This is one of the best queer YA books I have devoured in awhile. I read it in two days, staying up late because I could not get enough. This book is interesting because you never know who is telling the truth, and you must go back to keep trying to discern what is really going on. I have to say, I was still shocked when it was done. And I read it quick, even on my phone which I normally avoid because of my eyes.

What I loved about this was how dark it was. And how queer. There is a trans character and a sapphic relationship. There is queer love. It is all so great and lovely and I could cry for days about how much I love it. Like I could just scream about this book til I could not speak. Even though the mystery was easily solved for me, it did nothing to detract how much I love this book.

I love this book so much. Queer stories need to be told, and this is one I highly suggest you get ASAP.
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Poppy, Lily, and Belladonna would do anything to protect their bestfriend, Raven. So when they discovered he was suffering psychological abuse at the hands of his stepmother, they came up with a lethal plan to prevent her from hurting Raven again. But someone got cold feet, the plan faded, and the group fell apart. 
The best part about this book, is that everyone seems guilty from the very beginning. They are all unreliable narrators with motives that only get fleshed out as the story progresses. Truly, a group of friends all out to double cross each other due to misunderstandings that took place three years ago. So many potential motives and plots are discovered that each suspect seems as guilty as the last. It can be overwhelming to keep it all straight, but it definitely keeps you guessing up to the very end. Some might also find that it wraps up a little too nicely, but I like that in a standalone. The relationships weave together interestingly as well. Some don't seem as likely, but as more information is revealed, you start to see how the characters formed bonds and alliances. 
TW for child abuse, murder, homophobia, and self harm. 
Includes representation of multiple LBGTQIA+ perspectives and mental health.
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3.5 stars = Good+

This is a super-twisty suspense story with tons of secrets and lies. Hardly anyone is a reliable narrator early on. That made it hard to know, much less *like* any of the main characters, which is a huge factor for me in a book. The one character I felt like we knew the best by the end is the one I liked the most of the main 4. There are tons of questions early on, and the reader isn't sure who to trust, but the story is clear enough to draw readers forward and compelling so that you want to stick with it to see how it all plays out. Found family is a huge part of the book, which I liked. I also enjoyed the fairy tale feel of this. Fans of We Were Liars or One of Us Is Lying should check this one out. (Language, sexual references, LGBTQ+, TW: grief/loss, eating disorder, inpatient treatment, abuse/neglect)
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Three years ago, Belladonna, Poppy, and Lily planned a murder to protect their friend Raven. They never went through with it, but someone has now killed Raven's stepmother just before his seventeenth birthday as they planned. Only, it was just Belladonna in her tea, so Bella is arrested. Her former friends are asked to prove her innocence, but a lot more is at stake when the truth is revealed.

Bella might be the one arrested, and Raven sent away for the prior three years after nearly killing himself, but Poppy and Lily are sure that Bella isn't the killer. Poppy has become Jack, more comfortable in boys' clothes even though she is still the pronoun of choice out of fear that others will hate Jack-as-a-boy. Jack's mother is racist and homophobic, casually abandoning her children when the mood strikes her to stay with boyfriends. Lily was in a psychiatric facility because of her disordered eating, but even that isn't what it looks like.

Everyone in the book lies for various reasons, and the relationships between the four friends/couples are strained in different directions as they mistrust each other and doubt their memories. They each have different variations on the truth, their perspectives warped by time and emotions. Just when I thought I knew who killed Evelyn, that theory got yanked out and upturned. The fragments of story leading up to the night Evelyn died finally coalesce at the end so that we know exactly what happened and why. It's a devastating ending for Raven, but he still has hope for the future and a life free from the lies that had dogged him for years. I'm not sure it'll be as rosy as he thinks it will be, but I'm rooting for them all.
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This is the year for me trying new genres apparently! “Lies Like Poison” is intricately written with flashbacks and well developed relationships. Each character had their own lies and secrets to keep and it made for an interesting story.

Lilly, Poppy, (Jack), and Belle each had their own reasons for wanting to protect Raven, but it all tied back to their friendship. Right from the start we see how much Belle cared for Raven in an almost cynical manner. She creeped me out quite a bit until I learned to sympathize with her and see the problem from her point of view. Poppy, who goes by Jack but uses female pronouns, was probably my favorite character. She was quirky and unapologetic in a way that I loved.

My main problem with Chelsea Pitcher’s murder mystery was that I had a difficult time determining when and where the story took place. I was expecting it to have taken place in an older time period, seeing how Raven’s grandmother is murdered with deadly herbs in her tea, but it was actually a pretty modern book.

Overall, “Lies Like Poison” is a twisty turny murder mystery that will leave readers on the edge of their seats.

Overall Rating: 4.5 Stars

TW: Transophobic comments, murder (obviously), violence, etc.
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Like Like Poison was a twisted contemporary.

It was full of exciting reveals, from beginning to end. I enjoyed the the diversity of the group of friends the book focuses on,  Belle who is ruthless and fiercely caring, Jack who is protective and loving, Lily who is badass and learning to love herself and Raven who they would all do anything to keep safe.

 It isn’t immediately clear how this group formed or the reason for the dynamics between them - but we know they have a shared history, and would do anything to protect each other.

The Book Begins with Raven’s stepmother's body being found. She has been poisoned with leaves of belladonna placed in her tea. There’s a recipe, written in fourteen year old Bella’s handwriting, on the table next to her that outlines the perfect poison. It would seem that Bella came good on her vow to protect her best friend Raven from his abusive stepmother.
It all seems clear-cut, but then things start unravelling. 

Another thing I didn’t love about the book was the flow of the plot. There were moments that I questioned, “well how did you get here?” (Example: one minute they are in a house, the next couple of seconds they are in a car with little to know explanation of how they got to the car. I felt like the reader had to put a lot of their assumptions into the plot. overall it was well written and it was a fantastic adventure that chelsea pitcher has written.
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I really liked the overall plot of this book. It was a great and spooky concept that seemed almost like a fairytale. There was a great deal of diversity that I really appreciated and the queer relationships were beautiful. Another plus was the character development, though I did want to see more of how they acted before their friendships fell a part. 

While I loved the inclusion of transgender identity, it was kind of jarring when a character’s pronouns change in the middle of the book. I wish it could have been established from the beginning or even hinted at, but all the character discussed was clothing.  For me, the transgender discussion kind of came out of nowhere and then all of a sudden there's a change in pronouns and an entirely new identity. Granted, as I am not a part of the queer community, I can't say what seems authentic or not—this is just from my perception. 

My biggest problem was the execution. There was no grounding for the reader, I was constantly questioning time and place. The whole book could have taken place over two days, two weeks, or even two months. I also never knew what time of day it was so it felt very confusing.
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I want to thank NetGalley and The Book Terminal Tours the opportunity to read the eARC in exchange for an honest review.

I really like this book, I am a big fan of thriller/mystery books and I have been trying to find more YA books in the genre and Lies Like Poison hit the mark. The story is based on the mystery of who murdered and four best friend trying to help their friend who is being accused of committing the murdered. This book not is a mystery book, but deals with mental health and queer characters which you see them overcome what everyone else in their town and life expects them to be. What I like the most was that the author gave each of them a chance to tell their story in the book. It wasn’t just stated that they were queer but gave us a information on each one of them.

In the beginning of the book, you do question who actually killed the stepmother because everyone have different stories on where they were and the truth. The story had a lot of twist and turns which kept you reading on finding out who killed the stepmother. I was totally shocked on who actually did the murdered and it wasn’t who I thought it would be.

If you are looking for a YA thriller/mystery book with LBGTQ representation then I would definitely recommend this book.
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3.5 Rounded to 4 Stars

Four friends, one person dead, and a recipe of murder. Chelsea Pitcher’s new YA Mystery Lies Like Poison will keep you on your toes.

This mystery is told in 4 POV’s. When Poppy, Belladonna, Raven, and Lily plan the murder of Raven’s step-mother three years earlier they’d never thought it’d actually happen. So much has changed in three years and now all of them are suspect.

The pacing was a little slower than I was anticipating and the plot was confusing for the first half of the book. I think this is what I struggled with the most and why I rated it a 3.5 star. I’m not sure if it had to do with the multiple POV’s or the writing style.

Overall I did think the plot, once clearer, was really interesting. This does have some triggers related to murder and child abuse. It had a really well developed LGBTQ+ rep which I was refreshing to see in a YA Mystery. If you’re in the mood for a slower YA Mystery than I think you’d enjoy this one.
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