By: Melanie | March 1, 2014 | (24) Comments

Review: Wicked Little Secrets by Kara TaylorWicked Little Secrets by Kara Taylor
Series: Prep School Confidential, #2
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Release Date: March 4, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Mystery, YA
Pages: 304
Source: Received in exchange for review
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Anne Dowling becomes entangled in a web of secrets involving a missing student and a conspiracy at Wheatley Prep in this fast-paced, juicy follow-up to Prep School Confidential.

Anne Dowling—a fresh, original, and funny new YA heroine whose knowing, irreverent voice will remind readers of Pretty Little Liars and Private—is back for her second semester at Wheatley Prep. Although things have settled (somewhat) since her roommate Isabella’s death, Anne's still kind of obsessed with the disappearance of Wheatley student Matthew Weaver thirty years ago, since she found a picture of him and his crewmates with the words “they killed him” scrawled on the back among Isabella’s things.

When Anne learns that her boyfriend Brent’s dad is one of the now-powerful Wheatley alumni who rowed crew with Matthew, and that the crew team continues to induct new members with a creepy-sounding ritual called “The Drop,” she knows further investigation could put her relationship with Brent in danger. Determined to discover the truth, she reaches out to Anthony, Isabella’s townie brother, who helps her delve deeper into the secrets in Wheatley’s past. Secrets someone would kill to keep hidden. As the school’s Spring Formal—and its notorious afterparty—approaches, Anne sees the perfect opportunity to do some off-campus digging into the lives of Wheatley’s VIPs in this thrilling, unputdownable read—but if she’s not careful, she’ll be the next student who never comes back.

I’ve always been quick to recommend Prep School Confidential when someone is in a reading slump or just wondering what they should read next. There’s nothing to not love about a bold and witty main character, with sweet romance and murder mystery that makes you second guessing everyone, left and right. Perhaps, I had started to glorify the brilliance of Kara Taylor’s debut a little too much, to the point where my expectations grew unconsciously sky high when I finally was accepted by NetGalley to read this ARC. But I’ll be candid, I was a little disappointed with Wicked Little Secrets, there where just some quibbles that I believe the author could have avoided easily. But please note, it was still a fantastic book either way.

Here’s a little-known fact: Almost 80 percent of people who get murdered know their killers.

Wicked Little Secrets opens up not too long after Prep School Confidential. Anne’s parents are forcing her to see a therapist in Boston every now and again to check on her since Isabella was her roommate and close friend for the time they knew each other. Anne and Brent’s relationship is now official and Anne vows to never talk to Anthony again after she saw what he did. Despite a pretty happy life, there’s still questions awaiting for answers. Questions surrounding Matthew Weaver, a student who vanished more than thirty years ago. Isabella had borrowed a book from the library with a photograph of him and the Wheatley Crew team in it before she died, and on the back it wrote: THEY KILLED HIM. Those questions wanted an answer even more desperately when Anne meets Brent’s father, who looks strangely similar to the boy in the picture who was standing next to Matthew Weaver.

Once again, a thrilling premise. Love it. I love it even more because it’s told by the forever hilarious and logical, Anne. She’s quick to pick up flaws and is a resourceful protagonist. I love her determination and perseverance to get an answer even when things seem awfully convoluted. There were times when I think Anne got way to infatuated with the investigation she was conducting and throwing lies at all corners, which was absolutely frustrating. But on whole, a reliable and strong character that I want to see more of–maybe less ‘hypocrisy’ though.

There is a certain more amount of romance in Wicked Little Secrets. There are points in this novel where I began to feel that it was overshadowing the plot which was not at all a problem in the first installment. Yes, the love triangle continues but it has never really bothered me when it comes to this series. Both romances are handle realistically and I couldn’t help but giggle through some scenes. I’m slightly undecided about which team I’m on right now, but I think I’ll be happy as long as it feels right by book 3.

We turn back to the movie for a few minutes before Brent says, “Do you want to go to the formal?” I trace the outline of his ear.
“I don’t know. No one’s asked me.” He rolls his eyes.
“Do you want to go with me to the formal?”
“I don’t want to go to the formal,” I say, “But if you need a date, I can tough it out.”
“You’re so generous.” He laughs with his whole body.

And for all the Anthony lovers:

“Anthony–”
“No, there’s more. I don’t want to pretend I don’t give a shit what you think of me. Because I do. I don’t want to be the waste product you think I am. It’s all I think about lately. His eyes are pleading, begging me to understand what he’s really saying. “You’re all I think about, and I can’t stop.”

A thrilling, fun and full of drama sequel, I am jumping up and down on my toes for Deadly Little Sins. If you want murder mystery, Kara Taylor is your author.

~Thank you St. Martin’s Griffin for sending me this copy!~

3.5 Stars
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Melanie

Owner (and crazy nut) at YA Midnight Reads
Melanie is one of the totally fabulous bloggers at YA Midnight Reads. She's a 16 year old student from Melbourne, Australia. She is normally found binge watching TV series, reading , blogging, procrastinating or fangirling about how Percabeth is the best ship ever. She's also a lover of caps lock and uses it excessively.

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24 Responses to Review: Wicked Little Secrets by Kara Taylor

  1. Rachel says:

    Wonderful review, Melanie. I love murder mysteries but it’s hard to find a satisfying YA one. I think one that stood out in the past for me is All the Truth That’s in Me, which was so much more than a murder mystery. I know you loved that one, too. I’ll have to check this series out! 🙂
    Rachel recently posted…Monthly Recap #6My Profile

  2. Tanja says:

    I have heard great things about Prep School Confidential and I’ve been planing to read it sometimes soon. I’m so sorry you didn’t enjoy this one as expected. But this happens often to me as well. Your expectations go so high that you end up feeling like something is lacking. Great review, girl :))
    Tanja recently posted…ARC Review: Til Death by Kate EvangelistaMy Profile

  3. Eeek, creepy first quote. This one actually sounds good. Is it stupid I so fell in love with that skull clutch in the cover? lol.
    Jennifer Bielman recently posted…Stacking The Shelves #66: Where Silence GathersMy Profile

  4. Melliane says:

    it’s always difficult when you expct something high from a book. But this one sounds good though. And the cover is nice too, I’ll have to investigate about book 1.
    Melliane recently posted…Stacking the Shelves #83My Profile

  5. Hmm it sounds like I really need to read Prep School Confidential (which I may have on my bookshelf, not very sure at the moment), because it sounds great! Although if I continue on to read Wicked Little Secrets, I’ll remember to keep an open mind 🙂 I love the sound of a witty and smart protagonist like Anne. I feel like so many authors try to pull off that kind of personality in their protagonists but very few actually succeed in convincing you of who they are. Fantastic review, Mellybean! <33
    Eileen @ Singing and Reading in the Rain recently posted…Life of a Blogger (6): Guilty PleasuresMy Profile

  6. Paulina says:

    Murder mysteries are always great! I love your review. I am definitely checking out this book! Paulina @ Tangled In Pages

  7. I haven’t heard of this series before, Mel, but it sounds like so much fun! Sometimes, that’s exactly what I need so I’ll be checking out these books for sure. Fantastic review! 🙂
    Keertana @ Ivy Book Bindings recently posted…ARC Review: Stolen Songbird by Danielle L. JensenMy Profile

  8. It looks like the cover of Gallagher girls. Not a big fan of decapitated people covers myself, but this sounds really interesting! Might try out the first one 🙂
    Emily @ The Loony Teen Writer recently posted…What Happened This Month: February ReflectionsMy Profile

  9. Sounds like the perfect fun, fluffy read for reading slumps. I haven’t tried these out yet but looks like you enjoyed them! Great review lovely 🙂
    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence recently posted…Stacking the Shelves #21 – Assassin’s Blade!My Profile

  10. Henrietta says:

    I didn’t know this book is coming out in a few days! I enjoyed reading book one – Anne was quite hilarious and both Brent and Anthony were likeable. Glad to see that you didn’t mind the romance! I wonder what’s going on with the crew team.

  11. This actually sounds pretty dang good despite the few quibbles, and I love your interesting fact!
    kimbacaffeinate recently posted…Sunday Post #97 sharing blog news and book haulMy Profile

  12. I’ve never read this before and I might just try this series out when on a reading slump. Thanks, Mel!
    Dre @ Sporadic Reads recently posted…Book Review 134 : Cruel Beauty by Rosamund HodgeMy Profile

  13. I love murder mystery! And I like Kara on Twitter, so I really need to read book one sometime soon. Boo, where does all my time go? Book sounds like a lot of fun. 🙂
    Wendy Darling recently posted…Murder of Crows: reviewMy Profile

  14. I have this book right now and while I only read a handful of pages, I liked what I read so far, although I’m a bit iffy on her being with Brent. For some reason, there’s a part of me that wish Anne would just be by her lonesome (she’s great as she is!), and I’m terribly sad you felt there were moments the romance overshadowed the plot. I am NOT looking forward to that at all. ._. Color me scared to continue now :S I don’t want to tarnish the very positive opinion I have of this series! D:
    Faye @ The Social Potato recently posted…Favorite Childhood Villains in CourtMy Profile

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