Review of Liar's Beach by Katie Cotugno


Liar's Beach by Katie Cotugno

Published on May 2, 2023

Plot Summary for Liar's Beach by Katie Cotugno

Michael Linden—or just Linden to his preppy boarding school pals—doesn’t belong in wealthy, storied Martha’s Vineyard. But when his roommate Jasper invites him to spend the end of summer at his massive beachfront home, August House, Linden tries his best to fit in. 

Linden wouldn’t call it lying, exactly. Though it turns out August House is full of liars.

Then someone is found unconscious in Jasper’s pool, and everyone has something to hide—Jasper, his beautiful sister Eliza, their older brother Wells, and their friends. The accident is written off as just that, but Linden begins to wonder...

Holiday Proctor. Linden’s childhood friend, and the one person on the island who knows the truth about Linden. There’s nothing Holiday loves more than a good old-fashioned mystery and she’s convinced there's a potential killer on the Vineyard. The only question is…who?

Review of Liar's Beach by Katie Cotugno

I have had mixed results reading Katie Cotugno's books. I really love her writing and premises, but her characters and plot don't always hit the mark for me.

Sadly, Liar's Beach was no exception.

My opinion on the plot: 

I rarely say this about YA books, but I think Liar's Beach could have used a heavier dose of angst. 

I am a patient reader, but this book was slow. Like, really slow. In this mystery, I literally felt the characters might die of old age before the mystery got solved.

My opinion on the characters:

I wanted to sympathize with main character Linden, who was trying to hang with the super rich kids, but he just endlessly drifted around this crowd of "friends" hoping for some sad scraps. And of course the rich characters were universally terrible: spoiled, self-centered, and callous. At least the book made a Great Gatsby joke!

Liar's Beach is a perfect example of a 2020s YA book that feels like a throwback to the 2010s. 
It had some definite We Were Liars vibes, with the rich kids on an island, hiding secrets from each other. But there was no shocking reveal at the end.

If you like books with this vibe, I'd try these instead:

Nantucket Blue by Leila Howland

What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick

Zoe Spanos is Dead by Kit Frick