Review of Little White Lies

Little White Lies (Debutantes Book 1) by [Barnes, Jennifer Lynn]


Little White Lies

Jennifer Lynn Barnes


November 6, 2018

Blurb: Set in the gentrified south among debutante balls, grand estates and rolling green hills, Little White Lies combines the charm of a fully-realized setting, a classic fish-out-of-water story, and the sort of layered mystery only author Jennifer Lynn Barnes can pull off. When Sawyer Taft agrees to move in with her grandmother, she expects some things to be different, but what she doesn’t expect is to get sucked into a group of over-privileged, yet somehow lovable debs who have—wait for it—kidnapped one of their own in hopes of blackmailing her into keeping their secrets under wraps—secrets which are far bigger and more scandalous than anyone could have imagined. As Sawyer works to uncover the identity of her father, she must also navigate the twisted relationships between her new friends and their powerful parents, and help them discover the villain among them.


I am such a sucker for precocious teenagers who are smart, irreverent, and know how to manipulate the system. Sawyer Taft, the heroine, in Jennifer Lynn Barnes’ Little White Lies is just such a teenager.

Little White Lies introduces Sawyer, a very likable character, who agrees to terms given to her by her very appropriate grandmother so that she can discover who her father is. Along the way, however, she stumbles upon scandals even larger than she could have imagined.

For me, this was every inch the definition of a page-turner. I loved discovering details as I went along and then when I thought I’d learned the truth to discover that I had not, well, that wasn’t dissatisfying, but intriguing. And, despite the fact that I am a veritable hater of cliff-hangers, to know that this one has a sequel was whipped cream on pie.

The characterization was very good. I loved the fact that no one was just good or evil. Thank you. I love characters having layers because real people do.

As for Sawyer Taft, let’s just say that she’s like the debutante version of Veronica Mars, smart-mouthed but savvy enough to know when she shouldn’t be.

And now, this is a reverse YMMV (your mileage may vary) because some readers were not as enamored as me. I don’t know. I don’t lie to you (at least to my knowledge?). I couldn’t put this book down. When I had the opportunity, I read it. I found it fun and satisfying. In fact, if the next one were available, I’d be reading that rather than writing a review. When the writing, plot, and characterization come together, I read as a reader rather than a writer, if that makes sense. When you read as writer, you tend to tear things apart, but I never experienced that here. So, I’ll leave it with YMMV.

If you’re a fan of YA novels, you will like this. Also, if you like cozy mysteries, you will probably like this regardless of the fact that it’s YA. If you’re a fan of Veronica Mars, you will like this. I also understand that people who like Pretty Little Liars (I’ve never seen or read it), will like this—that’s up to you. I don’t know who will hate this…people who don’t like novels about debutantes, Veronica Mars-like characters, people who love senators…your discretion.

I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Little White Lies goes on sale on November 6, you can pre-order from Amazon here.

rating:  4-and-a-half

4 butterflies and a ladybug out of 5 butterflies



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