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The Masked Truth by Kelley Armstrong
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The Masked Truth

by Kelley Armstrong

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Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
THE MASKED TRUTH was an intense thriller. Seventeen-year-old Riley Vasquez is going through a really hard patch in her life. Her police officer father was killed in the line of duty eighteen months previous to this story. Riley was also babysitting one evening when there was a home invasion and the parents of her charge were killed. Riley and the child hid under the bed upstairs and escaped injury. But Riley is suffering from guilt that she didn't do anything but hide which has led to anxiety, depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. She has been going through therapy to deal with the trauma.

She is convinced by her mother and her therapist Aimee to attend a weekend counseling session at an old warehouse that is undergoing conversion to office space. When she arrives, the only other kid she knows is Max Cross who has been at her other group sessions with this therapist and who has sat on the side and made sniping comments.

Max is eighteen and found his charmed life gravely disrupted when he was diagnosed with schizophrenia. He is bright, articulate, good-lucking and has a brain that is betraying him. His mother moved them from Great Britain after an incident where he almost strangled his best friend. His doctors have been trying to find the right kinds and dosages of medicine to keep him stable. He is in therapy to try to come to terms with the way his life is now.

The kids no sooner arrive for the weekend session when it is invaded by men in rubber masks. They say that they are holding the kids for ransom. Aaron, one of the other kids there, has a rich father. When one of the kids panics and attacks the gunmen, chaos erupts that leads to dead kids, dead therapists, dead kidnappers, and Riley and Max playing a deadly game of hide and seek in the warehouse.

Max and Riley need to depend on each other for their survival. But when they finally escape the warehouse, their nightmare weekend isn't over.

This was a great thriller told from both Max and Riley's points of view. I couldn't put it down as I raced through the pages to find out what was going on and what was going to happen to Riley and Max. I thought it gave an excellent portrayal of mental illness and the way it affects the way a person thinks and lives. ( )
  kmartin802 | Jun 30, 2016 |
Dark, twisted, suspense with complex characters dripping with issues.
I loved her paranormal series and expected something other-ish to fill these pages. Yes, I do pick up books I know nothing about and start reading, it's fun to be surprised. Back to the point, I was reading about these troubled teens who had been brought together for this weekend therapy, in a remote location, with no windows and I expected ghosts, vampires, special powers ? They had no powers, no para-anything and not a touch of sexual tension, and I was glued to the pages. Why ? The story was interesting, there was something off about everything happening the answer just out of focus. I also grew to adore the two main characters, Max was a jumbled mess, living bare footed on broken glass. Riley, was the girl who lived a horrendous night. She is filled with survivors remorse. Together this most unlikely duo become more than society accepts.
There is a lot of death, blood, murder in this story. It is graphic, and happens through most of the book. Suicide also comes up. I am not sure I would call this YA reading.
I loved the book. It held me, made my adrenaline spike, my heart break and kept me guessing to the end. I hope she writes more stand alone reads like this. ( )
  TheYodamom | Mar 2, 2016 |
From my blog

I saw this book on a few Top Ten lists and thought I would try it. I haven't read a Kelley Armstrong book before so I didn't know what to expect. A thriller, yes, it had me on the edge of my seat at times, completely engaged. I am not a YA fan and didn't realize it was but the author did a great job in my favourite genre of choice, thriller. A great way to end the year of reading.

The book started with a BAM and I couldn't think how is this going to be executed, obviously it is way more to it than the summary, the thrill starts early.

Riley is babysitting when killers come in and murder the child's parents. She is now going to therapy to deal with the anxiety, survivors guilt they also call it. She then goes to an overnight camp for a few teenagers to do joint therapy. Well before they get started masked men come in to overtake the therapy session as a hostage overnighter, it all turns deadly, bloody, scary, quickly with everyone running around an old building for survival. Max, another teenager grabs hold of Riley and forces her to run with him.

Teenagers in therapy now watching each other get injured and dying, really feels like a mind game of madness, how could some be going through this kind of thing again. Max has found a way to calm himself, he is a little bit of a wordsmith. Always has words in his head, coming up with their meanings.

Gregarious: fond of company. Convivial: cheerful and friendly; jovial.

Gregarious but not too convivial. Yes, there was a difference.

Max realized this also distracted him from focusing and making him wonder if he is in control of his thoughts or not. I am not sure if it is because I do not read YA often but I loved Max and Riley. They become partners to watch over each other. They reminded me of Hazel and Augustus in the Fault in Our Stars by John Green. Just something special about them.

You are only half way done in the book it looks like a glimmer of hope and then the whole book changes. Who is the unreliable character, Riley or Max or is the author manipulating you to think the way she wants you to. Brilliant execution, really well done, I didn't know where she was going with the story but I can't say anymore but the Masked Truth is revealed. A remarkable thriller, I wish it was an adult thriller but not a deal breaker. I enjoyed the ending overall also, not all tidy, real life. ( )
  marcejewels | Feb 10, 2016 |
This book started strongly, but soon the plot became repetitive and unbelievable, especially as the body count rose. However, I did like the two main protagonists, Riley and Max, especially Max who had an unique voice. However, it wasn't enough to hold my attention and I was glad to finally reach the last page. ( )
  HeatherLINC | Jan 23, 2016 |
Awesome! I stayed up way too late because I just could not put it down without finishing it. I partly had the scenario figured out, but there were so many twists and turns that there was enough that kept me guessing. If you're familiar with the mangas "Judge" or "Doubt" you'll know where the author's idea comes from. A warehouse, with kidnapped teens who are being murdered by captors wearing masks.

For a YA book this has the violence, fast pace and psychological thrills of an adult book of the genre, yet it never stops reminding you that it is, indeed, a YA book. And there is where I have my problems and am not sure how to rate or review the book yet. Since the book starts off with a group of teens in a mental therapy group, their diagnoses become the "issues". Especially those of the two main characters. We are taken on time-outs to be given information lessons, debriefings, politically correct terminology and touchy-feely stuff about how the mentally ill are not "crazy". I personally belong to the mental health community so "get" all this, but did I want it interfering during what was otherwise an excellent thriller? No, it hindered both the tension and pacing.

Otherwise ...

The thriller was very good; a departure from Armstrong's usual paranormal fare. This was strictly realistic. The terror was high, adrenaline was rushing and the tension was virtually non-stop. No character was safe keeping the reader on the edge of their seat throughout making for an incredibly fast paced read. Character development was also awesome; I was invested in both Max and Riley and was satisfied with the realistic ending.

I hope Armstrong continues to venture out into this genre more, but I'd love to see what she can do in the mainstream adult market. ( )
  ElizaJane | Dec 26, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Kelley Armstrongprimary authorall editionscalculated
Ansley, ElisabethCover image (eye)secondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hollinrake, KathrynAuthor photosecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lamprakou, IreneCover image (wall)secondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sompunya, Siamcover image (blood)secondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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PROLOGUE If there's anything more tragic than spending your Saturday night babysitting, it's spending your Saturday night babysitting after canceling a date with the guy you've been dreaming about all year.
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[Riley, whose paternal great-grandparents came from Spain while her mother's family came from Cuba, explains to Max why Aaron assumed she was Mexican when she said she was Hispanic]:
'So Hispanic and Latino mean the same thing?'

I shake my head. 'Hispanic means you are descended from a country that speaks Spanish. Latino means you're descended from a country in Latin America. Some are both, like Cuba. But if you come from Brazil, you're Latino and not Hispanic, because the official language is Portuguese.' (chapter 13)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385684754, Hardcover)

Riley Vasquez is haunted by the brutal murder of the couple she was babysitting for.
     Max Cross is suffering under the shadow of a life-altering diagnosis he doesn't dare reveal. 
     The last thing either of them wants is to spend a weekend away at a therapy camp alongside five other teens with "issues." But that's exactly where they are when three masked men burst in to take the group hostage. 
     The building has no windows. The exits are sealed shut. Their phones are gone. And their captors are on a killing spree. 
     Riley and Max know that if they can't get out, they'll be next--but they're about to discover that even escape doesn't equal freedom.

(retrieved from Amazon Sun, 05 Jul 2015 14:55:36 -0400)

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