Saturday, May 31

Sarah Strohmeyer - The Secrets of Lily Graves

Growing up in a house of female morticians, Lily Graves knows all about buried secrets. She knows that perfect senior-class president Erin Donohue isn’t what she seems. She knows why Erin’s ex-boyfriend, hot football player Matt Houser, broke up with her. And she also knows that, even though she says she and Matt are just friends, there is something brewing between them—something Erin definitely did not like.
But secrets, even ones that are long buried, have a way of returning to haunt their keeper.
So when Erin is found dead the day after attacking Lily in a jealous rage, Lily's and Matt’s safe little lives, and the lives of everyone in their town of Potsdam, begin to unravel. And their relationship—which grew from innocent after-school tutoring sessions to late-night clandestine rendezvous—makes them both suspects.
As her world crumbles around her, Lily must figure out the difference between truth and deception, genuine love and a web of lies. And she must do it quickly, before the killer claims another victim.

My expectations weren't great about The Secrets of Lily Graves, I read good and bad reviews about it and I knew that the Goodreads rating isn't very bright but I was still curious about it. This book was one of the greatest disappointments of the year. I had to suffer through this book because there weren't any exciting parts.  

Keep reading but there's one teeny-tiny spoiler in the characters section, under Matt's name. 

If I'd have to describe the story in one world I'd definitely stick with boring. Nothing ever happened, the characters didn't develop and worst of all they were so annoying I could barely bear them. 

The story starts with Lily who gets beaten up by Erin because her boyfriend just broke up with her and she suspects the reason is Lily. Soon after Erin dies and of course Matt becomes the prime suspect, hand in hand with Lily. Lily is determined to find out the truth and save both of them from prison. 

Well, when Lily decided she will find the killer I nearly laughed out loud, in most of these teen mysteries the person who starts to uncover the truth was close to the victim or has a relation to the case. Meanwhile Lily hated Erin and didn't know anything about her, she was just happened to be a suspect. She didn't do anything but asked dumb questions from the wrong people. Let me tell you an example without spoilers, she had a clue but she didn't go to the place where it pointed, nooo why would she do anything logical at all? She stayed where she was and kept suspecting people who were clearly innocent. 

The romance was completely unemotional and it left me cold, I know the love story wasn't the main point of the plot but still it could have been so much better. I never felt emotions from Matt or Lily besides when Matt saw Lily being brought to take DNA sample from her and he freaked out because he thought that she was their suspect, this was such a cliché in crime series and movies I don't even want to comment it further. 

This story portrays Christian thus religious people in a very bad light, it's alarming because most young people, including me, aren't religious and don't know many people from these circles, then we are made to think that these kind of actions are the NORMAL according to all religious people. 

In this book everyone thought that being a good girl means that you are member of the Purity Pact. Lily's mom saw her injuries and got that Erin caused them and still couldn't accept that Erin is a mean bitch because she's such a good girl. Seriously what is wrong with this book? 
When Lily goes home full of scratches her mother insist on telling her who did this but then:

My arm was bleeding through the paper towels. I ripped off another sheet and covered it. “Erin Donohue.”
Mom dropped her jaw. “That lovely girl did this?”
“The Purity Pact,” Mom said, adding pointedly, “Now, there’s a good Catholic girl.”

Lily: She was annoying and even if I try not to call people a freak maybe in real life she would be the one I'd give this name. She was 17 for goodness sake and she gave makeup and nail-polish to dead people, worse she liked to lay down on that table where they prepared the dead. She was annoyed because people judged her because of her family business and clothes but she didn't think twice about giving nicknames to people, for example the tragically normals, what kind of name is this, who would think about something like this? By the way judging people and not knowing anything about them is wrong even if they seem like the remake of Mean Girls.
 “This you, Lily Graves?”“Yup. I’m in my Halloween costume today.” Dark-wash skinny jeans, bright-blue mock turtleneck, and a kicky black-and-white herringbone jacket—all from J.Crew, all purchased by my mother in a vain hope that I would someday come to the fashion Jesus.“What are you supposed to be?”“The scariest thing I can think of,” I said. “Normal.”
Yeah, because dressing up normally is a bad thing and we should all follow Lily's fashion choices just so we won't be normals. Lily is a hypocrite, she hates others because they are judging her while she's judging everyone else. Know what? I love when someone dresses differently from the others if it fits their personality, be a punk or a rocker or even a pink princess if you want to but with Lily there wasn't anything in the background besides her yearning for being different. 

I'm more than sure not even those who prepare the bodies like to lay down on the table because one way or another everyone gets there one day. 
"I mean, I would lie there all the time, especially in the summer when Boo cranked the air-conditioning in the prep room full blast. Then, the table was so nice and cold."
Matt: He wasn't cute nor hot nor anything appealing, he was weak and stupid. He was in a relationship with a girl who he didn't love and who cheated on him a lot of time, without a goddamn reason. His love for Lily wasn't all that seeable and I hated how he made fun of her sometimes. 
“Graves!” Matt shouted, as if just noticing my presence. “How nice to see you out of the coffin. Is it a full moon? Or were you in need of fresh blood?”
I know they didn't know each other really at this point, actually they were two strangers in the same school but a minute before Matt fended another girl when his friend called her fat so he's not this asshole-y all the time. 

*Here comes the spoiler* I'd think that if he really wanted to get to know her he had to like her even then, I thought that showing someone that you like her/him with mean comments ended in kindergarten, not in Matt's world that's for sure. *spoiler ends here*

Anyway he had a girlfriend and guys with girlfriends shouldn't lust on other girls no matter how bad their girlfriend is. 
"It was the one in my room, facing the garden, the one Matt had tapped the night he asked me if he should break up with Erin."
What the hell? Don't ask if she thinks you have to break up with your girl just do it if you want to! What is wrong with this guy? 

The worst of all is that he thought he can do anything with Lily and she will still be there, and it was kind of true. No outrages like Erin's no anything, she has acquiesced his behavior from time to time. 
“I’ll drive you home. Just give me a minute.”I nodded and let him go. After twenty minutes of watching the two of them talk on the library steps, I slipped out with my book bag and walked the four miles
Erin: she was one hell of a crazy bitch and I don't think a personality like this could remain hidden, no matter how hard she tried. Matt said she had good moments but these weren't showed throughout the novel, I'd have been much happier if I could see why did Matt stayed with he for so long if she was this bitchy AND a cheater. 

Favorite character: -
Least favorite: Matt, Lily, Erin and all the other lovely characters from this book, they were very special to me. 

The story idea: 3/5
The realization of the story: 1/5
The characters: 1/5
The cover: 4/5


  1. Is it weird of me to say that I loved your review of this book? I decided to check this review out because the book is set in Potsdam, and that isn't something you see every day. However, your hilarious description of the various personalities portrayed in the book and your ruthless picking at Lily had me laughing through it all. In a good way.
    I don't particularly enjoy crime books, in which teenagers are trying to find who the murderer is. It just doesn't seem realistic. And then for it to be someone who actually hates the person? Nuh-uh, there's no way I will be reading that.
    I applaud you for writing a review in which you point out everything that is wrong with a book and not sugarcoating. People do that too much lately. I also love the length of it. I prefer longer reviews as I believe they give true insight into the book and allow the reviewer to actually point out all of the things they did or didn't like. I'll take them over a short and generic one at any time. I'm looking for a co-blogger right now, and I wish I could find someone who reviews like you! That would be a breath of fresh air :)

    What I do wonder about though, is how, since you disliked the book so much, you still gave it a two star rating.

    Also, I noticed in your fav series bar that you loved The Immortals and House of Night. I personally didn't exactly like the second, but found the first one to be the most childish and boring read ever! Maybe we could exchange opinions on this matter at some point :)

  2. Thank you so very much, you just made my day with your kind words! I did think about finding a co-blogger, too but I'm not sure I'm ready for that just yet, meanwhile I would be glad if we could change links and post it into our blogs because your blog is very good, too. :) Or maybe we could do a guest post?

    I gave it two stars because there were a few things I could appreciate for example the story idea, and because there are FAR worse books out there and if I'd give 1 star to this what could I give to those?

    I'd love to talk about books with you sometimes so I checked out your blog and added you on goodreads, hope it's not a problem. :)

    About my favorite series, I added this a few days ago and at first I started to paste in every single book I liked a bit, so yeah there are ones I don't like anymore or started off liking them but quickly get bored, both The Immortals and House of Night are members of the second group, at first I loved the Immortals but even the second book wasn't half as good as the first.

    Thanks again. :)

  3. You can find my blog at :) The sad thing is, I don't really do promo posts, neither for authors nor for bloggers. :/ As about guest blogging, that could work out! I'm in the middle of finals for uni right now, but would love to do this sometime towards the end of summer! If you still feel that way around that time feel free to hit me up and remind me I said this, because I'm so forgetful, there's no way I am going to remember this on my own! ;)

  4. You can count on me! I will write to you in the beginning or middle of August and we can talk about what and when to do then. :) I've already find your blog and added you on goodreads because it it visible for me in blogger. :)


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