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Dirty Little Secrets

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  5,182 ratings  ·  863 reviews
Everyone has a secret. But Lucy’s is bigger and dirtier than most. It’s one she’s been hiding for years—that her mom’s out-of-control hoarding has turned their lives into a world of garbage and shame. She’s managed to keep her home life hidden from her best friend and her crush, knowing they’d be disgusted by the truth. So, when her mom dies suddenly in their home, Lucy
Hardcover, 212 pages
Published February 1st 2010 by Walker Childrens
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Eric YA. Hoarder fiction. It's Stephen King for professional organizers, neatniks, and germaphobes.

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3.74  · 
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 ·  5,182 ratings  ·  863 reviews

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Aug 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing
C.J. Omololu had me at hoarding.

Megan glued to the television: *gasp* “Ewww!”
Hubby in the next room: “If it’s so disturbing, why are you watching it?”
Megan: “Oh my gawd! You have to come see this!”
Hubby: “I. Will. Not.”
Megan: “No, really! Yougottacomeseewhatthesepeople…”
Hubby: “It’s the same thing every week. Some fat person is too lazy to clean her house. End of story!”

But it’s not the same thing on every episode of Hoarders. Each person has a different obsession, rationale, family issue… I cou
Aug 14, 2009 rated it liked it
Dirty Little Secrets was such an emotional and absolutely disgusting book!

I can't describe the dismay I felt for teens that have to grow up in this type of environment. It's bad enough that people suffer from this disorder, but it's even worse that there are innocent minors that are subjected to this sickness.

My heart broke for Lucy and her ache for normalcy. I didn't really understand it at first... I was angry at Lucy for not calling the police right away, and then by the end, I had so much ad
Nov 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: pb, e-book, english
Lucy lives in a house full of garbage which her mother calls "Treasure". :(
I was so sorry for poor Lucy! This instead of normal life. At least Kaylie is there for here and since now also the cute Josh.
Anyway, I would appreciate if there would be one or two more chapters, cause it's ending really openly. I have so many questions. What's going to happen? What about Josh/Kaylie/Phil/Sara... never ending questions.
Jun 21, 2010 rated it it was ok
So...I read this entire book in one sitting, but I had some very definite issues with it--the ending in particular. The choice Lucy ends up making about how to handle her situation felt really drastic, and...well, not at all mentally sound. (view spoiler) ...more
Jan 30, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dirty Little Secrets is a book that I had to let percolate for a while before reviewing. If I’d written this review based on my initial post-reading response I think it might have been quite different in tone and content. Having allowed time for my thoughts to settle, however, has resulted in a more holistic view of the novel as opposed to a knee-jerk reaction to the ending. Because what initially felt shocking now seems exactly right for this story. I think Omololu not only made a bold, confron ...more
Mar 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
Yes, this is a problem novel, and the problem this time around is hoarding. Sort of an unusual choice to write a YA novel about, but not entirely surprising. Gawking at hoarders is a bit of a cottage industry on certain cable channels, after all. Dirty Little Secrets is entirely from the perspective of the teenage child of a hoarder, and it's set almost entirely in the day that she's discovered her mother dead in their home. And fair warning, some of the descriptions in this book are stomach-chu ...more
Rebecca McNutt

There are very few young adult novels out there that bring attention to the issue of "hoarding" - a psychological behavior where a person literally keeps everything, from fine jewelry to moldy paper plates, because they can't let go of anything, whether it's treasure or trash. The main character of this novel, Lucy, is a normal teenage girl on the surface, but inside her home, she has to deal with her mom's compulsive hoarding and isn't permitted to throw away anything or try to clean it up. De
Feb 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Extremely graphic and highly disturbing, but a gripping page-turner nonetheless.

Lucy's mom is a hoarder. Highly paranoid that she's going to need something someday, she never never throws anything away, never allows anyone to touch her so-called "treasures". Old newspapers & magazines, plastic containers from take-out meals, mounds of items bought en masse at bargin sales, and countless other odds and ends create unsanitary mountains of filth and trash that all but bury every surface. Black
Feb 21, 2012 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
J.C. Phillipps
Feb 03, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book.

Dirty Little Secrets tells the story of how Lucy, a high school junior, hides the family's hoarding secret from her friends, neighbors, and the "normal" world.

It has a great hook. We know in the first line that Lucy has a secret. Ms. Omololu doesn't lead the reader on for too long, and we find out the secret quickly. Then it's all about what Lucy has to go through to keep the secret hidden.

I was impressed by the control of the pace. (And I like a good pace. I can't stand books
Dec 31, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2012
Yikes. Dirty Little Secrets made me watch an episode of Hoaders just to see what a house like this might really be like. I've known "cluttery" people and my house is often messy but seeing what life for a hoarder and their children is like was eye-opening. It also motivated me to dejunk & clean my house. I may not be a hoarder but it wasn't hard to find several bags of items to giveaway.

This book is heartbreaking but was really interesting to read. Watching Lucy attempt to clean up and sort
Jan 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
We have another book which falls under the category of shock title. It is, however, very appropriately named. Lucy is the youngest child of a hoarder. She is now living alone with her mother and has suffered the consequences for all of life that she can remember. She has had to forgo friends coming over, sleepovers, etc. Once, when Lucy was caught unaware, a friend entered her house and her reaction was to publicly humiliate Lucy.

Lucy is now sixteen and works carefully to keep her few friends a
E. Anderson
Jan 15, 2010 rated it really liked it
I'll admit it -- I'm obsessed with the show Hoarders. I think part of me is always afraid that my pack-ratty-ness make me susceptible to that extreme. But shows like Hoarders don't always show the human side of this serious, clinical illness, and DIRTY LITTLE SECRETS (Walker Books for Young Readers, 2010) by C.J. Omololu gave me a real look at what it's like to grow up in a hoarding home. Lucy is a typical teen in most ways -- she goes to school, she has a best friend, she likes music and coffee ...more
Melanie Goodman
C.J. Omololu’s Dirty Little Secrets is shocking. It will take your heart and stomach on a journey for which neither could be adequately prepared. Like 24 and Hoarders combined, the book moves you hour by hour through Lucy’s struggle to deal with her mother’s death without revealing her shameful family secret: a house overflowing with garbage, mold, and maggots. Through flashbacks, Lucy provides readers with a more in-depth understanding of her family history and the progression of her mother’s m ...more
Diane Ferbrache
May 05, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: washyarg
Lucy is a normal 16 year old, makes good grades, and can’t wait to graduate and go to college, but she has lived with a secret her whole life. She is careful making friends and never invites them into her house. In fact, no one except close family members is allowed inside. When Lucy’s mother suddenly dies while Lucy is away, she is faced with a dilemma – calling 911 will bring EMTs and police to the house and everyone will KNOW! Lucy’s mother was a hoarder, and the house is filled with old new ...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Andrea for

DIRTY LITTLE SECRETS by C. J. Omololu tells the story of sixteen-year-old Lucy's dirty secret - literally.

Lucy grew up in a house with a mother who was a hoarder. And she's had to keep it a secret because no one would understand the piles of trash in her house. She finally feels that she might have a chance at a "normal" life and even has a best friend and a boyfriend. But when something happens to threaten that, Lucy must make a decision that will change h
Most of my Psychtember reviews will be formatted differently than my standard reviews, to reflect the mental health theme. I've structured things as though the book is the patient and I'm giving it an assessment. Each axis is an aspect of the book that I'll give my thoughts on (characters, plot, etc.), and the validity score refers to how psychologically accurate I think the book is. Then I may list some other books that this one "shares symptoms with" (i.e. novels dealing with similar topics) a ...more
Jul 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
Lucy has a dirty secret - her mom is a hoarder. All her life she's had to keep friends away from her house, especially after a few kids found out and started calling her "Garbage Girl." Finally Lucy has a chance at being friends with Kaylie, and a date with Josh, but only if she can hide her secret.

Then one morning Lucy finds her mother dead under a pile of stuff that toppled over. The last thing she wants is for police and paramedics to come to the house and not even be able to get through the
nancy (The Ravenous Reader)
Wow! This book is beyond anything I have read. I cannot stop thinking about it. DIRTY LITTLE SECRETS was so well written that I could experience the claustrophobic living conditions, the overwhelming stench of mold and decay and understand the reasons that Lucy needed to keep the family "secret" safe.

Lucy is coming home from the movies, a great night out with her BFF and her school crush and before she could reach her front porch all good thoughts come to a crashing halt. Lucy knows that within
Aug 25, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc-for-review
This book takes place in only 24 hours. Lucy has a big secret. One that no one must never find out about. Her house is full of trash. Newspapers stacked to the ceiling. Garbage piled in the kitchen. Mold covering everything. So when Lucy discovers her mother dead under a pile of magazines, what can she do? If she called 911 her family and their secrets would be on the evening news. This is the story of how Lucy copes with her mother's death and their secrets.

This book is a little disturbing beca
Shanyn (Chick Loves Lit)
Mar 09, 2010 rated it really liked it
If there is one action I want to take after reading Dirty Little Secrets, it is to clean my house and get rid of the junk. Unfortunately, we are in the midst of moving/living different places, so this is not exactly possible - which is probably a good thing, because I may go overboard.

Dirty Little Secrets deals with a family living in a house full of hoarded items. Clothes, newspapers, mail, shoes, magazines. Lucy's mom keeps everything, and this is obviously a problem for many reasons, both emo
Jul 30, 2010 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: teen-fiction
Lucy's mom is a hoarder: their house is filthy, filled with towering piles of newspapers, boxes, bags, and assorted trash, and any time Lucy tries to clean up or throw anything away her mom freaks out and becomes verbally abusive. Lucy can't ever invite friends over to her house or let anyone know how they live, so she never really let herself get close to anyone, but now the cute guy she's been crushing on for years is starting to pay attention to her. And then the unthinkable happens, and Lucy ...more
April Hochstrasser
Apr 30, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: best-of-the-best
Finally a book I couldn't put down. I'm fascinated by the show "Hoarders" on TV because I think I've known a few in my life, and had to clean out the house of one after she died. This teenager had a secret, and that was that her mother was a hoarder. She wouldn't get rid of anything, or clean up anything. To clean anything was an affront to the mother. So this ordinary teenager is trying to live like a normal person when her homelife is anything but normal. She has to think of all kinds of excus ...more
Chelsea Campbell
Dec 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I LOVE this book! I immediately related to Lucy, and in some ways her struggles are like any teen's--worrying about popularity and best friends and wanting to get the guy she likes--but in other ways this book was like nothing I'd ever read before. Once I started reading, I couldn't put it down until it was all over and I knew how it ended. Lucy's attempts to keep her mother's hoarding compulsion a secret drew me in and had me on the edge of my seat the whole time. This book was very intense and ...more
Madigan Mirza
Jan 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
16 year-old Lucy Tompkins has been living with a horrible secret. Her mother is a hoarder. Over the years, their house has slowly but surely been transformed into a cesspool of filth. The strain of keeping the outside world from knowing how bad things really are is truly beginning to weigh on her. We immediately see how alien and strange Lucy's world has become when she confesses that she enjoys having a friend, despite how much hard work it is... something she hasn't dared to attempt in years, ...more
Shania Aiello
Oct 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing

Life and Secrets as we live and learn from them.

I have recently read the book “Dirty little secrets” by C.J. Omololu. I decided to read the book because my friend told me it was a good book to grab an audience’s attention. I never read any books by this author. Dirty little secrets is both drama and mystery genre because of the suspense and problems brought out in this book. The picture on the cover tells you it will involve a teenager, but it looks like she has something to hide. The title tell
Jan 20, 2016 rated it liked it
She was the parent—she could have done something about it. She was the one with the power to make our lives like the people in the notebook, but instead she buried us all under tons of filth and shame.

I have mixed feelings about this book and the quote above. As much as I love the idea of a book focused around the daughter of a compulsive hoarder, I feel that it could have been handled much better. When your mother has schizophrenia, are you embarrassed of her? When your mother suffers from de
Mar 01, 2019 rated it did not like it
It's rare to find a book, let alone fiction, dealing with the child of a hoarder, so I was very interested and wanted to like this book. However, I was dissatisfied with both the writing and the story itself, especially the ending. Although Lucy's actions in the end were believable, the ending itself fell outside the realm of believability for me, mainly because it hints that her living situation afterwards would be good. (view spoiler) ...more
Riddhi (desiderium.)
Aug 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mmc-2018
Dirty Little Secrets by C.J. Omololu

Another book I picked up solely for the MMC 2018.
4 stars.
I don't feel like writing a review.
It started off really interesting and but got pretty monotonous by chapter 4. But it picked up in chapter 10.
I was really tired and sleepy when I started reading this. I guess I would have enjoyed this even more than I have if I was reading this at a different time.
Anyway, this book full of details about the regular stuff of the aftermath of Lucy's Mom's death. She i
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Did Lucy Do The Right Thing? (spoilers) 2 25 Oct 29, 2013 08:38AM  
Is it good?? 6 19 Apr 07, 2013 07:06PM  

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I write as C.J., but you can call me Cynthia. My YA novel DIRTY LITTLE SECRETS came out in early 2010. My next book TRANSCENDENCE came out in June of 2012, followed by the sequel INTUITION in June of 2013. My newest book is a YA thriller called THE THIRD TWIN and will be out in February 2015 followed by another standalone thriller RECOVERY in early 2016.

You might notice that I only give 4 or 5 st
“I closed the cover and stared at it. How dare she have dreams while making all of us live like this? She was the parent—she could have done something about it. She was the one with the power to make our lives like the people in the notebook, but instead she buried us all under tons of filth and shame.” 2 likes
“I reached out and curled my hand around her still, icy fingers. I held it there for a long time as I sat with my knees to my chest, wishing that just for a minute she could squeeze it back and tell me everything would be okay.” 1 likes
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