Lies Like Poison by Chelsea Pitcher
Publication Date: November 10, 2020
Summary from NetGalley:
Riverdale meets Kara Thomas’s The Cheerleaders in this electrifying, twisted thriller about estranged friends who reunite when someone commits the murder they’d planned—but didn’t go through with—and leaves one of their own to take the fall.
Poppy, Lily, and Belladonna would do anything to protect their best friend, Raven. So when they discovered he was suffering abuse at the hands of his stepmother, they came up with a lethal plan: petals of poppy, belladonna, and lily in her evening tea so she’d never be able to hurt Raven again. But someone got cold feet, the plot faded to a secret of the past, and the group fell apart.
Three years later, on the eve of Raven’s seventeenth birthday, his stepmother turns up dead. But it’s only belladonna found in her tea, and it’s only Belladonna who’s carted off to jail. Desperate for help, Belle reaches out to her estranged friends to prove her innocence. They answer the call, but no one is prepared for what comes next.
Now, everyone has something to lose and something equally dangerous to hide. And when the tangled web of secrets and betrayal is finally unwound, what lies at its heart will change the group forever.
ARC provided by Simon and Schuster via NetGalley for an honest review.
This is a fast paced thriller with fairytales interwoven into a contemporary setting. It was a really hard book to put down. In fact, I read it on one day. It was dark, with unreliable narrators who were all trapped in their own stories and histories.
There are four narrators, three of them have been friends for a very long time, and then Raven’s stepsister, who is caught up in the mystery. All of them are well rounded characters who have tragic pasts, but they always make it through to be supportive and caring individuals. Their pasts is where we really see the fairytale aspects of the story.
- Jack is the giant killer and will do anything to protect her younger brothers.
- Belle is living with the Beast, who is overprotective to the point of keeping her caged
- Raven is a mixture of many tragic princesses, but can save himself when it comes to it
- Lily is perhaps Snow White with a mother who doesn’t want her beauty to shine through.
I enjoyed all of the characters, even when I knew they were lying to themselves and to their friends. They were determined to find the truth even when that might mean something bad would happen to one of them or their families. There is romance in this story, but there is also an emphasis on friendship and protecting those you love.
I will admit that I figured out pretty easily who was guilty of the crimes committed. But the writing and the plot were done well enough that I was still suspecting at times that maybe I was wrong. Even though this is a short and somewhat easy read, there is a lot there. The characters are complex, the story is twisty and did at times kept me wondering what would happen next.
A great read for this time of year. Be sure to give yourself ample time to read it though, because once you start you will not want to stop.