Cover Image: Two Truths and a Lie

Two Truths and a Lie

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Member Reviews

this was DEFINITELY a read for sure. going to keep this short because i want to remain spoiler free in this review but oh wow does this have a big cast of characters (most of them unlikeable, i mean there SOME.. development i guess.)

the first half kinda drags, it just a bunch of theater geeks who have a lot more drama which fits because yk, theater. there was an annoying obnoxious love interest i hated from the start, and i’m glad i did.

the story definitely picks up in the second half where the storm fully starts hitting, bodies are dropping, everyone scared, and adam.

yeah. adam.

most perfect boy ever actually. he made this book. nell & him were such an iconic duo and that’s all i will say for now.

i did not guess the killer, at least not at first. i hate a mystery that actually keeps me guessing, which this one did for a while which was great for the read, bad for my ego.

overall this was a fun read, i originally remember reading from this author before (playing with fire & girl stolen) and just knowing i needed to read her new book and im so grateful i got too.

3 stars!! ☆☆☆/☆☆☆☆☆

iwant to thank netgalley & little, brown books for young readers for approving me of this arc in exchange for an honest review.

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i dont want to say i didnt like this book but i can definitely tell im getting older as i read this. Props to april henry though because you can definitely tell her writing has grown and i felt these characters were fully fleshed out and i wasnt bored at all during this book like i have been in some of her others like the point last seen series. i did feel like the killer was too obvious, definitely would have been better if it was some one like mrs mcelroy or even still who the killer was but with a student working with them. and a personal pet peave is the “prank trope” which is the first like 60% of this book which always ends up frustrating me. i also really liked how linus and brian and such got their own story lines but felt the build up towards them could have been better and less rushed instead of everything happening at once. regardless this was a solid ya thriller and i definitely plan to read more april henry.

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This struck me as a teen version of "The Shining" "The Craft" and Knives Out.
However, the story feel flat to me and I DNF's the book. I tried to finish but I kept losing focus and couldn't keep track of where the story was going

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Two Truths and a Lie by April Henry, 288 pages. Christy Ottaviano Books (Little, Brown and Company), 2022. $18. LGBTQIA
Language: PG13 (21 swears, 0 “f”); Mature Content: PG13; Violence: PG13
Nell and the rest of her high school theater friends are on their way to their first weekend competition against other theater groups – until the snow makes their teacher insist on pulling over at the next available inn. When another group of kids shows up, they try to make the best of the situation and have fun. Fun quickly turns to fear with a story of murder, a Ouija board, and a missing guest.
The pages were a blur as I tried to get through them faster and faster. Henry had me hooked from the moment they got stranded, watching as the tension started to build with every little thing that could be out of place, every little thing that could be a clue to the perpetrator. Some of the red herrings were off-putting, but, overall, the murder mystery was enjoyable and wrapped up well.
Nell, along with most of the characters are implied White. Raven is described as Black, Dev mentions his Indian heritage, and some of the minor characters are Hispanic. The mature content rating is for innuendo, underage drinking, mention of drug use, and sexual harassment. The violence rating is for blood, mention of suicide, hanging, and murder.
Reviewer: Carolina Herdegen

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Unsupervised teenagers trapped in a deserted, remote hotel during a snowstorm...and murder. What's not to love, right?

I was really excited by the premise and really wanted to love this one, but unfortunately it fell flat. I didn't connect with the characters and the story had a really hard time holding my attentions.

I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

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DNF at 40%. I love the concept of this one - I’m always in for a locked room/snowed in mystery! However the execution isn’t working for me - almost halfway and I don’t feel connected to anyone and don’t really care. I keep putting it down and forgetting I’m reading. So it’s either not for me or not the right time. Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for the advance reading copy.

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“This will all seem better in the morning.”

1 Sentence Summary: Nell’s theater troupe is on their way to a competition when they get stranded by a blizzard at an old motel where they meet a group of strangers from another school, but when people start dying, it’s clear a killer is in their midst, and there is nowhere to go and nowhere to hide.

My Thoughts: It was kind of slow at the beginning with too many teen relationship dynamics and some weird stuff with a Ouija board, but toward the middle and end it got really good and suspenseful.

I used to be obsessed with April Henry’s books when I was in middle school, so when I saw this was coming out I knew I had to read it. I was a tiny bit disappointed; the writing wasn’t that great and there were some weird parts, but it was still a good story and even had a plot twist I didn’t see coming (and Agatha Christie references!!).

Not the best mystery I’ve read, but not bad either.

Recommend to: Fans of creepy mysteries featuring groups of strangers stuck together.

(Warnings: death)

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I love reading thrillers, and this was another one that kept me up all night just to finish it! As a theatre kid myself, sometimes I connected a little TOO much to the characters in a way that sent chills down my spine--but definitely in a good way! At times, I didn't love the writing style and thought the pace dragged a bit every now and then, but overall, I enjoyed the book.

(Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Any quotes are taken from an advanced copy and may be subject to change upon final publication.)

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Two Truths and a Lie was a fun Ya thriller! It did take me a few chapters to get into the book but once the action started I started to get into it. The characters are interesting and entertaining. I did enjoy the winter setting; it does add to the adventure and thrill! The pace is a little slow in the beginning but once it starts the pace is pretty much non-stop! Overall it was a fast read but interesting and entertaining!

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4.5 stars.

I can’t quite put my finger on exactly why I loved Two Truths and a Lie so much, but I thoroughly enjoyed my time reading it. The book centers around two separate groups of teenagers who are on their way to a competition when a snow storm forces both parties to take refuge in a mysterious and slightly-creepy inn. As a way to bond with each other, the two groups decide to play a game of two truths and a lie. But when the main character, Nell, pulls out a piece of paper that indicates a murderer is amongst them, chaos begins.

I love so many things about the premise of this novel. I always love a good locked-room mystery where characters are stranded in one location and are slowly picked off one by one. There’s something about it that is so thrilling. The fact that a bunch of the characters are theatre kids, who know how to pretend to be someone they’re not, added an extra layer of mystery and suspense to the mix.

The novel is well written with a decent amount of twist and turns as you make your way through the book. I had started off the first 60% or so thinking it was going to be predictable, but nope. April Henry did an excellent job, from my point of view, at shaking things up every so often to make me question what exactly was going on.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone looking for a good YA thriller novel. The themes and scenes are ones that you can expect in this genre, but nothing ever gets too gruesome or graphic. I think this book would be perfectly suitable for even the younger YA audience.

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Two Truths and a Lie is a fun locked room mystery for teens. The characters are great and the pace of the story is quick. Throw in a creepy motel setting and a snowstorm and you have a fun read.

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Two Truths and a Lie was a really fast read.

Nell and her friends are on their way to a theater contest. Their advisor is having a hard time driving in the blizzard that started. They find a motel and check in. There's nothing nearby, but at least it's safe. Another group of kids shows up a little later. They said they were on their way to a robotics competition. They picked up a guy that was out on the road and gave him a ride. The owner, Stuart, gets everyone checked in. There are only a few others at the motel. They don't serve any food except breakfast and there is no cell coverage. The weather is so bad that the power is expected to go out soon. Luckily there is a fireplace and a room where the kids can hang out. They decide to play two truths and a lie. But when a very scary note is revealed, no one claims that it was theirs. Two of the three things was about murder and watching people die. The kids then learn that a couple was killed in that motel twenty years earlier. When one body is later found, they think that the killer might be back. The kids need to figure out who they can trust and everyone tries to stay alive. The killer has other ideas.

I don't want to get into any more of the plot. I did figure it out fairly easily, but it was still a fun book to read. The pacing was really good.

I gave this book 4 stars.

Thank you to Little Brown for sending me a copy for review.

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It's all fun and games until somebody dies...

Nell and her acting troupe are looking forward to an important theatre competition, but on the way there, the weather forces them to stop at a quiet, eerie motel. They check in, and before long another group of teens seeks shelter from the storm. Not wanting their night to be a complete disappointment, both sets of teens decide to hang out. Uninterested in the handful of dusty board games the motel has to offer, they decide to play Two Truths and a Lie. Everyone is laughing and having a great time until Nell pulls a slip that causes her blood to curdle. It reads, "I like to watch people die. My least favorite food is mushrooms. I've lost count of how many people I've killed." When people suddenly begin to disappear one by one, it becomes clear that the slip of paper was no joke. They are trapped inside with a killer, and it could be any one of them...
I really enjoyed this novel, and I was very surprised by the many twists and turns. I couldn't wait to find out who the killer was. The story wasn't quite was I was expecting but I still liked it a lot. I read the eARC and listened to the audiobook as well. The narrator was amazing at capturing the many different characters' voices and personalities. I can't wait to read more of April Henry's novels, and I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys YA thrillers!

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I had a hard time putting this one down. It has everything that I love in a book. Great characters, the thrill factor, back story, murder(s), whodunit, AND a Ouija board! It was a little young for my liking but that’s what I get for reading a YA novel.

This happens to be my daughter’s fave author so I will now be handing this over to her to devour.

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"Suddenly a night of harmless fun turns into a matter of life or death."
On their way to a theater contest, Nell and her acting troupe get caught up in an expected blizzard, causing their teacher to stop at the nearest, and also creepy, motel. Soon after they've arrived, a group of teenagers from another high school finds themselves in the same predicament. Trying to make the best of the night, the two groups decide to merge and play Two Truths and a Lie. It was all fun and games until a piece of paper with unfamiliar handwriting is drawn from the pile: "I like to watch people die. My least favorite food is Mushrooms. I’ve lost count of how many people I’ve killed." The night takes a turn for the worse as guests start to go missing. It's clear someone is out to get them. Who is picking them off one by one and who will make it out alive?
What a fun and exciting read! I flew through this story in less than a day, not wanting to put it down. I had to know who was behind it all and who was going to survive this living nightmare. I listened to the audiobook while following along with the e-book. Christine Lakin did a wonderful job narrating; I will definitely be listening to more books narrated by her. I look forward to reading more books written by April Henry! If you're a YA Thriller fan, check this one out!
I received a free copy of this book via NetGalley and am voluntarily leaving an honest review.

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

Two Truths and a Lie by April Henry is a YA thriller that will appeal to fans of Netflix's Fear Street or No Exit. The story revolves around a group of teenagers who are parts of their school's theater program. One night, while they are on their way to a competition, a blizzard traps them in a creepy old motel. There, they meet more teenagers and play an innocent game of two truths and a lie. But what happens when people start dying?

Here is a captivating excerpt from Chapter 1:

"As Mrs. McElroy pulls out of the parking lot, we ignore the stares from the kids waiting for their parents or the bus.
Or maybe we don’t. All of us love an audience. It’s kind of a given if you’re an actor.
We all live, sleep, and breathe theater. For many of us, theater is our truest family, sometimes our only family. Theater is the place where being weird is embraced, not shunned. We know what we’re like when we’re stripped of everything, both literally and figuratively—and yet we still love one another."

Overall, Two Truths and a Lie is a spooky YA thriller that will appeal to fans of creepy books everywhere. One highlight of this book is how the tension ratchets up and up as the book goes on. The twist was something that I absolutely did not see coming. Another highlight of this book is how creepy it was. I was freaked out reading about how the group was stranded in a creepy location with no cell service. If you're intrigued by the excerpt above, or if you're a fan of YA thrillers, I highly recommend that you check out this book, which is available now!

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This fun and scary story has all the best elements of a great teen horror flick, and I enjoyed every single minute. Nell and her friends are a cozy group; they know each other and have each other's back. Knox's group felt secretive and strange from the start. They created an immediate feeling of the unknown and suspicion. I was hooked by foreboding, worried when Nell and her friend, Min, were interested in Knox and Valeria.

I thought it was odd that Mrs. McElroy didn't insist that all her students' rooms be adjacent to hers and not spread out across the old maze of a hotel. Her first night's absence is well explained, though I questioned whether she would have left her students alone and on their own. But it definitely allows the story to kick up a notch! I liked that I never felt sure about Oscar Ewing, Knox's faculty sponsor. He seemed weak and ineffective, but this gave Knox and the other students in his group the leeway they needed for the story to progress as it did.

I liked that there was tension among the other adult strangers stranded at the hotel as well. It was an intriguing distraction from some of the other things going on and raised my suspicions, too. And, of course, the staff at the hotel itself are not just regular Joes. Both are awkward with social interactions but for very different reasons.

The "Travel Inn and Out" conference hotel is practically a character in its own right. I loved the oddities of the floor plan, the facility's layout, and its tarnished and faded glory. Its quirkiness multiplied the feeling of foreboding and suspense as the young guest struggled to find their way around the place, especially after the power goes out. But the place sounded massively confusing and wonderful! I also appreciate the excellent map the author provides at the beginning of the book.

The action is continuous, and tension constant with many twists and turns deftly worked in that kept me guessing until the very end of the book. I recommend TWO TRUTHS AND A LIE to readers who enjoy YA horror stories, those summer teen horror flicks, and tales of being stranded in a creepy, run-down hotel with no way out.

I voluntarily reviewed this after receiving an Advanced Review Copy from the publisher through TBR and Beyond Tours.

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1. A good whodunit? Everyone is a suspect! There are both red herrings and real clues. Can you figure out which is which?
2. Fun theater kid shenanigans. As a former backstage theater kid, it was fun to see a group that really included the AV and tech kids too
3. The setting: Who doesn’t love a creepy motel setting? Trapped in a snowstorm! Classic thriller vibes
4. Background chills: Sure we have a great setting, a mystery but BONUS previous murders? Yes please.
5. All your favorite movie horror tropes: bus breaks down in the middle of nowhere, trapped in a creepy motel, the power and phone signals are out, unsolved mystery in a small town, everyone is a suspect, teens playing games that go bad, etc.

Cons: TOO MANY RED HERRINGS. I mean I get it, but at some point, you're just running the readers into walls. They try to almost make a romantic subplot which falls flat a bit because it's really unnecessary and never really resolves.

I received a free eARC through TBR Beyond Tours/Netgalley. I actually picked up a finished copy myself because I loved that cover! It was such a quick read I got through it in one sitting.

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I was super excited for this book, since the premise sounds super interesting- but very honestly, it disappointed me.

The first half of the book was actually pretty decent, but after the first twist, things went downhill. Like the first twist ruined the book, but in fear of spoilers, that's all I'm saying.

The plot's actually pretty interesting, and it's what drew me to the book. As I said, it went downhill after the first twist- about halfway in. There just wasn't anything particularly interesting going on, and the killer could easily be predicted as well!
And oh the ending was extremely nonsenical.

They were all actually very annoying. And honestly, bland.

Writing Style:
To be honest, it felt like the first half and the second half were written by different authors. There was so much pace, so much adrenaline in the first half, but the second half was a flat line. The writer has potential, but she just didn't utilise it.

Recommend it if you enjoy theatre to a HUGE extent, and can put up with a mediocre mystery

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Ok! April Henry has definitely become one of my favorite YA Mystery/Thriller writers. She knows how to write intense stories in intense settings.

If you found yourself stuck in a creepy motel in the middle of a blizzard would you be up for a game of Two Truths and a Lie? What Nell and her friends thought was a friendly game quickly turns sinister when people start going missing. Is it a prank put on by the strangers they’ve found themselves trapped with or is it something more deadly?

This book was intense from the very beginning. You’re made to think getting trapped during a blizzard might not be such a bad thing until new guests start to arrive and secrets of the motel start to get revealed. I definitely recommend this to anyone who enjoys YA thrillers! It will keep you on your toes from beginning to end!

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