Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales
Quick & Dirty: In this book, The Secrets of Lily Graves, Sarah Strohmeyer delivers a more mellow murder mystery than I’m used to.
Opening Sentence: “Hey, Lily.”
The Secrets of Lily Graves tells the story of Lily, who helps run the family funeral home. (Yeah — last name Graves.) When Erin, Lily’s tormentor and bully, is unexpectedly murdered, Lily and her close friend/maybe more than a friend Matt are the prime suspects. I did not expect a huge amount from this story, so it did deliver a few exciting moments. The negative reviews I had been hearing originally swayed me from opening this book and I definitely see what they were taking about: it’s not that thrilling for a murder mystery and there was no development in the romance. However, I would like to also discuss the good things about the novel. Things that interested me, surprised me, things that scared me. If you are a patient reader and like yourself a book with a few large twists, you can open this one up, but if you usually go for more action-filled books than this probably isn’t your cup of tea.
I loved the originality of Lily’s character, the clothes she wears, the slightly guarded way she thinks. It was easy to get into her point of view when things were happening that intrigued me. Also, I loved the sudden twist at the end. If I’m mentioning this plot twist maybe I should go into further detail, actually — hugely unexpected ending. It bumped the book up to three stars. I was impressed by the way the mystery and clues tied together, although I can admit I wish I’d seen more of the suspect because we talked to him only once or twice before we realize he played a role in the murder. And I was disappointed with how Lily handled the also large betrayal towards the end. In my opinion, she didn’t get mad enough.
Now, let’s talk romance! Matt and Lily have been friends, but as the book goes on they bond and become something more. I didn’t see any development in Matt’s character. He’s cute, just not believable. Almost to good to be true, if you know what I mean, so halfway through the book I still suspected he murdered Erin. Again, I’m glad the murderer wasn’t too obvious, but hey! All the not-so-happy reviews made me doubt the author. Erin doesn’t change much either, plus she makes some decisions I don’t agree with. When she sneaks out to see Matt, and he is still the number one suspect, for me it should’ve gone down differently. No no no! Don’t sneak out to see a could-be murderer! Don’t trust him so easily! Arghhhh!
The Secrets of Lily Graves? Please. This is all about Erin’s secrets, and all of them are highly predictable other than who killed her. Misleading title, but I’ll admit this is a small problem and nothing you shouldn’t buy the book for. If you need a reason to not buy the book, then don’t buy it because it’s very iffy. Honestly, I forgot some of the main characters names and it’s been a week. I still remember main characters names from books I reviewed last year. If you want a reason to buy it, then buy it because of the originality of the main POV’s life and the fact that it’s an easily readable book that can be wrapped up pretty quickly, if you push through more boring scenes.
After nitpicking my feelings about The Secrets of Lily Graves, my conclusion is this. Eh. It was something I wouldn’t have bought with my own money because I choose my books carefully. It was something I forgot easily. If you, however, are a more patient reader than me, maybe your feelings will be different. I hate seeing reviews that flat out discourage the book, because everyone will have different opinions, and someone may have a different reading experience than you. That being said, read a sample on Amazon and if you are pulled in than feel free to buy.
The trio of TNs stifled their laughter.
I stepped slowly on the gas and, after a fleeting fantasy of driving over Jackson’s feet, headed down the street. In my rearview, I could see Kate, Allie, and Cheyenne burst into hysterics.
Three girls were spotted coming out of Erin’s house on Saturday night, according to the police report.
Kate. Allie. Cheyenne.
FTC Advisory: Balzar+Bray/Harper Collins provided me with a copy of The Secrets of Lily Graves. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review. In addition, I don’t receive affiliate fees for anything purchased via links from my site.