Blog Tour + Review: Friends and Other Liars by Kaela Coble


Title: Friends and Other Liars
Author: Kaela Coble
Publication Date: February 6, 2018
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Source: Publisher
Pages: 368
Age Group: Adult
Genre: Contemporary

        
To all my old friends:
So here you all are. Nice to see you can show up for a person once he's dead.
When Ruby St. James returns to her hometown, it is to the grave of her old friend Danny, a member of a group that was, ten years ago, Ruby's whole world. The crew made a pact back then: stay together, stay loyal, and stay honest. But that was before all of the lies.
Because even friends keep secrets. They just don't stay secret for long.
Now Danny has left behind a letter for each of them, issuing one final ultimatum: share your darkest betrayal to the group, or risk it coming out in a trap he has created. When past mistakes resurface, the lines of friendship blurb, and four old friends are left trying to understand what it means to lie to the ones you love best.
Wow. Just wow. I've said it before but I'll say it again. One of the best perks of being part of this blog is that I get to read books by authors I would never otherwise try. And I'm so glad and honored that Sourcebooks reached out to me to read and review this gem of a novel. So thank you!

Right away, I have to say, that Coble's writing is magnificent. It's simple. I don't mean this negatively, I mean that she is straight to the point, vivid in her details of this small town that I could picture. And her descriptions, including little things like how this town Chatwick is simply known as the "Chat" (irony, at it's best) when you overhear the small town rumors that spread like wildfire. It makes the town feel intimate, as if you're a part of whatever is about to unravel. You also get a sense that this town knows everyone's secrets, probably even before the residents do, but that's the rub...the people who are supposed to know the true secrets, really don't. Which brings me to the major theme of this book: is a secret really ours? At which point does it become something to tell?

The story opens with the prologue, narrated by our dead friend Danny. Danny is now on the other side, an onlooker to the chaos that is about to unravel. He's the best in position to unravel secrets because he's being so open with his own. Because in his death, he has been able to devise a plan to get every single one of his "crew" members for one final game where he is the master game controller. And through his mother, his poor mother, Danny has schemed a way to gather his old friends, all with secrets that not even the Chat has gotten a hold of. Ruby and Muphy (le swoon), Emmett, Ally, and Daniel himself: all friends back in grade school and through to the time they were still trying to figure out how they fit into this world.

And we're off to the games. The story is told in multiple POV's, alternating between past and present where everyone's secret is bound to come out. And some prove a little melodramatic (I admit, but I still ate it all up), some dormant romantic feelings are revisited, and queen bees and kings are quickly dethroned.

All in all, this was an interesting story and I read in practically one sitting. Seriously, as a debut, I was impressed by Kaela Coble's literary prowess. She has a knack for drawing readers in - and even though I'd sort of guessed at (sometimes incorrectly) the secrets that were about to unfold, I'm still a sucker for these stories involving sordid and messy details that come from being "a crew" or friends that you wonder whether any duty or obligation was actually owed to, in the end. Because growing up, friends who were there when you were younger, almost become some sort of shadow in your conscience, if things are left unresolved. And as time lingers, and we're supposed to grow older and wiser, complications unfold and the discomfort of it all can be daunting. And this book captures it all.

With so many mysteries, I was intrigued. And if you're into mysteries of these types, with a lot of love and drama, dynamics of a crew that once was, this one is definitely for you. It was, in short, definitely for me. I look forward to anything else Kaela Coble writes in the future.

As always, happy reading!
 
 Kaela Coble lives in Burlington, Vermont, and is a member of the League of Vermont Writers and a graduate of the WoMentoring Project. This is her first novel.

Twitter: @kaelacoble

1 comments :

  1. Your blog is so cute!!!!!

    Great review. I am also a part of the blog tour, and I am glad to see that so many people are showing this book some love!

    ReplyDelete

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