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Friday, November 20, 2009

Deadly Little Lies More Shiver-y Than Freaky ... And That's Okay With Me

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

(Note: While this review will not contain spoilers for Deadly Little Lies, it may inadvertently reveal plot elements from its predecessor, Deadly Little Secret. As always, I recommend reading books in a series in order. You wouldn't want to miss anything!)

Sixteen-year-old Camelia Hammond hasn't quite gotten over the trauma of being stalked and abducted by her creepy classmate, Matt. The fact that he's in faraway Louisiana - even though he should be in jail - should allow her to rest easy. But, she can't. Ben, her psychometric kinda boyfriend, took off and she misses him desperately. Things at home are strained because of Camelia's Aunt Alexia, who seems to be tottering on the brink of insanity. Plus, Camelia's stalker seems to be back. Either that, or she's as crazy as her aunt.

When Ben returns to school, Camelia's ecstatic. She needs to talk to him, be close to him, but he refuses to touch her, insisting it's better if they spend time apart. Except it's not. Camelia's lonely, confused and frightened. Strange things are happening - it's almost as if Ben's psychometry is rubbing off on her. Or maybe PTSD is causing her brain to go haywire. Whatever it is, it's freaking her out. The only thing that can calm her is sculpting at Knead, the pottery store where she works. Adam, Knead's attractive and very interested new employee, makes her laugh, something she hasn't done much of lately. Compared to Ben's intensity, Adam's a welcome - not to mention good-looking - distraction.

And if Camelia ever needed a distraction, it's now. The creepy notes, weird premonitions, and a general feeling of being watched, are making her jumpy. Her friends, her school counselor, even Ben, tell her to let it go, that it's probably someone's sick idea of a joke. Why, then, does she feel so afraid? The voices in her head are warning her - about impending doom or her increasingly fragile grasp on reality, she's not sure.

While the stalking, the premonitions, and the hint of more psychos on the loose should make Deadly Little Lies as freaky as Deadly Little Secret, it doesn't exactly. The second book has more depth (especially with the inclusion of Alexia's diary entries), which makes it a different kind of creepy. It's just more ... shivery than scary (except for the almost-end, which is, indeed, freaky). I liked the development of Camelia's character in the newer book, as well as the fact that Lies is "cleaner" than Secret, but I didn't love Ben in this one. His wishy-washiness annoyed me as much as it did Camelia. I wasn't wild about the ending of Lies either, but that's small potatoes in the grand scheme of things. The books draw me in and keep me reading. And that's saying a lot these days.

Grade: B

If this were a movie, it would be rated: PG for sexual innuendo

To the FTC, with love: Yeah, yeah, I got this for free. Disney/Hyperion sends me review books all the time. Some I like, some I don't. The grades I give are based solely on a book's merits.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the word on this second book in the series. I'll have to think about ordering this series for our library if I can ever get any more book money.
    at comcast dot net.


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