In this gripping YA novel about social media bullying and half-truths, one girl’s discovery of a dead baby in her high school locker room rocks an entire community.
Nobody in Beckett’s life seems to be telling the whole story. Her boyfriend Jake keeps hiding texts and might be cheating on her. Her father lied about losing his job before his shocking death. And everyone in school seems to be whispering about her and her family behind her back.
But none of that compares to the day Beckett finds the body of a newborn baby in a gym bag-Jake’s gym bag -on the floor of her high school locker room. As word leaks out, rumors that Beckett’s the mother take off like wildfire in a town all too ready to believe the worst of her. And as the police investigation unfolds, she discovers that everyone has a secret to hide and the truth could alter everything she thought she knew.
- Title: Every Single Lie
- Author: Rachel Vincent
- Publisher: Bloomsbury YA
- Genre: YA, Contemporary, Mystery Thriller
- Targeted Age Range: Young Adult
- Trigger Warnings: Stillbirth, cheating, death of a parent, suicide, drugs, addiction, cyberbullying, rape mention, death threats, mentions of war, PTSD, war-related injuries, childbirth, injuries, grief, bomb threat, anti-abortion rhetoric, teen pregnancy, panic attacks, grief
- Rating: ★★★★
Major thank you to TerminalTours for arranging this blog tour, and to Bloomsbury Publishing for providing me with this ARC! This did not affect my opinions in any way.
If I had to summarize Every Single Lie in a word, I’d ultimately go with gripping. It had me on the edge of my seat, and I had to put it down a few times just to process everything that I had just read. In fact, it’s been a couple days, and I’m still at a loss for how to fully describe it, or the full range of human emotions that I went through when reading Every Single Lie. As someone who grew up on shows like Gossip Girl, Pretty Little Liars, and all sorts of stuff on ABC and the CW, I was immediately interested by the premise of this book. Every time I read or watch anything set in high school with an anonymous account spreading rumors, I’m suddenly incredibly thankful that my own high school confession page never got that out of hand. High school was a difficult time for most people, myself included — I couldn’t imagine dealing with all the things that Beckett did.
Every Single Lie is a deep dive into how quickly rumors spread, and how much of an impact our words have on others. I’ve never lived in a small town – far from it, and yet Every Single Lie made it so easy for me to imagine. Vincent’s writing was so vivid that I felt like I had spent my entire life living in Clifford County myself; that I was the one who had grown up walking up and down Elm Street, and those were my neighbors. The pacing of Every Single Lie was also just right — it wasn’t too fast that I got lost in all the details, but not slow enough that I lost interest in the mystery.
I was deeply engrossed in the mystery, and kept wondering who the parents of the baby were, the circumstances that lead them to what they did, who we could trust and believe in this town. Alongside Beckett, my theories kept on changing based on new information revealed. At one point, Beckett expresses how she feels like everyone’s a suspect, and that’s how I felt too — I didn’t know who to believe and ultimately, when it was revealed who the baby’s parents were, I had to go back and reread the book. Upon backreading, I did see the clues that had been laid out for us from the beginning. In hindsight, I should’ve seen it coming, but I guess not being able to figure it out was the point — Just like Beckett, I hadn’t considered that to be an option.
The only thing stopping me from giving Every Single Lie a five star review is how some of the character growth felt a little stunted. Beckett doesn’t really learn how to stop being so suspicious of everyone around her, and it isn’t until near the very end that she realizes her role in this. While Beckett and her family do learn how to heal and to move forward, and the ending is tied up, I feel like the community and the adults specifically weren’t held accountable enough. After all, the hateful comments and the judgments don’t just go away. On the whole, I feel like Every Single Lie wrapped up nicely, though – although it leaves me with one question: How do you move forward after experiencing something like that? Whether that’s Beckett, or the mother of the child? Especially as a college junior, and making nationwide news, I just can’t help but wonder how she could move forward from that.
I was appalled and horrified and absolutely heartbroken again and again for the characters in this book. There were so many questions that were brought up, especially around grief and blame, and I felt like all of them were done really well. It wasn’t until I read the acknowledgments that I realized major parts of this book were influenced by Vincent’s own life, or how deeply personal this book was. Every Single Lie met all of my expectations, and I would recommend it to anyone who is a fan of mystery thrillers!
Rachel Vincent is the New York Times bestselling author of several pulse-pounding series for teens and adults. A former English teacher and a champion of the serial comma, Rachel has written more than twenty novels and remains convinced that writing about the things that scare her is the cheapest form of therapy. Rachel shares her home in Oklahoma with two cats, two teenagers, and her husband, who’s been her number one fan from the start. You can find out more about Rachel on her website www.rachelvincent.com or by following her on Twitter @rachelkvincent.
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