ARC Review: Dare You To Lie (Hometown Antihero #1) by Amber Lynn Natusch

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description

When her FBI agent father is framed for murder, Kylene is forced to move in with her grandfather, back to the small town that turned its back on her, and the boy who betrayed her.

All Ky cares about is clearing her father’s name, but someone won’t let her forget the photo scandal that drove her away two years ago. As the threats gain momentum, Ky finds an unlikely ally in the rookie FBI agent sent to keep an eye on her.

Determined to expose the town’s hidden skeletons, Ky unwittingly thrusts herself into a much bigger plot. They thought she’d forgive and forget. They’re about to learn they messed with the wrong girl.

review

**** Thank you to Tor Teen for providing a copy via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review****

Trigger Warnings: Sexual Assault (Nude Photos Taken Against A Character’s Will), Physical/Emotional/Verbal Abuse, and Violence

This is a hard book for me to rate and review because on the one hand it was interesting enough but on the other the pacing was really off and by the end I just wanted it to be over. Therefore I’m stuck in the middle with a 3 star rating, I think it’s worth checking out if it sounds up your alley but I can’t say it’s something I’d go around recommending a whole ton.

PLOT

First off, the plot revolves around not one but TWO different mysteries Ky is trying to solve: the framing of her father for murder and also who the culprit was behind a photo scandal involving her from a few years ago. While both mysteries started out intriguing enough I couldn’t help but feel like it really started to drag by the end. Especially considering that this is a series and we don’t get a lot of answers in this first book, I feel a bit robbed. There is a much bigger picture to the mystery than we get a look at in this first book, I know there’s a lot more going on but I felt like they could have gone into it more to pique interest in reading the sequel.

It also got to the point where it was a bit hard to follow all the overlapping story lines and “clues”, it felt messy at times and when that happens I tend to lose interest. The plot was just sort of unfocused by the end of the book, like it was trying to hard to do too many things all at once. Which stinks because I don’t think I’ll be looking to read the sequel now because of that.

The pacing is moderately fast, as I said the mysteries are intriguing to start with but by the end it wasn’t enough and the pacing dragged on. There are a few good, minor plot twists but as far as the big reveal towards the end…not surprised at all, which is a bummer. Therefore I thought parts of the story were pretty predictable and also a bit too convenient. That ending twist though was by far the most disappointing because it was so glaringly obvious to me and I don’t think it will shock many of you either.

characters

I felt the same way about the characters as I did the plot: they were okay. What I did like about Ky is that she’s a strong girl who can defend herself, has no problem saying what’s on her mind, and she was hilariously sarcastic at times. However, as much as I liked a lot of her qualities I just didn’t fall in love with her. She also had a bad habit of making …not the greatest decisions sometimes. Such as antagonizing someone who will physically harm her and putting herself into dangerous situations alone. Yeah, that got old pretty fast.

There are a few other more minor characters such as AJ, the ex boyfriend, Agent Dawson, who I don’t get why is even included in the book, Garrett, the best friend, and Tabby, the new student and also new friend. I didn’t really care for Garrett, I don’t know why but there wasn’t very much to like there. Tabby was cute and sweet, I liked her curiosity. AJ seemed alright but he needed to just let Ky go….it’s downright getting stalkery. And Agent Dawson? Hate. Well hate is a strong word but I really didn’t like him, I felt his character is completely unnecessary not to mention he’s like 23? 24? 25? Years old and is like…..interested in Ky who is a high school student. Creepy.

romance

I did like that there wasn’t a big romance in “Dare You To Lie”, however, I could easily see a love triangle or love square developing. Not quite sure yet. There are definitely quite a few boys interested in Ky, the main character, and as I already mentioned one is much older and I hope nothing happens there because it’s kind of creepy. However, there isn’t any insta-love or other romance tropes here which was a blessing.

in conclusion

What I Loved:

  • Fast pacing
  • Intriguing mysteries (though they weren’t quite as interesting at the end)
  • Sarcastic, strong heroine
  • No romance

What I Didn’t Love:

  • Pacing did slow down by the end
  • Plot was unfocused and messy, too much going on
  • Ky tended to make irritating choices and dumb decisions at times
  • Secondary characters were kind of meh

RECOMMEND

Overall I didn’t find this story to be anything groundbreaking in the YA thriller department. It’s fun enough to pass some time but there other books I’d recommend spending that time on instead. Still if the synopsis caught your eye give it a try! (That rhymes!)

Links: Goodreads / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository / Amazon

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The Sassy

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