Cover Image: Two Truths and a Lie

Two Truths and a Lie

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Member Reviews

A group of theatre and self-proclaimed geeky teenagers find themselves marooned by a blizzard in a haunted hotel with a chilling history of two unsolved murders. Among them, there may lurk a cunning killer who initiates a sinister mind game during their innocent “Two Truths and a Lie” pastime. As the game intensifies, what began as a night of harmless amusement takes a sinister, potentially lethal turn.

In summary, this YA thriller provides a riveting and enjoyable experience, delivering engaging and entertaining twists and turns.

Thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for sending a digital ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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Thank you #NetGalley for allowing me to read this book.The characters were pretty interesting and it was easy to figure out who the killer was, but it still was an good book.

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This was such a good read. I did not guess the killer at all. I thought the mystery aspect was well done and added a lot to the story. Another great read from April Henry.

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I don’t usually read a book in noisy environments or around other people . . . I usually need complete silence to enjoy and immerse myself in the story. I was surprised when I read most of Two Truths and One Lie while other people around me watched TV and such.

I didn’t really have to follow along with a lot of details. It was straight forward in plot. Very fast paced and thrilling edge of your seat trying to figure out who is responsible. I had the culprit pegged early on, but I was hoping I was wrong because it felt too easy.

There were quite a few curveballs in drama! Some of it didn’t really contribute to the rest of the story, and felt like filler just to give some of the guests a back story and to look questionable. But most of it was a real slap in the face and jaw dropping surprise.

For a YA mystery/thriller . . . very good! I’m surprised it’s taken me so long to read this. Don’t sleep on it the way I did!

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This one was just okay for me. I loved the basic plot points. I loved the backdrop being a creepy motel too. I didn't like how I couldn't find any characters I loved. They all seemed so uptight. I feel the last 1/4 of the book was infinitely better than the beginning though.

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My Thoughts:

Characters- Nell and her crew of friends were such a lovely bunch to follow. I loved that they were such a tight knit group, they were like a found family and I really enjoyed seeing them interact with each other. The other characters were fleeting but just as important as the rest though. I couldn’t figure out who the culprit was until the end, that is the mark of a good thriller, in my opinion.

Setting- The snowy and trapped atmosphere of the Inn had me shivering while I read, even when it’s so hot and humid in my country right now. It was excellently executed .

Plot and Pacing- At first, things were moving pretty slow and I was starting to worry that I wouldn’t be sucked into the story. However, once things got going everything rolled downhill so fast I couldn’t stop reading. The plot was pretty simple, easy to follow and captivating. I didn’t see the twists coming though so that’s great!

Conclusion: Overall, I really enjoyed my reading experience with this book. It kept me entertained the entire time and it was super quick to read. I highly recommend it if the premise sounds interesting to you! 4 out of 5 stars!

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The book equivalent of a standard slasher movie. It's heavy in fake-outs and built around a pretty thin killer motivation. The inciting incident is an absolute cliche. I could deal with the thin plot if the characters ere compelling but they have no depth.

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Thank you so much @NetGalley and @christyottavianobooks for gifting me a copy of Two Truths and a Lie in exchange for an honest review.

🔪 Mini Review 🩸
This is my first book by @AprilHenr and it definitely won’t be my last! I’m usually not into horror’s but this one was so fun and addicting I’m glad I requested it!

Nell and her amazing drama team are on the way to a drama competition that they know they’re going to crush. But the weather is hindering them from driving. When the blizzard gets too much they have to find a place to stay. The group comes across a huge hotel that looks creepy AF but it’s the only safe place to go. They end up meeting another group of teens on their way to a robotics competition and all decide it’s a good idea to play a game of two truths and a lie. At first it’s all fun and games until Nell picks up a slip that says that they like to watch people die. The group freaks out and craziness ensues. Once kids start dying and guests start going missing no one knows what’s real or not and no one can be trusted.

I seriously could not put this book down. The characters were so fun. I’m not familiar with theater kids but I would have loved to hang out with them when I was in high school. The twists and turns had me constantly guessing who did what. I literally didn’t trust anyone. Towards the middle I had a feeling about who the killer was but the rest of the book was still fun. I honestly didn’t realize this was also a horror story but I was pleasantly surprised. Not gonna lie, a few times I was looking over my shoulder while I was reading. 😱

If you like a good thriller/horror book and into drama, as in theater, then I recommend Two Truths and a Lie to you. I gave this book ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️.

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Finished a few days ago had to think about what rate to give. Was wavering between a 3 and 4. Due to some overall issues, I had to give it a 3.

First off, I liked the book and for the 1st half it was a 4 star read. I was feeling the set up 9f everything and knew I was in for an unique story. Unfortunately, during the 2nd half, things started to fall apart. The main issue I had that made me lower the ratings were that the choices made by some of the characters made no sense compared to the beginning. While the author tried to give the characters some depth, there was 2 that was written to stereotype that left a bad taste. Also, the story could have been reduced by at least 100 pages and I still believe you could have gotten to the same ending.

Would I read another book by this author? Yes. I would give another chance to make sure that some of issues wasn't a particular writing style.

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Unfortunately this book was not for me. The storyline did not captivate me enough to allow me to push through. I am grateful for the opportunity to review this book however

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Kinda like a forced proximity murder mystery for middle school-young adult age. Clean but bloody? Old murder, new deaths, lots of geeky dramatic teens.

Not a bad read but predictable.
Finished in one sitting.

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I feel like I just read a bad first draft of an episode for Are You Afraid of the Dark? I mean, I loved that show, but it was mega cheese. Just like this.

The characters are flimsy, no one is likable, the plot is paper thin, the killer is predictable and stupid, and there wasn't a single thing I liked in here.

Didn't like it all. The end.

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While this book wasn't written for me as an audience, I think it was extremely well done for the YA audience. The writing is certainly for a more mature YA group, but still too juvenile for me. Having said that, I think that any teenager that picks this up would thoroughly enjoy it! It had just enough twists and turns to keep the reader on the edge of their seat, while also being believable just the same.

What held me back from rating this a five-star (from my teenage self) was the abrupt ending. This book is under 300 pages, therefore we definitely had room for a more drawn out ending, instead of an 'eight weeks later'.

Overall, I think this is a great thriller for a younger demographic!

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Two Truths and a Lie was such a captivating read! The story is able to keep you guessing throughout! April Henry continues to write mystery thrillers that leave you wanting more and staying up to finish the story.

Our main character, Nell, is an aspiring actor. She strives to be her best and do her best no matter the challenge in front of her. Nell, along with her theater friends are on their way to a contest when they get stuck at a motel due to a blizzard. With other high schoolers also stranded, they stick together and wait for the storm to clear. To pass the time, they decide to play Two Truths and a Lie, but it quickly turns more serious when the game takes a dark turn.

With twists at every turn and deadly secrets out in the open, will the truth be revealed, or will it be too late? Guests go missing in the night, and now Nell has to uncover the truth before they all end up disappearing in the blizzard.

Thank you to Christy Ottaviano Books (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers) and NetGalley for providing me with an advance reader copy in exchange for an honest review.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advance copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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I almost feel like I should begin with a caveat that this is a YA mystery, except I think that even if I was reading this as a teenager, I would still think it was stupid.
It was contrived, far from suspenseful, and filled with a ridiculous amount of “wokeness”. A little social enlightenment is fine, but a relatively short book with only a handful of characters covering: two moms, two dads, human trafficking, opioid abuse, bisexuality, teen suicide, coming out…was definitely overkill.
I guess I can’t say exactly how I’d react to finding out my friends were being murdered and that I might be next in the lineup, but I seriously doubt it would be like anybody in this book. Also, having the baddie explain his/her evil motives like a Scooby Doo villain bordered on insulting.
A teenager actually quotes Archimedes, because, of course he does, and all of the teens who drank alcohol have serious trouble befall them. Because, of course. Teenage drinking = bad.
Perhaps the worst writing offense, though, was having a high school theater student not know that a group of individuals who play a sport together is called a “team.” I mean, come on.
Thanks to #netgalley and #christyottavianbooks for this #arc of #twotruthsandalie in exchange for an honest review.

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Two Truths and a Lie
Genre: YA Thriller
Format: Kindle eBook
Date Published: 5/24/22
Author: April Henry
Publisher: Little Brown Books
Pages: 275
Goodreads Rating: 3.36

I requested a digital advanced readers copy from NetGalley and Little Brown Books and providing my opinion voluntarily and unbiased.

Synopsis: A group of strangers were stranded at a creepy hotel and decided to play the game Two Truths and a Lie. When it’s Nell’s turn, she draws a slip of paper inked in unfamiliar creepy handwriting. Suddenly a night of harmless fun turns into a matter of life and death. As guests go missing, it becomes clear that a murderer is hiding in their midst ready to strike again. In a room full of liars and performers, the truth is never quite what it seems. Nell is going to have to act like her life depends on it—because it does.

My Thoughts: I have really been in love with YA books lately, mystery, thriller, and romance. This mystery takes some inspiration from other famous mysteries and legendary mystery writers. The story is narrated by Nell, in her perspective. The first half to the book was a bit slower, but necessary to build characters and set the scene. The second half of the book flew by. The characters were well developed for the most part, some were superficial, while others had layers of depth, they were mysterious, creative, and kept me engaged. Most of the supporting characters were immature and self-absorbed. However, Nell and Adam were not only relatable, but also likable, especially starting towards the second third of the book. Henry’s writing is complex, more so towards the second half of the book, creative, and she does a fantastic job of setting the scene, I mean a creepy abandoned hotel?? Love this setting. However, the con, other than the first half being slow, is the end, there was too much dropped in at once and overall felt rushed. I still enjoyed the book and would recommend to anyone looking for a fresh YA thriller.

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Thank you to Little Brown Books for Young Readers and NetGalley for an arc in exchange for an honest review!

this was a fun read! i always love a good murder mystery, so i enjoyed reading this book. the premise was really interesting, revolving around a group of teenagers who are forced to seek refuge in a dingy - and creepy - motel due to a vicious snowstorm that prevents them from the drama competition they were headed to. shortly after they arrive at the motel, another group of teenagers join them, also unable to reach their competition destination. the two groups band together to make the most of their unexpected situation, which includes playing two truths and a lie and messing with an ouija board after learning about the historic murder that took place in the motel decades earlier.

while the premise of the book intrigued me, the execution fell flat for me. the story was slow and it took a while for me to really get into it; i became more invested towards the second half of the book, when more of the suspense ignited. also, none of the characters were particularly fleshed out and even the main character, neil, felt dull. additionally, the perpetrator of the murders felt so obvious that i kind of expected a plot-twist revealing that this person being hinted as the perpetrator was a ploy followed by a dramatic reveal of the actual perpetrator, but in the end that didn't happen.

all in all, it was a fun read. i just would have liked it to have more depth.

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Nell is excited to travel to the big city for a theater competition. The group's advisor, Ms. McElroy, has even managed to get a school van. In addition to Nell, there's Maeve, Jermaine, and Raven, and when bad weather forces the group off the roads, they end up at a creepy motel in the middle of nowhere. Stuart, the owner, gets them rooms and tells them a bit about the motel and its ammenities, including a game room and closed Tiki bar. Another group of high school kids, a robotic team, shows up with their college aged advisor, Oscar. Mrs. McElroy gets her team settled and tells them to behave since she is going to bed, so of course all of the kids meet in the game room and start to play the game Two Truths and a Lie while scarfing down dodgy vending machine food. When one of the slips of paper, and an extra one at that, has alarming information saying that one of the people likes to watch people die and has killed more people than can be counted, the teens take the obvious preventive measure and consult a Ouija board. It, of course, replies in Latin, and things start to go badly wrong. An odd handyman who talks in the third person tells them the checkered past of the motel, where a double murder took place 25 years previously, and things take a grim turn. One girl appears to be murdered, and the kids try to figure out what is going on. Secrets are revealed, tensions rise, and no one seems safe. As the winter storm rages on and the killer is afraid of being caught, will anyone survive? (Tried not to spoil the twists and turns!)
Strengths: This gets double bonus points for one particular scene where there is lots of blood and gore... that turns out to be theatrical blood made of food coloring and corn syrup. This is perfect, because my readers want gore, and I don't particularly want to give them too much human on human violence. Henry is great at writing older characters in a way that is still appropriate for middle grade readers to read; this reminded me very much of the Joan Lowry Nixon titles from the 1990s that have recently seen a huge surge in popularity in my library. To bring the story into the 2020s, though, there's a bit of LGBTQIA+ representation (Nell talks about her two moms, Maeve is interested in one of the girls on the robotics team), and a small subplot about the exploitation of asylum seekers. The motel is super creepy, and I loved the details of the Tiki bar and the dusty carpet... ugh! While there is a tiny bit of alcohol (which Nell doesn't think is a great idea) and some romantic tension, the focus is mainly on escaping the maniacal killer. Remember, young readers have hopefull NOT seen all of the teen slasher horror films, so this will all be new to them. Adding in the decades old murder was a good call, and its connection to the current situation worked out nicely. I have one 6th grade boy who is going to be so thrilled to get this one-- he would check every day to see if The Girl in the White Van had been returned! This is a great title to read along with Alexander's Vacancy and Nixon's The Dark and Deadly Pool.
Weaknesses: There are always a number of people who don't understand Henry's work and audience and give it two stars on Goodreads. Don't listen to these people. Middle school readers LOVE these books and absolutely devour them. Henry does her research into the criminal details and adds just the right amount of scary elements. Is this book a little bit cheesy? Yes. Is that what my readers want? Absolutely.
What I really think: The only question is whether or not I should buy two copies. Since someone moved away with a brand new copy of Eyes of the Forest, the answer to this question is probably "You should buy THREE."

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There’s a special place in my heart for young adult mystery, especially mystery thrillers. And locked room mysteries? Definitely my thing. So of course I had to give this a try as soon as I read the blurb.

Two Truths and a Lie is a young adult suspenseful thriller that captures all the nostalgia and vibes of cheesy ’90s horror movies that we absolutely loved with none of the gore.

This was a pretty average book that hit all the tropes. It was a fun, entertaining read that was quick to get through and kept me entertained. However, the whodunnit was very easy to solve, and the plot relied on contrived scenarios that didn’t always make sense.

My Thoughts

- Two Truths and a Lie is your classic locked-room scenario set in a murder hotel where the past is coming back to haunt the present. Potentially literally. I mean, I feel like at this point in time, with how prevalent these stories are on the Internet, the whole “don’t mess with a Ouija board” should be a given, right? Yet, teens never listen, do they? No, of course not. They’re all, “Hey, wouldn’t it be fun to try to summon angry murder spirits and solve the cold case that happened here decades ago?” Well, not so much fun when people start dying, is it?

Hmm. Maybe I should back up. The basic premise of this book is that a group of people end up stranded in this out-of-the-way hotel due to a blizzard. The hotel just happens to have been the scene of a couple unsolved murders, which doesn’t seem like such a huge deal until people start showing up dead.

If you’re into locked-room mysteries, this was a pretty fun one. While not chock full of surprises on its own, Henry uses a lot of the popular mystery tropes to great effect.

- Henry manages to capture the old-school nostalgia of a ’90s horror movie with the atmosphere of her novel, and I loved it! I’m a sucker for nostalgic ’90s horror movies. You know the ones. They don’t always make sense, and they’re not always technically sound movies, but for some reason there’s nothing better than making some popcorn, turning off the lights, and having a horror movie bingefest.

Henry manages to capture the same tense atmosphere that I’ve come to know and love. Sure, some of the plot points sound like excuses (like we can’t call the police because the phones don’t work without power . . . because an old-school hotel doesn’t have a corded phone?!). Despite all that, though, Henry weaves a compelling enough story that readers may be persuaded to forgive some of these convenient excuses like I was because you get invested in the mystery.

- Since this book is a young adult with a mostly teen cast, it’ll maybe come as no surprise that there’s a lot of glorious banter and sarcasm in this book! If that’s not your thing . . . I mean, what are you even doing here, honestly? Are you lost? Can I call someone for you? I enjoyed hanging out with this group of teens. While I didn’t feel like I got to know them all that well, they did all have distinct personalities and interests, and I enjoyed the way they interacted. Obviously, I’m a fan of banter and sarcasm, so the fact that teens are 92.4439% sarcasm worked out great for me. It wasn’t even just the teens, either. These are some salty adults (and I lose that term loosely for some of them), which made the scenario all the more interesting!

Sticking Points

- As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, the mystery is very easy to solve, and there are some plot points that don’t entirely make sense but are necessary for the plot. There’s not anything necessarily wrong with this. As I said, this is almost part of the charm of the book for me. This book felt like the cheesy movie version of the book world, and I absolutely love cheesy movies. The cheesier the better. Cheesy movie books are my guilty reading pleasure, and I eat them right up like popcorn.

However, I decided to add this because if you’re looking for a solid mystery with twists that’ll keep you guessing, this probably isn’t what you’re looking for. If you’re looking for a story you can just sink your teeth into and enjoy in a single afternoon as a fun read, this will be more your style!

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I loved the concept of this book because I love slashers and the stranded/locked in one place trope. Unfortunately, this story fell completely flat for me and I found myself skimming my way through it. I felt like there were too many characters, and I understand why a murder mystery story needs a large cast, but the problem was that none of them were very likable or had much character development. So I just didn't really care about any of them. I also understand that mysteries need red herrings, but it just seemed like the plot was too convoluted. Ultimately, this wasn't for me, but I see that it got a lot of great reviews, so maybe a younger reader would enjoy this more.

Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with an eARC of this title in exchange for an honest review.

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