ARC Review – The Secrets of Lily Graves by Sarah Strohmeyer

lilygravesTitle: The Secrets of Lily Graves

Author: Sarah Strohmeyer

Rating: ★★ 1/2

Synopsis: With the intrigue of Pretty Little Liars and plenty of romance, bestselling author Sarah Strohmeyer weaves a story of secrets and lies—set in a funeral parlor.

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.

Huge thank you to Balzer + Bray and Edelweiss for this ARC!

River’s Review:

I was SO disappointed with this. After reading Smart Girls Get What They Want by the same author, I was in love. I LOOOOVED that book SO much and found Strohmeyer’s writing to be just SO GOOD. It was funny and witty and the characters were all so deep and dimensional and I just loved it so much. I haven’t read How Zoey Made her Dreams Come True yet (but I have it on my TBR) but when I saw this coming out I HAD to read it. I was SO excited. It sounded so good. I mean, FUNERAL HOME. And Lily sounded so wonderfully morbid.

And Lily was morbid, but… it felt just kinda forced sometimes. I mean, she grows up in this huge old mansion/funeral home with her mother, grandma and aunt. They run the place and that was SO COOL. I loved the all-female household (it kinda reminded me of the Sargent household in The Raven Boys). But there was just something missing… like the descriptions of everyone were spot on, but I never really felt any of them. Very two-dimensional.

At the beginning Lily is attacked by Erin and that also seemed so random. Who just walks up to someone and gets into a physical fight? It seemed super forced actually, and like it only happened because of what was going to happen next (Erin’s death). So that was a huge minus for me… cuz after that a lot of the things that happened in this book felt contrived.

I also never really understood the attraction between Lily and Matt. Matt is supposed to be some jock that is deeper than his jock exterior and just wants to ‘get away’ from the life that he leads. But he’s stuck with Erin, his girlfriend (who’s supposed to be this pure super Christian do-gooder) for some reason and wont break up with her…

So anyway, Erin winds up dead and first it looks like a suicide, but then they find out it’s a murder and of course all fingers point to Matt and Lily even though all of the evidence was REALLY REALLY flimsy. There was supposed to be this sense that ~Matt isn’t really who he seems to be~ and ~Erin wasn’t really who she seemed to be~ but that just felt really loose and I never really got this deep sense that I was going to be shocked by what I was supposed to be shocked about.

And then about half way through I figured out ‘who dunnit’ and rolled my eyes because it just seemed really lame and YUP. I was right. So that really ruined it for me. I HATE IT WHEN I CAN GUESS SO EASILY. And it was all just so loose and ugh. I’m not even sure what I’m trying to say anymore. I just wanted something tighter with better characters and more intrigue and tension. This was not it. And now I’m sad.


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