Monday, June 27, 2016

Secrets, Lies, and Scandals by Amanda K. Morgan ARC Book Review

In the tradition of I Know What You Did Last Summer and How to Get Away with Murder, five teens must overcome their paranoia in order to keep their teacher’s death a secret in this fast-paced suspense thriller.

Nothing ruins summer vacation like a secret…especially when it involves a dead teacher.

Ivy used to be on top of the social ladder, until her ex made that all go away. She has a chance to be Queen Bee again, but only if the rest of the group can keep quiet.

Tyler has always been a bad boy, but lately he’s been running low on second chances. There’s no way he’s going to lose everything because someone couldn’t keep their mouth shut.

Kinley wouldn’t describe herself as perfect, though everyone else would. But perfection comes at a price, and there is nothing she wouldn’t do to keep her perfect record—one that doesn’t include murder charges.

Mattie is only in town for the summer. He wasn’t looking to make friends, and he definitely wasn’t looking to be involved in a murder. He’s also not looking to be riddled with guilt for the rest of his life…but to prevent that he’ll have to turn them all in.

Cade couldn’t care less about the body, or about the pact to keep the secret. The only way to be innocent is for someone else to be found guilty. Now he just has to decide who that someone will be.

With the police hot on the case, they don’t have much time to figure out how to trust each other. But in order to take the lead, you have to be first in line…and that’s the quickest way to get stabbed in the back.

In the Vein of How to Get Away With Murder, Secrets Lies and Scandals attempts to carry on a huge mystery but where the former succeeds, this one falls short.

Secrets Lies and Scandals tells the story of a group of teens all in the same summer psych class--all involved in the murder of a teacher.

With multiple personalities, and different things at risk--this story is tackling a multi-pov storyline that could've been more thrilling than it actually was.

To talk about the characters briefly: Ivy was the it-girl but a break-up knocks her several rungs down the social ladder. She's now a homebody, secretly desperate to be queen bee again.

Cade, is the golden child. Rigorous rules and standards set the pace for his life, but family secrets are creeping at his back door.

Tyler is the town's delinquent bad boy. He's into some stuff, and this class just happens to be one of them.

Kinley is the epitome of perfection. She has the perfect family, she gets perfect grades, and she's good at everything. Well, that is except for getting caught up in this murder.

Mattie is trying to do better. He's trying to win his boyfriend back, and it would help if he would answer any of his calls and texts. But now he has this murder to worry about.

I was beyond thrilled when I seen this book pop on Goodreads. They said How To Get Away With Murder and I said count me in. Sadly, I was once again pulled in by an overzealous, misleading blurb. Don't get me wrong the book is definitely far from the worst, but once I got to the end I felt the dreaded YA mystery let down.

Let me tell you why, you spend a good part of the book wondering how everything is going to work out, and then when you get to the end, you're like that's it? The author tries to redeem it in the last two pages but I wasn't too thrilled.

I will say the author kept me entertained because I spent most of the book intrigued, but damn if that ending didn't let me down. I wanted more, but like so many others before it, I didn't get it.

Maybe it's me, maybe my expectations are too high. At the end of the day it is YA, and I find that there is a line that's usually not crossed. It doesn't get too bloody or too thriller-y. I honestly believe that has a lot to do with the age these books are written for. *sigh*

If I were to be honest, if I were judging this book solely on the basis of entertainment it'd get four stars. But because of my lack of investment and disappointment with the ending I have to knock it down a star.

I'm not pissed off or anything but I'm definitely disappointed--and this close to giving up on YA Mystery/Thriller as a whole.

Whatev's onto the next book.


  1. Aww, shame this book wasn't what you were hoping for. I'm not much of a YA Thriller/Mystery fan, so I hardly have any experience with the genres, but I heard Liars, Inc by Paula Stokes is quite good, so maybe check them out? There's also A Study in Charlotte by Britanny Cavallaro which is about a girl and boy descendants of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson. :)

  2. Sounds like a train wreck. I don't even watch teen movies like this, so I don't think reading it will do me any good. So many authors miss the mark when writing YA mysteries!

  3. Too bad this fell so flat, it sounds like it had a lot of potential to be something great.

  4. Oh How to Get Away With Murder would get me super excited! too bad it didn't live up to that. YA Mystery/Thrillers are such a hard genre to get right it seems. Glad it was at least entertaining. Great review!

  5. Sorry to see this didn't meet your expectations! I have yet to watch How To Get Away WIth Murder, but either way I probably wouldn't like this. I'm not much of a YA Thriller/Mystery fan.

    Awesome review!

  6. It's hard to find really good YA mysteries. I think With Malice by Eileen Cook is one of the best I've read in awhile.

  7. Oh I hate when a blurb does that to you. I think that is why I only give a cursory glance to them, but that also has it's disadvantages. :) Well, hope the next lives up to expectations!

  8. Great review! I completely agree that I would expect a huge mystery based on that blurb so such a bummer that it didn't pan out! I have yet to find a really good YA thriller/mystery TBH

  9. Honestly, the only really good YA mystery/thrillers I've read are Dangerous Boys and Dangerous Girls. I felt like those really set the standard high! All others I've tried in the YA age group have been a bit lack luster and unbelievable. Sorry this one was disappointing!

  10. Awh such a shame you were underwhelmed by this one! It's actually what I'm reading at the moment and while it is good, it isn't head over heels amazing so I think I know where you're coming from? I just need to read a bit further in now!

  11. What a shame! I just saw this one recently and I got really excited. Too bad it's a bit of a letdown. I may still try it at some point, but that's too bad it wasn't amazeballs. :(

  12. Awww, sad that this one didn’t live up to expectations! I’m like you–I saw How to Get Away With Murder and immediately wanted to read this one. Ugh, I don’t like it when thrillers can’t live up to the hype. Great review!!