In Jessica Warman’s taut, haunting thriller, nothing is quite as it seems. The story revolves around Rachel and Alice, who are not just identical twins but rare Monoamniotic-Monochorionic twins who shared the same amniotic sac. This resulted in a special connection between the sisters, who can sense when something is wrong with each other, even from afar. Their bond goes even deeper—sometimes, especially when one twin experiences physical trauma or threat, the other twin feels the same physical symptoms.

As Beautiful Lies opens, Rachel reports to her aunt and uncle that her sister Alice has disappeared from a night out at the fair with friends. But the report does not generate the response she wants, as Alice has been disappearing often, defying her guardians’ authority and acting out. No one believes that the missing twin is really in danger—except her sister.

Alice’s problems seem to go deeper than just normal teen rebellion. She is the twin who remembers the terrifying accident that killed the sisters’ parents, and she may also have inherited her grandmother’s madness. Rachel and Alice have an incredible connection, but there are some burdens Alice can never share.

Beautiful Lies is a fast-paced young adult thriller with twists and turns that take the reader by surprise and where nothing is quite as it seems—even kindly neighbors and loving boyfriends. What remains true throughout is Rachel and Alice’s love for one another, and the sisters’ commitment to do whatever it takes to help one another survive.

Warman is a natural storyteller, and this haunting, dramatic novel is sure to appeal to mature young adults. Even so, Beautiful Lies might not be a book to read when one is alone in a lonely, dark house. Then again, for some teens, it might be just the perfect choice.

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