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Beautiful Lies
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Beautiful Lies

3.9 10
by Jessica Warman

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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


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?

Master storyteller Jessica Warman will keep readers guessing when everything they see-and everything they are told-suddenly becomes unreliable in this page-turning literary thriller.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Warman (Between) crafts an entertaining, if sometimes meandering mystery with a swipe of Dumas's The Corsican Brothers. Eighteen-year-olds Alice and Rachel are "monochorionic monoamniotic" twins: they shared an amniotic sac and placenta. Not only are they identical, but they are also so close that they can feel one another's pain and emotions. They have posed as each other plenty of times, with studious Rachel often helping volatile Alice with her class work or taking a reprimand for her following one of Alice's wild nights. When Rachel goes missing while they have swapped identities, Alice has to keep up the pretense, even as she suffers the physical pains being inflicted upon her sister. Warman's unsettling narrative moves at a slow, deliberate pace with extensive focus on extraneous details; as Alice's world disintegrates into confusion and crisis, readers will question her reliability. Attention to secondary characters (notably the girls' aunt, and their friend Kimber) adds realistic dimension, and despite superfluous supernatural elements and a story line that leaves much unexplained, the novel's tension and pervasive sense of dread should captivate readers. Ages 12–up. Agent: Andrea Somberg, Harvey Klinger. (Aug.)
Children's Literature - Denise Daley
Is there really such a thing as twin phenomenon? Can twins really feel each other's pain? Eighteen-year-old Alice is certain that they can, even though no one else believes her. Her twin sister has suddenly disappeared, and Alice not only feels pain being inflicted on her twin, but shows physical evidence of abuse. A portion of her hair is ripped from the back of her head, both of her eyes are black and blue, and she has rope marks on her wrists. Unfortunately, the missing sister has a history of recklessness and running away. Since she is an adult, no one is as concerned about her disappearance as Alice. The family has a long history of mental illness and tragedy. These factors add to Alice's instability, and she begins to blur reality with fantasy. The action builds in this fast-paced novel, and readers will be anxious to discover what happened to Alice's sister—if she even has a sister! The story is written using everyday language with which young adults will identify. Combine this with the intense drama and detailed descriptions, and the result is a book certain to be enjoyed by many teenaged readers. Reviewer: Denise Daley
VOYA - Heidi Uphoff
Warman feeds into everyone's fascination with twins in her newest novel, a physiological thriller. Events move rapidly when Alice Foster disappears in the middle of an innocent night out with her twin sister, Rachel. Rachel's instincts immediately sense Alice is in danger. The identical twins have a connection that goes beyond sensing one another's thoughts and moods. They even experience the other's physical traumas. Rachel tries to get help, but her family and the police are not concerned with an eighteen-year-old troublemaker with a bad habit of running away. Readers are then shocked to learn that Rachel is in fact Alice. The sisters switched the night of the disappearance. Rachel, the straight-A, no-nonsense twin is really the missing sister. Told through the perspective of Alice, Beautiful Lies keeps readers guessing what reasons she has to keep her identity a secret as she searches for her sister alone. Did someone hurt Rachel because they thought she was Alice? Or has Alice been harboring secrets of her own? Warman strings readers along as she peels back layers of Alice's mind. Readers want to know what is causing her to act out, why she continues to masquerade as her sister, and what terrible thing she did to paint a target on her back. The paranormal overtones seem forced at first but soon mesh into the other threads of the mystery. Beautiful Lies is an excellent recreational read for young adults looking for genuine shock and surprise. Reviewer: Heidi Uphoff
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—In this paranormal thriller, Alice goes missing from her identical twin, Rachel, and some friends at a carnival. Orphaned at age 9, the 18-year-olds have a supernatural connection: each can feel physical trauma experienced by the other. When Rachel arrives home alone, she begs Aunt Sharon and Uncle Jeff to alert the police immediately about Alice's disappearance, certain that her sister has been harmed. Their guardians choose not to panic, and cite Alice's criminal record and unpredictable behavior, but after Rachel discovers that she has a head wound, they agree to act. Rachel's forebodings are fraught with memory lapses and visions, quickly revealing her to be an unreliable narrator. When she divulges that there is a stolen duffle bag containing $10,000 under her bed and that she has a history of switching places with her twin, the story becomes increasingly confusing. Red herrings abound with potential abductors, including a mysterious artist-boyfriend; a nosy boy next door; a shady restaurant boss; Homeless Harvey, the creepy town lurk-about; and others. The paranormal elements add suspense and seem easier to digest than the notion that close friends and relatives would be unable to tell these twins apart, given their polar personalities. Two minor characters-developmentally delayed cousin Charlie and bighearted friend Kimber-are well developed and empathetic, adding stability to the wandering plot. However the payoff of all the confusion is dramatic: a bombshell ending that readers won't see coming.—Vicki Reutter, Cazenovia High School, NY
Kirkus Reviews
Alice and Rachel are even closer than most identical twins, having shared a single amniotic sac in utero and a psychic bond ever since. After their parents' death in a car accident, the twins were raised by their mother's twin sister and her husband, but lately they have taken very different paths while remaining deeply intertwined. Cautious, responsible Rachel, a good student, looks out for reckless, out-of-control Alice, who shares their mother's artistic and perhaps other gifts. When Alice vanishes, Rachel is overcome with a sense of dread and menace; she knows something bad has happened to her twin, but family, police and friends are less certain. But all is not as it seems in this claustrophobic, corkscrew-plotted world. As the title makes clear, readers are in unreliable-narrator territory. The twins, whose genetic legacy includes profound mental illness, trade places and keep secrets from each other. While failing to draw all loose threads into a neat bundle, the ending mostly makes sense and readers willing to be kept in the dark, even manipulated, in the service of a dynamic plot will enjoy the twists and turns. It's the twins' culturally barren, dreary yet violent world--a realm of broken dreams--that resonates most in this haunting, moody, character-driven thriller. (Paranormal thriller. 12 & up)
From the Publisher

“There's mystery upon mystery here, but they're all imbued with tenderness and tragedy, and the final, supernaturally touched puzzle is genuinely surprising and original.” —BCCB, starred review

“The novel's tension and persuasive sense of dread should captivate readers.” —Publishers Weekly

“An excellent recreational read for young adults looking for genuine shock and surprise.” —VOYA

“The twins' culturally barren, dreary yet violent worlda realm of broken dreams--resonates...in this haunting, moody, character-driven thriller.” —Kirkus Reviews

“It's been a while since The Lovely Bones was in every high school backpack; this is a strong contender to take its place.” —BCCB, starred review, on Between

“Dramatic and unpredictable . . . A page-turner to the bittersweet ending.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review, on Where the Truth Lies

“A perfect read for teens who like complex characters.” —Booklist, starred review, on Between

“Achingly realistic . . . with rare, refreshing honesty and flashes of wry humor.” —Booklist, starred review, on Breathless

“Characterization is vivid and exquisite . . . tender and intimate.” —BCCB, starred review, on Breathles

Product Details

Walker & Company
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.80(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.40(d)
HL720L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

JESSICA WARMAN is the author of Breathless, Where the Truth Lies, and Between, which have received six starred reviews among them. Between was published in a total of twelve countries around the world. Jessica has an MA in creative writing and lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. www.jessicawarman.com

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Beautiful Lies 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
JenniferPittman More than 1 year ago
Beautiful Lies will keep you guessing from beginning to end. This was the first book I have ever read by Jessica Warman, but it definately won't be my last. This is a story I had a hard time putting down. It kept a steady pace, while not making you think that it's too much for the story.
megan105 More than 1 year ago
Great Book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
After reading Between, I knew I had to read Warman's other books. Similar to Between, I found it impossible to put this book down! Every time you think you have everything figured out, something happens that changes it all. I love that the story was real and didn't have a unrealistic ending. The concept of the book was unique and engaging. I was not disappointed
ElegantlyBoundReviews More than 1 year ago
Beautiful Lies was a complete mind confusing mystery straight from chapter one! I don’t know any other way to explain it but to say WHAT??!!?? Rachel and Alice, identical monoamniotic twins, take readers on a really crazy adventure that never fails to throw twists and turns right in your face! Rachel and Alice are identical monoamniotic twins which mean that they shared the same amniotic sack while they were in their mother’s womb. Apparently this type of twin is very rare and back when doctors didn’t know much about it, very few survived. That’s not too hard to wrap your head around because you can google it and read all about it. But then the reader is hit with the fact that the twins claim they share physical sensations such as pain. So when one twin is chocking the other twin chocks as well even though nothing is obstructing her airway. It’s a pretty interesting concept and it plays out really well in the book! Beautiful lies really reminded me of that really weird Lindsay Lohan movie I Know Who Killed Me. Even though the story lines are completely different, both sets of twins experience their sister’s physical sensations. Although Alice and Rachel are identical, it turns out that their personalities are completely different. Rachel is the straight-A honors student who dresses conservatively and never breaks the rules. Alice is definitely the rule breaker. She struggles to pass her classes, breaks curfew and throws all of her energy and emotions into her art. I had the most difficult time keeping up with the flash back parts of the book. The littlest thing would trigger Alice’s memory and without warning the reader would be thrown into a memory that would last for pages! I sometimes forgot what was happening in the present time. I also got the implication that there was a history of mental illness in the family so I was never really sure if things were imagined or if they were real. The scene in the barn was the most bazaar for me. Alice is convinced her sister is bound and gagged in the hay loft and truly believes that she watched Rachel pull one of her own teeth out. Then suddenly Rachel is gone and when Alice goes back to the house, it’s like it never happened. Super weird! In the end, I still don’t really know what happened! Were some of the characters real or imagined? I don’t know. Was it Rachel or Alice who was kidnapped? I don’t know. Was Alice seeing ghosts? I don’t know. Do the twins have special powers? I don’t know. I’ve struggled over the rating but I’ve decided to give Beautiful Lies 3 hearts because I was left with so many unanswered questions. If you’re looking for a good mindf**k, then this book is for you!
Icecream18JA More than 1 year ago
Warman has written a great Young Adult psychological thriller. Alice and Rachel are twins, but twins that are so identical that no one can tell them apart. They have a special bond, too. If one is hit, the other feels pain. This phenomenon is how Alice knows that her sister is in danger. Rachel disappears and Alice begins experiencing pain. Who can Alice trust? She keeps her sister’s disappearance a secret and searches for the abductor. Beautiful Lies confused me at times and I am still figuring out the story right now, even though I finished the book. Despite this, I definitely enjoyed reading. I loved the plot twists and turns and reading about the bond between Alice and Rachel. This book will be loved by teen readers and anyone who likes mystery. The only complaint I had while reading is that the narrator is not someone you can trust. I will not spoil any of the novel, but thought that readers should be warned. Alice is not a girl who always speaks the truth. Beautiful Lies was a wild ride and earns four out of five stars.
OtotheD More than 1 year ago
This book made me feel like I was going a little crazy while reading. It’s an intriguing read, and while I’m not sure that I loved the book when all was said and done, I definitely had a heck of a time reading it. Rachel and Alice are identical twins — so identical on the outside (though personality wise they couldn’t be more different) even those closest to them have never been able to tell them apart. The bond between them goes beyond just sharing identical looks. Each of them can feel the other’s emotions and physical pain, almost as if they’re experiencing it first hand. When Rachel goes missing, Alice knows she’s still alive, but when she begins to experience physical pain and emotional trauma, she knows Rachel is going through something horrific and she needs to find her before things get worse. The problem is no one seems to want to help her — not her family, or the police, so it’s up to Alice to find Rachel herself. There are quite a few other things I could say here, but I won’t for fear of giving away some of the plot points. I will say that this one kept me on my toes through the entire book, even though I had an idea of what was really happening. I had my suspicions about the villain early on, so when they were revealed I wasn’t totally surprised, but along the way I did second guess myself a few times. I really enjoyed Ms. Warman’s writing style, and overall the story was great, though I felt some of the twists/reveals felt a little contrived (but that’s just me). I won’t lie, there were times when this one made my brain hurt, but in the end it was a satisfying read. I would highly recommend it to someone who enjoys intricately woven plots, and well-crafted characters.
KDH_Reviews More than 1 year ago
Whenever I've read and enjoyed a book by an author before, I develop expectations for any books of theirs that I may read in the future. Since I had read and enjoyed one of her other books, Between, I figured Beautiful Lies would be another book I'd enjoy. Unfortunately, that's not exactly what happened. Beautiful Lies started out strong. After the big twist is revealed, a few chapters in, it's downhill from there. I feel like there should have been a change in the narrator's tone once the twist was revealed. Since there wasn't, it was confusing and I found myself rereading parts of the book to understand what was going on. The book ended up being more complicated than it could have been. The ending was a big disappointment. It felt like such a letdown compared to the rest of the book. While I was reading, I kept waiting for that ah-ha! moment where everything made sense and the book went from just alright to amazing... but it never happened. It just... ended and left me very unfulfilled. 2.5 out of 5 stars
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I pretty much have all of Jessica warmans books after reading between and beautiful lies was not an acception the book kept my guessing the whole time after her sisteer rachel dissappeared he whole time as rachel was giving her clues in her dreams during the book i felt like alice lost and confussed thinkin and suppecting everybody but the nice cute neighbor named sean ! He even fooled me the whole time but thatone day she came home and tj sean her uncle and auntie waiting for her and her said some words to her lime he was a differnt person i still did not think it was him until she saw they meys her twin keys   on his chain and put two and two  together and it was him her sister told her to find the monkey and she did he nearly killed her but she got away trying to get help for rachel but it was too late ! I felt her pain losing her sister that way "and i highly reccomand everybody to read this because you wont stop quessing until you see at the end the truth !
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The story can be confusing at times, until you realise which sister is being written about. The ending was strange and had to be reread. it was a bit repitious and boing.
BlkosinerBookBlog More than 1 year ago
This book kept me guessing, I sure can say that. There are so many factors, and I am not really able to trust any of the information given to me. I felt like I knew where the missing twin was several times, and where something was off, but I never could piece everything completely together. I think that Jessica Warman was very brave with the ending, and at first I thought it was opposite of what she intended, but I think that I am okay with it. It's definitely not wrapped in a pretty little bow, but the storyline is tied up and the sorrow is laced with sacrifice. I wasn't completely in love with this book, but on the other hand, I had to know what happened.