FROM THE COVER:
Some secrets shouldn’t be kept….
Until three months ago, everything about 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 far from 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. Instead, 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 wants to help – but can he be trusted? She knows he’s hiding something…but he’s not the only one with a secret.
My rating: 4 stars.
Although leery upon reading the somewhat cheesy and predictable cover-flap, I started reading Deadly Little Secret with an open mind; it’s one thing to be cheesy about romance and school and everyday life, but for me, it’s another to be cheesy about mysteries. A cheesy mystery is a lifeless mystery. It dilutes the suspense. Thankfully, Deadly Little Secret is not a cheesy mystery.
There are two narrative voices: Camelia, and someone unknown. The “Unknown” is told through the use of scratchy, handwritten-like diary entries. Camelia’s voice is nothing special – she’s your typical teenage girl. The “Unknown” is simply strange, in an off-putting way. Mixed interchangeably, the two voices do not read cohesively; sometimes it feels as though they’re coming from two different stories. Yet, that is what keeps the suspense constantly lurking around the corner, so to speak.
The good in all of this is Ben. He’s impossible to read, judge, pinpoint. And yet he still remains an attractive character. You don’t love him, but you don’t hate him. It’s more that you just want him to be around.
The inevitable romance that stems in the novel is unlike most. It’s simpler, truer – in that it doesn’t rely on sexual relations. Just touch. I find this innovative and emotional – that one sense conveys so much.
Deadly Little Secret makes for a nice read, as does its sequel, Deadly Little Lies.
EXTRA: The third in the series, Deadly Little Games, will be released on December 28, 2010.