Coming soon! Make sure to check back for the full #allthebookreviews thoughts for this one the end of the month 🙂
Thanks to Mira Books and TLC Book Tours for the free early copy in exchange for my honest review and for having me host an excerpt!
GOOD GIRLS LIE – J.T. Ellison (Releasing December 30th, 2019)
Goode girls don’t lie…
Perched atop a hill in the tiny town of Marchburg, Virginia, The Goode School is a prestigious prep school known as a Silent Ivy. The boarding school of choice for daughters of the rich and influential, it accepts only the best and the brightest. Its elite status, long-held traditions and honor code are ideal for preparing exceptional young women for brilliant futures at Ivy League universities and beyond. But a stranger has come to Goode, and this ivy has turned poisonous.
In a world where appearances are everything, as long as students pretend to follow the rules, no one questions the cruelties of the secret societies or the dubious behavior of the privileged young women who expect to get away with murder. But when a popular student is found dead, the truth cannot be ignored. Rumors suggest she was struggling with a secret that drove her to suicide.
But look closely…because there are truths and there are lies, and then there is everything that really happened.
J.T. Ellison’s pulse-pounding new novel examines the tenuous bonds of friendship, the power of lies and the desperate lengths people will go to to protect their secrets.
Excerpt from GOOD GIRLS LIE by J.T. Ellison:
The chapel is, like most things at Goode, undernamed. It is more like a cathedral with its sandy stone exterior and stained glass windows, the roofline soaring a hundred feet into the air. The remains of two hundred young women push and shove their way into the chapel, chattering loudly, robes flowing behind them. One last toll of the bell, the ring dying into the early evening air, which still shimmers with heat, and we are all inside the nave and hurrying into our seats.
Inside it is a bit darker, but not much. The energy in the air is palpable, the noise deafening, not hushed and respectful. The rafters are so high the echoes reverberate. Voices call and shout, girls squeal with laughter. Trying to remember the class color schemes, I stick close to Camille, Piper, and Vanessa, grateful for their presence, especially when Becca Curtis notices me.
Becca and another senior are handing out some sort of pamphlet, and I try to duck toward the girl on her left so I won’t have to come face-to-face with the bully again, but I’m jostled by the crowd right back to her. I keep my head down, avoiding eye contact, take the proffered paper, and start to move into the chapel, but the universe conspires against me. Becca rips the paper back, forcing me to a stop.
“So. You’re our mad Brit.”
Camille grabs my hand and tugs. “Leave her alone, Becca.”
“Shut it, Shannon. Carlisle here can speak for herself.”
I’d rather crawl into the nave’s warm brown wainscoting and disappear, but Becca is staring at me, challenge in her eyes. “Well? What do you have to say for yourself?”
I know I can’t let Becca bully me. I need to stand up to her. But I hate conflict, hate it. I say the words under my breath and Becca cocks her head.
“What? Speak up. I couldn’t understand you. Surely you know how to speak.”
The sneer undoes me.
“Yes, I do. I said, better a mad Brit than a daft cow.”
“Ooo, snap,” Camille says, eyes wide.
Becca’s lips go thin, and her face turns red. Her voice is soft, deathly cool. “Aren’t you clever, little Brit. We’ll see how smug you feel later, shall we?” The threat in Becca’s smile is unmistakable.
“Move along, little ones.”
Becca resumes passing out fliers and Camille yanks on my arm.
“Come on. Hurry. Before she changes her mind.”
We take our seats in the chapel, which is broken into class quadrants by layers similar to the dorm housing—freshmen in the front pews, then sophomores, juniors, and seniors at the back.
Camille’s eyes are shining. “I can’t believe you mouthed off to Becca Curtis.”
“Whatever. She was hounding me earlier, when I was checking in. Told me to take the left staircase, the Evens’ stairs, told me I’d get a single if my roommate died. I don’t like bullies.”
Vanessa shakes her head, lips pursed in concern. “That was a dangerous thing to do, Ash. Becca Curtis is powerful. Why did she single you out?”
“No idea. Her mum is a senator, I heard. Maybe she hates immigrants.”
“No, I meant here, at Goode, she’s powerful. Doesn’t matter who her mother is, though it’s hard to forget, sometimes. Camille told you my mom works at the State Department, right? She doesn’t care for Senator Curtis. Anyway, Becca is head of the judicial board. She handles Honor Code violations, plus she’s class president, and rumor has it she’s head of Ivy Bound, too, but no one knows for sure, not unless you’re tapped and get in, that is. And the odds of one of us getting tapped are slim. Not as sophomores.”
“Ivy Bound? What is that?”
“It’s a secret society. The secret society. Goode has quite a few, but Ivy Bound is the cream of the crop. It’s the one everyone wants to be tapped for.”
“If it’s secret, how does everyone know about it? And what’s tapped mean?”
“Shhh!” A sharp whisper behind us.
“Later,” Vanessa says quietly. “Pay attention like a good little mad Brit.” Her grin is infectious, and I relax, put my attention to the front of the chapel.