Title: Friends and Liars
Author: Kaela Coble
It has been ten years since Ruby left her hometown behind. Since then she’s built a life away from her recovering alcoholic mother and her first love, Murphy. But when Danny, one of her estranged friends from childhood, commits suicide, guilt draws Ruby back into the tumultuous world she escaped all those years ago.
She’s dreading the funeral – and with good reason. Danny has left a series of envelopes addressed to his former friends. Inside each envelope is a secret about every person in the group. Ruby’s secret is so explosive, she will fight tooth-and-nail to keep it hidden from those she once loved so deeply, even if that means risking everything…
The premise for this book sounded really interesting, so I jumped at the chance at getting a review copy from Readers First (thank you) and was not disappointed!
I really enjoyed this mysterious, fun read which is filled with deceit, secrets and surprises. There are various elements to the plot, as everyone has their own secrets they’re keeping from eachother – and which Danny may have been alluding to in his notes to each friend – and I enjoyed reading the characters try to work out what each might be.
The book is laid out quite interestingly, as we read from the perspective of quite a few of the group but not all, and it mainly sticks to Ruby’s narrative. Therefore, we get to know her the best and find out more about her teenage years, where the secrets really began. I like her as a character; in fact I warmed to most of her friends as the novel went on too, but some have their irritating habits and there are definitely some who are less likable than others! I am also pleased that no one was portrayed as perfect; they each have their faults and positive points without needing to be too clear cut.
Though the ‘main’ storyline – the group dealing with their friend Danny’s suicide – sounds a little macabre and upsetting, the story revolves a lot around the earlier years, as I mentioned, and the element of mystery keeps things intriguing and stops the story from being all about death (though obviously that is a theme too). The secrets each person had aren’t too ridiculous or over-dramatic… without giving too much away, Kaela Coble keeps things believable and it’s a fairly easy, enjoyabe read.
Many thanks to Readers First for providing a copy of this novel on which I chose to write an honest and unbiased review.