Little White Lies by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Release date: November 6, 2018
Summary: 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.
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Jennifer Lynn Barnes writes such readable novels. They keep you going and wanting more and never wanting to stop until the last page. Even though the plot in Little White Lies felt a bit weaker, it was compulsively readable.
The timeline of the book moves pretty quickly and hops between "present day" and what led up to then. I appreciated that I expected one result from the lead-up and got a totally different, better plot resolution. I'm not sure I connected with the characters as well as I have with some in Jenn's past books (i.e., Sloane from The Naturals and everyone in The Fixer). Sawyer's motivations never felt quite concrete enough to me. She obviously had a goal - find her father - but it didn't feel like quite enough, or like it was all she ever wanted. They were all fairly interesting, but the boys especially felt one-dimensional. Sadie-Grace is probably my favorite of the side characters, though, along with Sawyer's grandmother. She comes across as an Emily Gilmore type as first, but Sawyer's mother is no Lorelai.
Content warnings: underage drinking is the only thing coming to mind.
The Verdict: Such a fun romp although not as strong as Jenn's previous titles.
Will I be adding this book to my library?: At some point, definitely.