Sunday, November 8, 2015

Review: Dangerous Lies by Becca Fitzpatrick

Title: Dangerous Lies
Author: Becca Fitzpatrick
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Australia
Published Date: 10 November 2015
Buy: Amazon | The Book Depository | Dymocks Australia

I received this book through NetGalley from Simon & Schuster (Australia) for review.

A teen is forced to make a fresh start after witnessing a violent crime—but love and danger find her anyway in this novel from Becca Fitzpatrick, the New York Times bestselling author of the Hush, Hush saga.

Stella Gordon is not her real name. Thunder Basin, Nebraska, is not her real home. This is not her real life.

After witnessing a lethal crime, Stella Gordon is sent to the middle of nowhere for her own safety before she testifies against the man she saw kill her mother’s drug dealer.

But Stella was about to start her senior year with the boyfriend she loves. How can she be pulled away from the only life she knows and expected to start a new one in Nebraska? Stella chafes at her protection and is rude to everyone she meets. She’s not planning on staying long, so why be friendly? Then she meets Chet Falconer and it becomes harder to keep her guard up, even as her guilt about having to lie to him grows.

As Stella starts to feel safer, the real threat to her life increases—because her enemies are actually closer than she thinks…
(summary from Goodreads)

Dangerous Lies is a slow burn of a read. It takes its time building its momentum but when it gets there, it's worth it.

Dangerous Lies is kind of not what I was expecting and more than I was expecting all at once. At first, I wasn't much impressed, as I was expecting more. Stella takes time to warm up to and reading this one takes a push. I was easily frustrated with Stella's immaturity. She's in witness protection, her life is in danger, and all she does is whinge about being away from her boyfriend. She lacks some serious perspective. To make matters slightly worse, she begins to struggle with her feelings for Chet and that becomes the focus. For a bit there, Dangerous Lies reads more like a teen romance drama than any sort of thrilling mystery. It's not bad, it's just not what I was wanting. Fitzpatrick does offer hints at the mystery though, as well as the subplot of Trigger and his reign of terror, and that kept me reading. We know Stella apparently witnessed a murder, that a dangerous crime boss is involved, as well as her mother, and that her boyfriend was seriously injured. Stella's testimony is the be all end all of the case. But nothing is what it seems, and that hidden truth is intriguing. The way Fitzpatrick develops the story really is great. Her characters, their relationships, the mystery - it all develops into an intense and heart-pounding read. I now appreciate Fitzpatrick's writing Stella as annoying early in the novel because her growth, her reactions to the truth as it's revealed, are more genuine. Fitzpatrick's ending is a real "wow". It was more than I'd been expecting and I came to really enjoy this book. 

Fitzpatrick's characters really grew on me, thanks to how she developed their stories. While I admit to being impatient at first, frustrated with Stella's selfishness, Carmina's mean strictness and Chet's issues, these provided the characters a realness. There's a backstory to all of it that garners empathy. Their histories shape their relationships and these, as well as the tense climax, made Dangerous Lies for me. I especially loved the relationship that formed between Carmina and Stella. The novel portrays the true meaning of family and it's beautiful and emotional. Chet's a great guy and I felt for his situation. I enjoyed the slow build of his relationship with Stella, as development over insta-love is always a plus! Trigger is another stand out, but for all the terrible reasons. Such a disgusting bully, but his part throughout the book kind of blew my mind. Fitzpatrick definitely knows how to add some extra shock value to this novel.

It takes a moment, but Dangerous Lies develops into a thrilling read that is full of action and emotion. All of its details come together to leave quite the impact when finished.



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