Book Reviews

Review: Little White Lies by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Little White Lies completely absorbed me. I finished it before lunch. I didn’t eat till I was done. It’s that good.


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.


I loved Sawyer from the beginning. Whether it was her feelings of responsibility towards her mother, her undeniable cleverness, or her no-nonsense sass, she had me hooked. But not only that, she hides this incredibly soft vulnerable side, this universal quest for beginnings, and a desire for family. Can you even craft a more made-for-me book hook? And Little White Lies just got better as it went on.

Little White Lies delivers a story about finding your family, making unexpected friends, and mystery. There are police cells, unknown origins, and debutante balls. What else could you want? Did I also mention the gorgeous cover?

Little White Lies takes place by juxtaposing the present scene, debutantes in a jail cell, and all the months leading up to it. It creates this obsessive mood where you are slowly being filled in on the events beforehand. Your jaw will drop as each page turns.


So Sawyer is the main reason I was gripped by Little White Lies. She was just my type of character to a T. Sassy, strong, and hiding a tender desire to know who her father’s identity. Not only does she know all sorts of medieval torture devices, I wanted to be her friend. We are in her head and see the events playing out, but I wanted to be right there beside her. Even in jail. You know that saying that ends, “your best friend would be right beside you in that jail cell” that’s Sawyer to me. And everyone else in the book really.

But then you move from her to the other characters, and you can’t help but become transfixed by the secrets within this high class society. The reasons people were exiled, the dirty laundry that needs to air. And I found myself really admiring so many of the other characters – Sawyer’s mother, her grandmother, and her cousin. These were my absolute favorites, not only because her cousin’s name is Lily. But they were multi-dimensional that felt so real to me – complete with the flaws and mistakes of family.


Pretty quickly the plot thickens. It grows more dense with more threads, secrets, people, and intrigue. You become sucked into a past of secrets, of transgressions, and betrayal. It’s like a court hiding thorns, masquerading, and burying secrets beneath mounds of dirt in the middle of a moonlit night. The secrets weigh a ton and cost a fortune. They go back decades ago, with lives hanging in the balance, and families to break.


Little White Lies is mesmerizing to behold, gripping to watch play out. We are captivated as we witness secrets uncovered, lies unfurled, and truths finally understood. Little White Lies is a mastermind of plot, deception, and friendship. The end leaves you with your jaw on the floor struggling to pick up the pieces in awe. This is one for those who want a gripping read, who delve into family drama, and who always wants to solve the crime before the end of the TV show. It’s about the desire for family, warts, colossal mistakes, and all.

Find Little White Lies on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound & The Book Depository.


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