Campbell's Reviews > Dirty Little Secrets

Dirty Little Secrets by C.J. Omololu
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's review
Nov 23, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: romance, sad, ya, real-life-troubles, stand-alone
Recommended to Campbell by: Book Club.
Recommended for: Eh. Teenage girls.
Read in November, 2011

I was expecting something childish.
I was wrong.

At first, I had no clue what the book was about, and in order to surprise myself, I refused to read the back to get the general idea. And so I immediately thought, common-teenage-girl-with-boy-problems. I was not expecting much.
My interpretation of the title was horrendously inaccurate.

Lucy Tompkins is a teenage girl trying to get through life like all the others. She has the friend, she has the crush, she has the entire outside world fooled. But in reality, as soon as she steps through the doors of her own home, her life is anything but ordinary.
Her mother, secretly a hoarder, is close on abusive. No warm water, no real food supply, not a single clean surface. Forced to live with all of this, you would expect Lucy's home life to be the big secret she has to fight to keep.
But it's not the only one.
Coming home from a long while out, Lucy discovers something else lying among the piles of useless items and garbage.
Dead. Crushed from a pile of fallen magazines, hand unable to reach an inhaler.
Knowing that this would be publicized for the condition her house is in, Lucy rushes to hide the body and straighten up the house, at least enough to make it look 'messy' rather than 'unlivable'. And as she hurries to clean everything out, she is met with memory after memory, and setback after setback.
Can she hide her Dirty Little Secrets?

The book's main idea was very creative, and the way our author set it up was quite original as well. Working through a long, painful process in the present, as thoughts wandered back into the past as long lost treasures were found among rubble. A horrible secret that could do more than just ruin her social life. A predictable (but quietly arranged) romance. Insecurity. Fear. Risk.

I still have to criticize the book, though, sadly-
It seemed maybe a bit unrealistic that she would hide a dead body merely to save her social life. Also, I'm pretty sure people would understand that she has no say in the matter. Other than that, I thought it was a bit far fetched that the romance progressed so quickly.

Otherwise, fantastic book. Made me smile.
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