I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Secrets of Lily Graves by Sarah Strohmeyer
Published by HarperCollins on 2014-05-13
Genres: Dating & Sex, Friendship, Love & Romance, Social Issues, Young Adult
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Gone Girl meets Six Feet Under in bestselling author Sarah Strohmeyer's romantic YA mystery about a girl who must unravel a web of lies in her small town before it's too late.Descended from a long line of female morticians, Lily Graves knows all about buried secrets. So after senior-class president Erin Donohue—perfect saint to the community—turns up dead, Lily believes it's her job to find the culprit. But Lily has feelings for Erin's ex-boyfriend, Matt, which makes both of them suspects and makes Lily's investigation . . . complicated. As her world crumbles around her, Lily must figure out the difference between truth and deception, between genuine love and a web of lies. And she must do it quickly, before the killer claims another victim.Fans of Sara Shepard who enjoy realistic contemporary fiction with a dash of mystery will love the secrets, lies, and romance swirling in this sexy, intriguing novel.
Surprisingly, I’ve never read a Sarah Strohmeyer book before and by all indicators I would be into her writing. I’ve heard that her previous two YA books were light and fluffy and fun. The Secrets Of Lily Graves, however, is a departure from the alleged light, fluffy, fun read that I guess Smart Girls Get What They Want is. Instead, The Secrets Of Lily Graves is a morbid mystery that has a comparison to Gone Girl but I am going to straight up tell you this book is nothing like Gone Girl except that it is a thriller and Gone Girl is also a thriller.
Sarah Strohmeyer’s The Secrets Of Lily Graves opens with title character Lily Graves doing some caretaking at the local cemetery. You see, her family runs a funeral parlor and her mom is a mortician and undertaker. They live in a creepy old Victorian mansion that they use also for the funeral business. So, anyways, Lily is cleaning up the graves when this girl, Erin Donohue who is totally popular and like this major all American girl attacks her. Erin is pissed at Lily because she thinks Lily is making a move on Erin’s football player boyfriend Matt. Lily, however, was only tutoring Matt, there was no romance there. Anyways, Erin scratches Lily up and Lily goes home thinking that’s it. Unfortunately, that’s the last time that Erin has been seen alive. BECAUSE OMG YOU GUYS she was murdered. And now Lily decides that she is the only one who can solve the mystery, not the cops. Also, Lily is involved because people begin to suspect her and also Matt. So, like, Lily’s private life comes to the forefront in their small Pennsylvania town of Potsdam. Time is running out, y’all.
Lily Graves is totally weird but also really likable. She’s a loner and she’s actually really okay with that. Like, it’s not like she spends the whole book pining over the popular girls. Instead, she has this self-confidence which is really cool. However, there are a few things about her that are a bit much, lol. Like she’s really into death and wearing the color black. She might as well be a walking stereotype. Those are pretty much her interests. OH and she has a best friend named Sarah who was adopted and who is obsessed with serial killers and wants to be an investigator when she grows up.
The romance in this book is really cute but not entirely swoonworthy. Like it does not take center stage. There isn’t really a lot of kissing. Lily and Matt are totally attracted to each other but can’t act on it quite yet. So, there’s tension throughout The Secrets Of Lily Graves, but I didn’t feel like the tension was enough, ya know? Like it wasn’t like WOW THIS IS SO TENSE I COULD CUT IT. Nope. And while I like Matt and Lily together, I kind of didn’t get the whole attraction or the reasoning behind it. It is cute though, I will give this book that.
Strohmeyer’s thriller young adult book is a very, very fast read, like if you don’t have a boyfriend who is insistent on being in bed by 11 p.m. or be damned, I am pretty sure you could finish this book in a single day. However, it just seems to be missing something that makes me totally 100% on board the love train. I am not sure what that something is. Overall, though, this is a fun mystery read and one that I recommend when you want something light and quick.