Cover Image: Two Truths and a Lie

Two Truths and a Lie

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Member Reviews

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing a complimentary ARC for an honest review.

Two Truths and a Lie had a solid premise, but the writing was a little rough and I could see the culprit pretty much as soon as the story begin. A group of students heading to a theater competition get stranded at a run down hotel during a snowstorm. Enter another group of students from another school who are also stranded and hijinks ensue.

The things it had going for it was that it was a quick read and kept me interested enough to keep reading. However, it was very trope heavy and ended up becoming pretty predictable.

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I really wanted to like this book. I did. I gave it its' fair shake. <i>However,</i> I just really wasn't feeling it. The premise is interesting with the mix of mystery, teenage mayhem and murder, but it just felt a little stilted for me. Half of the teenage characters didn't act like high school teenagers, more like middle school children, and the other half acted like strange adults or centuries old vampires who have no idea how teenagers act anymore. I don't know. I kind of expected them to be vampires after seeing their names, descriptions and behaviors.
Either way, they didn't act like teenagers.
I also really liked the idea of them being theater kids! The drama, the mystique! Maybe everything is an act! Honestly, though, would teenage theater kids be able to pull off some of the things these kids did? And what of the adults how just stand in the background and say "kids gonna kids, whatevs." I can't see any adult who is responsible for children of any age acting like that, and I say that as a former choir kid. We were taped into our rooms at night!
I think my biggest issue is with Travis's character. He's just a hurtful stereotype of someone with brain trauma. He deserved to be more than the "weird janitor" who speaks about himself in the third person.

Yeah. I don't know. I was disappointed. Thanks to netgalley, though, for giving me a chance to read the arc in exchange for an honest review. It really pains me to say things I think are hurtful in the name of honesty. I'm sorry.

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Two groups of teenagers on a school trip for competitions and a few strangers get stranded at a motel during a snowstorm. To pass the time, the teenagers decide to play a game of two truths and a lie. From there, things quickly escalate and turn deadly.

I give this two stars for the concept. I know this is a popular author but I just couldn't get into this one. I felt it was unfortunately predictable and dragging.

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This was a pretty good YA mystery.
It wasn't totally obvious who the killer was, the author did a great job at redirecting several times to keep you guessing, as well as throwing some other suspenseful moments into the story.

Nell was a fantastic MC, childish but mature and motherly.
The secondary group of kids was a bit annoying, very pretentious, it was difficult to warm up to them in anyway.

It had a lot of clichés in the beginning.. and took a lot of inspiration from Cult classic horror movies/novels, which wasn't necessarily bad. It was nice to reminisce.

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The Synopsis:

Nell and her drama club classmates are on their way to a national drama competition that they have been working very hard for. This competition could lead to awards, scholarships, and opportunities for them and they are excited and confident. What they were not prepared for was the winter storm of the century catching the California teens and their teacher to be stranded a strange, worn-out hotel far from their intended destination. As they hunker down for the night, they meet other storm-bound people who have found themselves equally stuck at the Travel Inn & Out, including another group of teens who had a competition of their own to attend.

As the storm rages on outside, the teens decide to meet in the common room to socialize in front of the fire. However, their gathering begins to take on a sinister tone as a creepy message appears in the slips of paper they are using to play a seemingly innocent game of Two Truths and a Lie. As a sense of unease settles on the group, they also find out that the hotel is the sight of a 20 year-old unsolved double murder, one that took place in room 238. They decide to do a séance and it goes about as well as one can expect a séance to go in a creepy hotel. And then the power goes out.

The next morning, Nell and a few others in their party group stumble upon the body of one of the girls they had hung out with the night before, apparently hung sometime in the night, a sign pinned to her chest saying “THIS IS THE FIRST.” Was it suicide or something more sinister? As another girl disappears and they find her room splattered in more blood than one could survive losing, with another sign scrawled in blood on the bathroom mirror reading “THIS IS THE SECOND,” all hell breaks loose. Not only are they stranded far away from home and safety without heat, phone service, and power, but they also may be stuck in a hotel in the middle of nowhere with a murderer. Is this the same killer who 20 years ago killed the couple in 238, or is this someone new who has only just begun?

The Review:

I definitely finished this one quickly. The plot throughout is fast-paced and it had everything in it. Suspicious hotel guests, possible supernatural phenomena, unsolved murders, and teenage hormones run rampant. The setting was well described and plays a huge roll throughout the entire book. It’s like the setting is another character entirely, moaning and creaking around its inhabitants.

The storm also adds a ton to the overall atmosphere of the book and if you have ever experienced a blizzard, you know exactly the feelings they have. The isolation, the disorientation when you find yourself in a world that has turned the outside into a black and white alien landscape where the white and fluffy snow becomes an icy desert of drifts and plains, some which hide dangerous predators from the eyes of potential prey. It creates a stark and unforgiving backdrop for a story of people desperately clawing their way to the truth.

There is a cadre of red herrings and strange happenings that make you question the evidence and what might be true verses what might be coincidental. Many of the characters show their true colors throughout the book, which makes them seem all the more real. It’s also always fun to read about people who are tied intrinsically to technology go through an experience where they don’t have any available and have to find ways to survive varying circumstances, like how to unmask a killer while trying to stay warm and fed in a place not meant to be run without electricity. It’s one reason I absolutely love fictional survival stories set far in the wilderness, especially ones where dumb mistakes are made that the protagonist has to survive. Although there aren’t many of those in Two Truths and a Lie, there is still plenty of unpreparedness to keep a reader feeling like this book is both a survival story and a mystery-thriller.

If you’re in the mood for a quick and thrilling read, I would advise picking up a copy of Two Truths and a Lie.

Thanks to NetGalley and Little, Brown for an advanced copy in exchange for this fair and honest review.

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A group of teens are on their way to a drama competition when a sudden blizzard forces them to pull into a creepy old motel. Shortly after, another group of teens as well a few adults also find themselves stranded in the same place. When the two groups of teens meet in the common room, they decide to entertain themselves with a game of two truth and a lie.Someone suggest they make it a little more difficult by writing down their responses on slips of paper and placing them in a basket, then randomly drawing them out so they have to guess not only which is the lie on each slip but who wrote it.

It is all going well until a very strange and frightening slip is pulled out and no one will admit to being the author. If that isn’t scary enough then the caretaker tells them about a murder that took place in the motel twenty years ago. To everyone’s horror, the next day, one of the kids is found dead with a sign pinned to her with the words, all in capital letters, THIS IS THE FIRST..

Two Truths and a Lie by April Henry is a YA thriller that reads like a homage to Agatha Christie’s famous play, Then There Were None. The story moves at a fast pace thanks to Henry’s use of short paragraphs and dialogue and there were plenty of twists and turns to keep the reader guessing right to the final twist at the end. I am way past the intended audience but I was completely drawn into the story right from the first page and it kept my interest throughout, A fun fast read and one I recommend to anyone who enjoys YA thrillers.

<i>Thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review</i>

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This book was exactly as stated, a YA mystery / thriller. It starts with a group of high school teenagers going out of town for a theater award type deal and on the way there, the weather keeps getting worse and worse and they end up basically stranded at a motel in the middle of nowhere. From the onset the hotel seems pretty creepy and then another group of teenagers going to a robotics competition show up at the hotel too once again due to the inclement weather. Basically people start dying one by one Ella Agatha Christie style and the teenagers are trying to figure out the who what when where and why. I have to say there were some twists I didn't see coming and the writing itself was pretty good. I would definitely recommend

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This YA novel took many of it’s cues from an Agatha Christie book. Fortunately, many of the people in its intended audience will not be familiar with that story, which will make this one stronger.

Essentially, there are two high school theater groups stuck at a crumbling hotel as a blizzard rages. When one of the students turn up dead, it begins a dizzying couple of days during which many secrets are revealed. There’s a pretty good twist toward the end (along with a decent one toward the beginning).

Recommended for YA readers and for those who love YA books.

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing an ARC. This review contains my honest, unbiased opinion.

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In my years as a reader I’ve read quite a few April Henry books, especially when I was younger and when I heard there was a new book coming out by her I knew I had to read it. I was lucky enough to receive an ARC and dove straight into it.

Two Truth and a Lie gives the reader exactly what it promises: a good YA Mystery-Thriller. It was well executed and I always thought April Henry’s prose was very accessible and I enjoyed reading it again.

If you have read some of my reviews you’ll know that I LOVE whodunits. There are so many great books out there with this trope and it never seems to bore me. And so it’s no wonder I liked it in this book as well. There aren’t many big reveals or twists, at least I thought it was very obvious where the story was going BUT still it was a very enjoyable read.

I liked most of the characters, Nell especially, she didn’t bore me or get on my nerves, even though I didn’t really understand her penchant for Knox. The characters were a little flat and could have been a little more flashe out for me though.

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It was a fun thriller but I think I would've enjoyed it more if I was younger. The plot twist was little predictable and I didn't really like any of the characters. It was enjoyable but just not my cup of tea.

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A group of theater kids on their way to a competition have to pull off into a creepy motel due to a worsening snow storm. Soon, another group of teens joins them followed by a few adult stragglers. As the teens set up in the common room to get to know each other, the janitor Travis, reveals that 20 years ago there was a double murder in the motel. As this puts the teens on edge, a few more creepy instances further unsettle them. Is the killer back or is it imaginations running wild?
So I will admit I am picky about YA novels, but this one was sooo fun! The dynamic of the kids together in the common room was so great; of course they all immediately pair off and start flirting with each other, which is truly exactly what would happen. There was a really great twist that I did not see coming, then there was one that I did. I gave 4 stars because I kept getting confused with who all of the adults were, and I felt like they were added as red herrings just to confuse me. Overall, I really like April Henry’s ability to write how teenagers are feeling, I was enthralled and read this book in 2 days.

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A little predictable but still a good story. Mostly likable characters. The prank was extremely cheesy.

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A great mystery thriller for your teen reader! In Two Truths and a Lie, a small school club of teens. traveling to a drama competition is trapped due to weather in an old motel with a mysterious past.

Our heroine Nell, narrates the story of the overnight in the very creepy motel. Early on, her club advisor takes a sleeping pill and leaves the teens to themselves (!) Nell and her friends meet another group stranded on their way to a whole different competition. One of the charasmatic students demands that they play the game Two Truths and a Lie to pas the time. Before long a killer is discovered!

If you like your YA quick moving and thrilling, this story will surely appeal to you! #TwoTruthsAndALie

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Where to start this book really kept me guessing! It was multiple stories in one I feel like. When I thought I figured everything out I was wrong time after time. The story follows a theater group on their way to a competition where a snow storm lands them in a creepy hotel. Stranded with an assortment of guests they play two truths and a lie and this is where it gets creepy. People were murdered in this hotel and the murderer is still there. Overall it’s a mystery thriller whodunit. It was a good quick read.

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This is a quick, engaging read that I devoured in a day. A bit of a slowburn but once it got cranking I found myself unable to put it down...

Warning: Don't read until you have a nice block of time; many things I meant to do around the house today were left undone. Sorry, not sorry.

Thank you to the publisher for gifting me a copy. It is my pleasure to write an honest review.

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This was....frustrating a little. The book itself is cute, but I worry that Two Truths and a Lie
was marketed awkwardly. It reads like a middle grade novel, but I am not seeing it with a middle grade tag anywhere online. The prose was hyper simplistic, and the characters /style reminded me of those chapter books I used to read as a kid in the 90s. I think folks going out looking for YA thriller and horror are going to be confused and disappointed picking this up.

The book itself isn't bad and its very cute and fun, but the marketing and age demo should absolutely be revised. YA thrillers these days are much more mature than this.

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Two Truths and a Lie by April Henry is a twisty, suspenseful YA thriller that really drew me in! This book was fun and creepy all at the same time, a combination that made it really hard for me to put it down. I ended up reading it almost in a single sitting. I loved the premise: A group of theater kids on their way to a competition are stranded at super creepy hotel due to a blizzard when the encounter another group of teenage strangers who have ended up in the same situation. When the teens gather and play a seemingly innocent game to pass the time, it becomes clear that there is a murderer among them.

The setting of the story was great. April Henry paints a vivid picture of the hotel as a perfect backdrop for the thriller. I felt that the teenage characters were written in an age appropriate way. The plot was compelling and I definitely wanted to keep reading to figure out what was happening. I was able to guess some of the plot points fairly early in the story, but I continued to enjoy the remainder of the book and still managed to be surprised by some elements.

This was the first book I've read by April Henry, and it had me running to check out her backlist! This one would likely be an enjoyable read for fans of YA thrillers such as those by Karen McManus and Diana Urban.

Thank you to Little Brown Books and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of this title. This review is voluntary, and all opinions are honest and my own.

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Overall, I would say the book is good. There are certain elements I would’ve preferred to be left out (the cringy teen romance, the questionable actions of the student teacher, and the plot twist). That being said about 32% off the book in the beginning is a slow intro. After that, I could not put it down. I binge read the remaining part of the book in about a day. There were some twists I didn’t see coming. I would give it 3.5 stars if I could. Good concept, but it was dragged down by the slow beginning.

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I thought the book was a pretty cute thriller at first it even gave me chills at certain points, but after the plot twist in the middle of the book was revealed it went pretty much downhill. The killer was predictable and the back and forth between people being dead but actually just alive was repetitive and became boring. Other than that it was pretty decent and a quick read

*Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for giving me this ARC in exchange for an honest review*

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Thanks to Netgalley and Little, Brown Books for providing me with an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

I had a hard time putting this one down. I love an isolated murder mystery, and I've always had an obsession with Agatha Christie. This one was a compelling story. The short chapters made it so easy to just "one more chapter" this one late into the night, and the setup was riveting.

Unfortunately for me, the ending fell a little flat. It was kind of predictable, as I guessed the solution really early. And while I know this one was YA, I never really felt like the stakes got high enough.

Overall, I'd give it 3.5 stars out of 5, and I'll round up for the amazing start and the way it held my attention enough to read it so quickly in two sittings. I also really liked the main character, so that bumped it up too.

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