Title: The Truth and Lies of Ella Black (2018)
Author: Emily Barr
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mystery and Thriller
Release Date: 11th January 2018
Reviewed by: Lois
“Ella Black seems to live the life most other seventeen-year-olds would kill for . . .
Until one day, telling her nothing, her parents whisk her off to Rio de Janeiro. Determined to find out why, Ella takes her chance and searches through their things.
And realises her life has been a lie.”
I have been anticipating this book for a long while. I was a fan of Emily Barr’s previous book ” The One Memory of Flora Banks”, so I was excited about this book as soon as it was announced. For the most part I really enjoyed this book. I didn’t like it as much as Emily Barr’s previous novel but that doesn’t mean I would never recommend this book.
This book definitely did a good job of keeping me hooked all the way through. I loved the mystery that was behind why Ella Black’s parents suddenly whisked her off to Rio and acted so weird. I was also a fan of Ella’s second personality and was always wondering where that would take the story.
I did have a couple of issues with this book though, these were only small issues and didn’t ruin my experience with the book. I am not a fan of the insta-love trope which is featured in this story. This instantly put me of the story quite a bit which made me rate it a little less. Ella’s love interest Christian was someone who I expected to feature heavily in the story. This didn’t happen, his inclusion in the book just seemed to be something to pad the story out a little. The other thing that was an issue for me was Ella’s home friends. they were introduced at the beginning of the story but as soon as Ella arrives in Rio she never seems to talk to them again. they are mentioned but she never makes the effort to contact her friends who I’m sure will be worried about her. I just found that a little odd.
I was a big fan of how Ella’s character evolved. It was lovely to read about a main female character who was starting to become a very strong, independent female only halfway through the story. Emily Barr had certainly done her research about Rio and the different cultures and places you can find there. It was lovely to read a YA book that was set in a destination I knew next to nothing about. I do really enjoy Emily Barr’s writing as well as all the stories that she seems to write are incredibly unique. This book gives a very compelling depiction of mental health as well. It discusses a mental health I have never heard anything about which I enjoyed as I got to learn more. The mystery aspect of this book is one that I really enjoyed. I was gripped the entire time I was reading this book. I read this book extremely quickly and when I got to around 60% I didn’t put the book down until I had finished it.
Overall, I will definitely be recommending this book to people in the future. If you are a fan of an incredibly unique mystery and can look over an insta-love trope then I recommend this book to you!
Thank you to Penguin, Emily Barr and Netgalley for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Also thank you to the lovely people at TEENSgate for giving us opportunities to review these books.
Be sure to check out Book Depository using my link here: Loisreadsbooks
Until next time,