Genre: Thriller, Mystery
Published: August 21st, 2012
Rating: 3/5 Stars
Source: I received a copy for review from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
"Rachel and Alice are an extremely rare kind of identical twins—so identical that even their aunt and uncle, whom they’ve lived with since their parents passed away, can’t tell them apart. But the sisters are connected in a way that goes well beyond their surfaces: when one experiences pain, the other exhibits the exact same signs of distress. So when one twin mysteriously disappears, the other immediately knows something is wrong—especially when she starts experiencing serious physical traumas, despite the fact that nobody has touched her. As the search commences to find her sister, the twin left behind must rely on their intense bond to uncover the truth. But is there anyone around her she can trust, when everyone could be a suspect? And ultimately, can she even trust herself?" - Goodreads
How do I start talking about Beautiful Lies? I had so many different feelings about this book, some very positive and some negative. There were parts of the story that were incredibly intense and thrilling and just as many that were somewhat non-eventful, where I forgot that this was a book about abduction and it felt like a contemporary minus the romance. Even after reading this book, I'm still not 100% sure how I feel about it. The other thing that has made it so hard to write about Beautiful Lies is that it had lots of twists and so I'm going to have to be super careful not to give anything away. At least all of the twists made for an interesting read, even if the blogger in me is frustrated that she can't blurt everything out.
The writing style: I loved Warman's writing style. I hadn't read anything by the author before and I was very impressed by her story-telling abilities. She is very good at creating a mood and foreshadowing without giving anything away. I loved it.
The relationship between the girls: Twins have always fascinated me. Rachel and Alice's relationship was really interesting. I loved that they weren't very similar apart from their looks and that they both struggled with completely different issues. Their love for one another is boundless but they still must follow their own paths and this is harder for one of them to deal with than the other. There was real emotion in their characters and their stories explored real problems and conflicts. These side conflicts enhanced the thriller aspect and made you really care for the characters.
The creep factor: This book, and especially the villain, was super creepy. Books about vampires, ghosts and werewolves all do their best to make us lose sleep, but sometimes it is much more intimidating to remember that there are real monsters out there. This book does a great job of reminding you.
The pacing: The pacing was a bit off for me with this story. The beginning tended to drag a bit and it slowed down again about 3/4 of the way through. Luckily the middle and end more than made up for the slow start and the lag later on.
Lets take a moment to talk about smoking: I can't even tell you how many times cigarettes/smoking were a topic of conversation in this book. Many times this theme didn't have much to do with the story. It just seemed like the author was launching a personal crusade against smoking (well cigarettes at least, weed seems to be more acceptable) that was a bit distracting at times. There were certainly points in the story where smoking/cigarettes played a part in the mood of the scene which was fine, but there were plenty of times where I was thrown off by why the characters were talking about smoking again. I get it, smoking is dangerous and will kill you, cigarette smoke stinks, but can we get back to the story?
The darkness: I can appreciate a good amount of darkness in a book, but I'm not really sure how I felt about the level of darkness in this one. It covered everything from dead parents to mental illness to extreme violence. Parts of this story are very hard to get through. I think, though, that it was an appropriate amount to get the point of the book across. It is just uncomfortable to see characters you have come to care about going through such unthinkable things.
Overall, I am happy that I got to read this book. Even with all of the hard subject matter, I think it is an important story that was waiting to be told. I would recommend this book to those of you who like thrills and aren't afraid of some very realistic terror.