Post by Laura Laidman
Two people hold secrets that could not only tear apart their lives, but the lives of those they care about most. Told in dueling perspectives, Lies You Never Told Me by Jennifer Donaldson follows Gabe, an Austin native whose latest toxic relationship isn’t ready to let him go, and Elyse, a talented young actress in Portland who finds herself falling for exactly the wrong kind of man. Separated by thousands of miles, Gabe and Elyse’s lives are about to come crashing together in a way that will leave them both changed forever.
I was immediately sucked in by the premise of this book. Just like the secrets the protagonists hold, the story itself unfolds slowly before the reader until you’re left racing through the minutes, unable to press pause until every detail is unveiled. Listening to Gabe navigate through the ending of his relationship with an obsessed woman who won’t let him go while meeting a new woman who is everything he needs is heart wrenching and, at times, terrifying. But it’s Elyse who truly held my attention throughout the audiobook. The layers of her life unfurl themselves in a dizzying display that keeps racing forward until her story left me wide-eyed with shock.
As the point of view switches throughout the book between Gabe and Elyse, so does the narration. This switching narration makes Lies You Never Told Me all the more engrossing. Jorjeana Marie’s soft, determined Elyse is met perfectly by newcomer Dylan Calderon’s compassionate and sometimes impulsive Gabe. The back and forth flow of storytelling keeps the plot crisp and quick, and helped me feel closer to both protagonists as I listened to the book.
I was honestly a bit surprised by how much I enjoyed this book, and more so how it stuck with me for days after I completed it. I found myself returning to parts of the story to look for clues I missed along the way, and to revisit the moments that really tugged at my heart. I may have a second complete listen in my near future!
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