This book was such a pleasant surprise! Truthfully, I didn’t know what to expect, but I’m really glad I enjoyed it. I actually bought a signed copy of this book when I was at North Texas Teen Book Festival last year (because the author was there). And it certainly sat on my shelf for a long time… Oops.
Title: Little White Lies (Debutantes #1)
Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Release date: November 6, 2018
Genre: Young adult, contemporary, mystery
Length: 390 pages (hardcover)
Synopsis: (via Goodreads) “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.”
This book was one wild ride and I loved every bit of it. This is my first book by Jennifer Lynn Barnes, and I’m glad I enjoyed it. I wasn’t quite sure what I was getting myself into though. It was filled with ridiculously wealthy Southerners who, like most rich people, attempt to cover up the scandals in their lives. But enter Sawyer Taft who is, while Southern, not rich, didn’t finish high school, and lives with her single mother who isn’t always present. Did I mention they live above a bar? Anyway, leave it to Sawyer to turn everything upside down and discover all the secrets her family (and others) buried.
I loved how Sawyer found her family. Though she was super reluctant at first and it became a contract/bargain thing, she eventually found the people she had wanted to know her whole life without realizing she really wanted to know them. She found out more about her mother and her past. Despite the rocky relationship Sawyer and her mother had, you can tell the two really depended on one another because of their circumstances. I think Sawyer was rightfully angry at her mother all things considered. I liked that Sawyer found Sadie Grace and Lily (though I’m not quite sure what to make of Campbell.
I did find the ending a little abrupt, but I really liked how vulnerable Lillian became in front of Sawyer, especially since she is seen as a strong matriarch if the family. You get a sense that all Lillian wanted was for her family to be together again despite the mistakes of her children.
I’m really glad this book has a sequel! I can’t wait to read it (though I’m sad about the cover change because I really like this cover design)!