Lies, blurred reality, disappearances: which novel is right for you?


Michelle Bishka

Pictured from left to right are the must-read books Last Seen Leaving and Broken Things, written by Caleb Roehrig and Lauren Oliver respectively.

The genre of mystery is inclusive, appealing to almost everyone. With its intriguing plots and complex characters, a mystery book is the perfect solution to end any reading crises or any crisis at all. Explore the list below to find the most fitting book for you.

1. The Color of Lies, C.J Lyon: Reading people came as a second nature to Ella Cleary due to a rare medical condition that runs in her family, synesthesia. Since synesthesia blurs an individual’s senses, she has the ability to see others’ true emotions, seemingly making nothing a mystery to her.

However, when Alec, a journalist who she cannot possibly read, informs Ella that the deaths of her parents may not have been an accident, Ella’s world turns upside down as she realizes she has been raised with lies and the only way to find the truth is to find the killer.

Although the relationships established in the novel are undeniably cliché, the characters have depth individually. Told in multiple perspectives, predominantly Ella’s, The Color of Lies hooks the reader through character development. Because Alec starts off the book in the lead with his experience, Ella has to play catch-up, making her seem weak. However, as Ella undergoes an emotional journey and pushes through each time, this is certainly not the case. The complexity of these characters simply adds to the intrigue of the plot and the solving of the crime. With its strong leads and interesting case that it centers around, The Color of Lies is not one to skip.

2. Broken Things, Lauren Oliver: Five years after Summer Marks’ brutal murder in the woods, Mia and Bryn, her best friends, are still being accused for her death.

Despite their innocence, the town assumes their guilt because of the girls obsession with the novel The Way into Lovelorn: the girls had transported themselves into a fictional world where their fantasies became less innocent and more lethal.

On the anniversary of Summer’s death, an insignificant discovery reopens this cold case and pulls Mia and Bryn back together again. As the lines between past and present – and fiction and reality – begin to blur, the girls must confront what truly happened in those woods years ago. From learning how the hostility of the public affects the protagonists to just generally understanding the complex personalities of Mia and Bryn, Broken Things is a must-read.

3. Last Seen Leaving, Caleb Roehrig: Flynn’s girlfriend, January, has disappeared and all accusations are directed towards him. As the police are asking questions he cannot answer and January’s friends are telling suspicious stories that do not add up, Flynn needs to uncover the truth about January’s disappearance while coming to terms with it himself.

In addition to its mystery, Last Seen Leaving is also a novel about self-discovery, succeeding more in this plotline than the thriller form. Although this case is simpler to solve, it still hooks the reader. The novel further compensates for this simplicity through the layers of the protagonist and the journey that he goes through. Thus, the approach the book takes, embedding both a traditional mystery and realistic fiction plot about murder and identity, is what makes it so appealing to a general audience and just a memorable plot in general.

Hopefully the novel you choose helps you overcome your reading block or any other obstacles you are facing. Each one of these books truly has an interesting plot with interesting characters, it should ultimately lead you to reading more.