Sunday, July 3, 2016

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

Media Type: Ebook (ARC)
Title: Secrets, Lies and Scandals
Author: Amanda K. Morgan
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pages: Hardcover; 352
Release Date: July 5, 2016
Source: FFBC / Publisher
Content Screening: Mild Violence

HDB Rating: 3 Keys to My Heart

Recommended to: Readers who enjoy murder mysteries blended with Contemporary issues

Add it on: Goodreads | Amazon | BookLikes
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.

Take a murder mystery, mix in a high school group of kids in the vein of The Breakfast Club, and there you'll find Secrets, Lies and Scandals. We have the bad boy, the good girl, the boy who comes from a family with way too much money, the queen bee, and the boy who gets involved without meaning to. Wrap all of that together, sprinkle on a heaping helping of drama, and you're ready to become immersed in this book. I've seen a lot of other readers compare this to the show How to Get Away With Murder, and I can absolutely see that! It's just much more in the YA vein.

One of my favorite parts of this book is the diversity of the characters. I really appreciated that Amanda K. Morgan took the time to add in a variety of backgrounds and upbringings. I especially appreciated that even though some of the characters may have been marked for failure, like our requisite "bad boy", they were still multi-layered and working on themselves. It made for a much better read, that didn't feel flat at all.

Unfortunately, as amazing as the characters were, the mystery itself didn't deliver all that it seemed to promise. Initially, I was pretty intrigued. Any time young people are put into a compromising situation like that, it's completely interesting to see how they'll navigate it. Soon though, things felt like they were on a rail. I could see what was coming next, anticipate what people would do, and it took some of the fun away from reading this book. Even the twist at the end, which I appreciated, wasn't able to keep me from feeling like there could have been more. I actually would have loved more drama.

Overall though Secrets, Lies and Scandals is a solid story. I see a lot of people appreciating Morgan's lush characters as much as I did. Plus, I'm a little over the top when it comes to murder mysteries. Although this might have been a bit too tame for me, I'm sure there are many out there who will find it the perfect balance! Definitely worth a TBR add.

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FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.


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