Shannon (Giraffe Days)'s Reviews > Deadly Little Secret

Deadly Little Secret by Laurie Faria Stolarz
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's review
Jan 13, 2009

liked it
bookshelves: 2009, ya, mystery-suspense
Read in January, 2009

Camelia Hammond is starting her last year of school, but instead of looking forward she can't help but look back, to three months ago at the end of the last school year when her life was saved by a beautiful boy who then disappeared. She still tingles from where he touched her.

Yet when, on the first day of school, she sees him, Ben Carter, the new boy with a bad reputation and an even darker history, he pretends he doesn't recognise her and insists he never saved her life. He avoids her until one day in Chemistry class when he accidentally touches her - and all hell breaks loose.

Her infatuation with Ben isn't the real problem, though: her unknown stalker has made himself known and is becoming scarier with each photo put in her mailbox, each gift left by her window. Ben insists she's in danger and that he can help her, but who can she trust? Who is fixating on her?

I think, if I'd known this book was going to be a stalker book, I probably wouldn't have picked it up. I'm not a big fan of the genre. The suspense here was dealt with well, with good pacing and plenty of tense, even scary moments - especially as, while I knew the stalker wasn't Ben from the beginning, there was quite a large number of boys/men to choose from and that does make you rather edgy.

It's very dialogue-driven, which, when not taken advantage of, allows the characters to be under-developed: as they were here. You don't get to know Camelia all that well, even though she narrates - there's not much going on in her head aside from describing what she sees. Very disappointing. Ben's an intriguing character but you don't get close to him either. I'm wondering if he's the link that will pop up in the other books in the series (not yet written), especially considering they're called "Touch" novels. (Can't explain that without giving the only cool element of the book away.)

It's a stupidly quick read, tells a simple enough story and doesn't delve into the teenage psyche much. I quite liked Camelia's friend Kimmie. Part of my problem with these suspense books, is that so often supporting characters are set up: they're fodder for our mistrust, our suspicions, and turn out to be nothing more than plot devices. If the prose offers something more, if the main character/s offer more, then this could be overlooked, but when, as in Deadly Little Secret, the prose and main characters are superficial, the entire book becomes bland and disappointing.

That said, I did find it engrossing - perhaps against my better judgement - so I need to be fair in my rating.

Oh, and Ben reminded me of Edward from the Twilight books. Cashing in much?
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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Erin I cant remember is Ben the stalker guy?

Shannon (Giraffe Days) Erin wrote: "I cant remember is Ben the stalker guy?"

No I think he was the aloof and mysterious romantic interest - or is that the same thing in YA these days? ;)

Erin Ok thanks!

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