None of This is True by Lisa Jewell
Thriller / Mystery
*None of This Is True is our very first 52 Book Club readalong pick! You can find all the details and sign up to read with us here!*
Lisa Jewell’s name rings true once again in this absolute jewel of a novel — a dark and richly glittering psychological thriller that will leave you glued to the page until the very final sentence.
None of This is True is a twisty, addictive read about two characters who just so happen to share the same birthday. After a chance meeting, their lives become irrevocably intertwined when Alix Summers agreed to interview Josie for a new podcast series. But it’s not long before Alix realizes she’s made a terrible mistake…
The characters in this novel were really what hooked me from the start. Josie is an all-denim-wearing, Pomchi-carrying, quirky woman on a quest to reinvent herself at forty-five. But there is way more going on with Josie than first meets the eye and as the story unravels, it’s like a car crash you can’t look away from. And Alix — despite the Instagram-worthy looking house and successful podcast — has her own set of secrets and difficulties too. Each character has a unique voice that draws you into the narrative and leaves you second-guessing what exactly is true.
Since the plot is built around Alix interviewing Josie for a podcast, the book is interspersed with dialogue and clips from both a Netflix series and Alix’s podcast. This was really well done and adds to the suspense of the novel. Right from the start, you know that something happened to elevate this interview from a simple podcast to a Netflix series — and I couldn’t stop flipping pages until I found out what.
None of This is True gave me all the twists and creepy vibes I expect from a novel like this. (Note: The story does contain some language and really heavy themes including pedophilia, spousal abuse, etc — all off the page.) For the majority of the book, I had no idea where it was going but I was absolutely there for it. The writing style is fresh and compelling, the transitions seamless, and the pacing on point.
My one critique is that the title is a bit of a spoiler. Obviously, the publisher and author intended it to be so, but it did take away from some of the surprise and uncertainty I think I would normally have felt while reading this book.
Bingeable and deliciously entertaining, I flew through this story in a day! This may be the thriller of the summer!
Readers looking for a dark, domestic thriller
This post contains affiliate links; as an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Advance copy of the book provided courtesy of the publisher, Simon and Schuster Canada. All opinions expressed are my own.
About the book:
Celebrating her forty-fifth birthday at her local pub, popular podcaster Alix Summers crosses paths with an unassuming woman called Josie Fair. Josie, it turns out, is also celebrating her forty-fifth birthday. They are, in fact, birthday twins.
A few days later, Alix and Josie bump into each other again, this time outside Alix’s children’s school. Josie has been listening to Alix’s podcasts and thinks she might be an interesting subject for her series. She is, she tells Alix, on the cusp of great changes in her life.
Josie’s life appears to be strange and complicated, and although Alix finds her unsettling, she can’t quite resist the temptation to keep making the podcast. Slowly she starts to realise that Josie has been hiding some very dark secrets, and before she knows it, Josie has inveigled her way into Alix’s life—and into her home.
But, as quickly as she arrived, Josie disappears. Only then does Alix discover that Josie has left a terrible and terrifying legacy in her wake, and that Alix has become the subject of her own true crime podcast, with her life and her family’s lives under mortal threat.
Who is Josie Fair? And what has she done?