top of page
  • jlentz24

Book Rec: First Lie Wins by Ashley Elston

“Mama always said to be successful in life you need to do three things: learn everything you can, try your hardest, and be the best at what you do.”


First Lie Wins is a Reese’s Book Club pick and New York Times Bestseller. It’s the first adult novel for author Ashley Elston, and yet, it’s one of the best cat-and-mouse thrillers I’ve read in years. I can’t wait to see what she writes next!

First Lie Wins Summary

book jacket with bright lime green title and a women standing at the window of a house looking out

Evie Porter has everything a nice, Southern girl could want: a perfect, doting boyfriend, a house with a white picket fence and a garden, a fancy group of friends. The only catch: Evie Porter doesn’t exist.


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...


Discussion Guide (spoilers ahead)!


  1. Evie’s path of dishonesty and crime started as a way to help her dying mother. Do you sympathize with her way of life?

  2. If you had to trade places with a character in the book, who would it be?

  3. Evie’s job is quite isolating, and yet she forms attachments to Devon, Amy and Ryan. Do you think she has achieved what she really wanted?

  4. What was the significance of the garden?

  5. Did the ending surprise you? What parts of the book were shocking? Did you know who Mr. Smith was?

  6. Evie and Ryan are both morally gray characters, Yet, after the scene at Ryan’s work in Texas, I certainly felt that Ryan was shadier than Evie/Lucca, with a tendency of violence. Do you agree? Do you think you would have gotten back together with him after the truth was exposed?


If you liked the book First Lie Wins, check out The Family Game next!

Recent Posts

See All


Rated 0 out of 5 stars.
No ratings yet

Add a rating
bottom of page