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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Review: Deadly Little Secrets by Laurie Faria Stolarz

Let me say this first: I LOVE BAD BOYS.

I don't really know what, but there's something about them that women, well, us girls, just can't resist. Was it the danger? The thrill? The knowledge that HE is a bad boy, untouchable, and that getting close to him is like flirting with danger itself?

Camelia, the protagonist in this story meets her own bad boy, who has secrets he'd rather keep, but still, she couldn't help but be attracted to him. And then Camelia finds out that she's being stalked, and everyone thinks its Ben. After all, the boy is a murderer.

Title: Deadly Little Secret
Author: Laurie Faria Stolarz
Pages: 252


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.

This book had me guessing right from the start, the moment Camelia received that photo, I had to recall all of her interactions with everyone. Who could have possibly send it? Who is the stalker?

Told in the alternating views of Camelia, and her stalker, I couldn't help but feel the chills while I was reading what her stalker was thinking. It was terrifying taking a peek into the mind of a stalker.

The suspense build-up that will eventually lead us to who it was is simple, but simple as it may be, I couldn't put this book down. It wasn't as predictable as I thought it would be. I couldn't stop myself, I had to find out who it was. Trying to guess made me read the book more carefully. I have to say I was a bit surprised when I found out, and eventually told myself "why didn't I see that coming?".

The healthy amount of humor definitely was a plus for me. The moment I encountered Kimmie, I knew she'd be a hit. I guess creative people really have quirky sides. Fashion and boys, very high school. I think she's the most memorable character, at least for this book. What made me think of that? Simple. This:

“Okay, so, no offense,” she says, “but does this fascination with Ben have anything with you deciding to give-up your senior-citizen way of life?”

“Senior citizen?”

“Yeah, you know, safe, habitual, carefully planned, doesn’t like surprises, like to be in before dark-“
And this:

“So beautiful.” She places her hand over her well-insulated chest, completely take aback. “I mean, honestly, how does one get an ass like that? So firm… so symmetrical.”

“Unlike your gift-wrapped boobs.”

“Excuse me?”

“I hate to break this to you, but I have way more pressing issues to contend with that John Kenneally’s butt cheeks.”

I was told that there were similarities in this book with Twilight, but I beg to disagree. Yes, the girl was saved by the guy from a truck, but I think the similarities end there.

Camelia might not be the sassy type of protagonist, but I enjoyed reading about her. I wish there could have been more to her character, and not just the clueless, sometimes helpless, most of the time stubborn girl she was.

And Ben. My heart went out to Ben. He was one misunderstood teen. I wonder what's going through his mind, when everyone around him don't trust him even one bit, thinks he's a murderer and capable of violence. And sometimes, even that one girl who was able to break down his walls and get close can't even trust him.

Most favorite "touchy" scene:

“Will you let me touch you?”

Before he can answer, I reach my hand across the table. Ben closes his eyes, and I run my fingers over the lines in his palm. His skin is rough and calloused beneath my fingertips.

“Don’t,” he whispers.

Still, I slide my hand back and forth over his, imagining what he sense right now – if he can feel the boiling inside me.

His eyes are still closed, and I can see the urgency in his hand. His fingers curl up, like he wants to grab me.

“Sorry.” I pull away.

He opens his eyes. “You have no idea how hard this is for me.”

“Which part… holding on or letting go?”


I was practically screaming inside when I read this. See, these are the type of scenes that I love. I was holding my breath while I was reading this part. It was INTENSE, to sum it up in one word.

I only have one thing I couldn't help but react to. The ending was very abrupt. When I finished reading the last page, I thought "That was it?". A smoother transition to the ending could have been written, in my opinion, but on the other hand, since this has a second book, I guess they had to cut the ending short like that. Still, I wish they could have ended it in a better tone than it did and left us all hanging and wondering what had happened.

I had moments of confusion throughout my reading, but I had a sneak peek on the second book, and I have high hopes that they will be cleared. I am looking forward to grabbing Deadly Little Lies.

The writing was kept simple, nothing really stellar about it, but overall, I have enjoyed my reading experience. This book has just the right amount of suspense, intrigue and a little bit of romance thrown into the mix that made it a worthy read.

Rating: ★★★★☆ : This is a really nice book. I like it! <3


  1. I like the series so let see how good it will be the 3 book.

  2. Hey, Michelle!

    I didn't know there was a third book until I saw it in Goodreads. I'm looking forward to it, but I have to read the second book first. ^^

  3. I read this book too and most of your review was how I felt. Stolarz did a great job with the creepy factor but the ending was rushed, and because of that, it lost the creepiness factor. I did caught on about halfway through the book who the stalker was!

    Great review!


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