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The Darkest Lie

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  519 ratings  ·  134 reviews
“The mother I knew would never do those things. But maybe I never knew her after all.”

Clothes, jokes, coded messages… Cecilia Brooks and her mom shared everything. At least, CeCe thought they did. Six months ago, her mom killed herself after accusations of having sex with a student, and CeCe’s been the subject of whispers and taunts ever since. Now, at the start of her hig
Paperback, 304 pages
Published June 28th 2016 by Kensington Publishing
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Emerge by Tobie EastonFacsimile by Vicki L. WeavilScardust by Xan van RooyenThere Once Were Stars by Melanie McFarlaneForget Tomorrow by Pintip Dunn
#WO2016 Books
58 books — 71 voters
Lady Midnight by Cassandra ClareGlass Sword by Victoria AveyardHeartless by Marissa MeyerCrooked Kingdom by Leigh BardugoThe Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater
YA Novels of 2016
1,138 books — 9,713 voters

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Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.85  · 
Rating details
 ·  519 ratings  ·  134 reviews

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Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
CeCe's mom killed herself six months ago after a student came forward saying that she had been having sex with him. She was his teacher.
Palm Springs commercial photography

Imagine the bullying and just general teenager bull-crapery that Cece is having to put up with.
Palm Springs commercial photography
"Oh, sorry, is that my dick in your mouth? Guess I must've mistaken you for your mother.".

Cece tries to be invisible and fly under the radar, it's her senior year and the boy involved has graduated and she is hoping for a better year. But these asshole teenag
Sarah Elizabeth
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Kensington Books and NetGalley.)

“How could she do this to me? Take her own life, sleep with that boy. The mother I knew would never do those things.”

This was a YA mystery story about a girl whose mother had committed suicide following allegations of sleeping with a student.

I felt quite sorry for Cece, losing her mother the way she did couldn’t have been easy, especially when it happened in s
Erin Dunn
Apr 14, 2016 rated it liked it

Thank you to NetGalley and Kensington Books for providing an ebook copy in exchange for an honest review.

I enjoyed The Darkest Lie. I really did. However, I think it strayed a bit too far into predictability land for me. I really love the first half of the book, but then it lost me when everything became too obvious and unsurprising. I got really annoyed with the fact that CeCe was extremely oblivious to obvious things. I found that to be a bit unrealisti
Suze Lavender
May 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
CeCe was very close to her mother. Her death came unexpected and left her loved ones with a lot of questions. The police discovered her mother committed suicide after a student confirmed having an affair with her. CeCe wants the rumors to go away, she'd like to be left alone, to be able to grieve in peace and to have a calm senior year. Instead she keeps being the center of attention and it's one incident after another. Because of it she hardly has a moment of tranquility.

CeCe is trying to find
Mar 11, 2016 rated it did not like it
I received an ARC of this book from the publisher, but all the views mentioned are my own.

Oh, this book. Judging from the description, I should’ve known I would hate it, but yet I still signed up for the blog tour and excitedly awaited my copy to arrive. Now, look at me. I had to drop out of the blog tour because I just couldn’t give this book a good review.

This book and story started off well, and I believe it could have been done tastefully while still having been a great thriller. But, instea
Brenda Drake
Mar 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I got to read an early copy of this wonderful book by Pintip Dunn and I loved it so much! This fast-paced thriller will pull at your heart and keep you turning the pages well after your bedtime. Pintip really knows how to write characters that stick with you way after you close the book.
Aug 25, 2022 rated it liked it
i have some thoughts …
okay the second the antagonist showed up in this book, i knew they were the bad guy. it was interesting to see how the course of events played out, but i knewwwww that this person was the mastermind.
i liked sam and cece even if they felt insta-lovey. sam was adorable and nerdy. cece was still struggling from the grief of her mother, which was more interesting than the actual mystery in this book.
overall it was a solid story but it could’ve been more interesting and had mor
Aug 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
First of all, I don't typically read thrillers. I'm a fan of Pintip's other books and was lucky enough to get an advance copy of this book, so I gave it a shot. Wow, guys. I could not put the thing down. It starts out with CeCe, the main character, trying to deal with the fallout of her mother's suicide and a scandal involving her mom (a teacher) having an affair with one of her students. CeCe's feelings for her mother are complicated, but when she starts working at the crisis call center her mo ...more
May 26, 2022 rated it it was amazing
4.5 Stars
As always this author never disappoints. I totally enjoy reading her books
Apr 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc
I am sitting here bleary eyed and sucking down coffee and I am blaming Pintip Dunn. If her new novel, scheduled for publication on June 28, 2016, The Darkest Lie weren’t so intriguing and almost literally page-turning (it would have been literally page turning if not for the fact that I was reading it on my tablet–or is that page turning? hmm), I probably would have eight hours of sleep but as it is I am hopelessly sleep deprived.

Cecilia (Cece) Brooks has just lost her mother, Tabitha, to suicid
May 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arcs
Received a copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

THE DARKEST LIE by Pintip Dunn is dark, contemporary YA thriller about a teenage girl dealing with the aftermath of her mother’s alleged suicide. Cece’s mother was accused of sleeping with one of her students before her death and now Cece is paying the price for it. She’s mercilessly bullied by her peers, her father has completely shut down emotionally, and she’s just trying to survive high school. When a new boy c
Just Another Bookish Blog
Mar 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Note! I received this book from the author, Pintip Dunn, through Kensington Publishing. This does not affect my review in any way

Note 2.0: This book is YA, but contains several Trigger warnings. This relates to more controversial topics, such as suicide, inappropriate affairs, or harassment.

Ok so I started reading this not really knowing what to expect. Actually, I just received it knowing it was a YA mystery, which I honestly haven’t read many of, so I was excited to try it out!

This really, r
May 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
In The Darkest Lie, Cecelia (CeCe) Brooks and her father are living in the aftermath of her mother’s suicide. CeCe cannot decide whether to feel grief or betrayal because of her mother’s alleged affair with one of CeCe’s fellow high school students. As she begins her senior year, CeCe works to remain invisible, only to find that, thanks to the new kid, Sam Davidson, that won’t be as easy as she thought.

The Darkest LieCeCe and Sam form a friendship, and begin working to uncover what actually happ
May 09, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Original review can be found at

This book had all of the things that appeal to the young adult audience. There was high school drama, the mean girl, a new boy and a love triangle of sorts. On top of all that, there was an edge of your seat mystery surrounding the death of CeCe's mother after a sex scandal with one of her students.

This book began six months after the death of CeCe's mother as CeCe tried to move on. Trying to fall under the radar was difficu
Pat Esden
Nov 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved The Darkest Lie. It’s about Cecilia whose mother has committed suicide after allegedly having an affair with a student. This book is an exciting read with great characters. It also deals with a lot of very tough issues (I’m not going to be very specific to avoid spoilers). I thought the way Cecilia copes with her mother’s death and the bullying she faces at school were presented realistically and with sensitivity. I liked how Cecilia was strong and smart, and at times overwhel ...more
Sep 16, 2017 rated it liked it
Ok, I completely didn't see that ending coming. I don't tend to read thrillers though, so that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it!

I admit, I'm not really into contemporary or thrillers, but this wasn't a bad read for me.

The author came to our store today for a signing and she is absolutely sweet and brilliant! She drove a very long (to me) way and we all had a nice time. She told us about her new books coming out and I can't wait to read them!

This is for older readers. Lots of very dark and adul
May 04, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-to-review
(I received a copy from Netgalley, In exchange for an honest review.)

I didn't love the main character in this, but she was okay. I felt quite sorry for her, as what she was going through couldn't have been easy.

This was an alright read, but there were one or two times where I started to lose interest slightly, and the mystery didn't suck me in as I would have liked.

Overall, An okay read.
This started out pretty strong, and in some ways I really liked it, but man, there were some really questionable plot and character choices; once you hit the 2/3 mark, things start falling apart.
Full review to come.
May 09, 2016 rated it liked it
The Darkest Lie was a book I was really looking forward to reading, and let me tell you, this is one heck of a whodunit. Confession: I figured out who it was waaaaaayyyyy early, but I didn't make the connections that put it all together, so yay for Pintip Dunn for tripping me up on that! It was interesting to see Cece's reactions to her moms death, I mea n you go through something like your mom being accused of having sex with a minor, then on top of that, she kills herself? That's hard to take, ...more
May 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: galleys
Disclaimer: I received an ARC via jenhalliganpr for blog tour purposes. All thoughts are my own.

This book is phenomenal. For real. It is a very well-thought-out book and it's evident with just how the book was written. I like the writing style, I could really feel the raw feelings and emotion that the characters were having and to that, I give kudos to Ms. Dunn (awesome job!).
Don't even get me started with the characters! The characters were well-developed (not all, though), especially our main
Mar 29, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016, read-in-2016
After thinking about it for a little while, I've decided on a rating of 3 stars. As you can probably guess, I have very mixed feelings about this book.

My biggest problem was that the book was SO predictable! I had it all figured out really, really fast. The author tried to throw me off in the middle (and it almost worked) but I was still right in the end. I not only knew the person who was behind CeCe's mother's death, but I figured out their motives way before CeCe did.

Speaking of CeCe, she re
Sep 15, 2016 rated it liked it
"There are no guarantees in life. No proof that will ensure you're making the right decision. Sometimes, you just have to hold your breath and jump. And hope you land on your feet unscathed."

an interesting tale that deals with some tough issues. Parent that is a teacher having inappropriate relationships with students, suicide, pornography - there's a lot in here. And I thought the main characters were interesting. The mystery was enough to hold my attention even if I thought the bad guy was eas
Inah (Fueled By Chapters)
May 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
After reading Pintip Dunn’s Forget Tomorrow, I told myself to be on the lookout for her next novels because I liked her way of writing. And again, I wasn’t disappointed.

This time Dunn offered us a contemporary/mystery that will leave us all hanging because it’s really gripping. It’s about a girl named CeCe and the mysteries surrounding her mother’s death.

I loved how every character seemed open yet shady. It was really hard to pinpoint who the antagonist was and it was fun seeing it unfold as the
Mar 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Even before I knew what THE DARKEST LIE was about I wanted to read it because of the gorgeous cover. The shades of blue of blue and the girl looking out over the lake captured my attention and I had to know what she was thinking about and what she went through.

THE DARKEST LIE combines the thrills of a mystery with the realities of young adult contemporary which make for a heart-pounding, heart-stopping, and sometimes, heartbreaking read. I read it almost straight through because from the get-go
Mar 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I was thinking that there was no way that Pintip Dunn could top her previous release, Forget Tomorrow, but I’m definitely eating my words now. To put it simply, I was blown away by The Darkest Lie. It was UH-MAZE-BALLS. But be warned, The Darkest Lie is NOT my typical romance read–as in the romance exists, but it’s not the focus of the story, which is as it should be.

The Darkest Lie deals with some heavy stuff–serious and dangerous accusations, an alleged suicide, extreme bullying, mental illnes
Karen Barber
Jun 28, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
CeCe has a lot to cope with after her mother commits suicide when an affair with a student is outed. Taunted by the friends of the boy, wrapped up in grief and increasingly alienated from her father, CeCe isn't sure what the new academic year will hold in store for her.
Then she meets Sam, the new boy. She also decides to investigate the possibility that her mother's death wasn't quite what it seemed.
Without revealing the intricacies of the plot, this quickly develops into a bit of a mud-slinging
Jun 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I received a copy for a honest review so here goes.

I can not wait to order this for our library.

This novel was with out a doubt amazing! Pintip Dunn hit on what it is like to be a teenager struggling with did her mother really commit suicide or is there more to the story? This story had me on pins and needles wondering what really happen? I can honestly say that that author played out the story so well that you never really know what is what til the end. I can not wait to me read more by this au
carolina ☾
I'm still rolling my eyes at that cliché epilogue. Seriously, i'm tired of YA books filled with unrealistic romantic gestures. ...more
Julie Reece
Sep 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Oh my gosh, you guys, so good. Go read this one. I swear, Pintip does it again. I love this writer!!!
Christina (Ensconced in Lit)
This was a decent YA thriller. I'm pretty picky about these though so don't take my rating as a reason not to read it. I usually read adult thrillers, which in general are more compelling to me than YA ones. ...more
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Pintip Dunn is a New York Times bestselling author of young adult fiction. She graduated from Harvard University, magna cum laude, with an A.B., and received her J.D. at Yale Law School.

Her novel FORGET TOMORROW won the 2016 RWA RITA® for Best First Book, and SEIZE TODAY won the 2018 RITA for Best Young Adult Romance. Her books have been translated into four languages, and they have been nominate

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