Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Release Date: May 13, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Mystery, YA
Source: Received in exchange for review
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With the intrigue of Pretty Little Liars and plenty of romance, bestselling author Sarah Strohmeyer weaves a story of secrets and lies—set in a funeral parlor. Growing up in a house of female morticians, Lily Graves knows all about buried secrets. She knows that perfect senior-class president Erin Donohue isn’t what she seems. She knows why Erin’s ex-boyfriend, hot football player Matt Houser, broke up with her. And she also knows that, even though she says she and Matt are just friends, there is something brewing between them—something Erin definitely did not like. But secrets, even ones that are long buried, have a way of returning to haunt their keeper. So when Erin is found dead the day after attacking Lily in a jealous rage, Lily's and Matt’s safe little lives, and the lives of everyone in their town of Potsdam, begin to unravel. And their relationship—which grew from innocent after-school tutoring sessions to late-night clandestine rendezvous—makes them both suspects. As her world crumbles around her, Lily must figure out the difference between truth and deception, genuine love and a web of lies. And she must do it quickly, before the killer claims another victim.
After adoring How Zoe Made Her Dreams (Mostly) Come True, I was expecting another entertaining and cute novel with the addition of intrigue and suspense. Unfortunately, The Secrets of Lily Graves did not turn out as good as I has hoped.
Erin is dead. And everyone thinks it’s Lily and Matt’s fault. First it was said to be a suicide, after Erin believed that Matt was going behind her back to be with Lily. But they were wrong, it was murder. Here is your generic, murder mystery with Lily Graves on the case, determined to find out who was behind Erin’s murder. My first quibble with The Secrets of Lily Graves appeared here. Nothing made any sense. The conclusions the main character made were absolutely logic-less and she was awfully dense. It would have made sense if Matt, Erin’s boyfriend, killed her as they were going through a seriously rough part, but nope, Lily refuses to believe this because she is crushing on him. Then she believes it’s someone else, yet I did not see how the heck she made that conclusion in the first place.
Secondly, the characters were one dimensional and cliché-ridden.Lily was fortunately the most likeable in the novel. Lily’s family runs a funeral house ever since her father died and is used to seeing murdered and dead bodies. She’s doesn’t give a crap about what others think of her and does what she seems correct–even though several times her actions were idiotic, like I had mentioned earlier. Nonetheless, Matt and the rest of the “Tragically Normals” felt awfully shallow. The “Tragically Normals” were the golden group, pinnacle of fame at high school, got awesome boyfriends/girlfriends, had good grades and did anything as they please. And that’s all, they’re terribly typical and what kind of name is “Tragically Normals”? Matt just felt like a random love interest that I didn’t care for at all. There should have been stronger backbones for these characters.
I’d also like to mention the ending. It was anti-climate and dreadfully…awkward. I knew who the culprit was a while into the novel, and when it was revealed, it just felt so poorly ‘announced’. I was definitely expecting something better from Strohmeyer.
I was disappointed with The Secrets of Lily Graves, this is definitely one of Sarah Stohmeyer’s weakest works. If you want a good mystery, I recommend We Were Liars, but if you just want a brainless but still interesting novel, this could be worth a try.
~Thank you Balzer & Bray for sending me this copy!~
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