Thursday, November 4, 2010

Dark Secrets 1 by Elizabeth Chandler

Two girls haunted by the past... and destined to relive it.
In Legacy of Lies, Megan has to stay with the uptight grandmother she wants nothing to do with. She's determined to get through the visit without any drama, but when she falls into a twisted love triangle with potentially fatal consequences, Megan may be caught up in her family's legacy in more ways than she realizes.
In Don't Tell, Lauren knows that by returning to the town where her mother drowned seven years ago, she;ll be reliving one of her most haunting memories. When she arrives, she is propelled into a series of mysterious events that mimic the days leading up to her mother's death. Maybe her mother's drowning wasn't an accident after all and maybe Lauren is next.
Ah, the days before I cared when my books got screwed up. This book looks sadly out of place on my perfect bookshelves. To get to the point, I'm going to do two separate, mini reviews instead of two separate posts:

Legacy of Lies:
I'm not the biggest fan of stories with reincarnation as the main story line, mostly because it tends to totally and completely give away the ending. I mean, when the exact same thing happened a hundred years before and their names are like two letters away from each other, its pretty obvious how the story ends. That being said, Chandler does a great job of keeping Legacy of Lies suspenseful, and the reincarnation didn't bug me nearly as much as it could've. And the side story with Alex and Sophie was cute in a mushy, girly way. Matt made me both love him and hate him, and let's not deny it, my ever growing list of fictional sweethearts has grown to accompany one more. While Megan wasn't totally relatable, I found myself biting my nails over her hardships. The story was easy to predict and when it came to dialogue, a bit cheesy, I still liked the story a lot. In my opinion, the YA genre wouldn't be the same without the over-the-top romance stories, especially paranormal ones like this. (Oh, and as a side note, I despised the grandmother. Even once you realized what was actually up, I still wanted to slap her.)
3.5 stars and a recommendation to fans of cheesy paranormal romances.

Don't Tell:
From the opening, eerie sequence that starts Don't Tell, to the not-so-much-a-surprise ending, I got a creepy, disturbing feel from this slightly-light feel. The love story was slightly drowned out, in my opinion, under the paranormal themes. While the first story in this book was first and foremost a romance, this one was more of a murder mystery with paranormal origins. And honestly, the good guys seemed a little too much like the bad guys, and the bad guys were scarily close to the good guys, making the story feel forced, like Chandler was so going for the surprise ending (even thought it wasn't really) she forgot that it should be slightly realistic too. The poltergeist mystery served as a complicator too, and I found that it seemed a little silly and well, insane. Besides the point, I actually enjoyed a lot of this book. Nick was sweet and while I knew what was up from the first time she saw him, it was still cute when the ending came. But all the characters and the plot were so jumbled, it was just plain confusing, and instead of trying to figure it out, I was just happy that Lauren got the ending she deserved, and the mystery was (apparently) solved. The redeeming point was the creepiness the author mostly maintained.
3 stars, and a recommendation to fans of poltergeists and ghosts.

I'd give Dark Secrets 1 an overall rating of 3.25 stars. Even though on the enjoyment scale, I'd give it an 8. These are light reads, and ten times better if you read them late at night.


Anonymous said...

Is Dark Secrets 1 just a combination of Legacy of Lies and Don't tell in one book, rather than reading them both separately? I'm just confused as to if it is all one book, or 2 totally different stories in the one book.

Caroline said...

@ Anonymous - it's two separate stories in one book.

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