The Truth Lies Here
THE TRUTH LIES HERE by Lindsey Klingele is a young adult, sci-fi novel set in Bone Lake, Michigan. This little town is the last place Penny wants to spend her entire summer, but her mom’s on a sabbatical in Spain and Penny needs quotes from Bone Lake residents for her college admissions essay. Determined to get into Northwestern, Penny lands at the airport on a mission, but finds herself stranded when Ike, her father, never arrives to pick her up. Days pass without any word from him, and Penny starts to get nervous. It’s not entirely unusual for Ike to get caught up chasing a story, but Dex, Penny’s childhood friend and Michigan neighbor, is convinced Ike’s in trouble. When the town sheriff makes Ike a person of interest in a murder investigation, Penny and Dex launch their own search to clear Ike’s name and bring him home to safety. What they find, however, neither of them could have ever expected.
This book reminds me so much of 80’s horror films and will appeal to fans of that genre. From the couple who dies in the opening pages while hooking up to the major twist at the end, it’s very nostalgic. Though this story has sci-fi elements and is not technically a slasher, I still felt scared reading it.
My favorite element of this book is the characters. They are all so distinctive with their individual quirks and behaviors. I love that Ike is dedicated to fabricated stories of the supernatural and Penny, on the flip side, wants real, hard facts. Their opposing needs create real conflict and the necessity of meeting in the middle.
Klingele also does a great job at making sure the backstory enhances and develops the characters. She never delivers it as a boring information dump, but instead susses out the perfect moment to introduce past situations that are relevant to the reader. I particularly love the story about Penny, Dex, and Reese throwing out their books when they were younger. It opens up a deeper vulnerability in Dex and shows the readers how he fits into society and Bone Lake on a whole.
Overall, THE TRUTH LIES HERE is a well-written ode to small-town life and a reminder to leave space for the unbelievable.