Book Review: Deadly Little Scandals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Genre: YA/Thriller

Rating: 5/5

Plot:

‘Think of the White Gloves like the Junior League-by way of Skull and Bones?”
Reluctant debutante Sawyer Taft joined Southern high society for one reason and one reason alone: to identify and locate her biological father. But the answers Sawyer found during her debutante year only left her with more questions and one potentially life-ruining secret. When her cousin Lily ropes her into pledging a mysterious, elite, and all-female secret society called the White Gloves, Sawyer soon discovers that someone in the group’s ranks may have the answers she’s looking for. Things are looking up… until Sawyer and the White Gloves make a disturbing discover near the family’s summer home–and uncover a twisted secret, decades in the making.

My verdict: I’m always a bit dubious when it comes to book sequels but this book lived up to my expectations and more! The girls think that they are being invited to join a secret society being asked to dares and challenges. Told between two narratives one in the present and one in the past, Sawyer and her friends are itching to discover the identity and reason behind The Lady of The Lakes demise as a distraction for Sawyer’s discovery at the end of book one which detonated everything she thought she knew. All the while struggling to keep the secret from Lily and to see her acknowledge her on/off relationship with nick and begin to solve the complicated relationship with her own mother.

However, as Sawyer, Sadie Grace and Campbell dig deeper they find themselves embroiled in a dark and dangerous secret that if they unveil could unravel the whole charade that’s been going on for 25 years Suddenly the girls don’t know who trust anymore and they find themselves soon out of their depth and it feels as though no one wants to help. But why? And how all the debutantes family and friends involved.

We also see backstories to the adults in the first book but in the second narrative as teenagers and to some degree you can see the effect of maintaining a perfect public appearance has on them.We learn how Lilian grew up on the wrong side of the tracks and wanted to better herself – in a way it made me like her even more because even though she didn’t see her relatives in book one she always made sure they had food and shelter. In the second book we see her regretting her decision to throw money at them instead of providing emotional support and maintain a relationship. We see her learn this lesson the hard way and was manipulated whilst grieving her for her husband and didn’t want to acknowledge the truth staring her in the face. Not only is this a story about murder but about complicated marital affairs, bribery, bitter relatives and baby buying but, about one girls chance who saw she could have it all and took it. As the girls begin to slowly uncover the story behind the lady of the lake they realise what they know is now nothing. Their world is turned upside down.

A fast thriller dealing with family rifts, jealousy, greed and two innocent and vulnerable women taken advantage of to spite someone else. If you like Pretty Little Liars combined with glittering world of being a debutante you’ll love this. I certainly did.

Jennifer writes with such grit and realism at times that I felt like I was reading crime novel marketed for adults. I loved the contrast between the charade maintained and what really happen and reminded me that in the first novel the girls are given pearls that represent their innocence and beauty and the promotion to the white gloves represents womanhood and how they make look like butterflies up can sting like the rest of the bees when needed.

As I was reading this imagined the plot to be an unraveling jumper and with each chapter a new line of thread is yanked off, the chapters littered with clues and us the readers as playful kittens desperate to get to end to play and get tangled up in the final threads. An absolute edge of your seat thriller and one emotional rollercoaster ride.

Click the image to be taken to amazon to get a copy

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