The Hennessy Lie

Annette Masters

Publisher: Barred Rock Books Pages: 303 Price: (paperback) $13.99 ISBN: 9798989864508 Reviewed: June, 2024 Author Website: Visit »

The Hennessy Lie is a suspenseful YA thriller filled with mysteries and twists.

College student Piper, struggling with classes and her controlling mother, encounters a strange man who gives her a package revealing her true family history. Suddenly, with help from her roommate and best friend Mia, along with a newfound ally, Piper must search for more documents to save her heritage, while dealing with people who will stop at nothing to claim it for themselves. Along the way, she learns that family doesn’t always mean flesh and blood.

Narrated by Piper, the novel perfectly captures her youth and lack of power. She grumbles at the courses she takes to satisfy her mother’s plans for vet school, preferring to study feminist history and architecture. She calls the voices in her head urging her to be cautious— stemming from her mother’s seemingly paranoid rules—The Committee. She wishes her mother would marry her boyfriend, so she can finally have a “real” family. And she pines after Topher, her stoner neighbor who suddenly takes an interest in her.

The present tense helps keep suspense high, and there’s plenty of dramatic action, from car crashes to home break-ins and violent attacks. These scenes are highly realistic, conveying Piper’s fear and confusion. Indeed, younger readers may find them too intense.

While it seems odd Piper’s mother would remain in the area for so long when she could easily disappear, as she does later in the story, the mystery generally unfolds nicely, with information revealed throughout that propels Piper and friends’ investigation. Meanwhile, those who were thought friends become enemies, while those initially viewed suspiciously become friends.

Piper’s friendship with Mia is extremely compelling. Childhood friends, they use their own sign language to secretly communicate. Yet crises threaten their relationship with Mia accusing Piper of selfishness, even as Mia’s large family looks out for them both.

Ultimately, this is a gripping mystery with relatable characters that YA readers will enjoy.

Author's Current Residence
Odessa, Florida
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