Review: White Lies by Zoe Markham

White Lies - Zoë Markham

Published by: Carina (18th January 2016)


ISBN: 9781474045001


Source: Netgalley


Rating: 4*



Everybody hurts

For Abigail, a new school could be the fresh start she so desperately needs. With her parents in the army and her sister Beth too far away to run to, she knows this year needs to be different. She's never been part of the cool crowd and for the first time Abby wants to fit in. And all it takes is just one little white lie…because some truths are too painful to share.


Everybody lies

But at Cotswold Community College, Abby isn't the only one with a past she'd rather forget. And when she stumbles across a closely-guarded secret, Abigail realises that her one little white lie could reveal everything she’s worked so hard to hide…



As a young adult I read a lot of boarding school stories, so the setting was a throwback to my childhood and teenage years, when I devoured all such stories. The fact that the building is ancient immediately adds rather a spooky feel, exacerbated by the appearance of a raven, the close proximity of the local graveyard and the ritualistic telling of ghost stories. I thought perhaps Abby would discover the school was haunted by long-forgotten children who had befallen some evil in times gone by. But does she?


Although she fits the cliche, It's hard not to like Abby. She's your typical underdog - overweight and not exactly pretty, she's the misfit newcomer among the ranks of teens and she dreads trying to fit in among her classmates, let alone the girls in her dorm. I really liked the way the author added layers of detail as the book went along, to build a complex picture of several of the different characters at the school.


It's hard to say much more without giving away too much of the story, but everything takes a darker turn. For me the best part of White Lies starts here, not discounting that the story as a whole is very well put together. It was hard not to be drawn into Abby's conflicting emotions as she struggles to put everything into perspective.


I found White Lies hard to put down and highly recommend it. Although this is targeted at the Young Adult market, I enjoyed it as an adult reader. I'd recommend it to readers of all ages and genres, as it touches on a lot of themes, including loss, schooldays, supernatural, romance, suspense and thriller.