Cover The Truth Lies Here: A light shines from a forest and illuminates a girl walking towards it

About the Book

Title: The Truth Lies Here
Published: 2018
Swoonworthy Scale: 4

Cover Story: Solid
BFF Charm: Meh
Talky Talk: Petered Out
Bonus Factors: The X-Files, Mystery
Relationship Status: That Paranormal Enthusiast In The Coffee Shop I’m Listening In On

Cover Story: Solid

The crazy bright light, woods, and barn all play a part in the story, so I love that. I also appreciate the bold lines and the way the title is crammed in Penny’s shadow. Solid design.

The Deal:

Bone Lake, Michigan is the last place Penny wants to spent a few weeks each summer, but that is where her dad still lives so back to her “hometown” she goes. Her father’s byline at the conspiracy-friendly publication, Strange World, is just one of many reasons why Penny has become who she is: a fact-seeker who abhors things like Bigfoot or the Lochness Monster. So when he fails to show up to get her at the airport, she’s disappointed but unsurprised. And if she has a little fun to herself the next few days, all the better to stick it to him when he gets home.

But Penny’s neighbor, Dex, believes something bad happened—though he’s been drinking the “aliens landed in Bone Lake” kool-aid her dad peddles, so he’s not the most reliable witness—and now Penny is starting to get concerned herself. See, she’s writing this article for her Northwestern application about this horrible accident that closed the town plant, but the more people she talks to makes her realize that they’re all saying the same thing—like, literally, the same thing. Penny knows the simplest explanation is usually the right one, but is that going to be true in this case?

BFF Charm: Meh

BFF charm with a :-| face

Penny spent most of her childhood believing that everything (and I do mean everything) her father told her was true. Aliens exist? Yup. Faeries in the forest? Of course. Even after she realized the truth, her dad still stubbornly clung to his convictions, and that created a riff in her family so large she and her mom moved to Chicago. Now she’s skeptical with a capital S, and if you want to call her Scully I don’t think it would be a stretch. I found Penny to be a relatable character, if not super unique. I couldn’t see a huge reason to withhold a friendship bracelet, so…sure?

Swoonworthy Scale: 4

Penny’s former friend/neighbor, Dex, has certainly filled out over the summer and isn’t afraid to be his geeky self. And then Micah, the golden boy with the glowing smile, has been giving her the eyes ever since they ran into each other on Main Street. Former-friend tingles or fanning the flames of an old crush? I’ll let you decide which one won out.

Talky Talk: Petered Out

Klingele started off on the right foot: a disillusioned teen heads back to a weird small town where things are going wonky. I think I breezed along until right about the middle, when I checked on my progress and realized how much further we had to go and how little the story had actually moved forward. There was a bit too much “well, wasn’t that strange, but I’m sure it can be explained” build-up to what I assumed was going to be eventual batshit craziness. Unfortunately, Klingele didn’t lead me to the whizz-bang finish I was hoping for.

Bonus Factor: The X-Files

The Smoking Man from The X-Files

I will freely admit that while this show sounds right up my alley, I have only seen maybe two episodes and watched one of the movies. I just can’t seem to get into it, and knowing how frustrating the ‘ship is makes me even less interested. But if you ARE a fan, you will appreciate Dex’s love for it and the whole Mulder/Scully vibe he and Penny share.

Bonus Factor: Mystery

Nancy Drew creeping up an old stone staircase with her flashlight

But is it aliens? Is it the paranormal? Is it all faked? What is HAPPENING? I do love a good intrigue.

Relationship Status: That Paranormal Enthusiast In The Coffee Shop I’m Listening In On

When you caught my eye, Book, I was amused by your quirky vibe. You weren’t afraid to be weird, sitting over there at the table next to me, and you certainly weren’t afraid to be overheard. I will admit I shamelessly eavesdropped on your conversation. After a while, though, I realized that that your storytelling was kinda scattered. And, oh, would you look at that? My cup is now empty. I’ll see ya around!

FTC Full Disclosure: I purchased my own copy of this book. I received neither money nor peanut butter cups in exchange for this review. The Truth Lies Here is available now.


Stephanie (she/her) is an avid reader who moonlights at a college and calls Orlando home. Stephanie loves watching television, reading DIY blogs, planning awesome parties, Halloween decorating, and playing live-action escape games.