‘Little White Lies’ by Jennifer Lynn Barnes Is a Lovely YA Tale of Determination and Debutantes

Little-White-Lies

Former debutante Jennifer Lynn Barnes shares with readers the trials and tribulations of what goes into being a society deb and living the life of the rich and famous. In “Little White Lies,” protagonist Sawyer Taft goes from fixing cars and taking care of her mother to living with her grandmother and participating in nine months of preparation to be a debutante — in return for half a million dollars.

The college money will mean the world to Sawyer as it will enable her to attend college. But she has another reason for wanting to enter the world her mother grew up in. She’s determined to find out who her father is. All her life she’s only been told three things about him: her mother only slept with him once, he hated fish, and he wasn’t looking for a scandal.

With that information and a photograph of her mother’s debutante group, Sawyer enters a world that brings new and unfamiliar activities into her life. And Sawyer, who went out of her way to not make friends, learns that friends are important.

Barnes doesn’t just keep the plot about getting through the debutante scene and the mystery of who Sawyer’s father is. She adds a mystery involving a boy their age who works at the country club as a valet. It turns out that his brother worked at the country club until he was seriously injured by a drunk driver while walking to the bus stop after work. Nick, the brother who works at the country club, is trying to find out the perpetrator who caused his brother to remain in a coma.

The four girls, Sawyer, her cousin Lily, Lily’s best friend Sadie-Grace, and the daughter of the powerful senator Campbell, all join up to discover not only who the drunk driver was, but also to get revenge.

What could be a predictable plot keeps the reader turning the pages for many reasons. The characters are all likable except for the ones who are intentionally villainous. The writing is real, and the first person narration works extremely effectively to convey the often wry comments of the 18-year-old Sawyer. The book is fun. It’s filled with amusing situations and clever dialogue.

So suggest “Little White Lies” to a young adult reader looking for a fun read. Don’t be surprised if she starts saying, “Bless your heart,” without realizing it!

Please note: This review is based on the final, hardcover book provided by Freeform Books, the publisher, for review purposes.

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