Cover Image: Two Truths and a Lie

Two Truths and a Lie

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Member Reviews

Wowzers!! This took a little teenage boy/ girl party game to a whole nother level y’all!!
So this book had everything I wanted. A semi slow lead up to the freakiness, intense & creepy action going on, and edge of my seat wondering what’s next. I was intrigued by the title because as I always mention I don’t usually read the synopsis. (It will be in the comments if you would like to read it though)
Once I figured out who the killer was I was a little sad because I like the not knowing and not being able to figure it out BUT the book was well written and the characters were enjoyable so I didn’t mind it to much. There were a few things I felt should have been expanded on or not mentioned at all but overall I really enjoyed it and it was a fairly quick read.

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The first sentence in the blurb got me hooked and I desperately wanted to read this book. (Plus it doesn’t hurt that the MC’s name could be a shortened version of mine). This whodunit was quick, entertaining, and a few of the twists actually tricked me for a minute!

Here are five reasons to read this YA book:

Setting - A group of teens (and a few adults) are trapped in a sketchy hotel during a huge snowstorm? Sign me up! With the feel of a locked-room mystery and lies being told left and right, who could the murderer be?

Characters - I LOVED that the MC (and other characters) are drama geeks. It's not the typical “type” you read in these types of stories…with a Troy Bolton (lol) thrown in.

Relatability - I’m no longer what I would consider young, but I related to these students, especially Nell. She loves theater, but she excels in a different way than the rest of classmates. You can have interests in common with others, but they don’t have to be exact. Play up your strengths…it's better in the long run.

Twist - There were a couple twists throughout the story which I really enjoyed. A few I saw coming, but I was pleasantly surprised that I didn’t see/get them all right away.

Length - While I’m sure this book could definitely have been longer in length, I felt it was well paced and kept me entertained throughout the entire plot. Give me more April Henry!

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Gripping locked room mystery about two groups of teens trapped in a creepy motel by a blizzard.

Nell's traveling to a drama competition with her teacher and four other teens. But when the predicted few flurries turn into a blizzard, they're forced to take shelter in a dated, run-down motel that has been turned into a confusing maze by extensive renovations and additions. However, their evening looks up when their teacher goes to bed and another group of teens arrives, stranded on their way to the robotics competition.

Sparks fly between several teens, as flirtations start up in the late night hours. However, their evening takes a creepy turn when someone slips a sheet of paper into their two truths and a lie game, claiming to be a serial killer, and their next game, an Ouija board, confirms that someone will die soon. The maintenance man, Travis, shows them a scrapbook of photos and news clippings from when a couple was brutally murdered at the motel twenty years earlier. However, when Nell wakes up, the sunshine makes it all seem less creepy, until they discover the first body on their way to breakfast.

The suspects are all trapped inside with them - Stuart, the motel owner who failed to revive the failing business; Travis, the brain-damaged maintenance man; Brian, the polite long-haul trucker who likes to read books; Edgar, the rude pharmaceutical rep with a gun; or Linus, who checked in without a suitcase, claiming to be on his way to his mother. Or could one of the other teens be involved?

This book is packed with action and twists, and Nell must use all her wits to stay one step ahead of the killer, whoever he or she may be. Almost every person in the group has a secret, but only one of them is trying to make sure no one leaves alive.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the advance review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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"This all feels eerily familiar. And then I know why. “This is getting to be like a bad movie or book,” I say. “A group of strangers, trapped at night in a creepy old motel during a blizzard. And then you add a killer, picking them off one by one”

That’s a pretty good summary of the book! Only they’re teenagers, and everyone except their teacher and Travis is unhinged. Even the other team are weirdos, mostly because of Knox.

You’ll get plenty of horror movie tropes in this book! I’m adding them in the next para so I don’t spoil this for you!

*** All the horror movie tropes in Two Truths and a Lie ***

The bus breaks down, no electricity, no signals, a group of strangers, a love interest, the murder took place here all these years ago with the killer never being caught, Ouija board moving on its own, newspaper clippings, diverse group of teenagers.

*** End of all the horror tropes ***

I read Two Truths and a Lie at 3 am! It was a very quick read, but it wasn’t a deep read. I didn’t pick up on any hints that the author may have given.

I thought it was a light fun read, in case you want to read something in the night with the AC on and a light chill in the room! This isn’t a mind blowing, change your life, make you seek out different sort of books kinda read. This is book just to entertain, and that’s perfect! I have listed a lot of tropes, but honestly, the tropes are what make it fun! I also loved the Ouija board, and the thing with shadows! It adds a nice supernatural element to it; even though we’ll never know if we were being warned or not.

At some point I though we’d end on a cliffhanger because the author couldn’t possibly wrap up so quickly! But there was a nice neat ending which I liked, although I could have used more about Knox!

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Two Truths and a Lie by April Henry gets off the a strong start. I loved the premise of high school students being stranded in a creepy motel with a killer on the loose and no way to leave or call for help. And I was really loving it until about the halfway point then things started to slide a bit for me. I don’t want to give spoilers, but I’ll say some characters, especially a certain adult, wasn’t acting at all like I’d have expected. And then towards the end things seemed to really speed up and there were several twists that just came out of nowhere to me. Overall though I definitely enjoyed it and think it would make a fun little mini series for Netflix, I just wish the ending had been as strong as the start.

3.5 stars rounded up to 4. Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review an eARC of Two Truths and a Lie.

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April Henry's Two Truths and a Lie is omage to Agatha Christie’s famous play, Then There Were None. Nell and her theater group, Adam, Jermaine, Raven and Min, along with the group's advisor, Ms McElroy, are traveling across the state for a competition. There will be college recruits there, opportunities for scholarships, and to finally gain recognition for all the hard work they have been putting in throughout high school. Ms. McElroy, has even managed to get a school van which normally is used by the schools sports teams.

But when bad weather forces the group off the roads, they end up at a creepy motel in the middle of nowhere. Soon thereafter, a second group claiming to be robotics students arrive. Ten high school kids, their chaperones, and a handful of other guests spend the nigh in a rundown hotel out in the boonies. While playing a game of Two Truths and a Lie, Nell reads off a piece of paper.

“I like to watch people die
My least favorite food is mushrooms
I've lost count of how many people I've killed”

To try and get more answers to the mystery of whether the motel is haunted, the group ends up with a Ouija board. It, of course, replies in Latin. As the teens begin to panic, they also learn that their hotel has a dark past of its own. Back in 1996, a couple was brutally murdered, and the crime has never been solved. It appears that history is now repeating itself when a girl is found hung, and blood is sprayed all over the bathroom.

With the weather outside not letting up, and students go missing, Nell and her friends but try and survive. Things become even more twisted when it appears all of the adults staying at the motel have secrets of their own, including one who talks in the third person, one who may be transporting something highly illegal, and the owner who seems to be everywhere. Could one of them be a killer, and if so, who will be next?

The motel setting is really creepy. From the ill-conceived conference center, a giant common room disturbingly sporting dozens of weird and creepy knick-knacks on the walls, blankets of dust, a strangely vibrant Hawaiian-style tiki hut, a unwelcoming lagoon-style pool, and the oddest assortment of motel staff, and caretakers. If you are looking for a quick read, and don't mind endings that you can pretty much guess, you'll like this book.

Recommended reading ages: 12-18

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I love a good murder mystery, especially when I can't predict the ending. This book checked off those for me! Plus throw in a creepy old hotel and shady characters all snowed in with no where to go? Sheer delight for me! April Henry kept the story simple as well, didn't make it longer for longers sake, so it felt more like the old classic mystery tales you'd find with Agatha Christie. Highly recommend.

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This book gave me all the Agatha Christie vibes and enjoyed the twists and turns. I kept going back and forth between suspects and never knew for sure who it was until it was revealed. I think the prank aspect was interesting and added a bit of a twist. After that reveal it was hard to determine if I could trust the other teens or not. I liked that as the teens were looking into the other adults as suspects that we were given more insight into each of them and some still remained a mystery for a while. This book kept me intrigued until the very end and I couldn’t put it down!

I highly recommend this book for fans of And Then There Were None or mystery books on general.

Thank you to Little Brown Books for Young Readers for this eGalley. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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The pacing and overall juvenile feel of this book didn't work for me. I wasn't able to engage in the story as it unfolded.

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Unfortunately, only the first chapter of this book works for me on my ereader. The small glimpse I got of the book was well written and had me captive. So my review isn’t exactly correct, but I feel as though it would continue in that direction.

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Whoa! What a ride. It was very fast-paced. The writing style kept me hooked and I didn't find myself losing any interest. I enjoyed getting to know each of the characters and how real the story felt. The author did a great job painting the setting, so it was easy for me to visualize the scene played out before me. I recommend giving this one a chance!

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An unexpected blizzard and teens trapped in a secluded, old motel with a murderer – this book sounded like the perfect setting for a locked room mystery.

With no electricity or cell service and cell phones in various stages of dying, these teens decide to play the game of Two Truths and a Lie. After Nell draws a slip of paper indicating a killer is in their midst, the mystery begins. Who’s lying? Who’s telling the truth? What makes it even more difficult is that nearly all of these teens are performers in their theater groups at school and were on the way to a competition before being sidelined by the blizzard. Soon it’s revealed that twenty years ago, two hotel guests were murdered and the killer was never found. Queue one of the characters suggesting it’s time to break out the Ouija board – never a good idea – and ominous messages from spirits leave everyone in various stages of fear and suspicion. Then the body count begins.

It’s not difficult to figure out who the murderer is, and I honestly thought one of the characters would pick up on it. Besides the teens and their teachers, a few other mysterious guests are staying at the hotel and add to the list of suspects. There are a few plot holes I’d hoped would be explained, especially with something involving the Ouija board. I’d expected the story to lean more in the supernatural direction after that, but it was rarely mentioned again.

Although I knew who the killer was early on, I still wanted to see how the story played out. This locked room mystery has the perfect wintery setting, and it’s a fun, quick read I finished in a couple of sittings.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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This was an ok read - it was fast paced and I read most of it in one sitting, which was nice, but I feel like the execution fell a little flat for me. This is a thriller and I do think the author did a good job capturing the atmosphere, and the spookiness of being trapped in a motel in the middle of nowhere during a blizzard. And the fast pace helped cement the urgency that the characters faced. But I don't think any of the characters were well enough developed, as I felt most of them could be interchangeable and I did confuse most of them on more than one occasion. That could also just be the fact that there was a large cast of characters introduced in a very short amount of time. I also figured out the killer as soon as we met them, so that was a bit anti-climatic for the ending, which in general felt a little rushed and confusing. But overall, this was a quick, fun read, and if you like thrillers, you should check this one out.

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I wanted to love this book - I really liked the premise of it. - girl and her high school friends stuck in a creepy old motel end up witnessing a murder. But it ended up being too cliche for me. Even for being aimed at high school readers, I felt like it was too campy-horror-movie. Of course, if you love watching campy horror movies, this is probably the exact book for you.
I guess I wanted more thriller, more character development and more substance, and this book was more scare-centric and such.
It was okay for a one time read.

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I feel extremely neutral about this book. I enjoyed the beginning a lot, but as it progressed it got less and less interesting even as the build up just kept getting higher. As characters were getting added I was getting more and more confused on who was who and where they were in scenes. It seemed as though every mystery/thriller trope imaginable got added every 10-15 pages.
There was a huge twist towards the middle of the book which made the actual twist very easy to detect. I think as a teen this could be a good thriller, but for me it was missing that vail most thrillers have.

Also I was a little annoyed that I think I was spoiled for And Then There Were None in this..

Everything was fine and if you want an average mystery/thriller this is good for you.

3 stars.

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April Henry has done it again with Two Truths and a Lie. This book gave me almost everything I was looking for in a read. A bunch of teenagers trapped in a haunted hotel during a blizzard with no way to escape until it's over. A plot that seems to come straight our to a horror movie that any lover of classic 80s horror movies will love. And just enough teeny amount of romance mixed with all that suspense to quench the thirst of anyone that enjoys their horror/thrillers to come with a side of love. I would have given this book 5 stars because I loved it so much but the only thing that was holding me back was the fact that a few of the cliches seemed to be a little over the top but that did not stop me from flying through this book. It was a quick and entertaining read and I highly recommend it to anyone that is a lover of YA thrillers and horror.

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April Henry is a master of YA suspense. I have read many of her books and they are always very good and very suspenseful. I am happy to report this one is no exception.

It takes place during a snow storm in a hotel where murders occurred and the teens in the story are playing two truths and a lie. It is a classic locked room mystery and kept me turning the pages.

I look forward to more from this author.

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This book was fine. I probably won't remember that I read it in like a week. It was almost like the author was adding every stereotypical mystery/thriller trope into one novel. The premise was interesting and the isolated setting atmosphere was top notch! I love love love isolated settings and then add snow? 100/10. A lot about this book was just fine. The characters were fine, the pacing was fine, the writing was fine, the ending was fine i guess, etc. Nothing, other than the setting, stuck out as a great part of this novel. The ending was a little anticlimactic considering the insane build up which is always a bummer. I also really struggled with the amount of problems the author added into this. It felt like one negative after another for these characters. Another thing I struggled with was the "Mary Sue" style character. Our main character was weirdly rational/smart when any other sixteen year old would literally be shitting themselves in this situation.

Overall, this book was fine. Definitely nothing special. I had higher hopes for someone who has written so many mystery/thriller novels in the past but oh well.

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This read more as a middle grade novel, and it was quite easy to 'figure out". Trapped in a blizzard at a run down hotel, a group of high school thespians encounter a group of Robotic competitors from another school and settle in for a game of TWO TRUTHS AND A LIE. Again, very simple with no real twists.

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Two Truths and a Lie by April Henry was only a 3 rating for me. The premise sounded very interesting, but the story didn't hold up. I found the characters a bit flat and didn't really connect with any of them. The 20-year-old murder story was more interesting than the actual story, unfortunately. A bit unbelievable.

#TwoTruthsandaLie #NetGalley @LittleBrownYR @TheNovl

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