Kisses and Lies by Lauren Henderson
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Pub. Date: January 13th, 2009
Series: Scarlett Wakefield, #2
Age Level: 14+
Synopsis via Goodreads
After discovering that someone saw what looked like Dan’s emergency EpiPen in A-lister Plum’s designer handbag, Scarlett and her tough American sidekick, Taylor, sneak into a posh London nightclub, where Plum has a private table. Scarlett is stunned to discover a piece of evidence that might implicate another girl in Plum’s exclusive circle, Lucy Raleigh. Which means Scarlett must cast a wider net in order to catch the right suspect.
Back at school, groundskeeper Jase is hoping to take Scarlett’s mind off her troubles with some heart-stopping kisses. Scarlett can’t help but feel guilty for indulging in romantic rendezvous when she should be hunting down Dan’s killer. However, once Scarlett finds out how Lucy is connected to Dan, she knows she must drop everything and travel to the McAndrew estate in Scotland to hunt for more clues. But when she arrives, Scarlett becomes the target of a dangerous hunt herself.
Review (Spoiler Free)
Kisses and Lies is one of those rarities that proves second books in a series don't always have to be duds, that they can, in fact, even be better than the first.
I felt Scarlett continued to develop wonderfully in Kisses and Lies and I grew to like her even more as a character. She is realistically flawed and I don't mean this in a bad way since I feel these flaws made her very believable. Like in the previous book, I loved how Scarlett also owns up to her faults and that makes her easier to connect with. She, in general, has a great personality and has definitely got guts; I really admired her determination. Towards the end, Scarlett accesses how she sees herself to have grown as a person and I found myself totally agreeing. Now on to Scarlett's bold, ever loyal American friend Taylor. Though at times her character seemed maybe a touch too...masculine...she's absolutely hilarious and I could easily see myself having her as a friend. Also, I got to see a bit of vulnerability from her this time, which I really think helped further her character. As for Jase, we don't really get much of him and so I feel I'm still lacking a connection with him as a romantic interest. However, I think he is supposed to be in the next book a lot more.
In Kisses and Lies, we are also introduced to a bunch of new characters that really help drive the story onward. One that really stood out to me was Callum. Now, while I felt his change of tune concerning Scarlett was a bit rash and never totally explained, I found I actually really liked him and was very sad about how things had to...er...end.
Kisses and Lies was considerably more exciting and suspenseful than Kiss Me, Kill Me thanks to its lack of some of the predictability that I found in it's predecessor. The mystery aspect was also much more dominant. Granted, there were some things I still ended up figuring out but it took me much further in the book to come to those realizations. Also, I loved that about half of this book took place at a castle in Scotland; the setting was so alluring to me, especially considering I've always wanted to go there.
Henderson's writing was pretty good and descriptive and while there isn't really much difference between British and American writing, the difference is still there and distinguishable in the terminology and references. This is one of the reasons I love reading books by British authors.
The ending for Kisses and Lies is kind of a when-one-door-closes-another-door-opens ending. It was also surprisingly bittersweet which is something I was definitely not expecting but believed to be very situation appropriate.
While being a fun and page-turning read, Kisses and Lies is not without its own touching, even heart-breaking moments, especially towards the end. I also appreciated how the series improved concerning both characters and plot. Honestly, I would love to see a lot more books like the Scarlett Wakefield series in YA. We really need more contemporary mysteries such as these and I would highly recommend this series. I know I can't wait to read the next book, Kiss in the Dark.
2nd in Series: B
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Saturday, October 30, 2010
Kisses and Lies by Lauren Henderson
Posted by ~The Book Pixie at 10/30/2010 11:06:00 AM