Saturday, April 26, 2014

The Secrets of Lily Graves by Sarah Strohmeyer ARC Book Review

The Secrets of Lily Graves by Sarah Strohmeyer
Publisher: Balzer and Bray
Publish Date: May 13th, 2014
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Thriller, Romance
Kindle edition, 320 pages
Source: Edelweiss

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.

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.

*copy courtesy of Edelweiss and Balzer and Bray*

If Lily Graves were an actual girl, she and her family would be the modern day Adams family. Donned from head to toe in all black, Lily Graves with her "Wednesday" like ensemble is no ordinary teenager. Sleeping above a funeral home, Lily has seen her share of dead bodies. Her entire family is involved in the funeral business. Her mother is a mortician, her aunt, Boo is both a hairdresser for the town and the go to woman for dressing and beautifying the dead. Her grandmother is also involved. It's one big dead dealing family, and it's Lily's life. It always has been that is until one of the death's hit too close to him.

The Secrets of Lily Graves totes being a "Pretty Little Liars-esque" mystery but despite the surface similarities it's anything but. Despite the lingering mystery of a murder/suicide this book doesn't have the lingering intrigue that Shepard has mastered. It's pretty much a murder mystery that didn't have enough, mystery. I found myself feeling sort of...bored.

The writing although good just didn't do enough to really save the book. Those spikes and moments of thrill that you look forward to in a mystery fell a little short in this novel. I kept waiting for it but it just never happened. Strohmeyer did a good job of making it all seem like a good mystery, starting with the lingering mystique of the murder and the whodunit appeal but it just didn't wow. By the end of the novel I was more so reading it out of obligation more than entertainment. I wanted to know whodunit and when I found out the "twist" just wasn't enough to move me.

*SORT OF SPOILER-Y* Not even the opposites attract style  "relationship" between our main character Lily and Matt did anything for me. I definitely wouldn't have used the words "plenty of romance" to describe this book because there isn't plenty just tastes of it, and it was sort of disjointed.

The secrets and lies that I expected to weave a web around me and pull me in barely grabbed me. I have to say I'm pretty disappointed and it's too bad. I had such high expectations for this one. I think fans of novels like Pretty Litle Liars, and other YA mystery novels will find this one enjoyable enough but not comparable. 

Verdict: Buy, Pass, or Borrow?


  1. Darn...I was hoping that this one was a winner for you since the funeral parlor setting and of course the "secrets" had me interested.

    1. Yeah. I definitely thought I would like it more than I did. The "secrets" weren't all that intriguing/interesting.

  2. Hmmmm......I liked the idea of a female business of morticians but the rest of the plot just didn't appeal. ~Sheri

  3. Hi Jazmen! First, I have to say absolutely LOVE your blog and theme. It is sleek, eye-catching, and easy to navigate! Then comes your reviews. I am so glad I stopped by (I found you on goodreads, thought to stop by and show your blog some love so I am now following you) because it's been awhile since I have read and reviewed some YA literature. Lately I've been focusing on adult romance which is great, but I also love Teen Lit., so I love when I come across a blog that reviews YA lit. It keeps me up to date on what is hot and what is not!

    Anyway, this book sounds like it has an interesting premise but falls short of the synopsis. I hate when that happens! Great review!

    Feel free to stop by my blog sometime. Always looking for new blogger buddies to chat with!

    Best Wishes,
    Mia @ The Muses Circle