Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Deadly Little Secrets by Laurie Faria Stolarz
Some secrets shouldn't be kept...
Up until three months ago, everything in sixteen-year-old Camelia's life had been fairly ordinary: decent grades; an okay relationship with her parents; and a pretty cool part-time job at the art studio downtown. But when Ben, the mysterious new guy, starts junior year at her high school, Camelia's life becomes anything but ordinary.
Rumored to be somehow responsible for his ex-girlfriend's accidental death, Ben is immediately ostracized by everyone on campus. Except for Camelia. She's reluctant to believe the rumors, even when her friends try to convince her otherwise. She's inexplicably drawn to Ben...and to his touch. But soon, Camelia is receiving eerie phone calls and strange packages with threatening notes. Ben insists she is in danger, and that he can help--but can he be trusted? She knows he's hiding something... but he's not the only one with a secret.
There is something going on with young adult books these days. There is a certain something lacking from the storied in this genre. It’s like the authors just take an equation that works (girl falls psychotically in love with a boy she just met) and just write around it to sell books.
I think the biggest issue is that the characters are so shallow. There is no substance to them. The female characters, in particular, vacillate between weepy, moaning messes who need boys to rescue them, to awful creatures who forget their families and friends even exist when the boy of their dreams steps into the room. The male characters don’t fare much better. They’re either love-sick puppies or border-line abusive. Those are the glaring issues with this book. Add to that pointless dialogue that shows the two main characters playing “I love you, I love you not”, and you have a truly hollow book.
Although I know this is only the first book in a series, I still thought the ending was not handled well. It ended so abruptly, I thought I was missing some pages. Even in series, the reader does need closure, some feeling that the characters are not just hanging out mid-air, waiting for the author to finish her paragraph.
All in all, I cannot recommend this book, although I am sure most of the young adult books out there are very similar to this, and therefore will garner lots of readers.