Friday, December 7, 2018

Book Review: Little White Lies by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Pages: 400
Genre: YA Realistic Fiction
Pub. Date: November 6, 2018
Publisher: Freeform
Source: Publisher for review
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "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."

Sawyer's grandmother, Lillian Taft, shows up out of the blue and makes Sawyer and offer she can't refuse.   Sawyer could earn a ton of money and all she would have to do is participate in the debutante season down south where her mother is from.  This obviously doesn't sound like a normal family dynamic as Sawyer's mom has been estranged from her grandmother for years.  So, yeah, she needs the money, but there is something else she might find out that is equally important.....the identity of her father.  While down south, Sawyer realizes maybe things aren't as dire as her mother portrayed them to be.  Maybe the people aren't entirely bad as she definitely starts to enjoy spending time with her cousin, Lily.  The more she spends time with the debutantes, the more she uncovers dark secrets that hide behind a perfectly made up face and flawless social graces. Jennifer Lynn Barnes' Little White Lies is a fun romp through southern well-to-do society that isn't quite as it seems.

Sawyer is a mechanic and down to earth girl when her grandmother swoops in and offers her half a million dollars to be a debutante. She is obviously the total opposite of a traditional debutante or at least what Sawyer thinks they should be.  I appreciated her fish-out-of-water story and was rooting for her from he beginning, especially when it came to her finding out who her biological father is.

My favorite aspect of Little White Lies is the southern setting, the debutantes, and the southern culture. I liked following along as Sawyer navigated the dangerous seas of the south and learning how to play their games as she goes.  I also appreciated her reconnecting with her family and especially her cousin, Lily. 

There's a mystery in the center of this novel's core and I won't give too much away, but it involves a major scandal, a blog, and a missing girl. So, as you can see, there's a lot going on in Little White Lies as it's not just about an aspiring debutante trying to mend things with her estranged family. 

Despite the story's slow start, I thought it was fun, especially if you like a mystery with a lot of secrets, drama, and a southern setting.  I think fans of Pretty Little Liars will enjoy this book. Also, be sure to check out my giveaway to win your own ARC of Little White Lies.


  1. I love stories that take place in the south! And the whole debutante thing is so fun!

    1. It was definitely fun and so was the mystery. I like books set in the south as well. Thanks for visiting, Angela!


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