Two Minute Review: Deadly Little Secret by Laurie Faria Stolarz

Thursday, December 22, 2011
Genre: young-adult, supernatural fiction, mystery
Series: Touch #1
Pages: 288 (Nook NetGalley ARC edition)
Published: 2008
Rating: 2/5

Some secrets shouldn't be kept...

Until three months ago, everything in sixteen-year-old Camelia's life had been fairly ordinary: decent grades, an okay relationship with her parents, and a pretty cool part-time job at the art studio downtown. But when a mysterious boy named Ben starts junior year at her high school, Camelia's life becomes anything but ordinary.

Rumored to be somehow responsible for his ex-girlfriend's accidental death, Ben is immediately ostracized by everyone on campus. Except for Camelia. She's reluctant to believe he's trouble, even when her friends try to convince her otherwise. Instead, she's inexplicably drawn to Ben and to his touch. But soon, Camelia is receiving eerie phone calls and strange packages with threatening notes. Ben insists she is in danger, and that he can help--but can he be trusted? She knows he's hiding something... but he's not the only one with a secret.

Well. That was weird, wasn't it? This young-adult paranormal/mystery novel started off very Twilightesque - down to reluctant and non-speaking lab partners! - and then became slightly creepy, but without any involving characters. And then, the main character, Camelia, is quite dense and often Too Stupid To Live, though of course she does. The series and Camelia's life continue on with three published sequels (Deadly Little Lies, Deadly Little Games, Deadly Little Voices) and another in the works (Deadly Little Lessons) but I doubt this is a series I'll continue reading unless I find them for practically free OR I feel the need to read something just to snark on it later.

I gave this poor little attempt at the paranormal teen genre two stars out of five because while I find it to be a shallow (and transparent) ripoff of several novels cobbled into one, it wasn't a completely horrible one on the level with, say, Tris & Izzie. I did like Kimmie, the Goth cliche best friend, and was mostly amused by her dialogue. I was certainly more drawn to that colorfulish character than Camelia, who just made me insane. I hated the "relationship" between Ben and Camelia. Several words spring to mind to describe it in all its youthful glory: Manufactured. Dumb. Baseless. Ridiculous. And I'm just going off the top of my head here, kids. Basically, this novel is just not good. I called the twists, I called the overall antagonist (and couldn't believe when Camelia didn't and walked off willingly with her stalker after mistrusting everyone right and left...) I just fail to see the point of this novel: why exactly was there a need for this to be written, published, continued in several sequels?

Like I've said over and over there's very little noteworthy about this novel. Even the element that adds "paranormal" this book's description has been done before (L.J. Smith's Dark Visions trilogy) and better. Deadly Little Secret is so generic and really just so completely unnecessary I have trouble remembering the title and I've only (just) read one out of the whole series of five. This is nothing exceptional in itself and I'd steer readers to more unique, original novels than to start this series.
I'll just have to continue and imagine for myself all the angst that Camelia and Ben work up between themselves and amongst Kimmie, Wes. .  whoever else was in this book that wasn't a creeper and/or an idiot.


  1. Wow, I haven't seen this book around in a while. It was first published in 2009, if I'm remembering correctly. I haven't read it yet, but I do plan on it when I have time.

    I'm sorry you didn't care for it much. Her Blue is For Nightmare series is good. I read them a while ago, I need to go back and re-read them though and continue with the last book.

  2. Scathing. I like the honesty. :)

  3. I actually had heard her Blue for Nightmare series was good so I tried this on NetGalley. I dunno if I will try the first series I heard of since I disliked this one so. :-\ I'm glad you enjoy them! I really like the covers, though. Consistently lovely.

    And Libby: thanks! I always aim for honest ^^

  4. I haven't had the chance to read this series but I will hopefully get the chance, but thanks for your honest review....New follower so come follow me at


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