High school is a turbulent time as young people struggle to ascertain who they are, what they want to do with their lives, and a myriad of other huge life-altering decisions. This makes it a perfect backdrop for a Lisa Scottoline novel – she loves nothing better than examining average life in the context of great stress. Her latest stand-alone, One Perfect Lie, is sure to have her many fans flocking to the bookstore.
One Perfect Lie opens as readers are introduced to Chris Brennan on the day of his final interview for a new teaching position. The only trouble is that Chris is not who he says he is and his goal of infiltrating the local high school seems to have little to do with the betterment of the student body. In fact, it quickly becomes clear that he is on the hunt for a mark – an impressionable boy whom he can manipulate to his will.
Lisa Scottoline wastes no time in placing three vulnerable students in Chris’ path – both in his classroom and via his role as assistant coach to the baseball team. Readers also meet the families of these teens – especially their mothers, who are trying to do what is best for their children at every turn. Scottoline is very skilled at crafting realistic families who don’t feel like cookie-cutter stereotypes of suburban life.
As readers learn more about Chris Brennan’s ultimate plan, One Perfect Lie travels down a twisted path. The shifting points of view – each with their own sub-plots – keep the pages turning and readers on their toes.
Teenagers have a reputation for being malleable and easily manipulated, but with a clever slight of hand in the writing of this book, Lisa Scottoline proves that this is not the sole domain of the young. One Perfect Lie is an easy read, perfect for the coming summer months. It examines the risks and troubles faced by our young people in this changing, modern world – as well as the struggles faced by their parental figures in guiding them wisely through this shifting path.
By never getting too heavy-handed with her themes, Lisa Scottoline avoids being too preachy and didactic with various elements within One Perfect Lie. Some may feel that the book too lightly glosses over complex issues, but sometimes, harsh lessons are best learned through softer techniques. Scottoline is not trying to solve these problems, but rather simply acknowledge that they exist by introducing them within a story mainly intended for entertainment purposes. If it gets readers thinking as a result, all the better.
Disclaimer: A print ARC of this title was provided to BOLO Books by the publisher. No review was promised and the above is an unbiased review of the novel.