Book Review: The Better Liar by Tanen Jones

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Title: The Better Liar
Author: Tanen Jones
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Edition/Pages: Hardcover, 306 pages
Goodreads page

I received an ARC copy of this from Ballantine Books via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review


Leslie needs her father’s inheritance money. But she can only claim the money if her sister Robin is there with her. Leslie tracks her sister down to find her dead. 

Desperate for a way to get her inheritance, Leslie asks a total stranger to impersonate her sister in exchange for half the money. Mary looks just like Robin and is reckless enough to go along with the plan. But neither of them realize how the stakes really are. And both of them have dark secrets they’re unwilling to reveal. 


➸ POV: 1st Person, Multi POV

➸ Mary: Waitress in Vegas, Resembles Robin

➸ Robin: Dead, Younger sister, Ran away and missing for years, Beautiful 

➸ Leslie: Older sister, Married, Mother, Desperately needs inheritance

Content Warnings: Death of a loved one, Depression, Suicide, Drug abuse, Cheating

My Thoughts

I feel like I’ve been reading one disappointing thriller after another lately… This will be another short review, because this book was unfortunately a flop for me… While Tanen Jones’ writing was great, the story itself felt meandering and anticlimactic. 

First with what I liked. I really liked Tanen Jones’ writing style. This book alternated between multiple POVs and each of them had a very unique voice, which can be tricky to do when all your MCs are similar. I also listened to this on audio and thought all of the narrators did a fantastic job! If you’re going to pick this up, I highly recommend the audiobook.

Sadly that’s about the extent of what I enjoyed about this book… 

The characters were so utterly unlikeable and lacked enough personality and depth to pull me in. Which meant I didn’t care about any of the things they were going through. In order for a thriller to feel suspenseful and thrilling, I need to connect to the characters and care about what they’re facing. But I never got that in here…

And the plot itself was so lacking that I couldn’t fall back on that either. The entire plot of this book is given in the synopsis. The remainder of the book is simply following these women on their day to day lives around town. And I was bored outta my mind… 

The final twist felt so… not okay. I felt like this displayed mental illness in a terrible light. I was so frustrated with how these woman talked about depression that I wanted to scream by the end. I appreciated the Authors Note where she talked about postpartum depression and the fear of motherhood, but personally it wasn’t enough to make me feel comfortable with the outcome of this book. 

Overall this one was just not for me. I definitely seem to be in the minority here, because this book has some amazing reviews from readers I trust. Sadly, I didn’t like these characters and was extremely detached for the story the entire time I was reading.


2 thoughts on “Book Review: The Better Liar by Tanen Jones

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