Cover of Three Truths and a Lie. Raindrops on a black background

About the Book

Title: Three Truths and a Lie
Published: 2016

Cover Story: Low Visibility
Drinking Buddy:
Unseen Narrator
MPAA Rating:
PG-13 (sexuality, violence)
Talky Talk:
And Then There Were None
Bonus Factors:
Let’s Do the Twist
Bromance Status:
It’ll Never Be Like the First Time


Cover Story: Low Visibility

Rain on the windowpane or the windshield. Doesn’t exactly draw the eye.

The Deal:

So after a rough week, Rob suggests he and his boyfriend Liam spend a quiet weekend away from everything. Along with Liam’s best friend Mia and her boyfriend Galen, they drive off to Mia’s family’s extremely isolated cabin in the woods. Extremely isolated.

Things start off oddly, with the strange little town and the neighbors who seem to dislike Mia for some reason. But hey, they have the whole weekend to roast hotdogs and play games. Ever play ‘Three Truths and a Lie’? How much is everyone willing to reveal about themselves?

But then things begin to get weird. Their satellite phone–their only way to communicate with the outside world–vanishes. Someone starts a fire in the trash barrel outside. Someone’s messing with them.

And then things get serious. The quartet suddenly realizes they’re trapped in the middle of nowhere, with no way out, no way to communicate, and targeted by an outsider who does not wish them well. Or is it an outsider?

Drinking Buddy: Unseen Narrator

Two pints of beer cheersing

Rob serves as our storyteller, who draws us into the spooky situation, making us creeped out almost from page one. He’s like Nick Carroway, watching the events unfold, but influencing them very little. You see, Rob is the odd one out. Liam and Mia are best buddies, and since Liam is gay, there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s not like Rob sometimes feels left out. And Galen is a super cute bad boy, who kind of gets off on making Rob hot and sweaty. And then there’s poor Rob, who wonders if his relationship with Liam is purely physical.

And when everything starts to break down, who can Rob trust?

MPAA Rating: PG-13 (sexuality, violence)

The bizarre happenings quickly escalate from pranks to something much more serious. And soon the accusations fly. Who’s behind all this? The neighbors, who seem to resent Mia’s family? The creepy people in town? Or is it someone in the cabin? Why were those guys chasing Galen last week? Was the bizarre lie Mia told during the truth game really a lie? Is Liam the wonderful boyfriend Rob thinks he is, or do his loyalties lie elsewhere?

Will they live to see the dawn?

Talky Talk: And Then There Were None

We’ve all been there. The isolated the location. The all-encompassing darkness. The strange companions you cannot totally trust. Wondering what on earth possessed you to volunteer to chaperone the eighth grade lock-in.

Hartinger does an excellent job of tackling this disturbing trope. Do we hunker down and wait? Risk trudging through miles of logging roads? Would I be safer with my friends, or should I go off alone? (never go off alone)

This book will leave you guessing to the very end.

Bonus Factors: Let’s Do the Twist

Chubby Checker dancing The Twist

All I can say is you’ll never see the ending coming. It’ll blow your mind. I can say no more.

Bromance Status: It’ll Never Be Like the First Time

While I’ll probably read you again at some point, it’ll never top this first time. Shh. No more words.

FCC Full Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from the author, but no money or beer.

Brian wrote his first YA novel when he was down and out in Mexico. He now lives in Missouri with his wonderful wife and daughter. He divides his time between writing and working as a school librarian. Brian still misses the preachy YA books of the eighties.