ARC Review: Friends and Other Liars by Kaela Coble
Friends and Other Liars by Kaela Coble is an adult mystery that is releasing in early February. I absolutely devoured this book and if you like mysteries I think you will like this book too! I would like to thank Sourcebooks for the opportunity to read an advance copy from Netgalley. My thoughts and opinions are not influenced by any outside factors and are my own.
Category: Adult, Contemporary, Mystery
Publication: February 6th, 2018; Sourcebooks
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…
Friends and Other Liars is nothing short of spectacular! I couldn’t get enough of this story and its characters. I simultaneously wanted to continue devouring it while wanting to savor it at the same time. From the moment I learned Danny had kept their secrets and now wanted them to divulge to the group, I couldn’t help but wonder and guess at what they all were. And since this is told in both the past and present, it made it a bit easier to envision what they could all be hiding.
I was completely immersed in this story from the very beginning. I absolutely LOVE these tales of childhood friends who grow up and are connected. It’s only made better when one (or all) have something to hide.
The main focus of this story isn’t necessarily Danny and his death (and what caused it), but Ruby and why she left and hasn’t been back since graduation. At one time, they were a close-knit group, The Crew, and even within such a small group there was even closer dynamics between members. I won’t get into those details since they play a big role in the bigger picture, but the one I found myself most drawn to was the relationship between Ruby and her best friend, Murphy.
Now, the secrets aspect was brilliantly done. I know I mentioned above that I was trying to guess who was hiding what, but I only succeeded in that with Ruby. The rest, I had absolutely no idea! Some weren’t as shocking in nature (and this could be my fault since I found myself zeroed in on Ruby and her story), or maybe I just wasn’t as invested in those characters’ lives. It sounds crappy, maybe, but I also am drawn to some characters more than others. So, I definitely was more focused on a single aspect of the story, I think. Not to say that the entire story lacks, because it doesn’t! At all. I just had to know what happened to make Ruby stay away. So yes, some secrets weren’t as exciting and I found myself wanting to skim those reveals and their repercussions to get to what I perceived to be ‘The Big One.’
But, I have to admit that the manner in which this story is told is part of what makes it so tantalizing. Seriously, the past and present—little pieces and slivers slowly released. The puzzle begins to come together. And the entire time, the blaring in my face of RUBY AND MURPHY and what they were to each other. It was the one thing I couldn’t let go of. And to be 100% honest, theirs were the secrets I wanted to know the most. And with the way things play out, they are, of course, the last to be revealed. I cannot lie, his made me angry. Perhaps irrationally so, but at the same time not really. I expected better from him. Maybe that was my fault. I perhaps romanticized him, too. I spent the majority of the book hoping and wishing that he and Ruby would get together romantically. Which, considering the overall theme, was probably stupid in itself. But I can’t help it.
The one thing I need to mention is that I think most people will expect these secrets to be huge, terrifying ones that once exposed will destroy friendships. I think I did, too. But really, they aren’t. I don’t know if Danny intended to break up the group permanently, but his final wish did the opposite. It brought them back together. To some extent. His prologue and epilogue were strengths. I definitely appreciated the latter in wrapping up the story. I think it did a great job in giving closure once all had been revealed. I may have been disappointed by one thing mentioned, but I won’t let my hope die quite yet. And really, I feel that I’m supporting a lost cause considering what had been discussed and how. However, there’s a comment made in the epilogue that gives me hope it WILL turn around and that we just might not have seen the last of Danny and The Crew.
I found Coble’s debut to be layered, well-written, and gripping. Fans of Lianne Moriarty and Sara Shepard will probably enjoy Friends and Other Liars.