Toxic Friendships, Manipulation, and Murder // Book Review: The Best Lies by Sarah Lyu

“Elise was electricity. I was the night. She banished the darkness, she lit me up.”

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Book Details

Title: The Best Lies

Author: Sarah Lyu

Date Published: July 2, 2019

Number of Pages: 352 pages

Publisher: Simon Pulse

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I listened to an audiobook copy of this book via Scribd.

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Full disclosure: If you click the link above & decide to sign up, I’ll get a month’s worth of subscription for free. This is such a great help for a struggling reader/blogger like me. Thanks!

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📚 Series? No.
📚 Genre? YA Mystery Thriller.
📚 POV? Alternating past and present.
📚 Cliffhanger? No.

⚠ Content Warnings:  Physical abuse. Emotional abuse. Codependency. Suicide. Murder. Arson. Manipulation. Gun violence. Underage alcohol consumption.
⚠ Book Tags :  Toxic friendships. Family. Asian rep. Abuse.
⚠ This Book In Emojis: 👩🏼‍🤝‍👩🏻🤦🏻‍♀️🎆🧨🙅🏻‍♂️🙅🏻‍♀️

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Book Blurb from Goodreads

Remy Tsai used to know how her story would turn out. But now, she doesn’t even know what tomorrow will look like.

She was happy once. Remy had her boyfriend Jack, and Elise, her best friend—her soulmate—who understood her better than anyone else in the world.

But now Jack is dead, shot through the chest—

And it was Elise who pulled the trigger.

Was it self-defense? Or something deeper, darker than anything Remy could have imagined? As the police investigate, Remy does the same, sifting through her own memories, looking for a scrap of truth that could save the friendship that means everything to her.

Told in alternating timelines, Thelma and Louise meets Gone Girl in this twisted psychological thriller about the dark side of obsessive friendship.

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About the Author

Website || Twitter @sarahlyu

Sarah Lyu

Sarah Lyu grew up outside of Atlanta, Georgia, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania. She currently resides in Birmingham, Alabama, with her husband and dog. She loves a good hike and can often be found with a book on her lap and sweet tea in hand. The Best Lies is her first book. You can visit her at



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My Review

The book is about:

The Best Lies talks about the toxic friendship of the two main characters, Remy and Elise. Remy’s boyfriend, Jack, died of a gunshot wound and Remy “can’t” remember why. This book unfolds as the police investigates the case and as Remy looks back on the events leading up to Jack’s death.

What drew me in:

What really attracted me to pick this book up is the fact that it was written by an Asian author. Then, I was attracted by the blurb, because this is the type of thriller that I tend to go for. I’m all for the toxic friendship route in the thrillers that I read.

Characters & connections:

The Best Lies told the story through the point of view of Remy. However, in a way, reading this book felt like the story does not actually revolved around her, but around Elise.

Remy has a difficult home situation. She has problems with her parents and she feels like she is being overshadowed by her brother. She has a low self esteem and tends to be timid and shy.

And then she meets Elise.

Elise was presented in a manic pixie dream girl style. She was weird and confident and charming — which meant that Remy was fascinated to hear and felt attached to her right away.

They found things that they had in common, especially in the problems on their personal lives. This made them lean towards each other for comfort.. and that eventually became too much.. as they have been heavily dependent on each other.

This was something that I see as believable. And the author’s writing style made it easier, for me, to connect with each of these characters.

Everything I liked:

The Best Lies delivered a good concept and told a story that has been told many times in its genre. It was written in a way that connects and moves.. even when you are not really guessing on things, the predictability was still written in a way that works.

Overall thoughts:

The Best Lies offers a dark contemporary thriller that is perfect for its YA audience. It shows how not all friendships are good for you. It also showed the dark side of abuse – how someone who was abused can still inflict the same to another person. Abuse does not cancel each other out and it comes with irreparable consequences, as well.

If you are looking for something dark and intense, you can try this one out!Copy of Budding Trio - Canva Banner (2)

My Book Rating Breakdown

🌼 Blurb:⭐⭐⭐⭐☆
🌼 Main Character:⭐⭐⭐☆☆
🌼 Significant Other: ⭐⭐⭐☆☆
🌼 Support Characters:⭐⭐⭐☆☆
🌼 Writing Style:⭐⭐⭐⭐☆
🌼 Character Development:⭐⭐⭐⭐☆
🌼 Thrill/Suspense: ⭐⭐⭐☆☆
🌼 Pacing: ⭐⭐⭐☆☆
🌼 Ending: ⭐⭐⭐☆☆
🌼 Unputdownability: ⭐⭐⭐⭐☆
🌼 Book Cover:⭐⭐⭐⭐☆

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☁ FINAL VERDICT: 3.45/5 ☁

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♡ , Yna the Mood Reader

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6 thoughts on “Toxic Friendships, Manipulation, and Murder // Book Review: The Best Lies by Sarah Lyu

  1. Great review! This cover always catches my eye but I had no idea what it was about until now. Colour me very curious (so it’s going straight on my TBR lol)! I think I have a love-hate relationship with books with toxic friendships because I always end up getting really frustrated but this sounds juicy 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh fantastic review! This definitely sounds like something that speaks about the kind of relationships we need to let go off because sometimes we never know what the signs for that are! I’m glad you found this to your liking ♥️ was it a difficult book to read however?

    Liked by 1 person

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