Friday, October 17, 2014

Review - Deadly Little Lies (Or - I Read this YA Book and I Wish I Hadn't)

I should start this off by making it very clear that I generally do not like YA books at all. After ten seconds of thorough research, I've learned that the book I'm about to review is/was relatively popular, too. You've been warned!

Anyway, about maybe 7 years ago, I was in this thing where you'd receive advance reading copies of YA books (I didn't hate all YA then, just maybe half of it) and email the publishers back with a little review and what I thought could have been better. One of the books I remember reading from that was Deadly Little Secret by Laurie Faria Stolarz. I'm not going to review that whole book, but you can get the general idea of it with the synopsis here. It included most of the things I didn't like about YA books; teen angst, awkward and unrealistic teenage romance, and was 80% in a school setting. That aside, it was a quick and easy read because it was very fast paced and when kids weren't being stupid, the action was pretty intense. I wanted to know why this chick was being stalked/if someone was actually going to try murdering her, and why this Ben dude was creepin' around all weird. I finished the book to a somewhat unsatisfying ending, put it on my bookshelf, and over time kind of just forgot about it.

Deadly Little Lies review

...until a few weeks ago, when I was at my Friends of the Library book store. I saw the spine of a book and thought the styling looked familiar, so I picked it up and saw that Deadly Little Secret had turned itself into a series, and that this was the second book, Deadly Little Lies. I don't really know what came over me, but as I was standing there with the book in hand, I thought about when I read the first one, and for some I wasn't remembering it for as bad as it really was. I threw a quarter into the payment slot and brought it home. Here's a little synopsis from the back of the book to get us all on the same page:

Last fall, sixteen-year-old Camelia fell for Ben, the mysterious new boy at school who turned out to have a very "mysterious" gift--pyschometry, the ability to sense the future through touch. But just as Camelia and Ben's romance began to heat up, he abruptly left town. Brokenhearted, Camelia has spent the last few months studying everything she can about psychometry, and experiencing her own strange brushes with premonition. Camelia wonders if Ben's abilities have somehow rubbed off on her. Can the power of psychometry be transferred? Even once Ben returns to school, Camelia can't get close enough to share her secret with him. Despite the romantic tension between them, Ben remains aloof, avoiding contact. Then when an unexpected kiss leads to a frightening argument, Camelia makes the painful decision to let Ben go and move on. Adam, the hot new guy at work, seems good for her in ways Ben wasn't. Adam is easygoing, and seems to really care about her. But when Camelia and Adam start dating, a surprising love triangle results. A chilling sequence of events upturns secrets from Ben's past--and Adam's. Someone is lying, and it's up to Camelia to figure out who--before it's too late.

The second book picks up a few months after the first one. The guy who was stalking her (it was her ex-boyfriend, who we hadn't even really heard of until the "big reveal," very anti-climatic) is sent away to some other state, and the guy she was into, Ben, dips out because he needs to "get away" for awhile. When school starts again Ben comes back, but he's giving our girl Camelia the cold shoulder for whatever reason (teen angst, I'm telling you). Ben is all annoying because he's so conflicted; sometimes he'll try to talk to her and say he has "feelings" for her still, but then other times he doesn't want anything to do with her, because it's "safer this way." Camelia goes chasing after him more than I think one should if they're trying to keep their dignity, until she meets this oh-so-handsome college dude, named Adam, which ends up making Ben into a jealous mess. Because just when I think things can't get worse, they bring a love triangle into the mix.

Parks and Recreation Ron Swanson gif
Why wouldn't I use this as a chance to use my feeling approipriate gif collection?

Meanwhile, Camelia is getting creepy messages again, reminiscent of the first book. Cryptic notes in the mail, mysterious packages being left in her room, bloody scrawls on her garage door - normal stuff. The most confusing part of this series (for me anyway), has been why she gets into these situations and doesn't do anything about it. Basically she's just waiting around until whoever's bugging her decides to sneak into her room with a chainsaw (that's an exaggeration, except it kind of isn't). Someone's been following me and taking pictures of me while I'm out? No worries. Someone broke into my house through my bedroom window? Whatever. Not once does she even consider calling the police. She won't tell her parents because they're busy worrying about her aunt that's in the hospital for a non life threatening issue. She does, however, tell her two dingbat friends, but seeing as they never even offer to walk her home that didn't do her much good.

Stephen Colbert gif
What she should have said to "friends," Kimmie and Wes.

So pretty much the whole book goes back and forth from creepy stalkery things, trying to get Ben to pay attention to her, changing her mind and ignoring Ben to hang out with Adam, and then back to the beginning again. Yes, the mystery of who's behind the evil shenanigans DOES keep you guessing, but only because the answer is something you never would have pieced together on your own, as it involves people and things that had nothing to do with the rest of the story (this complaint is aimed at both books, though the first book is the bigger culprit). I can't guess that it was Mrs. White with the candlestick if I didn't even know she was in the story.

Clue movie gif
Exactly.

So that's my review of Deadly Little Lies, but Laurie Faria Stolarz. If you've read this series, I'd love to hear your opinions, whether they disagree with mine or not! I know I'm a bit of a minority when it comes to my feelings on YA books, so I'm sure there's some super fans for this series somewhere! Let's talk! :)

13 comments:

  1. Thanks for the review so I can avoid this book! I hate to invest time in a book and then not like it!

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    1. Me too! Such a waste of time, hahah.

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  2. Well I'm certainly going to avoid this one now! Sometimes you have a duty to warn your blog readers.

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  3. I love honest reviews! Thank you for sharing :)

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  4. I'm sorry you hated the book, but I loved the scathing review+gifs. :)

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  5. All book reviews should include gifs! :D I haven't read too much YA, some I've enjoyed and some not so much...I'll def avoide this one!

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    1. Hahah I love squeezing in a few gifs whenever I can get away with it!

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  6. I just love how honest your are:)
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  7. Books like these are why I now read nonfiction almost exclusively. Too bad because I do enjoy a good story.

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    1. Right? Finding a good book can be hard sometimes!

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