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Book club questions for First Lie Wins by Ashley Elston takes an in-depth look at this cat-and-mouse thriller with Southern vibes. There will be spoilers so for more context about the book, check out my spoiler-free review first.
I liked this one overall! I thought it was a quick and entertaining read. It was not perfect and I had some issues with story choices and lack of character development in areas, but the story still was engaging enough to keep me interested.
Let me know your thoughts about the book!
The identity comes first: Evie Porter. Once she’s given a name and location by her mysterious boss Mr. Smith, she learns everything there is to know about the town and the people in it. Then the mark: Ryan Sumner. The last piece of the puzzle is the job.
Evie isn’t privy to Mr. Smith’s real identity, but she knows this job will be different. Ryan has gotten under her skin, and she’s starting to envision a different sort of life for herself. But Evie can’t make any mistakes–especially after what happened last time.
Because the one thing she’s worked her entire life to keep clean, the one identity she could always go back to—her real identity—just walked right into this town. Evie Porter must stay one step ahead of her past while making sure there’s still a future in front of her. The stakes couldn’t be higher–but then, Evie has always liked a challenge…
Book Club Questions for First Lie Wins
- What are your thoughts about Evie (real name Lucca) as a protagonist? Did you feel she made growth from the beginning of the novel to the end?
- What drew Evie to this world of deception and new aliases? Why was she able to slip into new identities so easily?
- What does Evie mean by “first lie wins?”
- Of all the jobs Evie has performed, why did Ryan get under her skin?
- The story jumps back and forth and switches timelines in a way to give a clearer picture of Evie’s past and work with Mr. Smith. Did you like the various timelines or did you find it confusing at times?
- Who did you suspect was the real person behind Mr. Smith? Were you surprised when it was revealed to be George, whom Evie had developed somewhat of a friendship with?
- Why do you think Mr. Smith took on the George alias? Was it a way to spy on Evie?
- What are your thoughts about Ryan and his shady business?
- Both Evie and Ryan, and other characters in the novel, toe the line between good and bad and are often seem to take the morally gray path. What is your opinion on characters in fiction like Evie and Ryan who are morally gray?
- A lot of the book is centered around both name and one’s identity. Eventually, Evie has to come to terms with her past and being known as Lucca Marino, is gone forever. What are your thoughts about name and identity and how it ties to one’s perception of themselves?
- At the end, Amy (who also used to work for Mr. Smith) refers to Evie as Miss Smith, revealing that they have taken on Mr. Smith’s business, with Evie serving as the leader. Why do you think Evie couldn’t give up that lifestyle and line of work? Will she be more fair than Mr. Smith or do you see her eventually following the same dark path?
- Do you see Evie and Ryan lasting? Why or why not?
Hope you enjoyed book club questions for First Lie Wins! Here are some more recommendations along with links to book club questions.
Zero Days by Ruth Ware
If you’re looking for another action-filled story, Zero Days by Ruth Ware is a good choice.
Hired by companies to break into buildings and hack security systems, Jack and her husband, Gabe, are the best penetration specialists in the business. But after a routine assignment goes horribly wrong, Jack arrives home to find her husband dead. To add to her horror, the police are closing in on their suspect—her.
Suddenly on the run and quickly running out of options, Jack must decide who she can trust as she circles closer to the real killer in this unputdownable and heart-pounding mystery from an author whose “propulsive prose keeps readers on the hook and refuses to let anyone off until all has been revealed” (Shelf Awareness).
Check out my book club questions here.
Wrong Place, Wrong Time by Gillian McAllister
If you haven’t read Wrong Place, Wrong Time by Gillian McAllister, definitely add it to your list!
It is midnight on the morning of Halloween, and Jen anxiously waits up for her 18-year-old son, Todd, to return home. But worries about his broken curfew transform into something much more dangerous when Todd finally emerges from the darkness. As Jen watches through the window, she sees her funny, seemingly happy teenage son stab a total stranger.
She doesn’t know who the victim is, or why Todd has committed such a devastating act of violence. All she knows is that her life, and Todd’s, have been shattered.
After her son is taken into custody, Jen falls asleep in despair. But when she wakes up…it is yesterday. The murder has not happened yet—and there may be a chance to stop it. Each morning, when Jen wakes, she is further back in the past, first weeks, then years, before the murder. And Jen realizes that somewhere in the past lies the trigger for Todd’s terrible crime…and it is her mission to find it, and prevent it from taking place.
Both the story of a mother’s love and the sacrifices she will make for her child, and a thriller with a brilliant twist, Wrong Place Wrong Time is a one-of-a-kind novel that begs to be read in one sitting.
Check out my book club questions here.