November 9, 2015

Shelley Liked It: Dangerous Lies by Becca Fitzpatrick

Series: Standalone
Format: E-Galley | 400 pages
Release Date: November 10, 2015
Publisher: Simon & Schuster BYR
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss
Genre: Young Adult | Contemporary

A teen is forced to make a fresh start after witnessing a violent crime—but love and danger find her anyway in this novel from Becca Fitzpatrick, the New York Times bestselling author of the Hush, Hush saga.

Stella Gordon is not her real name. Thunder Basin, Nebraska, is not her real home. This is not her real life.

After witnessing a lethal crime, Stella Gordon is sent to the middle of nowhere for her own safety before she testifies against the man she saw kill her mother’s drug dealer.

But Stella was about to start her senior year with the boyfriend she loves. How can she be pulled away from the only life she knows and expected to start a new one in Nebraska? Stella chafes at her protection and is rude to everyone she meets. She’s not planning on staying long, so why be friendly? Then she meets Chet Falconer and it becomes harder to keep her guard up, even as her guilt about having to lie to him grows.

As Stella starts to feel safer, the real threat to her life increases—because her enemies are actually closer than she thinks…

Becca Fitzpatrick's DANGEROUS LIES is a young adult, contemporary romance/mystery that is set mostly in Thunder Basin, Nebraska. 17-year old Stella Gordon (not her real name) is a key witness in a federal criminal case against a major figure in an east coast cartel. She agreed to go into Witness Protection (WITSEC) and testify against the man after she saw her mothers drug dealer lying dead on her kitchen floor. 

Stella is flown to Nebraska, but without her boyfriend Reed, or her drug addled mother Savannah, and without her estranged father. Arriving in the place where the Children of the Corn was made famous, Stella must become someone totally different, and put her past behind if she is to last until she turns EIGHTEEN. Three months. That is the time she has until she can leave Nebraska behind and make her own way in life along with Reed.

Stella must learn to live with her sponsor Carmina Songster, an ex-police officer who volunteered to take her in and has her own crosses to bear. Carmina and Stella don't have a STELLAR relationship when they first meet, but eventually the two become compatible. Carmina wants Stella to find a job, and make her own money. Something she is totally not used to since her family was fairly well off. Stella isn't the most enjoyable character once you first meet her. 

In fact, I would dare call her prickly, arrogant, entitled, bitchy, and in need of a major attitude adjustment. Thankfully, her time in Nebraska gives her a new attitude, and a new leash on life. It is a place where she becomes friends with people like Dixie-Jo, and Inny who open themselves up for her. It is also the place where the truth will finally set her free of the baggage that she has carried ever since finding a dead body in her home.

But, the most intriguing aspect of Stella's stay in Nebraska is the next door neighbor, 19-year old Chet Falconer, who Carmina warns her to stay away from. I haven't exactly had a stellar past with author Fitzpatrick's Rush Rush series, but I did enjoy Black Ice. Black Ice was much more of a thrill ride than DANGEROUS LIES. Thankfully, Fitzpatrick left behind the need for a love triangle, and just stuck to the brass facts that eventually lead to romance between Stella and Chet Falconer.

I like when Fitzpatrick writes about contemporary issues, and mysteries. I liked the setting of this book. I loved that it felt realistic, and not something out of a Norman Rockwell painting. I love visiting small towns in the Midwest, but wouldn't want to live there. I appreciated that almost ever single character in this book has issues. Issues that can't be resolved by ignoring them, or hoping they will go away. I loved the chemistry between Stella and Chet after a rocky start due to Stella being faithful to Reed. 

We spend our whole lives running from our past, never realizing its hitched to us-we can't ever outrun it.

AN ANGRY RAP SHOOK THE motel room door. I lay perfectly still on the mattress, my skin hot and clammy. Beside me, Reed drew my body to his.

So much for ten minutes, I thought.

I tried not to cry as I nestled my face into the warm curve of Reed’s neck. My mind absorbed every detail, carefully retaining this moment so I could play it back for a long, long time after they took me away.

I had a wild impulse to flee with him. An alley flanked the motel, visible from the room they kept me in. Details like where we would hide and how we’d keep from ending up at the bottom of the Delaware River with cement blocks strapped to our feet kept me from acting on that impulse.

The knock grew louder. Bending his head close to mine, Reed breathed deeply. He was trying to remember me, too.

“The room is probably bugged.” He spoke so softly, I almost mistook the sound for a sigh. “Have they told you where they’re taking you?”

I shook my head from side to side, and his face, which was crisscrossed with cuts and swollen at the cheekbones, fell. “Yeah, me neither.” 

Because his body was also bruised, he rolled gingerly onto his knees, searching along the headboard. He opened the nightstand drawer and fanned the pages of the Gideon Bible. He looked under the mattress.

Nothing. But of course they’d bugged the room. They didn’t trust us not to talk about that night, even though my testimony was the last thing on my mind. After everything I’d agreed to do for them, they couldn’t give me ten minutes, ten private minutes, with my boyfriend before they dragged us apart.

“Are you mad at me?” I couldn’t help whispering. He was in this mess because of me—because of my mom. It was trouble with her that had effectively ruined his life and future. How could he not resent me even a little? His hesitation made me feel a deep, limitless anger toward my mom.

Then he said, “Don’t.” Softly, but firmly. “Don’t say that. Nothing’s changed. We’re going to be together. Not now, but soon.”

My relief came quick and sure. I shouldn’t have doubted him. Reed was the one. He loved me, and had proven once again that I could count on him.

A key scraped the lock.

“Don’t forget the Phillies account,” Reed whispered urgently in my ear. I met his eyes. In the seconds that followed, we shared an unspoken 
conversation. With one slight nod, I told him I understood. 

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  1. I didn't know thus book by the author but I don't know

  2. Witness protection sounds fun, well not for her, but for us

  3. It seems like there were some elements to like and some not so much. This is the second review I've seen that said Black Ice was better. It does sound like a worthwhile read though. Perhaps I'll check it out at some point.

  4. I just got this one in the mail. I'm not a fan of her heroes most of the time but I hear this guy is nice so I'm looking forward to reading it.

    Karen @For What It's Worth

  5. I'm holding out on this one. I've read 2 of her books now, and they're okay reads, but I'm just not itching to read this right now.

  6. I've been seeing this book around and it looks so good.

  7. I've been wondering how this was, good to know it was a good read even if it wasn't mind blowing. I really liked her other book she did in the same genre, it was a lot of fun.

  8. Hmmm.... I think I am going to pass on this one. I thought Black Ice was just okay. I did like the mystery, but I wasn't a fan of the romance in that one. It sounds like this one was just an okay read for you.

  9. Haven't read Black Ice, though I mean to at some point. I'll probably read this one too - like you, I appreciate Ms. Fitzpatrick's flair for the unidealized. And she can cook up some pretty tensed moments. Awesome review :)

  10. I've heard pretty good things about this one. I'm glad the MC does change as the book goes on, since she's not the most likeable in the beginning. I haven't read anything by this author so I should check her out!


  11. Hmm, this one has definite possibilities. Nice review, Shelley!

  12. I might have to try this one. It seems I have a good/bad relationship with the author but the fact it is a standalone makes me want to try it. I'm also liking no triangle. I can see there would be issues but I think I can ignore them. :)

  13. Sounds intriguing, even with Stella being a prickly beeotch at the start lol

  14. So glad you liked it. I'm reading this one this week. :)

  15. How did I not even hear of this yet?! I do love how she did her previous mystery so I might like this one too. :)

  16. Yeah, I didn't have a great experience with her other series, so I've avoided her books. But ... I'm thinking I should try one of her mysteries. I love some good character growth too.

  17. BF is really hitting high notes with her contemporaries. I'm still hoping she'll write a spin-off for Hush-Hush or continue the series but as an adult series.

  18. I never got a chance to finish Hush, Hush series. Was curious about this one.

  19. Interesting, and the Nebraska setting has me me curious.

  20. I'm glad you enjoyed this, Shelley. I'm a little wary of Fitzpatrick's books because the Hush, Hush series pushed all the wrong buttons for me :(
    Great review, though, and you actually managed to make me quite curious!
    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

  21. Thank you for sharing, I haven't heard of this and it sounds like a worthy read


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