My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Some of the most fun I've ever had reading a book!
When Nell and her fellow high school drama students are stranded during a blizzard in a creepy hotel in the middle of nowhere, they are disappointed to realize they will not be able to make it to their annual state competition. But things start looking better when another group of students arrives, also sheltering from the storm. Nell is immediately attracted to the handsome Knox, the apparent leader of the new group, and he appears to reciprocate. Knox's group had brought with them another traveler, a man they'd picked up when his car had broken down on the highway in the snow. But other than a couple of other guests and the two hotel staff, the old hotel is deserted.After settling in their rooms, the students gather in the hotel's common room to pass the evening planning to play some board games. However, Knox proposes they play "Two Truths and a Lie," where players write down two truths and a lie about themselves, and the other players must guess which is which. But the slip of paper Nell pulls from the basket turns out to be much different from those in previous turns.
3. I've lost count of how many people I've killed."
This fun and scary story has all the best elements of a great teen horror flick, and I enjoyed every single minute. Nell and her friends are a cozy group; they know each other and have each other's back. Knox's group felt secretive and strange from the start. They created an immediate feeling of the unknown and suspicion. I was hooked by foreboding, worried when Nell and her friend, Min, were interested in Knox and Valeria.I thought it was odd that Mrs. McElroy didn't insist that all her students' rooms be adjacent to hers and not spread out across the old maze of a hotel. Her first night's absence is well explained, though I questioned whether she would have left her students alone and on their own. But it definitely allows the story to kick up a notch! I liked that I never felt sure about Oscar Ewing, Knox's faculty sponsor. He seemed weak and ineffective, but this gave Knox and the other students in his group the leeway they needed for the story to progress as it did.
I liked that there was tension among the other adult strangers stranded at the hotel as well. It was an intriguing distraction from some of the other things going on and raised my suspicions, too. And, of course, the staff at the hotel itself are not just regular Joes. Both are awkward with social interactions but for very different reasons.The Travel Inn and Out conference hotel is practically a character in its own right. I loved the oddities of the floor plan, the facility's layout, and its tarnished and faded glory. Its quirkiness multiplied the feeling of foreboding and suspense as the young guest struggled to find their way around the place, especially after the power goes out. But the place sounded massively confusing and wonderful! I also appreciate the excellent map the author provides at the beginning of the book.
The action is continuous, and tension constant with many twists and turns deftly worked in that kept me guessing until the very end of the book. I recommend TWO TRUTHS AND A LIE to readers who enjoy YA horror stories, those summer teen horror flicks, and tales of being stranded in a creepy, run-down hotel with no way out.I voluntarily reviewed this after receiving an Advanced Review Copy from the publisher through TBR and Beyond Tours.
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