by Becca Fitzpatrick
Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
After last year's Black Ice, I was excited to get into Dangerous Lies. A word of warning: this is not as heart pounding and action packed as Black Ice. Dangerous Lies, is however, a good read of a different kind. Forced to leave her life and love behind, Stella Gordon is moved to Thunder Basin, Nebraska, as part of the witness protection program. Having witnessed a brutal murder, Stella is moved against her will. She's not a fan of the tiny town or her new living situation.
It is decided that she will live at a retired cop's house. Carmina's a tough old broad with a heart of gold. She won't put up with arguments, backtalk or laziness and makes Stella get a job right away. Stella works at a diner in town but plans to leave Thunder Basin in a few months when she turns eighteen--witness protection program or not. Stella secretly sends messages to her boyfriend Reed in an account they set up to be "untraceable." I just didn't buy the fact that Stella actually believed criminals and the government could not track her Internet use. Later Stella phones her estranged mother and thinks her actions are secret.
The ending made it all worth the read. Although the book dragged for me in the middle, it redeems itself at the end. Stella is a hard character to love. It's not her fault; she's had a hard life. Her mother is not Mother of the Year in anyone's mind. The lies Stella tells about the cartel crime end up coming back to haunt her. There are lies and half truths in Thunder Basin, too, and that makes the town more interesting. My favorite character is bad guy Trigger, a spoiled rich kid whose father seems to run the town. Trigger has is in for Stella, and when he finally puts the pieces together, it's exciting! I also loved Chet Falconer--I love his name, first of all! Then, he's a gentleman and a good guy. He's hard working, true to his word and a real catch--too bad he's fiction!
If your expecting an action packed blockbuster, this isn't the book for you. If you want a book about a tortured, tough, spunky girl who is actually more afraid than she'll admit and a guy whose truly swoon worthy, this is a good read.
Recommended grade 9-up. No sex but we meet Stella in the first scene tangled up on a bed with Reed and the implication is that they have a history of this. Also, the drug angle and cartel angle has a mature vibe although it's no racier than anything on prime time television.
FTC Required Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.
This review has been posted in compliance with the FTC requirements set forth in the Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (available at ftc.gov/os/2009/10/091005revisedendorsementguides.pdf)