Friday, August 24, 2012

My take on: Beautiful Lies

Rachel and Alice are more than just sisters. They are identical twin sisters. They share a bond few people can understand. Not even close friends or family. Ever since they were children, Rachel and Alice could sense what the other was feeling. They are so much alike physically, their own family can't tell them a part. That bond will be put to the test when one of them disappears in this creepy tale, Beautiful Lies by Jessica Warman.

While Rachel and Alice are so much alike physically, their personalities differ in so many ways. Rachel is dedicated to school and always gets good grades. Alice doesn't care about school, instead she is interested in just passing. Rachel has a close network of friends, while Alice has eschewed being part of the crowd in favor of her older boyfriend Robin. Alice would rather be wild and free partying with Robin. They flout the rules, experimenting with drugs and alcohol. To their aunt Sharon and uncle Jeff, who have raised the girls since the death of their parents, Rachel can do no wrong. Alice is the troubled one. Alice is the one who needs "help."

When one of the sisters disappears, the other can feel it instantly. I don't want to give too much away, so I'm not going to say which sister goes missing at the start of the book. But that is when the book takes a creepy and confusing turn. I had trouble figuring out which sister is actually missing. Alice and Rachel have been swapping identities for years. It started out with good intentions, with Rachel trying to improve Alice's grades in school. Seems harmless? It was done out of love. Rachel would do anything to help her sister. She always feels the need to be protective of Alice. Do you ever wish you were someone else? Even if it's just for a few moments. I have. I'm sure everyone has at some point in their lives. If given the chance to be someone else, would you take it? But what about the consequences? It seems Rachel and Alice got into this quagmire without thinking about the consequences. It seems like one twin was kidnapped because of mistaken identity. That is if anyone is actually missing.

One sister starts exhibiting a lot of strange injuries. The injuries appear instantly. How is that possible? I know twins share a deep connection, but is it really that deep? Is this a ghost story or a contemporary mystery? Is this really happening or is it an elaborate dream playing out? Trying the to figure out those questions kept me coming back for more. The despair one twin feels in her pursuit of her sister is very palpable. I felt like I was in her head. You want people to believe her. You want her to find her sister just for the sake of her own sanity. I had a little trouble following the plot at some points, but overall this was a very good read.

Rating: Superb

Note: I received a copy of the book from the publisher (Bloomsbury) in exchange for an honest review.


  1. I haven't heard of this one, but it definitely sounds like something I'd enjoy! Great review, I'm going to be checking this one out thanks to your comments!

    Courtney @ Fuzzy.Coffee.Books

  2. Definitely check it out, I was guessing the whole time right up until the end.

  3. This sounds amazing. I'm a big fan of psychological thrillers and the twins aspect is fascinating.

    And part of me is thinking "hmm, did the author read Sweet Valley High as a teen?" ... Alice and Rachel sound like Jessica and Elizabeth, elevated to a more literary plane!