Monday, November 26, 2018

Book Review Plus a Recipe: Little White Lies & Snickerdoodles

Title: Little White Lies (Debutantes #1) 
Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Publication Date: November 6, 2018
Publisher: Freeform
Pages: 400
Add to Goodreads

"I'm not saying this is Sawyer's fault," the prim and proper one said delicately. "But."

Eighteen-year-old auto mechanic Sawyer Taft did not expect her estranged grandmother to show up at her apartment door and offer her a six-figure contract to participate in debutante season. And she definitely never imagined she would accept. But when she realizes that immersing herself in her grandmother's "society" might mean discovering the answer to the biggest mystery of her life-her father's identity-she signs on the dotted line and braces herself for a year of makeovers, big dresses, bigger egos, and a whole lot of bless your heart. The one thing she doesn't expect to find is friendship, but as she's drawn into a group of debutantes with scandalous, dangerous secrets of their own, Sawyer quickly discovers that her family isn't the only mainstay of high society with skeletons in their closet. There are people in her grandmother's glittering world who are not what they appear, and no one wants Sawyer poking her nose into the past. As she navigates the twisted relationships between her new friends and their powerful parents, Sawyer's search for the truth about her own origins is just the beginning.

Set in the world of debutante balls, grand estates and rolling green hills, Little White Lies combines a charming setting, a classic fish-out-of-water story, and the sort of layered mystery only author Jennifer Lynn Barnes can pull off. 

Little White Lies showed up on my doorstep a few weeks ago and, although I don't read much contemporary fiction, I was instantly intrigued. The blurb caught my attention with its promise of secrets in southern high society. As someone who grew up in small town North Carolina, I was absolutely dying to dig into this book.

Sawyer Taft has always lived in a small town with her mother. They don't have much, but they have each other and that's good enough for them both. When her grandmother shows up out of the blue and offers her a crazy amount of money in exchange for completing a debutante season, she can't say no and finds herself immersed in a world of wealth and scandal. It also gives her the perfect opportunity to figure out who her father is, since her mom has always kept the secret closely guarded. I really liked Sawyer, although I did find her to be a bit "not like other girls," which can get annoying.

The best part about Little White Lies is obviously the mystery and there is a lot of it. The story is told in a combination of present day and flashbacks and the ending brings the two together. There are multiple mysteries in this story, one being who Sawyer's father is and another being how they got into the predicament we see them in at the beginning. But that isn't all - there are even more scandalous high society mysteries uncovered and each one of them was fantastic! I think the author did a great job of setting everything up and weaving it all together.

Like I said, I grew up in small town North Carolina and I could definitely see some of the people and events from my childhood in this book. Although I was far from high society, I went to a private school on a scholarship for several years and I definitely knew girls like the ones in this book! Oh, how I would have loved for some of their scandals to come out like these did! The setting was great, if a bit over the top. Think Gossip Girl in the south.

This is my first book by Jennifer Barnes, but I doubt it will be my last. This book definitely kept my interest and the drama was out of control! There were moments where I felt like I wished things would hurry along just a bit, but that's probably just a case of it's not you, it's me. Like I said, contemporary really isn't my genre. If you enjoy contemporary mysteries without a ton of romance, Little White Lies is one you won't want to miss!


As you may find out (depending on how these posts go), I love experimenting and making things from scratch. But every now and then it's nice to have something super quick, easy, and delicious up your sleeve. I recently tried these snickerdoodles and they are my new go-to recipe for when I need something sweet in the house but don't feel like spending hours slaving away in the kitchen.

This recipe yields about 34 snickerdoodle cookies at 80 calories each.

  • 1 box French Vanilla cake mix
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla (imitation works fine)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F 
  2. Mix together French Vanilla cake mix, butter, egg, vanilla, and 1 teaspoon of the ground cinnamon with a spoon until it forms into a dough.
  3. Shape dough into balls (about 1 inch).
  4. Mix together remaining 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl.
  5. Roll dough in cinnamon sugar mixture and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. 
  6. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
  7. Move to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  8. Eat them all immediately.

Please let me know what you think of this new review plus a recipe feature and PLEASE do come back and comment if you have the chance to try these delicious cookies!