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Read it for the awesome life quotes -- THE SECRETS OF LILY GRAVES reviewed

August 27, 2014 | Ken Sparling | Comments (2) Facebook Twitter More...

Book cover the secrets of lily graves by sarah strohmeyerThe Secrets Of Lily Graves by Sarah Strohmeyer


Reviewed by Anupya, age 15


“More often than not, it was the little things that brought you down.” – Lily Graves


The Secrets of Lily Graves is a crime novel by Sarah Strohmeyer about the death of seemingly perfect Erin Donohue, frenemy of Lily Graves. After an exciting catfight between Lily and Erin, leaving Lily wounded and bruised, Erin is found dead the next morning. Fingers are pointed at an alarming rate as main suspects are rounded up and interrogated. Like in every good crime novel, everyone’s got a secret, the theme of betrayal stands triumphant and the killer is hidden in plain sight. The book is like the high school version of Broadchurch. It portrays death in a realistic way with the repercussions in the community. Lily and Sara are adamant to not be normal (they refer to Erin’s gang as “Tragically Normals” while they are “Happily Twisted”). The reader can’t blame Lily and Sara because the TNs unfairly judge Lily for her family business. The first half of the book is perfect and a juicily entertaining read.

That’s where the excellence of The Secrets of Lily Graves stops.

The female supporting characters serve no purpose in the story except to bully Lily. The men in the book however, are a huge part of the plot. Each one is important. Someone close to Lily is accused of being a psychopath and a murderer yet she pays no heed and can’t wait to see him. It is stupid. At one point, she decides to meet up with the same person in a remote area, loudly voicing, “I don’t care about safe.” Although it does turn out to be harmless, it stands as a terrible response to general creepiness. The romance in the story ruins the suspense and action since it changes the focus of the story. The last line of the book does not reflect on the death of Erin but more on Lily’s love life. It feels anticlimactic. It’s not the best crime-fiction I’ve read, but read it for plot and awesome life quotes.