Where the Truth Lies by Jessica Warman
Walker & Co., 2010
Emily has an idyllic life. She's lived at Stonybrook, an exclusive boarding school, since seventh grade. She is, however, in the unique position of being the headmaster's daughter, so her parents are never further away than a walk across campus. While most would see this as a detriment, Emily's parents are warm, loving, and completely understanding people. Her friends all have less-than-stellar home lives and refer to Emily's father as "Dad," which doesn't bother Emily at all. She knows she's got it good, and is willing to share.
You would think that the headmaster's daughter would be either a goody-too-shoes or a troublemaker, but Emily is neither. She's not a spectacularly great student and isn't athletic. Her parents are doting and attentive, so she doesn't lash out at them. She's not above breaking some of the school's rules (sneaking out after curfew) and would never think of ratting out her friends who commit more serious infractions (smoking in the dorm).
Basically, Emily has a perfect life. Except for those pesky nightmares. The ones she's had as long as she can remember. The ones that revolve around either fire (Emily or one of her loved ones burning to death) or water (Emily or one of her loved ones drowning). Oh, and the sleep apnea that comes along with the nightmares. Her parents adamantly deny that a childhood trauma has caused these terrors, and sessions with the school's psychiatrist don't reveal anything, either. Seems that Emily will be stuck with a life of broken, damaged sleep.
Until Del Sugar transfers to Stonybrook. Good-looking and accompanied by rumors of a troubled past, Del sets his sights on Emily. During their tumultuous relationship Emily discovers that the life she's known as perfect has been anything but.
I really enjoyed this story. There were so many twists and turns that it didn't read at all like I thought it would. Just when you thought everything was figured out, bam! Another twist. Emily was a likable character--she was a perfect "every girl." Nothing really stood out--she wasn't inherently good, wasn't inherently bad. The romance between Emily and Del was realistic enough, too, although there were a few passages that caused me to believe the story would end way differently.
Actually, all of the characters were pretty likable, with the exception of Stephanie, Emily's best friend since seventh grade. She's got a weird possessive thing going on with her fraternal twin throughout the story, and it just gave me the willies. Oh, and the school's psychiatrist--thought she was an idiot. She prescribes sleeping pills for Emily, and then, when it's discovered that Emily hasn't been taking them, decides to up the dosage. ?? If she's not taking them, how do you know the dosage isn't right? That moved showed the woman's incompetence. Which may have been Warman's objective all along.
Enjoy your reading!