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The Secret Billionaire

(The Surway Fortune #1)

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  307 ratings  ·  69 reviews
Best Young Adult Book, Florida Book Festival, 2016
Best Young Adult Book, Great Midwest Book Festival, 2016
Best Young Adult Book, Northern California Book Festival, 2016
Best Young Adult Book, Reader Views, 2016-2017
Gold Medal, Juvenile/Young Adult Fiction, eLit Awards, 2017
Gold Medal, Juvenile/Young Adult Fiction eBook, Independent Publisher Awards, 2017

1960s — March 24. Bi
Paperback, 370 pages
Published September 29th 2016 by PageWing, Inc. (first published September 26th 2016)
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Average rating 3.99  · 
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Tara Woods Turner
Sep 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
What happens when a young adult novel has to stand on its own merit without the benefit of vampires, zombies or constant eye-rolling? It gains an opportunity to be classified as genuinely great fiction like The Secret Billionaire. The title of this book gave me pause at first because it reminded me of a middle grade mystery but the description was intriguing so I gave it a try. I am so glad I did. Eternal angst, love triangles and inconceivably adult behavior and thought processes are the hallma ...more
Paula  Phillips
Feb 12, 2017 rated it liked it

The Secret Billionaire has a strong start with an incident happening in 1960 where a reclusive billionaire who owned most of the town disappeared without a trace when his plane went down. Lyndon Surway with no relatives and family, left some of his money to his workers to provide for their families and children's education and the rest of his money, estates - everything else was left to Lucian Baker. The thing though is that no-one could ever track down Lucian Baker and so it remained uncollecte
Apr 03, 2020 rated it it was ok
Fun story but the writing needs to be trimmed down. Characters are underdeveloped. For example, the bad guy is just too evil without compelling motivations.
Oct 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I must be so jaded by the words “young adult” that I immediately thought that there’d be sparkly vampires or someone offering themself up for tribute (not that there’s anything wrong with that but that’s just not my cup of tea.)

That said, I have a hard time classifying this book as YA—it’s brilliantly written and I couldn’t put it down while we were on vacation in Greece. It now looks like it’s been read hundreds of times because I took it to the beach and we all know what salt does to books…

This is a storybook story. We can ignore the Fort Knox supply of gold hidden a few dozen feet below the ground in favor of the dream of being rich. We can ignore the impossible buildings in favor of Jesse McGallender. We can ignore the impossible race in favor of the Brandows. We can ignore the super famous high school in favor of... The list goes on.

I suppose I should point out the underage drinking that occurs.
Feb 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very thrilling read

The thrill, the adventure, the secrecy, a lovely parallel world feel - how can one not find it an un-put-downable book!
Andrew Huang
Mar 20, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
To preface my review, I admit I only picked up this novel because I have a personal connection to the author. I had the fortune to work and interact with him in a professional setting, and he was truly one of the nicest mentors I've had. Knowing the amount of work Teymour put into this while balancing other aspects of his life, I have the utmost respect for him. With that said, I'd like to keep this review as unbiased as possible, and rate it with the same framework I utilize for my other review ...more
Kelly Graham
Apr 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very compelling read

I'm not sure why I found it so compelling, but I did. It's a fascinating story. I look forward to reading what happens next.
Reader Views
Feb 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Reviewed by Emily Sutton (age 15) for Reader Views (02/17)

“The Secret Billionaire” is an intriguing young adult mystery/thriller by debut author, Teymour Shahabi. The premise involves the decades-old unsolved disappearance of Billionaire, Lyndon Surway, and the current-day life and challenges of a young boy named Andrew Day.

Lyndon Surway took off in his private jet one beautiful morning never to return. After being missing in action for 90 days, Surway was officially pronounced dead. The reading
Alyssa Janine Busia
Another entertaining and intriguing mystery book that I’ve read!

The book was about an orphan boy named Andrew Day that was chosen for a scholarship on a private school. It was a scholarship where a lot of students tried to apply, but to no luck, they never got it, and only Andrew was chosen. He met some friends there, and they told him a very old story going around the town.

It was about the billionaire Lyndon Surway that disappeared around 1960. It was said that he had left most of his fortune t
Oct 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed reading this book. So many books today tell the reader how they should feel about the characters instead of doing the hard work of creating dialogue and action that allows the reader to see who the characters really are. This book was refreshing that the characters were not cliché but showed multiple facets of their personalities. I have a feeling that the author's internal and external dialogue of his characters led the reader to come to his intended conclusion.

The book ended with a
Mrs. Reader
Sep 27, 2016 rated it liked it
This book is for people who love YA and suspense.

Let me start off by saying that I love a good mystery so when I saw this I jumped at the chance to review it. The first few pages drew me in I was on pins and needles and was waiting to be told more about Lyndon Surway and his mysterious disappearance. I loved that instead of going right into the book we start with a news article.
But then things get all confusing. The prologue is not in the same time frame as the news article, which would be fin
Sep 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love "Knives Out", "Clue", and The Westing Game, so I had those in mind when I set out to read The Secret Billionaire and I was not disappointed. Andrew Day does not know how or why he was chosen to receive a special scholarship to an exclusive boarding school, having been an orphan who never really stood out. But, he quickly has friends and a mystery to solve in the town. A local billionaire disappeared many years ago and his heir was never found, his mansion lays empty, his fortune missing. ...more
Mar 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Suspenseful, thought-provoking, and a good old-fashioned mystery all seasoned with a dash of coming-of-age, this was a great read.

Andrew Day finds himself at a school on a scholarship he didn’t apply for in a town that holds many secrets, most as a result of the disappearance of billionaire local, Lyndon Surway, decades prior to Andrew’s arrival. Trying to navigate his way in a school where everyone’s an heir to an illustrious parent, Andrew feels drawn to Cameron and Olivia from the first day,
Sheila Lohrie
Jan 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A beautiful book. Full of hope and life.

To me this story had all of the grandest and saddest of human nature that life has to offer. I feel blessed to have found it quite by accident. The characters were real however fictional. The words filled the pages as though the author had lived this life himself. Mr. Shahabi writes with his heart and soul. I look forward to his next installment and any other books that he shares with his audience. I read many books and sadly most of them don't stay with m
Zee Monodee
An engrossing read! The prose, pace, and the flow reminded me of fiction from past decades, a lot along the lines of Sidney Sheldon and the like. It's a story that is slowly but surely leading you somewhere, and trust me, that journey is enthralling. Yes, it does feel a bit slow and rambling at times if you're used to faster-paced books that pretty much deliver everything into your lap from the get go, but this one book to be savored and taken in page by page as you however race to the ending to ...more
Mar 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book. It has a very unique and clever plot. It seemed most of the book was getting to know the characters and the author did make them come alive. All is not as it appears to be. I believe that there is another book out there, or I hope so. I would like to see where our LB does from here on in.

I received an advanced review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.
LeeAnna Lane
Oct 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Pleasure and Mystery of The Secret Millionaire

When I started reading this book I wasn't sure I was going to like it at all· I had to put it down two or three times before I finally got into it. Once I was sure what was actually going on I could not put it down. In fact it is so interesting I am going to get the next book so I can find out what happens next to the boy Andrew Day, his friends Olivia and Cameron. But most of all how he fairs with the treasure.
Linda Felix
Dec 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a most entertaining book.
It was written with great intelligence.
The story line is vivid and I could not put this book down.
I cannot wait for the next continuation!
Mar 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great Read

I enjoyed this book very much. The characters were interesting and the story was filled with wonder and suspense.
I really enjoyed reading it.
Susan Clair Holt
Lucian Baker

This authors first writing is wonderful and fit for all ages beginning with teens to old age. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and hope to be able to read the sequel.
Katie P.
Mar 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
Teymour Shahabi’s The Secret Billionaire delivers the perfect amount of suspense and excitement from the first page. The novel’s elusive and ever-present business tycoon Lyndon Surway looms over the narrative, giving the reader the feeling that they are missing something throughout the pages. This feeling of suspense drives the plot forward through the story of Andrew Day. Andrew has no parents and has been passed around the system to one day wake up to find that he has been chosen for an illust ...more
"Some nights bring solutions; others take them away."

So I picked this up because I freakin' loved the cover, I mean it's amazing… and then I read the synopsis and I was HOOKED! A massive inheritance left to a mystery person only known as Lucian Baker... but nobody knows who that is, where he may be, or if he even exists. This story was a fun read and the writing was incredibly engaging. It took me a while to actually start this book but as soon as I did I couldn't get enough. A dead/missing Bill
May 26, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: booksirens
The Secret Billionaire by Teymour Shahabi is an exciting YA book. Well, it is listed in the YA category but really it is for anyone of any age. If your teenage years are but a distant memory this story will bring back all of those feelings of that time in your life. The fear and excitement of starting high school wondering who might be potential lifetime friends, would you find any friends at all, what would your classes be like, could you keep up the work, could you meet the challenges, what wo ...more
The 'blurb' for this one is fascinating enough to intrigue me into requesting a free copy from Booksirens (in return for an honest review). It sat on my Kindle a long time until I got around to it, and when I finally read it, I found it to be a bit boring, not especially logical, and very hard to believe. The loose ends were inadequately tied up. The house at the centre of the mystery was too big, too rich, too unbelievable. The school - with its one private zoo and a ludicrous 'brooches and cuf ...more
Eyqa  Zaque (The Hundred Pages)
The first impression of this book:

Man of many wealth had disappeared and inherited his wealth for a man name Lucian Baker. However, there is no Lucian Baker that fits the description hence the wealth remained a mystery. Many years passed till Andrew Day come into the town. Putting an unknown boy into an unfamiliar place, new environment, new mystery, new challenges were all tempted to read this book till the end.

Tho the plot was rather straightforward but there are some qualities that worth to m
Jun 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I love "Knives Out", "Clue", and The Westing Game, so I had those in mind when I set out to read The Secret Billionaire and I was not disappointed.
Andrew Day does not know how or why he was chosen to receive a special scholarship to an exclusive boarding school, having been an orphan who never really stood out. But, he quickly has friends and a mystery to solve in the town. A local billionaire disappeared many years ago and his heir was never found, his mansion lays empty, his fortune missing.
Saundra Wright
May 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The start of a brilliant YA series. I started them out of order but just had to go back and read the beginning!

Meet Andrew Day. He recently became the Saint Clemens Scholar. Before this, he has spent his life being sent from place to place at the whim of the state. Andrew Day is an orphan; he has never had any kind of a family and no place to call home. As the recipient of this scholarship, he will be able to stay in one place for all of his high school years.

He loves the couple he will be stay
Kay Brooks
Mar 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
An Absolutely Amazing Novel

So well written that I was in Andrew’s mind, feeling his feelings, wishing his wishes and cringing when he felt fear. The balance of the characters are all complementary, his trusted friends Olivia and Cameron as well as the very jolly Jesse, and the Scrooge like school Principal Mr. Clare, among others. I was in wonder at the way Mr. Shahabi was able to capture the passions of the characters and project them into my mind. When Andrew felt apprehension I felt apprehens
Liz Etnyre
Oct 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a first novel (Oct '16 pub date) – and it is meant to be a first in a series. It does not read like a first novel – the language is beautiful! That said, there are some spots that are quite wordy or a point is beaten to death – beautifully! - but repetitively. The novel could have probably lost as much as 10%, of its volume and not damaged the story line, or the beautiful language. There are still bits of the story that are somewhat unclear to me – and I don't know if I missed something ...more
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Making Connections: 4504. - THE SECRET BILLIONAIRE by Teymour Shahabi 15 47 Aug 24, 2016 08:27AM  

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Teymour Shahabi is the award-winning author of "Words of Love," "The Secret Billionaire," and its sequel, "Someone in the Walls." He was born in Paris of Persian parents and currently lives in New York City.

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Other books in the series

The Surway Fortune (2 books)
  • Someone in the Walls (The Surway Fortune Book 2)

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