The Lie Tree: Review

Publication Date: May 10th, 2016 (1st Published in 2015)
Publisher: Amulet Books
Series: None
Format: e-PUB
Source: Netgalley
When Faith’s father is found dead under mysterious circumstances, she is determined to untangle the truth from the lies. Searching through his belongings for clues she discovers a strange tree. A tree that feeds off whispered lies and bears fruit that reveals hidden secrets. The bigger the lie, the more people who believe it, the bigger the truth that is uncovered. The girl realizes that she is good at lying and that the tree might hold the key to her father’s murder, so she begins to spread untruths far and wide across her small island community. But as her tales spiral out of control, she discovers that where lies seduce, truths shatter. . . .A beguiling tale of mystery and intrigue.

Thank you to Netgalley and Amulet Books for granting me access to this title in exchange for an honest review. 

What drew me to request this title was the cover and the synopsis. I am a huge 19th century fan because there was just so much going on during that time. In a world of balls, calling cards, parasols, petticoats, etc, there was also the world that women dealt with everyday. They could not do as they pleased because they were deemed to be inferior to men. That is a theme in The Lie Tree. 

The MC, Faith, wants so badly to be a scientist like her father. But according to society, her place is in the house until she finds a husband. There are a few instances in this story where male scientists tell the females that their brains are smaller because they are women. I laughed because today we know that to not be true but in the 1800's even into the 1900's people believed that! Back to the review, Faith is a shy and devoted daughter. Her father is a well respected priest and excavator of fossils until a scandal turns up and forces them from their home to a mysterious island. There Faith finds out just what has been going on in her seemingly perfect family. 

Something that can really hurt a book for me is the lack of connecting with the characters. Unfortunately, I did not connect with anyone in this story. We did not really get to know anyone besides Faith, and even her characterization was shallow at best. 

I really liked the premise of this story. It had the potential to be really good, but the first 2/3 were SO boring. I struggled to get through it and even had to skim many pages because they descriptions were so long. Don't get me wrong, they were beautiful descriptions but way too lengthy. I seriously considered DNFing it, but decided to power through. The last third of the story is where it really picked up and got interesting. 

I didn't like how cold and cruel the book was. Yes, this was a story about a murder, but the whole thing turned Faith into this ugly person with no regard to anyone else's feelings. From when she first sees the tree is where her character goes down a dark path. Towards the end she knows what is happening and realizes she needs to stop. 

One of the best parts of the book was the reveal of the murderer. I was way off with my guess and it was very well done. I would have never been able to figure it out because of just how subtle the clues were. Well done Frances! 

The other main issue I had was the fact that there was no explanation for the tree. Nobody knew where it originated from and the details about how it "worked" were not really fully explained. Yes, I know there are not always explanations for things, but considering that this is a fictional story about a tree that reveals secrets when it is fed lies, I think the author could have provided an explanation. 

I would have really enjoyed The Lie Tree if the pacing wasn't so slow, and if I had connected with the characters at all. 



  1. I really like when the mystery part of a thriller/mystery book takes me by surprise but it sounds like the MC was terrible and at two and half stars--does not sound like a worthwhile read. I'm glad I skipped this one when I seen it on Netgalley!

    1. I was seriously so disappointed by this. You definitely did not miss much!


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