Good Girls Lie: A Novel

Good Girls Lie: A Novel

by J. T. Ellison


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J.T. Ellison’s pulse-pounding new psychological thriller examines the tenuous bonds of friendship, the power of lies and the desperate lengths people will go to in order to protect their secrets.

Goode girls don’t lie…

Perched atop a hill in the tiny town of Marchburg, Virginia, The Goode School is a prestigious prep school known as a Silent Ivy. The boarding school of choice for daughters of the rich and influential, it accepts only the best and the brightest. Its elite status, long-held traditions and honor code are ideal for preparing exceptional young women for brilliant futures at Ivy League universities and beyond.

But a stranger has come to Goode, and this ivy has turned poisonous.

In a world where appearances are everything, as long as students pretend to follow the rules, no one questions the cruelties of the secret societies or the dubious behavior of the privileged young women who expect to get away with murder.

When a popular student is found dead, the truth cannot be ignored. Rumors suggest she was struggling with a secret that drove her to suicide.

But look closely…because there are truths and there are lies, and then there is everything that really happened.

Don’t miss this fast-paced suspense story from New York Times bestselling author J.T. Ellison!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780778330776
Publisher: MIRA Books
Publication date: 12/30/2019
Edition description: Original
Pages: 464
Sales rank: 14,473
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

J.T. Ellison is the NYT and USA Today bestselling author of more than 20 novels, and the EMMY-award winning co-host of A WORD ON WORDS, Nashville's premier literary show. With millions of books in print, her work has won critical acclaim, prestigious awards, and has been published in 26 countries. Ellison lives in Nashville with her husband and twin kittens.

Read an Excerpt



The girl's body dangles from the tall, iron gates guarding the school's entrance. A closer examination shows the ends of a red silk tie peeking out like a cardinal on a winter branch, forcing her neck into a brutal angle. She wears her graduation robe and multicolored stole as if knowing she'll never see the achievement. The last tendrils of dawn's fog laze about her legs, which are five feet from the ground. It rained overnight and the thin robe clings to her body, dew sparkling on the edges.

There is no breeze, no birds singing or squirrels industriously gathering for the long winter ahead, no cars passing along the street, only the cool, misty morning air and the gentle metallic creaking of the gates under the weight of the dead girl. She is suspended in midair, her back to the street, her face hidden behind a curtain of dirty, wet hair, dark from the rains.

Because of the damage to her face, it will take them some time to officially identify her. In the beginning, it isn't even clear she attends the school, despite wearing The Goode School robes.

But she does.

The fingerprints will prove it.

Of course, there are a few people who know exactly who is hanging from the school's gates. Know who, and know why.

But they will never tell.

As word spreads of the apparent suicide, The Goode School's all-female student body begin to gather, paying silent, terrified homage to their fallen compatriot. The gates are closed and locked — as they always are overnight — buttressed on either side by an ivy-covered, ten-foot-high, redbrick wall, but it tapers off into a knee-wall near the back entrance to the school parking lot, and so is escapable by foot. The girls of Goode silently filter out from the dorms, around the end of Old West Hall and Old East Hall to Front Street — the main street of Marchburg, the small Virginia town housing the elite prep school — and take up their positions in front of the gate in a wedge of crying, scared, worried young women who glance over shoulders looking for the one who is missing from their ranks. To reassure themselves this isn't their friend, their sister, their roommate.

Another girl joins them, but no one notices she comes from the opposite direction, from town. She was not behind the redbrick wall.

Whispers rise in the morning air, nothing loud enough to be overheard but forming a single question.

Who is it? Who?

A solitary siren pierces the morning air, the sound bleeding upward from the bottom of the hill, a rising crescendo. Someone has called the sheriff.

Goode perches like a gargoyle above the city's small downtown, huddles behind its ivy-covered brick wall. The campus is flanked by two blocks of restaurants, bars, and necessary shops. The buildings are tied together with trolleys — enclosed glass-and-wood bridges that make it easy for the girls to move from building to building in climate-controlled comfort. It is quiet, dignified, isolated. As are the girls who attend the school; serious, studious. Good. Goode girls are always good. They go on to great things.

The headmistress, or dean, as she prefers to call herself, Ford Julianne Westhaven, great-granddaughter several times removed from the founder of The Goode School, arrives in a flurry, her driver, Rumi, braking the family Bentley with a screech one hundred feet away from the gates. The crowd in the street blocks the car, and for a moment, the sight of the dangling girl. No one stops to think about why the dean might be off campus this early in the morning. Not yet, anyway.

Dean Westhaven rushes out of the back of the dove-gray car and runs to the crowd, her face white, lips pressed firmly together, eyes roving. It is a look all the girls at Goode recognize and shrink from.

The dean's irritability is legendary, outweighed only by her kindness. It is said she alone approves every application to the school, that she chooses the Goode girls by hand for their intelligence, their character. Her say is final. Absolute. But for all her goodness, her compassion, her kindness, Dean Westhaven has a temper.

She begins to gather the girls into groups, small knots of natural blondes and brunettes and redheads, no fantastical dye allowed. Some shiver in oversize school sweatshirts and running shorts, some are still in their pajamas. The dean is looking for the chick missing from her f lock. She casts occasional glances over her shoulder at the grim scene behind her. She too is unsure of the identity of the body, or so it seems. Perhaps she simply doesn't want to acknowledge the truth.

The siren grows to an earsplitting shriek and dies midrange, a soprano newly castrated. The deputies from the sheriff 's office have arrived, the sheriff hot on their heels. Within moments, they cordon off the gates, move the students back, away, away. One approaches the body, cataloging, another begins taking discreet photographs, a macabre paparazzi.

They speak to Dean Westhaven, who quietly, breathlessly, admits she hasn't approached the body and has no idea who it might be.

She is lying, though. She knows. Of course, she knows. It was inevitable.

The sheriff, six sturdy feet of muscle and sinew, approaches the gate and takes a few shots with his iPhone. He reaches for the foot of the dead girl and slowly, slowly turns her around.

The eerie morning silence is broken by the words, soft and gasping, murmurs moving sinuously through the crowd of girls, their feet shuff ling in the morning chill, the fog's tendrils disappearing from around the posts.

They say her name, an unbroken chain of accusation and misery.






There are truths, and there are lies, and then there is everything that really happened, which is where you and I will meet. My truth is your lie, and my lie is your truth, and there is a vast expanse between them.

Take, for example, Ash Carlisle.

Six feet tall, glowing skin, a sheaf of blond hair in a ponytail. She wears black jeans with rips in the knees and a loose green-and-white plaid button-down with white ADIDAS Stan Smith's; casual, efficient travel clothes. A waiter delivers a fresh cup of tea to her nest in the British Airways first-class lounge, and when she smiles her thanks, he nearly drops his tray — so pure and happy is that smile. The smile of an innocent.

Or not so innocent? You'll have to decide that for yourself.


She's perfected that smile, by the way. Practiced it. Stood in the dingy bathroom of the f lat on Broad Street and watched herself in the mirror, lips pulling back from her teeth over and over and over again until it becomes natural, until her eyes sparkle and deep dimples appear in her cheeks. It is a full-toothed smile, her teeth straight and blindingly white, and when combined with the china blue eyes and naturally streaked blond hair, it is devastating.

Isn't this what a sociopath does? Work on their camouflage? What better disguise is there than an open, thankful, gracious smile? It's an exceptionally dangerous tool, in the right hands.

And how does a young sociopath end up f lying first class, you might ask? You'll be assuming her family comes from money, naturally, but let me assure you, this isn't the case. Not at all.

Not really. Not anymore.

No, the dean of the school sent the ticket.


Because Ash Carlisle leads a charmed life, and somehow managed to hoodwink the dean into not only paying her way but paying for her studies this first term, as well. A full scholarship, based on her exemplary intellect, progeny piano playing, and sudden, extraordinary need. Such a shame she lost her parents so unexpectedly.

Yes, Ash is smart. Smart and beautiful and talented, and capable of murder. Don't think for a moment she's not. Don't let her fool you.

Sipping the tea, she types and thinks, stops to chew on a nail, then reads it again. The essay she is obsessing over gained her access to the prestigious, elite school she is shipping off to. The challenges ahead — transferring to a new school, especially one as impossible to get into as The Goode School — frighten her, excite her, make her more determined than ever to get away from Oxford, from her past.

A new life. A new beginning. A new chapter for Ash.

But can you ever escape your past?

Ash sets down the tea, and I can tell she is worrying again about fitting in. Marchburg, Virginia — population five hundred on a normal summer day, which expands to seven hundred once the students arrive for term — is a long way from Oxford, Eng- land. She worries about fitting in with the daughters of the DC elite — daughters of senators and congressmen and ambassadors and reporters and the just plain filthy rich. She can rely on her looks — she knows how pretty she is, isn't vain about it, exactly, but knows she's more than acceptable on the looks scale — and on her intelligence, her exceptional smarts. Some would say cunning, but I think this is a disservice to her. She's both book smart and street-smart, the rarest of combinations. Despite her concerns, if she sticks to the story, she will fit in with no issues.

The only strike against her, of course, is me, but no one knows about me.

No one can ever know about me.



"It's hard to imagine a prettier place, isn't it?"

The driver, who has been trying to engage me in conversation for fifty miles now, isn't wrong. The farther west we drive into Virginia, out 66, the more beautiful the scenery becomes. Wineries, horse farms, stone walls, and charming cottages dot the landscape. The ridgeback of mountains ahead looks like an ancient dragon curled up and went to sleep and the trees grew over its skeleton. I can see each bump of its spine, the ribs curving gently in the air, moss growing over the sharp tips and the roots of the trees sprouting from its heart inside.

It is a far cry from the noise and dirt of the DC airport, and even further from the world I've left behind. Good riddance.

"Mmm-hmm. Pretty."

The car turns south, moving along the Blue Ridge, down I-81, and the scenery is breathtaking. I glance at the map stowed in my purse, a detailed topographical imaging of the area surrounding Goode, which is situated near Wintergreen. Another hour to go, at least.

"Where'd you say you were from?"

I drag my attention back to the driver. He's decent looking, dark hair and skin tanned from a summer outdoors, hazel eyes. He'd said his name when he opened the door for me, Rudy or Ruly, something like that, I didn't pay attention, why should I? He's just the driver, a stranger I'm sharing a fleeting moment with. I'll never see him again after today. Don't get into the car with strangers, we're taught. Don't talk to strangers online. Stranger danger. Now, it's as much a part of life as breathing.

And who's to say I'm not the stranger to be worried about?

"I didn't. England."

"Thought so, from your accent. Ever met the Queen?"

Hardly. We don't exactly run in the same circles.

But I'm embarking on a new life. Perhaps it's time for a bit of embellishment.

"We go to the same church in the countryside. Have you ever heard of Sandringham? There's a beautiful little stone church there, with a graveyard that dates back to the 1300s. They — the Queen and her husband, I mean — spend much of their time in the country, especially now they've been handing over du- ties to the younger members of the royal family. We saw them only last week."

"I know exactly where you're talking about. That's the place they filmed part of Game of Thrones, didn't they?"

"The very one."

The best lies are based in fact. The stone church at Sandringham exists. It's called St. Mary Magdalene, and it's a bit more than a stone cottage, but I have no idea what it's really like. I've never been there. I've never met the Queen. I have exactly zero idea where Game of Thrones was filmed, but I assume it wasn't on the royal estate.

The driver has no knowledge of what I'm talking about but doesn't want to seem stupid, so he is more than happy to pretend. He grins at me in the rearview, and I smile in turn. We're connected now, over this lie. We both know it. Accept it. These are the social niceties of a modern civilization.

I resume my outdoor viewing, pretending I didn't enjoy the tiny frisson of excitement I got from the dopamine rush of telling a lie.

Why did I do it? I swore to myself I wasn't going to lie anymore. All part of turning over a new leaf, as my mum would say.

And I have no business lying to this stranger, one who knows where I'll be for the next few years.

But it is so easy. And what will it harm? He's practically a child himself.

I've never understood my compulsive desire to lie. I've read so many articles I've become my own sociology experiment. Everyone lies. To themselves, to each other. It's a way to belong, to be included. To look important.

In the past, it was much, much easier to get away with these transactional lies. Purveyors of falsehoods were con men, flimflam artists. Now, everyone is a grifter. With the advent of social media, allowing the masses to peer in through the open windows and doors to your home, to your mind, your body, your soul, the only way to lie properly is to curate your life for the masses to behold, carefully, carefully. Stage. Filter. Design. My very existence is so much better than yours. Hurrah!

I have no online accounts. I don't tweet or book or gram or snap or tok. I've never been interested in living out loud, and now, it's working in my favor. It's much, much too dangerous for me to have a past. I'm forward-looking, marching ahead. My life, my new life, waits for me on top of the mountain, in a town appropriately called Marchburg. The Goode School doesn't allow the students to have mobile phones. There's a solid chance I can get away with not having the accounts for the next few years. There's luck, already going my way.

In the modern age, with the ubiquitous connections available, not allowing personal mobile phones on campus is believed to be an archaic approach to education. I've seen the reviews, the message boards; the students hate it, hate leaving behind their screens. Even some of the mothers and fathers think this is a ridiculous rule, too; often sneaking one into the luggage for a midnight texting session with their little darlings.

We top another rise and finally, I can see the city of Marchburg ahead. It looks like an Italian hill town, accessible only through winding switchbacks, a fortress behind a red brick wall.

Lies have kept me safe, kept me protected, my whole life. But here, in this new place, in this new world, I don't need them anymore. I will be safe on the mountain. Protected.

"Starting over is always hard," Mum told me, "but you can do it. Go far, far away from here, daughter mine. Reinvent yourself."

This is exactly what I intend to do.



The drive up the hill makes me slightly queasy, all the switchbacks, the steep drop-offs, but soon enough we are on even ground again. The little town of Marchburg, its streets forming an X, surrounds the school which sits in the middle, at the crossroads. I ignore the stores and restaurants and their quaint, New World names, focusing on the behemoth ahead. A castle, for that is what it looks like, an overly large country house, like those of my homeland, spreading across the glossy green acreage like a stone gargoyle, but with red brick instead of gray stone.

The original building was damaged by fire in 1890, and the phoenix rebuilt in the traditional Jacobean style using the famous Virginia bricks known as Chilhowie, the name stamped across the face. "Chilhowies have been found as far away as Paris, France," says the literature. A bell tower rises above the entrance, perfectly centered on the main building, which is five stories high. Similar Jacobean-style buildings wing each side of the main hall — their signs denote they're creatively named Old East and Old West — but these were added later, and aren't the same exact color as their mother. They are three stories each, with white wooden balconies that jut out from their top floors. Taken in one shot, the school is monstrous in its austere beauty.

The massive, black, wrought iron gates to the school stand open in greeting for orientation day. Term starts tomorrow, Thursday, so Tuesday and Wednesday are set aside for students to get settled in the dorms, buy their books, sign up for activities and sports teams, hand over their phones, and otherwise run amok on campus, reuniting with their friends and making new.

What must be freshmen stand in bewildered clumps under the oak trees bordering the wall. Parents stumble around with furniture and boxes in hand. It is a bright, sunny late summer day, the skies so blue it is hard to look away.


Excerpted from "Good Girls Lie"
by .
Copyright © 2019 J.T. Ellison.
Excerpted by permission of Harlequin Enterprises Limited.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Good Girls Lie: A Novel 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 98 reviews.
Persephonereads 3 months ago
4 out of 5 stars I would like to thank Netgalley and Mira books for allowing me to read an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review. I discovered J.T. Ellison in November of this year and have become a fan of hers. I was super thrilled to be able to read this new book which will be released on December 30,2019. In the small town of Marchburg, Virginia there is an elite girl's school where only the best of the best attend. One October morning a girl is found dead, hanging from the gates. We flash back to August when Ash arrives from England. The Goode school is a whole other world from what Ash is used to. With judgmental and snobbish girls, secret societies and the honor code, as well as being in a new country she wonders how and if she will survive. J.T. Ellison is really good at slowly revealing secrets and characters true personalities and this novel is no exception. She leaves you interested in where the story line is going. This is a fun, twisted novel that I would suggest you pick up!
Samantha1020 2 days ago
Good Girls Lie was an entertaining thriller that kept me reading and guessing throughout! I'm a sucker for books set in boarding schools - as soon as I heard about this one and that it featured a boarding school I was adding it to my TBR list. One of the things I enjoyed about this book was the fact that it was written in a way where I wasn't sure who to trust. It felt like everyone in this book had secrets or was hiding something. It really helped to add to the overall level of suspense that was present throughout the book. I also enjoyed the fact that Goode school had all of things that seem to come with a boarding school. Supposedly haunted buildings and mysterious deaths? Check. Secret societies? Check. A questionable past and a present where bad things keep happening? Check, check, check. How could I not enjoy a book when it had all of these things and more? All of these things combined into a suspenseful and atmospheric read that I really couldn't get enough of! I also really enjoyed the fact that I didn't see the end of this book coming whatsoever. I had plenty of guesses of what was going on but I was completely wrong. I can't help but appreciate a thriller that keeps me guessing and manages to surprise me with the ending! Overall, I really enjoyed this book and found it to be a thrilling read! I've read previous books by this author (not her standalones but a couple in one of her series that she has written) and really enjoyed them as well. This book was a great reminder of how much I've enjoyed all of her books - I need to work on catching up on her backlist more in the new year! I really think that readers of suspense and thrillers will enjoy this book. Ultimately, this book was a great way to end my reading year in 2019 and also an easy book for me to recommend! Bottom Line: A thrilling read that kept me guessing until the very end! Disclosure: I received a copy of this book thanks to the publisher and NetGalley and am participating in a blog tour hosted by the publisher. Honest thoughts are my own.
JamieS 3 days ago
The girls of Goode all girls private school are hand picked by the head mistress. The come from well know prominent families from all works of life. Ash Carlisle leaves the UK after the death of her parents to attend the school. As with girls, there are mean girls and cliques and it's not always easy to fit in--being the new kid. After a student is found dead, everyone begins to wonder what secrets the new girl is hiding! Lots of twists and turns and and ending I did NOT see coming! I highly recommend this book! it's a real page turner
bella79954 18 days ago
A code of honor, secret societies, and murder! The Goode School is a prestigious all-girls school where the girls gain early acceptance to the ivy schools of their choice. This boarding school in Marchburg, Virginia accepts only the brightest (and richest) girls - daughters of politicians, prominent businessmen/women, and elite members of society. Rules are expected to be followed, there is an honor and conduct code that must be abided by. Sure, the secret societies and their hazing i.e. tagging activities are overlooked. They are time-honored traditions after all. Then one day a student is found dead. Was her death a suicide? Was she murdered? Soon suspicions are voiced and students, police and the dean begin to have doubts about one student. Are their doubts correct? Who is to blame? The setting was wonderful. An all-girls school in the hills without much around, secret societies. This sounds like the making of a very book (even movie) but there was just something a little lacking in this for me. I wanted just a little bit more oomph to this. I wish there would have been more mystery as to who the culprit was. The reveal was not shocking to me. Plus, I was really hoping that a secret relationship would come out. This is a book that I feel would make a great plane book. It's entertaining, a great way to pass time, but will I remember it months from now. Probably just vaguely. I will say that I found the epilogue to be excellent. Very clever. I thought the epilogue was the best part of the book. The writing was good, and the plot moved at a good pace. Many are enjoying this book more than I did so I encourage my fellow readers to check out those reviews as well. Thank you to Harlequin- Mira and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All the thoughts and opinions are my own.
Alaina Martin 19 days ago
This book was GREAT! Of course, why would that surprise me as I have loved every JT Ellison book I've read. The setting of this book was the first thing that drew me in. It reminded me of a big castle- almost like Harry Potter. I can relate to things the girls went through and the feeling of trying to fit in. The character development of the characters was thoughtful and gave me a sense of how the characters are in the book. The twist at the end was very unexpected but you see clues about it throughout that I didn't even think of.
Carolefort 21 days ago
Good Girls Lie by J.T. Ellison is a fascinating thriller about the lifestyle of the rich and connected gone completely awry. This is my first J.T. Ellison book but I look forward to reading many more. The Goode School in Marchburg, Virginia is a girls’ boarding school that caters to the daughters of politicians and celebrities. The school prepares the students for admission to the Ivy League schools. A new girl arrives at Goode: she is from England and has recently lost both her parents to suicide. The dean takes her under her wing, and before long, the suspicious death of a student occurs. It soon becomes apparent that all is not what is seemed. The police get involved and become suspicious that this may be a case of murder. Not much more can be added so as not to divulge the plot. At first look, I thought this was a YA novel but this mystery can be enjoyed by most. Good Girls Lie will have you hooked from the first chapter and will take you on quite a ride. You will be astounded by the ending. Highly recommended. Thank you to Harlequin Mira and NetGalley for the e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Bookswithjams 23 days ago
This was another hit by Ellison, she is a favorite of mine, and this one did not disappoint. Catty girls that bring the drama in a private school that also has a secret society? Yes please. People dying left and right? Yes please. A narrator that we don’t know the identity of but is clearly hiding something? Yes PLEASE! What I loved is that this book had me hooked from the beginning with a dark death, and it just went from there with lies on lies on lies. The good thing is we the reader were kept in the dark. (See what I did there?) I enjoyed the fact that everyone was pretty much a hot mess as their world was falling apart around them, so it was difficult to figure out what was going on at first, since they all had a reason to try and keep things quiet, lest their own secrets come out. And by keep things quiet I mean especially Dean Westhaven, who is seems to be more worried about her secrets coming to light than dealing with the fact that folks are dying. Oh what a tangled web we weave… I enjoyed this one very much, and recommend it for thriller fans. TW for suicide, murder, abuse, drug use… Thank you to MIRA Books and NetGalley for the free copy to review! Xoxo,
PatriciaFairweatherRomero 23 days ago
I am a sucker for a good boarding school thriller/mystery!  This tale of teenage girls at a prestigious boarding school just for girls, The Goode School, is anything but good! These are some seriously privileged and mean girls. After her parents' deaths, Ash is shipped off to The Good School. She has changed her name to avoid the publicity of the deaths and all she wants is to study and stay under the radar. Not going to happen. Someone always knows someone who can find out what you want to stay hidden.  The school is full of children of wealth and privilege whose parents are high profile people with little time for their own children, much better to send them to a snooty school that seems perfect on the outside but rotten on the inside. Including the Dean! I am not sure there was one decent character in this book! Girls start to seriously hurt each other and then the deaths begin. Ash is sure she knows who is behind it, but will anyone believe her now? And is she even Ash?? And once secrets begin to spill out, everyone is left exposed.  NetGalley/December 31st, 2019 by MIRA
Mary Thommen 26 days ago
Randi 28 days ago
3.5 stars The opening of this book is definitely interesting—a teenage girls is found hanging from the boarding school’s tall iron gates in an apparent suicide. Then, the story backs up from there to show how that came about, beginning with Ash Carlisle’s trip to The Goode School from England to Virginia, USA. I thought the very beginning was very slow, but then after finishing the book, I went back and reread the beginning and it made more sense to me. After the somewhat slow start, this story picked up and I enjoyed the boarding school tale of secret societies, honor codes and even murder. It felt a little too long and wordy in places, though. It felt like there was a lot of build-up just to get to the twist that we all know is coming. And the twist...really? It fell flat for me. Major eye roll and unbelievable for me. Thank you to NetGalley and Harlequin-Mira for a digital arc in exchange for an honest review.
KBrady 28 days ago
Enjoy JT Ellison writing. Categorize this as young adult rather than a full blown mystery thriller. Enjoyed the perspective of the boarding school, as very different from her other titles. Nice little, even if a little mild, shocker in the end. But wrapped it up to a nice finish.
Cheryl Koch 29 days ago
I have been a fan of this author since the beginning. I was really looking forward to this book. It was a bit of a departure from the normal thrillers that Mrs. Ellison writes. When it comes to secret societies, the idea is intriguing. You can tell as there have been other books and movies made regarding secret societies. The opening scene is what grabs readers. After that I was very intrigued by the school and the secrets that were hidden within the halls of the school. No one is innocent. Yet, the shine did falter some with a lot of build up of the dynamics between the girls. There was not a lot of other sinister things happening from the first scene for quite some time. I know that the build up was important but it kind of got to be too much after a while. The latter half to last third of the story is where it all came together and my interest peaked up again. Just when you thought the ending was here, Mrs. Ellison threw in one or two more twists at the end.
Anonymous 30 days ago
The Goode School is an all-girls boarding school full of privilege and history and secret societies. It is also a breeding ground for hazing, secrets and lies. Ashlyn Carr arrives at Goode under an assumed name to escape the sudden deaths of both of her parents. It appears that her secrets will be safe as the new headmistress is very interested in protecting her own secrets as well as how Ashlyn's tuition was funded. When Ash’s roommate is found dead at the bottom of the clock tower. It brings back parts of the dark past associated with not just the school, but the headmistress and some of the students as well.. But Ash has her own secrets and they are just itching to come back to haunt her. While it has all the necessary elements of a good ghost story that throws a shadow over the real mystery, it missed the boat in that there were too many characters doing and saying too many things that were not of any pertinence to the story itself. It didn’t hold my interested and I felt that the story dragged on and on and could likely have been done in about half the chapters. 2.5 rounded to 3 Stars. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the e-ARC in exchange for my honest review.
SLesko 3 months ago
Thank you Net Galley for an ARC ebook. ** The Goode School is an all girls elite private school for daughters of rich and influential parents. This school helps their daughters get into Ivy League schools, and most of the time on early acceptance. This is where parents dream to be able to send their girls. Although lets think about this clearly.... For those of use that are women and went to high school... can you imagine anything worse than 200 snotty rich girls? I mean the girls in this book weren't the nicest. Most were there to stay out of the spot light & not have their actions look poorly on their parents. I mean come on.. someone had to know bad things would come from this school. We are first told of a murder a decade past where a man was stalking a student, and became so enraged when reject that he not only murdered her; BUT he ripped out her eye and placed them on the family mantel. Now you've got Ash Carlisle traveling from Oxford, England to attend this prestigious school. She is coming after the untimely death of not just one but both her parents; and once she get there it's not long before someone else turns up dead. Lying goes against Goode's honor code, and everything Ash says seems to be a lie. While the body count goes up there is more behind Ash and the Goode school than meets the eye. ** While I did truly enjoy this book, I will say it took me a little bit to get into. I attribute this to being an unedited advance e-book, or just being an e-book copy itself. In the beginning I noticed that in the middle of a paragraph it would say " Good Girls Lie 66". Also there were many places that if the words contained the letter 'f' it would add unnecessary spaces in-between other letters. But this aside I truly enjoyed this book & BOY oh BOY did the plot twist have me salivating with literary goodness.
Renwarsreads 3 months ago
Wow, J.T. Ellison has hit another one out of the park with this book! The story line had some really interesting twists and the characters were so over the top but really interesting. Not your usual rich girl, smart girl, leader of the pack etc. This book would be a good read for young adults, as well as adult fiction. If you've read and enjoyed Ellison's other books you will like this one!
Sarahb 3 months ago
"Goode" girls are honest and follow the honor code of their school...or do they? The setting of this story was fantastic and this was a hard one to put down. Full of twists and lies, I did not know exactly what was going on in some points and who was narrating. I did enjoy the story and I twists keep me guessing. I'm a big fan if Ellison so I appreciate netgalley for giving me an opportunity to read this arc in exchange for my honest opinion.
Suesyn Zellmer 3 months ago
I loved this book! There's just something about mysteries involving exclusive boarding schools that automatically attracts me and this book drew me in from the very beginning. How could it not when the first few pages detail a student hanging from the school gates! Revolving around the students of well to do families that attend the all girls school, Goode School, in this tiny town of Virginia, there are plenty of clashing personalities, friendships, enemies and secret societies to create the dark allure of this story. A student from Britain whose parents recently died, Ash is the main narrator of the book and she's unsure what to make of this place. She immediately makes an enemy of Becca, the all around alpha female and head girl. She gets along slightly better with her roommates but still doesn't feel like she fits in and would rather keep it that way. We also see from the Dean's point of view and she's quite the opposite of the dreary severe old school marm that you may have expected. She welcomes Ash and feels bad for her situation but also feels compelled to keep an eye on her, for reasons she herself doesn't fully understand. There are so many well developed characters and such a great atmosphere that you can't help but immerse yourself in this dark tale. It is such an incredible page-turner and you will not want to put it down. This author had me hooked until the very end and I cannot recommend this book enough!
epiblogue 3 months ago
“Good Girls Lie” by J.T. Ellison Genre: #fiction #thriller ⁣⁣ Synopsis: see comment section⁣⁣ CW/TW: suicide, homicide, drug addiction, abortion⁣⁣ Rating:☀️☀️☀️/5 ⁣⁣ 1-Word Review: ⁣⁣ histrionics[ his-tree-on-iks ]⁣⁣ noun⁣⁣ dramatic representation; theatricals; acting.⁣⁣ ———————————————————⁣⁣ ./.:⁣⁣ :⁣⁣ The girl drama is strong with this one. I loved the gossip girl-esque setting with characters that are driven and smart (despite what their motives/intentions may be). This book kept me entertained from start to finish. ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ /? : :⁣⁣ . ⁣⁣ . ....⁣⁣ :⁣⁣ •This is not a book that will necessarily “keep you guessing” until the end. You figure out at an earlier point than most thrillers, what is “going on”. What keeps you reading, is blatant curiosity for how this will turn out.⁣⁣ •I need more shock, more surprises, more “OMG” from my thrillers. In cases where I don’t have the aforementioned qualities- I need the book to be wrapped up beautifully in terms of closure for all characters and story lines. For me, there were characters that were beautifully developed and essential to the plot ...and then at the end it was like: hey here is what ended up happening to them but in ONE sentence. ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ : If you’re ok with no big SHOCKING moments in your thrillers (and you are in the mood for some gossip girl vibes)- I recommend this book for you. ⁣⁣
SharoninAZ 3 months ago
J. T. Ellison is a talented writer, and I've read several of her previous novels. However, this one falls short. It read as though it was an old, discarded manuscript from the '90s that Ellison had dusted off and sent to a trusted publisher. Everything about it, including the dialogue, reads as dated. The plotline is solid, but overall it's a big letdown for Ellison fans.
Mkgrammy 3 months ago
Couldn't read this book fast enough, so good couldn't put it down. The twists were fast and intriguing. Can't wait to read Ms. Ellisons next book.
JM Free Kicks Fiction 3 months ago
Definitely twisted and undeniably entertaining, this book hit all the right notes for a psychological thriller. The author did a fantastic job of dropping subtle hints throughout, some of which were barely noticeable even though they made a huge impact. When I finished, I had to go back and re-read it to see what clues I had not realized were vital. The twists were interesting, and the end was amazing. You can see a full review at Fireflies and Free Kicks Fiction Reviews. This was written based on a digital ARC of the book.
Anonymous 3 months ago
I'm a fan of JT Ellison, and this latest book did not disappoint! It was interesting to get an inside look at what goes on at elite private schools, and the plot of this thriller kept me guessing!
Philomath_in_Phila 3 months ago
‏I was provided with a complimentary copy of this book so I could give an honest review. J.T. Ellison's latest work, Good Girls Lie, is set in an elite boarding school which is set atop a hill in the small town of Marchburg, Virginia. The students are only the best girls who are hand-picked each year by the dean. However, it is not a young adult book. It is a thriller full of secrets, secret societies, lies, and a strict honor code that is not always followed. In the beginning, I found it difficult to get into the book but I am glad I kept reading. Several reviewers described it as fast-paced but I disagree. It is a slow burn but it does definitely burn. The twists were both expected and unexpected but worked well. It opens with a body being found then flashes back to learn the events that lead up to the death. It is not a new tactic but, with the story, it works well. J.T. Ellison is best known for her Lt. Taylor Jackson series. The 8th book, "Field of Graves" was published in 2015. She has teamed up with Catherine Coulter to write "A Brit in the FBI" series. The 6th book in the series, The Last Second, was published in 2019. This 200-word review was published on on 1/10/2020.
EileenHutton 3 months ago
Goode girls lie. J.T. Ellison brings to life the world of an all-girls prep school, where the daughters of the privileged, the wealthy, the connected are sent to prepare them for admittance to the Ivy League. But pampered daughters have their own agendas, and the secrets and lies fester under the veneer of breeding and sophistication. And one girl may have more secrets to protect than most. When one girl is found dead — suicide? murder? — those secrets start to bubble to the surface. Because some secrets are nothing but lies. Ellison has created a world that will draw the reader in and keep the lights burning far into the night.
JillJemmett 3 months ago
This was an amazing thriller! The narrative switched between first person and third person perspectives between chapters. At first, I was confused as to who was narrating. I prefer it when the chapters have the narrators labeled when it alternates. However, this was a clever way of telling the story. This narration style had a purpose in the story, and it couldn’t be told any other way. There were so many twists throughout the story. I kept gasping at what was happening. I was surprised right until the last page. It was a fantastic thriller! I loved this book! It’s a great thrilling read! Thank you HarperCollins for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.