By: Melanie | May 3, 2014 | (22) Comments

Review: The Secrets of Lily Graves by Sarah StrohmeyerThe Secrets of Lily Graves by Sarah Strohmeyer
Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Release Date: May 13, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Mystery, YA
Pages: 304
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.

stickers-my-review (1)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!~

2 Stars
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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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22 Responses to Review: The Secrets of Lily Graves by Sarah Strohmeyer

  1. Ha, I’ve seen you and Celine talk about We Were Liars on Twitter, so it’s no surprise that you’d recommend it. 😉

    Anyway, I was actually hoping this would be something creepy and mysterious, but it just sounds like a bunch of weird, jumbled-up ideas thrown into a book. Seriously, “Tragically Normals”? It couldn’t get tackier than that. Awesome review, Melanie! <33

    • Melanie says:

      Haha, no surprise at all! I’d recommend it to someone who hates mysteries, in fact.

      Yeah, it had a pretty good direction, but went down poorly 🙁

  2. *sigh* yours is the second not at all enthusiastic review I’ve read for this book. It sounded so promising, but now it just doesn’t anymore 🙁
    Great review, Melanie!
    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews recently posted…Stacking the Shelves #30 – A little of this, a little of thatMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      Yeah, my co-blogger read it a while ago and wasn’t a fan but I had enjoyed her prev. novels so decided to try it but I guess it’s just not one of her best works.

  3. Melliane says:

    Oh I’m sorry it wasn’t as good as her other book… I loved her other series, a chick-lit one but for adults. I also need to finish it because I think I need the last book. I think I’ll pass this one though… thanks for the review.
    Melliane recently posted…Stacking the Shelves #92My Profile

    • Melanie says:

      I don’t think this is her best work, Melliane. I’d say try and read something else by her like How Zoe Made Her Dreams (Mostly) Come True as that was really cute

  4. Oh dear, it sounds like this was bland and not executed very well at all! Thank you for your honesty Mel, I’ve been curious about this novel but not anymore.
    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence recently posted…Stacking the Shelves #28 – Diversity in Books & EeveeMy Profile

  5. Ugh, One-dimensional characters are the worst. and the plot and deductions not making sense sounds horrible. Yeah, not for me.
    Jennifer Bielman recently posted…Stacking The Shelves #75: The KingMy Profile

  6. Definitely doesn’t sound like something for me…I like more interesting characters and a stronger mystery!
    ShootingStarsMag recently posted…Adolf: A Tale of the Twentieth Century by Osamu TezukaMy Profile

  7. Noo I was anxious about this one since I’ve only read Sarah’s cute and upbeat books, so now that this mystery doesn’t work well at ALL makes me super sad 🙁 But I can definitely see why you weren’t a fan of the whole mystery aspect especially if she suspected someone else as the murderer when an obvious choice was right in front of her. Fantastic review, Mellybean! <33
    Eileen @ Singing and Reading in the Rain recently posted…Wintergirls by Laurie Halse AndersonMy Profile

  8. I mean it seems like an interesting premise – morticians, cool. But 1) her name seems kind of tacky given the whole mortician situation and 2) I’ve read enough badly-executed stories like this. Hopefully your next read is better 🙂
    Emily @ The Loony Teen Writer recently posted…What Happened This Month: reading lots and fangirlingMy Profile

  9. Henrietta says:

    Aiya… I had high hopes on this one but now I think I’d have to readjust my expectation. 🙁

    Glad to see you enjoyed We Were Liars and I look forward to reading your review on the book soon.
    Henrietta recently posted…We Were Liars – E LockhartMy Profile

  10. Bummer, sorry you didn’t enjoy this one Mel. It honestly sounds a little cliche to me with the whole murdered best friend, and potential cheating between bf and best friend. I’m excited to read We Were Liars, it sounds amazing!
    Joy @ Thoughts By J recently posted…Book Review: Fire & Flood (Fire & Flood #1) by Victoria ScottMy Profile

  11. Amir says:

    The premise sounds interesting and I do love whodunit murder mysteries but from your review I think I would pass on this one. The love interest also sounds dreadfully boring, but at least the main character is likable at least. Great review Mel 🙂
    Amir recently posted…{Blog Tour} Kate Sebastian’s Old Enemies Make The Best Lovers Excerpt + Giveaway!My Profile

  12. Awww, Mel, I’m so sorry you didn’t enjoy this one. I actually did really like it, but I was definitely in the mood for this type of book when I started reading it. So I guess it just caught me in a really good mood. I can see where you’re coming from with a lot of these points though. I hope your next read is better! Great honest review, Mel! 🙂
    Lisa (Lost in Literature) recently posted…Becca’s Weekly Recap ~ 5.3.14My Profile

  13. Veronika says:

    I didn’t like this either, it was really boring and Lily was just plainly annoying. Their relationship with Matt was one of the most unromantic ones I’ve ever read about. The ending was predictable and the worst part was how easily Lily moved on after the betrayal of her best friend, it was like because she hurt her she didn’t care anymore. This doesn’t work like that, you won’t be feelingless after years of friendship, there must stay betrayal or hatred or the tiny bit of love or anything.
    We Were Liars went straight to my 2014 favorites list. 🙂
    Great review. 🙂
    Veronika recently posted…Tony Bertauski – Foreverland is DeadMy Profile

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