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The Lies They Tell

3.35  ·  Rating details ·  1,952 ratings  ·  348 reviews
Everyone in Tenney’s Harbor, Maine, knows about the Garrison tragedy. How an unexplained fire ravaged their house, killing four of the five family members. But what people don’t know is who did it. All fingers point at Pearl Haskins’s father, the town drunk, who was the caretaker of the property, but she just can’t believe it. Leave it to a town of rich people to blame “th ...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published May 1st 2018 by HarperTeen
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Penny No, Reese is living with Indigo and Pearl is off to college; however, they are still pretty much best friends, which is at least something for Pearl. …moreNo, Reese is living with Indigo and Pearl is off to college; however, they are still pretty much best friends, which is at least something for Pearl. I believe Tristan was somewhat of a sociopath: using people, 'testing' people, as if they were lab animals. He seems to even be almost like a cult leader: a commanding energy, people did what he said to do, etc. - and he was 'tired' of his parents being who they were and wanted them out. Killing his siblings was harder for me to understand to be honest, but in the end, Tristan only really cared about Tristan.

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Chelsea Humphrey
Apr 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
"It seemed everyone felt fascination-meets-revulsion in Tristan Garrison's presence, followed by but the police cleared him; they let him go, didn't they? Somehow, it wasn't a comfort. Not at all."

Over the past year I've become an avid fan of Gillian French; her writing is so character driven and atmospheric that it takes little to no effort in being transported to the setting of each of her novels. When I first saw the cover reveal for The Lies They Tell, I knew I had to get my hands on a copy
Diane S ☔
Jun 08, 2018 rated it liked it
Tenney's Harbor, Maine a place with a large influx of the summer families, those westhy families who live in the big houses. Pearl, seventeen, lives here with her dad who is a caretaker for those big estates. Pearl herself works at the country club serving the wealthy. Then something happens, one of the family's estate starts on fire, a fire that will cause the death of four members of the family, except for the teensge son Tristan who was away at the time. Pearls life changes as her Dad is unof ...more
Aneela ♒the_mystique_reader♒
My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟.5

This is the first book I have read by the writer Gillian French. I loved the synopsis and cover of the book so I knew I had to read it. (Pretty covers are my weakness).

I started the book with high expectatations. The character development and world building was amazing. I liked the setting of the place where rich people come and stay for the summer. Gillian French has done an amazing job. She has painted perfect picture of the houses and lives of the townies and the country
Camila Roy ••RoyIsReading••
RATING: 1.5/5 at most!

ARC provided by Edelweiss and Harper Teen in exchange for an honest review

The premise of this novel is what got me interested in reading it. I didn't expect much, except maybe likable characters and a decent storyline. Instead, I got something pointless and very disappointing. I swear if I see one more person comparing this to We Were Liars I’m going to lose it...

This is NOT a rant review. You have to actually care to rant and I simply don't. I am 100% detached from everyth
Krystin Rachel
My Book ish: Blog | Insta

I was really hoping this was going to be sweaty, atmospheric summer thriller. But I only got 1 out of 2 from that list.

Depending on what’s important to you – the atmosphere or the thrills – you’re either going to love this or not.

Immediately upon starting this I got a Revenge meets Gossip Girl meets Riverdale vibe. It’s got that spoiled teens with no adult supervision in the Hamptons thing going on.

It’s very rich versus poor. The pool owners and the pool cleaners. The ha
2.5 Stars

I didn't know how many stars to give The Lies They Tell, because I couldn't decide what type of book this was. I went into The Lies They Tell expecting it to be a murder mystery but what I got was more of a character driven story about The Have & Have Nots. So I didn't know if I should rate it based on what it was or what I thought it was.

The Lies They Tell is suppose to be about Pearl a "townie" waitress and her mission to prove her father had nothing to do with a mysterious fire that
Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)
4.5 Stars!

It's been a really long time since I've read a YA mystery that has kept me on the edge of my seat, not only guessing at what was about to happen, but with what did happen as well. The magical whodunit.

I usually figure these things out and yet this time, I think I didn't want to be right. I didn't want to feel something for the bad guy. I didn't want it to be who it was and more importantly, because of it, I didn't see it coming as well as I should of and because of that, this had me tu
The Lies They Tell is a smart, light mystery with suspenseful undertones that will engage you from the beginning. Seriously, the first chapter, um, wow—talk about hooking me in right from the beginning. In a town plagued by the uber rich and the working class townies, Tenney’s Harbor, Maine, is a town not unlike other nautical New England towns that have been famously depicted in film and media in the past. I was immediately transported back to my time vacationing in the Hamptons and Rhode I ...more
Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the author, Gillian French, for an honest review.

A quadruple homicide, rich Summer boys, a drunk father and unattainable love.

Pearl Haskins is about to have the summer of her life.


The Lies They Tell documents Pearl’s time working the summer at the Tenney’s Harbor Country Club as a server to the rich and dismissive families of the elite. As a lower-class working townie, Pearl is well–aware of the divide between the Summer crowd and those who reside in TH ye
Amber (Books of Amber)
The Lies They Tell was boring. There’s no other way to put it. The beginning does nothing to grip you, aside from the initial prologue where the family dies, and the book really doesn’t improve from there.

I felt nothing for the characters, not even the main one. She didn’t have much of a personality.

Since this is a thriller, it could have at least had a decent twist. However, it’s pretty clear who the culprit is from the start. It was so obvious that I almost started to believe it couldn’t be th
I'll admit I was going to give this a four-star rating until I saw the rating that Goodreads had up for it. Then I realized that my reading slump might have made me an easier reader to please.

Overall, the book was pretty interesting, a little eerie, and a little quirky sometimes. Like with any novel, I love the banter and I'm glad Pearl's was such a smartass. I liked that she wasn't a pushover even more. Plus, her lack of innocence when it came to handling the boys was just the cherry on top. I
Frank Phillips
Jun 27, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 Stars! Pretty decent YA novel! I'm so used to adult Thrillers that reading one for young adults is a very noticeable difference for me; not near as much on the edge of my seat as I would like to be, but at the same time i can enjoy the Simplicity of the writing and plot. I've read a handful of YA Thrillers in the past year and would put this one right up there at the top.
I will say that the ending was not a surprise, at all. Pretty much the opposite of a surprise, expected it to end this wa
The Lies They Tell by Gillian French is a slow burn, young adult mystery, and I love that it's one of those books that hooks you from the very beginning. We start with a bang and then are transported into the future and to what Pearl’s life with her dad is like now. There is some suspense, lots of drama, tough subjects, and a big surprise right at the end. Even though it is a slow burn, this book was also quite the page-turner for me, and I was completely invested in finding out just what happen ...more
PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps

The most exciting part of THE LIES THEY TELL is the blurb about the story. What starts off as a promising premise, a wealthy family murdered, their surviving son and a poor girl’s father suspects, never got off the ground for me.

While empathizing with her difficult life, I never connected with Pearl on an emotional level. She lacked personality and I didn’t seem clever enough to solve the mystery. Perhaps Gillian French’s use of third person POV kept the characters being fleshed out.

Danielle (Life of a Literary Nerd)
I actually really wanted to like this more than I did. I was looking for small town mystery and family secrets creating this dark and atmospheric story and I don’t feel like all of that was fulfilled. The story was mostly obvious and underdeveloped. The Lies They Tell follows Pearl Haskins as she tries to find answers about the Garrison tragedy, where a mysterious fire left only one family member alive. As Pearl grows closer to Tristan Garrison she looks to uncover the lies and betrayal surround ...more
Ludwig Reads
Feb 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-thrillers
The Lies They Tell is a beautifully slow-paced novel that would be especially appealing to YA readers. The story does contain an element of mystery , and you can say it's almost in the vein of We Were Liars by E. Lockhart.

About six months ago, The Garrisons represented a truly flawed family- there's cheating, bullying and a kind of injustice, before they were all shot and then taken by a fire that killed them inside their home, except for one family member who remained alive. Tristan Garrison,
Apr 27, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: edelweiss
The Lies They Tell is a Young Adult standalone mystery. This is my first book by this author.

The narrator is 18 year old Pearl (3rd person POV). The story takes place in Tenney’s Harbor, a tourist town in Maine.

The mystery concerns The Garrison tragedy, a fire that killed most of that family. Pearl is trying to figure out what happened.

Since this takes place in a tourist town there are the Townies like Pearl and her best friend Reese. They live there year round and many work at The Club. Then th
Jen Ryland
A YA literary mystery set on Mt Desert Island in Maine. Local girl Pearl's father was the caretaker of a house that was burned to the ground with the Garrisons, a wealthy family, inside. Now he drinks to help him ignore the curious stares and whispers, while she gets involved with a rich crowd of guys who includes the only surviving member of the Garrison family.

This is most definitely not a fast-paced thriller. I thought the plot lagged a bit ⅔ way through but overall a good choice for mystery
Kaycee Bowick (Off_The_Press)

The town of Tenney's Harbor, Maine is your typical, small-town summer getaway destination, where a fine, societal line exists between the wealthy summer residents and the blue collar "townies".

A year ago, this small town was shaken by the shocking murder of the prestigious Garrison family. Someone shot and killed the Garrisons, then setting fire to their home. The only remaining Garrison was 17 year-old Tristan.

As if the murder itself wasn't shock enough to the town, Pearl Haskin's family is
”I usually find myself among strangers because I drift here and there trying to forget the sad thing that happened to me.”- The Great Gatsby

The best way to describe this novel is The Great Gatsby coupled in with This Side of Paradise, with a touch of nautical Gossip Girl to boot. Being troubled and rich has never been made to look so deliciously good.

Pearl Haskins is a “townie” in a small vacation resort town in Maine. It’s dead during the year, but in the summer the marginally rich and filt
May 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wasn’t ready for this book. If Pearl wasn’t a teenager and the point of view weren’t all hers, I’d even argue this isn’t YA. I’m always glad when a writer takes her YA seriously.

After her father loses most of his jobs thanks to a tragedy happen right under his watch, Pear is working at the club when one of the rich guys seem to take special interest in her. She knows not to fall for their sweet talks, but his friend Tristan, the sole survivor of the tragedy, makes it impossible for her to stay
Heather Wood
Apr 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is between a three and a four star read for me. I really liked it because I did feel drawn into the setting and characters and I did finish the book within a couple of sittings. My only disappointment came from the lack of a big "aha" moment. The mystery was too easy to figure out and the ending not very satisfying. I did like the main character a lot and I felt her relatable and realistic. ...more
S.M. Parker
Dec 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
With haunting, gorgeous prose, THE LIES THEY TELL is a masterful mystery that
will transport you to the dark coast of Maine where big secrets lurk in small
towns. Privileged summer families, murder, intoxicating boys and a fierce
heroine converge in this novel perfect for fans of WE WERE LIARS and ONE OF US
Jamie Rosenblit
May 02, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs
Review coming...
Jan 17, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs
Pearl lives in a small, oceanside Maine town where there is a fine line between the rich and poor. She is part of the latter and works at the town’s country club along with her dad. Six months earlier, four out of five Garrison’s (one of the rich families who live on Millionaire Row) were shot in their sleep and their house was set ablaze. Pearl’s father was on duty that night and didn’t see anything suspicious until he smelled the flames, and by then it was too late to save the family. Now he i ...more
May 17, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018

I was so incredibly excited for The Lies They Tell. I love mysteries, and while this book was not getting the best reviews, I still held out hope. Now that I've finished the book, however, I feel that I should have listened to the reviews, as The Lies They Tell unfortunately was not the book for me.

The Lies They Tell falls into the 'meh' category. I didn't love it nor did I hate it; instead, it was just kind of there. I had no problem finishing it, as I wanted to know how it ended, but at
Quick review for a read that I finished quickly, but felt a little like a slog in places. I probably should have opted to read "Grit" before "The Lies They Tell" because I had more investment in the premise of the former than the latter. Somehow I got my hands on this one and I couldn't stop until I finished it. That's not to say that the experience of "The Lies They Tell" was a compelling one. I wanted to know what happened...and while I got that, it didn't feel very satisfying upon finishing t ...more
Sara (A Gingerly Review)
Feb 01, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2019, audio-book-2019
1 star rating

I should not have read this one. I was bored the entire time. I did not ever connect as this type of trope story had been done countless times. There was nothing original, scary, suspenseful, or interesting about it.
Diana Iozzia
Apr 01, 2018 rated it it was ok
“The Lies They Tell”
Written by Gillian French
Review written by Diana Iozzia of Bookworm Banter

“The Lies They Tell” follows our main protagonist, Pearl Haskins, as she discovers the mystery of why the house of one of the richest families in town has burned to the ground. Nearly all of the Garrison family perished, except their eighteen-year-old son, Tristan.

Pearl is stuck in a love triangle, or square, I guess, as she tries to help her father and his alcoholism. Pearl works as a waitress at a c
Oct 21, 2018 rated it it was ok
"You know the Yeats quote, 'Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold.' You'd never let that happen, if you couldn't help it. That's not a bad thing."

For some reason, I just didn't feel the connection of pull for this one. I loved the characters and found Pearl's life to be interesting and sad. Her struggle to keep her world afloat as she took care of both the house, her father, and juggled summer kids and her awful job at the club. Her drama with the people at work and also the summer boys was
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Gillian French is the author of three novels for teens: GRIT (HarperTeen, THE DOOR TO JANUARY, and THE LIES THEY TELL (HarperTeen, 5/1/2018). Her short fiction has appeared in Odd Tree Press Quarterly, EMP Publishing's anthology Creepy Campfire Stories (for Grownups): Tales of Extreme Horror, Sanitarium Magazine, and The Realm Beyond. She holds a BA in English from the University of Maine, and liv ...more

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