[594]: The Masked Truth by Kelley Armstrong

24733600 The Masked Truth by Kelley Armstrong
Double Day Canada | Hardcover, 352 pp.
Via Penguin Random House Canada
Publication Date: October 13th, 2015
Young Adult | Suspense | Thriller
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars


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.


Very few books have surprised me this year. Whether it be a twist I never saw coming or book I didn’t think I would like, this year has been a year of expected experiences. Admittedly, I chose The Masked truth on account of the author. Kelley Armstrong has always been someone I admire. I was surprised to find that this book is not Paranormal or Urban Fantasy, for that matter. So I was very excited to read something out of the ordinary. This book reminded me of The Breakfast Club featuring a group of slightly more troubled teens.  I’ve enjoyed every bit of this read. It was full of suspense and nothing ever turned the way I expected. Kelley Armstrong truly busted out some fresh new chops for this one.

CAMP FOR THE TROUBLED TEENS

Riley Vazquez has been through so much in the last couple of years. After her father was gunned down while doing his job, she witnessed the killing of the people she was babysitting for. Needless to say, she’s been in a dark place lately. When she agreed to join her therapy group at a sleep-away for the weekend, she didn’t think the scare tactics would be a part of the session.

Masked men armed with guns held them hostage all in the name of the almighty dollar. But is it really all about the money? She’d soon discover that it was all a part of a grander, much more elaborate scheme.

IT’S FICTION, YO. IT’S FICTION.

A lot of people would probably tell you that this book can be unbelievable at times (and they would be right). I don’t know anything about therapy, but I’ve never heard of a sleep-away camp held in a warehouse without doors and windows. That alone is a dead-give-away that something’s afoot. Couple that with Riley’s incredible expertise on investigative methodology and you’ve got yourself a Ripley’s Believe it or Not contender.  Oddly enough, I didn’t mind it at all. Fiction is funny that way.

IN RETROSPECT

The Masked Truth is one heck of a ride. Thrilling, suspenseful, a real page-turner. Oh and it’s got a nice romance to sweeten the pot. Riley Vazquez is a tough cookie who uses her smarts and intuitive candor to get out of sticky situations time and again. This is one instance when I wish it’s a series!

  • Oh wow! This sounds like it pulled you in from the start until the end. Glad to see there was plenty to keep you hooked.

  • No joke, this book sounds like something that happens in one of my nightmare scenarios. I really want to read it now! Great review!

  • Tatteredpagesandteastains

    I really do like Kelly Armstrong, her past novels were amazing , and i cant wait to check this one out too 🙂

    • I hope you’ll enjoy it! And thanks for stopping by!

  • You caught my attention with the drama and Breakfast Club mix, sounds like a great page-turning escape read!!
    I might try this one, Joy 🙂

    • It completely was, Kim! I hope you’ll enjoy. 😀

  • Jazmen

    Loving the sign of this one. I really don’t expect fiction books to be all that realistic for the most part. Like you said it’s fiction and that’s what I expect. Excited to try this author out!

    • I’m glad. I mean I read a lot of reviews crying foul because of its unrealistic portrayal of Riley’s characters and some of the story arches. I didn’t mind them so much.

  • This kind of reminds me of a show that was on television last year-the name escapes me however.Teens held hostage and all that. This does sound amazing and I haven’t seen it around before. 5 Stars! Glad you loved it 🙂

    • Thanks, Lorna! I hope you’ll give it a read some day. 😀

  • I really like Kelley Armstrong’s YA books. I have this on my tbr but I haven’t been motivated to read it yet. I guess that’s great because now I know it is apparently awesome!

    • It’s a departure from her usual, but she did brilliantly well. I hope you’ll enjoy it when you get the chance to read it, Taylor!

      Thanks for stopping by!

  • Omg this sounds so good, Joy! I hadn’t heard of it until now 😮 I will definitely have to pick it up. I can live with it being unrealistic. Lovely review!

    • I hope you’ll enjoy it, Kynndra. It’s different from her usual paranormal/urban fantasy but she’s such a wonderful writer that she makes it look so easy!

  • I’ve been eyeing the hell out of this book because I wantttttttt. I just seen a review for it where the person didn’t like it because it was ” not very believable or realistic ” but good fiction can be ridiculous too right? lol. I’m definitely picking this one up!

    • I rarely dislike a book because it’s unrealistic as it were. I mean, it’s fiction. So yeah, authors tend to take some liberties. But they’re allowed. That’s why it’s called fiction. Lol.

  • This sounds like a brilliant book! I really need to pick up something by this author; just need to figure out where to start.

    • Aw man. You should read her The Darkest Powers trilogy. That’s where it started for me. But she’s also got some adult paranormal books that are popular but they’re way too UF for me. lol.

  • If anything, KArmstrong is good at having her readers suspend disbelief so this weird camp just might work

    • It is weird, but it works! And it is classic Kelley Armstrong.

  • Bec

    I’m so glad you liked this so much! Kelley Armstrong is such a good writer and even her paranormal stuff has me on the edge of her seat. I can’t wait to experience a thriller from her. Hopefully I can read this sooner rather than later!

    • I do hope you’ll enjoy it, Bec. She’s one of my favourite authors!

  • I have heard a lot of great things about this author so I am not surprised that is the reason you picked this one up. You’ve been reading a lot of brilliant reads lately as well, which is wonderful for you! I hope you continue to enjoy all the books you are going to be reading next! I like the sound of this one, and its one I hadn’t heard of before so I am gonna have to look into it some more.

    • Thanks, Olivia. I hope you’ll enjoy it. This woman is quite brilliant, if I may say so myself. 🙂

  • “…unbelievable at times” — this sounds like an invitation for a rant. Why do you do this to me, Joy?

  • Eeee 😀 Yay! So glad that you loved it so much sweet girl. <3 I have heard only amazing things about it. But I cannot afford to buy it. And I WANT IT. Ahhh. ONE DAY, I hope. <3 You make it sound amazing 🙂

  • shootingstarsmag

    yeah, I don’t really mind unbelievable things all that much in books. It tends to work out okay for me in my head. You know, “truth is stranger than fiction” and that’s often true. I do really want to read this one. Glad you liked it so much!

    -Lauren
    http://www.shootingstarsmag.blogspot.com

    • Right? I don’t know why everyone expects fiction to be as real as it gets. I like the freedom of being as imaginative as any novel can get. So yeah. I don’t mind how far-reaching a story arc is.

  • gah I read like one of those sneak peaks from amazon? and LOVED it. I bought the book, ask me if I read it yet? nope. But I hear its exciting and I really need to make some time.

    • Hahah! Well, I hope you’ll love it when you eventually get to it. 🙂

  • kindlemom1

    I had no idea she wrote anything that wasn’t fantasy or paranormal! Okay, I think I would like this too, I mean who didn’t love The Breakfast Club right? 😛
    Wonderful review!!

    • Right? It’s quite a surprise for me as well. I hope you’ll love it!

  • Nicole Hewitt

    This is one of those books that I wouldn’t have given a second glance if it weren’t for your review. Now I have to try it out!!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    • *chews nails* I hope you’ll enjoy this one, Nicole!

  • I have yet to read anything by her, but I do have a couple of her books on my shelf. I may have to pick this one up in the future.

    • I hope you’ll enjoy it, Lekeisha! She’s one of my favourite authors. 🙂

  • Great to hear it was suspenseful and thrilling to read

  • I totally read the book for Kelley Armstrong too but I was intrigued because Nadia Stafford is my fav series by her. Kelley hadn’t done suspense/thriller in YA yet so I was curious as to how that would play out since I loved it so much in her adult series! TBH, as I write this comment idk if I am even making sense but I am going to roll with it just because.

    The Masked Truth is definitely one of my favorite books of the year because Kelley managed to surprise me. Her twists were NOT predictable and they weren’t produced from thin air. Basically, Kelley is a genius and I will read whatever she puts out.

    Lovely review, Joy!

    • Hear, hear, Rashika. I could not blink the whole time I was reading this book. I keep trying to solve it before hand, but Kelley just didn’t leave me that much clues to go with. She runs a tight ship!

  • I have not read this book and I didn’t realize it was a standalone. I’m so far behind on Kelley Armstrong, which makes me really sad because she is one of my favorite authors. I need to see if this is available on audio and squeeze it in somewhere if it is.

    • Oh I know about being behind on her series! I think I’ve only read the first Women of the Otherwolds book and I still haven’t read the last two books of her other YA series. Bah. I hope you’ll get to enjoy her books in the future!

  • It’s actually quite refreshing to read a standalone! This one sounds like it was filled with thrills.

    • It is. Provided that it doesn’t end in a cliff hanger of sorts. Or those annoying none-ending books. Gah! Those are frustrating. This one ended the way she intended. 🙂

  • Melliane

    Hmm now I didn’t know that she had a book like that released, I’m surprised so thank you but I’m glad to see you had such a wonderful time with the book! I’m curious!

  • I did not even know about this book. I am out of the loop