Friends and Other Liars: A Novel

Friends and Other Liars: A Novel

by Kaela Coble


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Friends and Other Liars: A Novel by Kaela Coble

Sometimes the secrets we keep are more dangerous than the ones we reveal...

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781492651161
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Publication date: 02/06/2018
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 316,018
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Kaela Coble lives in Burlington, Vermont, and is a member of the League of Vermont Writers. This is her first novel.

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Friends and Other Liars: A Novel 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Anonymous 10 months ago
This wasn’t my usual read, but I enjoyed the book, and most importantly I kept coming back to it. To begin with I could not put it down, then about half way through my attention began to slip. Though there was something about this book that meant I kept picking it up and reading more; I was glad I did. The writing flowed and helped to encapture the characters better. Who at times I could empathise with, whilst at others I felt nothing for, I feel like the author managed to convey friendship and all the feelings and events that can come with it. The plot wasn’t entirely what I expected, at points it felt like a teenage love story, and I couldn’t quite feel how the story was going to go or if it would reach its conclusion, but it did and it was worth the read. The ending I feel was a perfect way to finish.
KrittersRamblings 11 months ago
Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings Friends are reunited at the death of one of their own and when they all return to their small town in Vermont they are all confronted with lies from their past and the friend that is dead is ready to expose them all. I love small town stories and I love friends returning to small town stories! I liked the concept of this book, but a few things just didn't work for me. I expected all the lies to be revealed one after the other and expected that all of the friends from "the crew" to get time to tell their story and that wasn't the case. This book definitely revolves around Ruby and is almost solely told from her perspective. I would have loved a few more chapters told from other people and for the book to feel more balanced.
Valerian70 More than 1 year ago
Starting with the death of Danny, a group of schoolfriends get back together at his funeral and remake the connections they forged during the trying years of Middle and High School. At least, that is what I think we are supposed to think. While it is an intriguing premise to take a look at friendship 10 years down the line it doesn't really come off. I found the characters themselves to be very cookie cutter and basically unlikeable. To a man (and woman) they seem to blame circumstance for anything that goes awry, nothing is ever their fault but rather the circumstance they were in formed their actions. The bulk of the book is told from Rosie's perspective and I found her to be completely unsympathetic and very self-centred. This wasn't helped by the fact that everyone is a caricature of a real person and embodies only one trait - I suppose it is an attempt to be a literary Breakfast Club for the Millennial generation but it falls so far short of the mark it is almost laughable. The whole concept of having secrets that you keep from your closest friends is a good one; even if those secrets turn out to be rather unrealistic in terms of a small town life. Indeed there is only really Ally's infidelity whilst on "a break" from Emmet (watch Friends much author) and Rosie's that ring as being possibly true. The bulk of the book is flashback to when they were The Crew and full of concerns only children and teenagers have but because the characters are so one dimensional you find you don't really care about any of it. I'm not entirely sure which genre this book falls in but I find that I care even less. It passed the time on some suddenly cold Spring days and it didn't anger me but that is the best I can say about it.
GreyKatReviews More than 1 year ago
“All things done in the dark have a way of coming to the light.” It’s been ten years since Ruby has seen any of her old friends, “the crew”. But when she comes back for Danny’s funeral, old memories come back to haunt her. She’s torn between resuming her comfortably solitary life in NYC or rebuilding relationships with the people once closest to her. The secret she’s been harboring makes that decision even more difficult. “We’re only as sick as our secrets.” Ruby isn’t the only one who’s been hiding things. And Danny isn’t letting anyone off the hook. In the letters he’s left behind for each of them, he instructs: reveal your secrets to each other, or let them be exposed publicly in a trap he’s set. As lies build on lies, the truth — quietly, slowly — rises to the top. Friendships are tested, relationships challenged. Can they each get past the individual revelations and reunite to honor Danny’s life, a life cut too short? Or will “the crew” be crushed by the burden of their secrets? The different viewpoints and suspense of lies exposed at just the right time kept this novel on my mind even when I wasn't reading it, trudging impatiently through my day until I could get back to the story. Though there are many secrets and lies festering beneath the surface, this story isn’t as dark as I had initially expected, but rather is full of heart and love. Despite huge betrayals and memories teeming with teen angst, this motley crew never stoops to pettiness. They have real affection for one another. And that makes each of them extremely likable characters, no matter how large their flaws may be. Though sometimes the group had a real Scooby Gang vibe going on, the plot and emotions were all too real. It felt like such an accurate portrayal of that time in my own young life that it was almost disturbing. Part of me wishes that Danny's death would have been given a little more weight. Suicide deserves some unpacking. Apart from the prologue and epilogue, we only ever saw him from a distance. That said, I respect that portrayal and the author's decisions especially because, all-in-all, she managed to take the current epidemic of opioid overdoses plaguing our country and portray it in a way that wasn't preachy or trite. Anything more may have ended up feeling too heavy. In the beginning, I worried this would be just another “adultier” 13 Reasons Why, but it became so much more than that. It didn’t leave this reader feeling completely hopeless in a cruel, cold world, but rather content and hopeful that the bonds we form can withstand much more than we think if we only give them a chance. 5/5 stars. Thank you to NetGalley, publisher Sourcebooks Landmark, and author Kaela Coble for the advance review copy of this novel and for graciously allowing me an interview with Ms. Coble. For an in-depth look at this novel -- and to read the Q&A with Kaela -- visit Grey Kat Reviews.
ReadingwithErin More than 1 year ago
Thank you to Netgalley and Sourcebooks for an e-arc in exchange for my honest review. “ALL THINGS DONE IN THE DARK HAVE A WAY OF COMING TO THE LIGHT” Ruby has been avoiding going home since she left to go to college. She's used every excuse in the book, and now with her best friend Danny dies she has no choice but to finally go home. This means dealing with family issues, and seeing her first true love, and the rest of the 'crew' who she hasn't talked to since she left. When she sees her old friends Murphy, Ally, and Emmett things have changed. Not only are Ally and Emmett now married or engaged, but their spouses are now part of the 'crew' now too. With seeing so many people that she's avoided for so long, she feels a little awkward at first, but after all the 'crew' is gathered together they have no choice but to interact with one another. This is when things get messy because Danny has decided its time for everyone else's secrets to come to light. Danny was almost always the outsider and the center of the crew all at the same time, and as they grew up and moved on, he stayed in this pattern of things that he had been into since middle school. With each of the 'crew' members getting letters telling their secrets and with a threat that if they don't tell them in a set period of time, that Danny will make them come out anyway. This leads to some quick maneuvering on everyone's part, and some half-truths told in an attempt to make it all go away. As for if this works or not, you'll have to read to find out. Overall I loved this book! It's pretty little liars for grownups and I am so ready for more books like this. The tension between all the 'crew' members because of the secrets and the things that happened between all of them in high school was done so so well. I loved how things jumped around between past and present showing us things that happened and what lead up to each of their secrets. As for the relationship between Murphy and Ruby, I was kind of just meh about it, I figured out early on what was going to happen between them and what caused them to avoid each other for so long. I did love all of the friendships between the characters. No one was left out, and they all had very well developed character stories that went together, but also stood on there own. They all had family problems, relationship problems, goals, and dreams. That's something that I haven't seen so fleshed out in each character ever. Because of that, I can't wait to see more work from Coble in the future! p.s. If you know of any other books like this one please tell me about them.
Candice_S More than 1 year ago
I absolutely LOVED this book. Friends and Other Liars is such a fast paced, easy and absorbing read, I just could not put this down. Ten years after Ruby leaves her hometown behind, determined to set out to live a bigger life, she finds herself heading back for the funeral of one of her best childhood friends. Danny was one of their original "crew" of best friends growing up - but now Danny is dead by suicide, and he has left letters for all of them behind, demanding that they begin revealing their deepest, darkest secrets to each other - or he will do it for them from beyond the grave. This story is excellently crafted - absolutely none of the secrets were easy to guess, and the twists kept coming right to the very end. I loved the characters themselves as well; any book that has me fully invested in the outcome of a characters story is a win for me. I burned this book in one sitting, as I just HAD to know what was going to happen next. I could, and would, happily read book after book about this particular group of friends, I can imagine the endless drama and adventure this group could get into. This is a solid 5 star read for me - and I think this will be a great read for book clubs, or buddy reads, as there is LOTS to discuss! Definitely get this one on your to-read list.
Julie Davide More than 1 year ago
‪“ALL THINGS DONE IN THE DARK HAVE A WAY OF COMING TO THE LIGHT” ‘The Crew,’ made up of Danny, Ruby, Murphy, Ally, and Emmett, have fallen out of touch over the years but are drawn back together for Danny’s funeral. ‪Danny, who had taken the path of drug use to numb the pain brought on by the terrors in his life, commits suicide by overdose. He leaves behind a letter to his mother with a simple explanation for his actions and request that she ensembles ‘The Crew’ together to deliver one final message. Charlene does so by offer a letter Danny has written to the group collectively, as well as individual envelopes for each member containing the darkest secret they hide from one another. ‪This novel beyond its surface is deep; especially when it comes to relationships. The message was quite clear early on that people often take those in their lives for granted and this is unfortunately often missed until it’s too late. ‪ Flipping through the pages I felt constantly reminded that life isn’t perfect and what we show on the surface isn’t what always lies beneath. The characterization and its growth were very impressive. I feel many readers would find themselves connecting to these characters given most of our childhoods and beyond have not always been a walk through the meadows either. I felt for multiple characters on more than one level and related to the tragedies in their lives. The chapters alternate between multiple point of views, from past and present, primarily through the eyes of Ruby St. James, and throughout these characters go to great lengths to keep the truth from being relieved. On the topic of their secrets, Kaela does a pronominal job of keeping the secrets wrapped up until the reader reaches this emotional conclusion. I would not start this expecting deep-seated, juicy, end of relationship type of secrets. While they aren’t cookie cutter, these secrets are not earth shattering either. I don’t believe it was ever Danny’s intention through his “game” to tear these relationships apart further, but to reunite them on a foundation of honesty and trust. I was immersed in this story, feed into the drama, and could not pull myself away until I too knew what was hidden within each envelope. I did not want to end. I wanted to continue peering into the lives of these characters and the dynamics of their relationships. While there were no shocking twists, the ladder half of this novel had me feeling so many emotions. I love novels by local writers and adore that Kaela is a true Vermonter. It shows in her use as the setting, in the small factoids she offers (like mud season), and in the humorous way she expresses how those inhabiting northern New England find maple syrup to like gold. And while I know this release was a long-awaited process for Kaela Coble, I see so much success in her future. Happy Publication Day, Kaela! You are an author I’ll be keeping an eye out for and cannot wait to see what you come up with next. ‪“WHEN IT COMES TO THINGS THAT REALLY MATTER, YOU GUYS BARELY EVEN KNOW EACH OTHER” Many thanks to Kaela Coble and Sourcebook Landmark for inviting me to join this blog tour and an advanced reader’s copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.