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Friday, February 9, 2018

Friends and Other Liars - Kaela Coble

Friends and Other Liars by Kaela Coble

First Paragraph:

Look at them.  I'm dead and they're still pissing me off.

My Thoughts:

Friends and Other Liars is the debut book for author, Kaela Coble.  It's the third book that I've read in the last few weeks with Vermont as the setting.  Interesting how that happens sometimes.  If you read the blurb below, you might think that this is primarily a thriller - secrets, death, friends, more secrets, letters to each threatening to reveal what's hidden - it sounds scary.  However, I discovered that this book is much more about old friends and relationships - you know the kind - the ones that knew you back when you were at your middle school worst.  The ones that were there when you experienced the bad break-up or when that awful thing happened at the prom or the ones you went to when your parents were fighting or split up.  Danny, Ruby, Murphy, Emmett and Ally - the crew.

Years have passed since high school.  Ruby is the only one that left Chatwick, Vermont.  She returns for Danny's funeral and sees her old 'crew' again.  They are all given envelopes from Danny.  Each contains a secret.  Danny says they have to share the secrets with each other and if they don't - well, sometimes things come into the light anyway.  The story is told from various characters' viewpoints and goes back and forth in time.  The secrets do eventually come to light, but the characters have to learn to trust each other again before that happens.  Each has to face some truths about themselves and the others.

I enjoyed this book very much, though it was not the fast paced story that I thought it would be - more of a character study.  It made me think about my own life and the friends that I was close to back in the day.  What would we have done for each other?  How had our lives changed over the decades since that time?  The comfort and eventual sweetness of the relationships depicted was quite satisfying.  I liked how Danny, the friend that was gone, narrated the first and last part of the tale.  I was pleased as I got to the final words.  I'll definitely watch for the next book that Kaela Coble shares with us.     

Blurb:

To all my old friends:
So here you all are. Nice to see you can show up for a person once he's dead.

When Ruby St. James returns to her hometown, it is to the grave of her old friend Danny, a member of a group that was, ten years ago, Ruby's whole world. The crew made a pact back then: stay together, stay loyal, and stay honest. But that was before all of the lies.

Because even friends keep secrets. They just don't stay secret for long.

Now Danny has left behind a letter for each of them, issuing one final ultimatum: share your darkest betrayal to the group, or risk it coming out in a trap he has created. When past mistakes resurface, the lines of friendship blur, and four old friends are left trying to understand what it means to lie to the ones you love best.

Author:

Kaela Coble lives in Burlington, Vermont, and is a member of the League of Vermont Writers and a graduate of the WoMentoring Project. This is her first novel.

Thank you to Sourcebooks for providing me with a copy of this book.

34 comments:

  1. Sounds like a good read. Will keep this book in mind.

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    1. Thanks, Melody! I think you might like it.

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  2. I have to be in the right mood to read a book like this.

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    1. I understand, Kathy. Sometimes, if a book is different from what I expect, I have a tough time with it. That may not be the case for this book and you, but still.

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  3. It is strange how you can inadvertently pick up several books with the same setting, isn't it? I like the sound of this one.

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    1. Yes, not the first time that has happened to me. I think that's why I like that 6-degrees meme - sort of the same thing without planning.

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  4. I like secrets novels, so I'll have to check this one out. Even if it's more character- than plot-driven, it sounds like something I'd enjoy.

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    1. I think you might like this one, Susan. You never know.

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  5. Settings do tend to go in phases for some reason. I've been in a Colorado phase for some reason. I like books about secrets so this interests me I'll had to add it to my TBR.

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    1. Colorado is a good phase to be in - LOL! I love visiting Colorado - virtually or in actuality!

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  6. This sounds like a great read and it is completely new to me! Thanks for sharing this one, Kay! I love old friendship stories with secrets!

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    1. Yes, I'm fond of the secrets books too.

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  7. I've been eyeing this book, and based on your review I'll now move it to my TBR list.

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    1. I think you might like it, Catherine!

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  8. I love that opening and what a great premise. Need to add this one to my TBR list!

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    1. Hope you enjoy if you decide to read it!

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  9. I thought the title was clever, but I actually read a page or so and passed. I'm glad you liked it.

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    1. Yes, not every book is appealing to us, right? I did enjoy it, but understand.

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  10. I love that opening. Haha! This sounds like a good one, Kay. You've got me thinking now about my friends back then . . . I cannot say we are close at all anymore, although we follow each other on Facebook these days.

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    1. I'm still in contact with a number of my old friends too. And also married to one. LOL

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  11. Oh that first para is just brilliant! Secrets and lies in relationships like this make for the best stories, and also -- Danny? I think I'd like him!

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    1. You might like him and then you might not. I'll never tell. LOL

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  12. This sounds pretty good!! Great review. :O)

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  13. I often think back to old friends and sometimes it has me wondering why I put up with them for so long when they kept messing me around and upsetting me! Holding grudges much Chuckles? Well, maybe a bit!

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    1. Ha! I suspect we all have a few 'friends' we can say that about. LOL

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  14. I find it takes me a while to appreciate a story if it goes in a different direction them I expected so it’s good to hear there was lots to enjoy in this one!

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    1. I did enjoy it even though it was less of a thriller than I thought. :-)

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  15. I really like the sound of this one! And the idea of of each having secrets that have to be shared with the others...what an interesting premise! I'm intrigued and adding this one to my TBR list. Great review!

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    1. Thanks, Sam! It was a pretty good book. I'll watch for what she writes next.

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  16. I like the sound of this and character studies appeal to me as well. Hope you have a nice week.

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  17. This sounds fascinating, maybe even better for not being a thriller. Definitely on my to-read list :)

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Thanks for stopping by! I am so happy to hear your thoughts and will respond as soon as I can. Happy Reading!