Title: Deadly Little Secret
Author: Laurie Faria Stolarz
Publisher: Hyperion Book CH, 2009
Some secrets shouldn't be kept...
Until three months ago, everything in sixteen-year-old Camelia’s life had been fairly ordinary: decent grades, an okay relationship with her parents, and a pretty cool part-time job at the art studio downtown. But when a mysterious boy named Ben starts junior year at her high school, Camelia’s life becomes anything but ordinary.
Rumored to be somehow responsible for his ex-girlfriend’s accidental death, Ben is immediately ostracized by everyone on campus. Except for Camelia. She’s reluctant to believe he's trouble, even when her friends try to convince her otherwise. Instead, she’s inexplicably drawn to Ben…and to his touch. But soon, Camelia is receiving eerie phone calls and strange packages with threatening notes. Ben insists she is in danger, and that he can help—but can he be trusted? She knows he's hiding something... but he's not the only one with a secret.
Secrets don't make friends, or do they? That seems to be the underlying question in this book. Camelia meets Ben, who definitely has secrets, and the two engage in a teeter totter, on-again off-again friendship. Ben's secrets might tear him away from Camelia, but not if Camelia's secret tears her away from Ben first.
I can't recall why or how I picked this book. I think I kept seeing it as a "other customers who enjoyed this item also enjoyed.." recommendation. It makes no difference if I can remember why or how I decided to buy this book, just that I bought it! Stolarz did a fabulous job! The story was completely engrossing. Camelia and Ben's characters were very well-written as were the secondary characters-specifically Wes and Kimmie, Camelia's riotous friends. Camelia's is artistic and thoughtful while Ben is mysteriously broken. The story is mainly told from Camelia's POV but throughout the book several journal entries are written by an unknown author. This unknown journal-writing author has dangerously hidden feelings and desires to display them. The fact that not only is Ben mysterious with unknown secrets, but there is another anonymous admirer of Camelia, had me eating this book up. I devoured this first book to find out Ben's past and present secrets all the while trying to figure out who the anonymous journal writer was. The entire book is nicely paced without dull or dragging parts.
Many reviews I read likened this book to Twilight. Yes, there are definite similarities but the differences outweigh the similarities by a long shot! I recommend not getting sucked into the belief that this book is like Twilight (I'm a huge Twi fan by the way). Enjoy this book as a separate entity-I know I sure did! Don't pass this one up!
My rating: 4 lattes because it was an intriguing mystery that left me wanting more. I became completely engrossed in the story, which had me eagerly turning the pages to find out what happened next.
Recommendations for similar books: Fallen by Lauren Kate & The Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer