Review: Little White Lies by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Little White Lies
Little White Lies by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Publisher: Freeform
Publication: Nov 6, 2018
Read from: Aug 23 – Sept 11
Format: e-arc
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I’m not saying this is Sawyer’s fault,” the prim and proper one said delicately. “But.”
Eighteen-year-old auto mechanic Sawyer Taft did not expect her estranged grandmother to show up at her apartment door and offer her a six-figure contract to participate in debutante season. And she definitely never imagined she would accept. But when she realizes that immersing herself in her grandmother’s “society” might mean discovering the answer to the biggest mystery of her life-her father’s identity-she signs on the dotted line and braces herself for a year of makeovers, big dresses, bigger egos, and a whole lot of bless your heart. The one thing she doesn’t expect to find is friendship, but as she’s drawn into a group of debutantes with scandalous, dangerous secrets of their own, Sawyer quickly discovers that her family isn’t the only mainstay of high society with skeletons in their closet. There are people in her grandmother’s glittering world who are not what they appear, and no one wants Sawyer poking her nose into the past. As she navigates the twisted relationships between her new friends and their powerful parents, Sawyer’s search for the truth about her own origins is just the beginning.
Set in the world of debutante balls, grand estates and rolling green hills, Little White Lies combines a charming setting, a classic fish-out-of-water story, and the sort of layered mystery only author Jennifer Lynn Barnes can pull off.


My thoughts

I tried to read The Naturals but I thought it was okay. I didn’t really fell in love with the story especially its characters. I also tried to read The Fixer but it also wasn’t for me. I don’t know why it’s still in my tbr. I suppose I wanted to give it another chance. Then one day, I was on netgalley and I found this title. The premise seemed interesting so I thought it would be a great opportunity to read this one. Maybe, just maybe, I might actually like this one. Out of all the author’s books, I might actually like this one. But alas…

This was the kind of book I would’ve put down before reaching the 50% mark but I wanted to finish reading the story so I kept reading anyway. My feelings toward the end didn’t change, unfortunately. I was left feeling bored, unimpressed, and/or indifferent. However, I did like the main character, Sawyer.

Little White Lies was like a mash between Gilmore Girls and (maybe) Gossip Girl but the result had been nondescript characters, a mundane story line, and flat plot twists. The worst part was that it’s obvious that there was going to be a build-up (supposed to excite and keep readers at the edge of their seats) BUT the build-up leading to the plot twists (with an -s) were pretty lame and the threat of the scandals were weak. The stakes weren’t as high compared to Gossip Girl so it wasn’t as gripping. The threat behind these secrets and scandals weren’t as compelling. I know it’s not like Gossip Girl but this is the book I’m comparing it to when it comes to scandals and secrets. In short, this book was seriously underwhelming.

What I didn’t expect was the mystery. Aside from searching for Sawyer’s father, the reader finds out a group of debutantes were in jail and the whole mystery was also finding out why and how it happened. Can I just say that the entrance of the wealthy grandma was cringey? This is the present time in the storyline but it abruptly ends to make way for the past storyline. I didn’t like the pacing and/or the timeline the way it was written. I thought it disrupted the narrative, switching from the confused police’s POV to the MC’s POV. I think it was supposed to be humorous but it just wasn’t enough to keep me entertained. Eventually by the end of the book, the story returns to the present storyline.

Overall, I was kind of annoyed. I might view this book differently if it had been in sequential order. And since this book contained nondescript characters, I found it difficult to tell them apart especially through the police’s POV. Now, I know that the police doesn’t know the main characters but the descriptions were bland (or kind of creepy). Like a grown adult thinking a 15 year old is gorgeous. I can’t help but stop to think why I was still reading this book.

Even if I wasn’t fond of the story, I liked the main character’s humor. I think Sawyer made this book bearable for me to read despite the long and dragged out family mystery drama. Also, I thought it was completely unnecessary for Sawyer to describe old women like a breed of dog because of their hair. I thought that if a man had written this book, it might look problematic.

The conclusion may leave readers wanting more from the story. However, if a sequel is in the future, I don’t think I’d be interested in reading it. Some readers who liked the author’s previous novels may find the other characters (especially Sawyer) endearing. Their little flaws make them even more likable. I would recommend this book to fans of the author’s previous works.


**Huge thanks to the publisher for approving my request to read this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Published by Claire @bookscoffeeandrepeat

Filipino American YA book blogger. Just here to share to share my interests with others!

2 thoughts on “Review: Little White Lies by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

  1. Ooh great review! I think I have this one on my TBR, but if I ever read it, I’m not going to go in with high expectations haha. Sorry you didn’t enjoy it very much!


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