Nov 3, 2015

ARC Review--Dangerous Lies by Becca Fitzpatrick

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…

I received this ARC from a friend who attend ALA, I was in no way compensated for this review.

I adored Becca Fitzpatrick's foray into the thriller world with Black Ice last year and was all sorts of excited for Dangerous Lies! Though I wouldn't say it was as thrilling as her first one, it was still a pretty decent read with a few heart-pounding moments!

Estella has witnessed a crime, a brutal murder involving a dangerous criminal and now she has to testify for his persecution. In the meantime, she's being sent into WITSEC and already her life is falling apart. Leaving her home, everyone she knows, including her boyfriend doesn't make her happy. She has three weeks until she's eighteen, then she plans to leave Thunder Basin, Nebraska and go live with her boyfriend, Reed, who's also in WITSEC and live the life she wants to live.

Stella, as she's called in her new life, wasn't the easiest character to like. I can understand her being scared and even a little angry about her situation. She comes from a rough life with a mother who is addicted to drugs and what basically led to the whole ordeal with a guy being murdered in their home. But the way she behaved for a good half of the novel was deplorable. Carmina is a retired cop who takes Stella in as her "caretaker" during her WITSEC stay, but Stella was anything but polite or kind. She resents everything Carmina makes her do. Such as waking early for breakfast to finding a job in town. She's an ungrateful brat and I couldn't really stand her.

Add to that, she bemoans missing her boyfriend constantly, and yet, that doesn't stop herself from flirting with a nearby neighbor boy, Chet. She goes along with the harmless flirting, even knowing she will never let it go too far. And all the while, she waits to receive an email from Reed, her boyfriend, from their secret account. I just didn't like that she kept telling herself Reed's her boyfriend, I love him, I'm going to run away with him once I'm eighteen, yadda yadda yadda...and then she still flirts constantly with Chet. It was deceptive and just wrong.

Though it's somewhere in the midst of all that, when Stella very slowly, begins to change and grow for the better. I definitely liked seeing this progression because I couldn't stand to truly hate our main character for the entire book. And besides, Chet was wayyyy better than Reed even though we barely knew Reed!

Stella even makes some friends in town that endears her to me more because, she finally starts to be nice. But she also makes an enemy, Trigger. And there's a sense of familiarity between them despite them having never known one another. Trigger continues to be an antagonist for the rest of the novel. He was downright scary in a sense because he was the town's favorite boy destined to be a great baseball star, so he can get away with pretty much anything. Plus, his parents were rich and knew all the important people. So he was the worst sort of character to hate. I hated him soooo much...which just means Becca definitely did her job in the character development!

Dangerous Lies was definitely an interesting read filled with lots of secrets, and yes, lies. But there was an awful lot of slow moments lacking any tension. In her previous thriller, I felt like every moment was scary! We didn't know who to trust or who was an outright killer. There was just so much danger that we never knew if that heroine would make it. Here, we don't get that. There's sooo much downtime while Stella just goes about adjust to a new life. There was an occasional spark of danger here and there that mostly involved Trigger. Or there were moments she talked with the detectives and such handling her case and you could feel that underlying tension that there's more to her story than what she initially told. We get hints of that as those conversations take place, but we don't really learn anything until the end.

That being said, I can say that the ending was awesome! It had the kind of heart-wracking danger I had been looking for! That tension and fear from dangerous situations. Sad that I had to wait until the very end to get there, but I can see why we had to sift through a whole story of not much happening otherwise. To have the climax spread thin throughout the book wouldn't have worked. I just wished there were more smaller moments of danger and exciting things other than the mundane sort of life events Stella went through.

Overall, Dangerous Lies was a pretty good read! Not great, but not at all terrible! There's a nice romance going on through the pages too that involved Chet, naturally. Though Stella still tries to hold onto her relationship with Reed. Though I didn't care for how all that was resolved either. It was just, oh this is how I decide. Done and done. I had my own theory building up of course, but really there was no resolution or anything other than this is how it's going to be. I just wish we could've gotten something more finite than the answer we were given. We pretty much only seen Reed for the one moment in the first chapter and that was it. 

So despite a few hangups, Dangerous Lies was good. I don't regret reading it! Though it's tough calling this one a thriller, in my opinion, because the only truly thrilling thing happened in one of the last chapters. The rest just felt pretty contemporary like. If you like your contemporaries with a bit of mystery and a thrilling event, then I highly recommend this one! For the thriller fans, I'd still recommend it, just be aware that there's only a few thrilling moments to be had. 

Dangerous Lies is a standalone that I think many readers can enjoy if they like contemporaries with a bit of danger going about! There's a nice steady building romance and plenty of conflict to be had! A read to fit many readers in a sense!

Overall Rating 3/5 stars

Dangerous Lies releases November 10, 2015


  1. I am so excited for Dangerous Lies!! I loved Black Ice so to hear you didn't enjoy Dangerous Lies as much is a bit disappointing. From what you've said I think I might have some big issues with Stella, especially the whole flirting with another guy thing, but I'll still be giving it a go :) Thanks for the awesome review, Jessica!

    Zareena @ The Slanted Bookshelf

  2. I really liked this book! I didn't see Stella's actions the same way you did (could be because I'm closer in age to her, generational reason?). I loved the romance! Definitely an awesome book by Fitzpatrick - I hope she keeps writing contemporary. :D

    Great review, Jessica!

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

  3. Great review, Jessica. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I'm hoping to read this one soon.

  4. Great review, Jessica. I'm hesitant in starting this one because I wasn't a fan of Black Ice and i'm worried I won't like this one too. Especially since the MC seems to iffy to like just like in Black Ice too. Although your review made it sound like she does grow up and redeems herself so I might have to give it a chance.

  5. I liked Black Ice well enough but wasn't my favorite. I liked it enough to want to read Dangerous likes but not sure about the slow parts. It does sound interesting though.


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