A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
This may inspire teens to pick up other, deeper suspense novels (like those on our Thriller and Suspense Books for Teens list).
Emma is trying to solve her sister's murder and be a good person. Sutton, after she dies, realizes that she could have been nicer to those who cared about her.
Positive Role Models
There's a lot of problematic behavior here -- the book's premise is about a murdered teen, after all -- including pranking and general meanness among the girls in Sutton's clique. But Emma, the protagonist, tries to practice "random acts of Emma Kindness" as she solves her sister's murder, itself a noble act.
Violence & Scariness
Two Truths and a Lie is about a girl who's murdered. There's other violence, too, including a father who abuses his kids. And Sutton's boyfriend is rough with her. The police find blood when they discover Sutton's abandoned car. Some pranks involve violence or the threat of violence.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Some kissing between Emma and her boyfriend, and Sutton remembers kissing Thayer.
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Language includes a few uses of "bitch," "Jesus" (as an exclamation), and "s--t."
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Products & Purchases
Labels/brands include Abercrombie, Botox, Chanel, Coke, Converse, DiorShow, iPod, Levi's, Starbucks, Tiffany, Tory Burch, Tsubi, Veuve Clicquot champagne, and more. The girls in Sutton's clique love labels and shopping, and readers get to ogle along with Emma at their extravagance.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters drink beer and more at a party. A mother says she would let the girls drink at her home if they weren't going to drive to a party that night. Another character admits to being in rehab for alcoholism. Emma notices that Ethan's car smells like cigarettes, even though he doesn't smoke.
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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.
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.