A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Two Truths and a Lie is the third book in the series that began with The Lying Game, which follows a rich, popular mean girl who was murdered -- and her nice, long-lost twin sister, who impersonates her as she tries to solve the crime. Be prepared for pranks, label dropping, and frenemy behavior as Emma tries to sort out what happened to Sutton. There's also kissing, teen drinking, and violent behavior. (The ghost Sutton suspects that her secret boyfriend may have murdered her when she recalls a romantic hike that turns ugly.) There's also a television series inspired by the author's work.
What's the story?
In TWO TRUTHS AND A LIE, Emma is still masquerading as her long-lost identical twin, Sutton, living the popular rich girl's life as she tries to solve her murder. Meanwhile, Sutton's ghost secretly tags along, filling in her own memories as they begin to emerge. In this third installment, Emma's main focus in on Thayer, Sutton's secret lover, who has been missing for months but snuck into her room at the end of the second volume, Never Have I Ever. Sutton's memories confirm that they were together the night she died, but why does Thayer now have a limp? And what does he mean when he tells Emma, "I'm the only who knows who you really are"? Emma tries to sort out the clues while still fooling Sutton's clique of frenemies and thwarting the prank they're planning against her own new secret boyfriend, emo Ethan, the only one who knows who she truly is.
Is it any good?
Mostly, this is more of the same: more intrigue, more label-dropping, more pranks and complicated relationships. Readers may find Two Truths and a Lie a bit light on pranks -- and may be disturbed by the theory that Sutton drove a "passionate" Thayer to murder -- an idea that parents may want to explore with their kids. The author does include enough mystery to keep the pages turning and creates some intriguing tension between Emma and Sutton (Sutton at times resents Emma for being nice to her friends, while Emma decides in this book to "behave in a way she could be proud of, even of her actions weren't one hundred percent Sutton-like").
In the end, Two Truths and a Lie is mostly more fluffy fun for series fans who will no doubt be eager to get going on the next installment.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the "mean girl" behavior here. Teens: Is this the way girls act at your school? Do books like this normalize or promote this kind of behavior? Or do readers understand that this depiction of mean-girl behavior is extreme?
What do you think of Sutton's relationship with Thayer? He's described as "passionate," and there's some talk that Sutton's game playing may have pushed him to violence. What do you think of the way the characters discuss this possible violence?
Does it trouble you that Sutton may be in love with someone who could have murdered her?
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