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Review for The Secrets Of Lily Graves by Sarah Strohmeyer

The Secrets of Lily Graves - Sarah Strohmeyer

This review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews

Lily Graves comes from a family of morticians.  She has spent her life around dead bodies and the process of fixing them up for funerals.  So when Erin Donohue, the school's perfect class president shows up died, she's not so sure what she knows anymore.  First everyone suspects Erin's boyfriend Matt for the murder and then all eyes are on Lily people learn that Matt & Lily had a secret friendship that Erin was none too pleased about.  One thing is for sure, Erin's killer is still at large and it's up to Lily to figure out who before the murder gets pinned on her.

Lily was an interesting character.  I didn't fall head over heels in love with her, but I also didn't find her annoying.  She is hard not to sympathize with when it seems like the entire town is out to get her.  Even her own family members don't protect her the way they should (in my opinion, anyway).  My feelings were about the same for Matt.  Though he does some questionable things, he seems like a good enough guy and I liked him enough to root for his and Lily's success.

I've been avoiding this review since the moment I finished reading the novel.  You see, I loved How Zoe Made Her Dreams (Mostly) Come True and I was overjoyed to see Strohmeyer coming out with a new novel.  Even better, she going in a new direction with they whole murder/mystery thing.  Awesome, I can't wait!  Even starting it, I found it highly enjoyable.  It was witty and addictive in that sleep is not important anymore way.  

Why, then, does it only get three stars?  That would be because of the ending.  It felt so rushed and unfinished that I can't possibly give it a higher rating.  It's like Sarah was writing and having a good time and then she got to page 250 or so and remembered that the book was only supposed to be 300 or so pages long.  Whoops!  Better wrap this up quickly!  It's a problem I'm seeing a lot lately, and not just in YA.  In this particular case, the killer(s) and the motive didn't make much sense.  The big bad, maybe, but the sidekick really threw me for a loop.  I'm sure that was the point, to give us a villain we weren't expecting.  The problem with that is the more you think about it, the less it makes sense.  Why would this particular person do it?  I realize we get a half-assed reason, but that just didn't fit for me.

What it always comes down to for me is the ending, and this one failed pretty epically.  I'm not saying that it should be changed, but maybe give us more about why this particular person felt the need to take things this far.  To now only assist in the act but to frame our Lily.  That seems spiteful in a way I can't believe without a little more context.  So all you need to know is that it's a great little story with a somewhat inconclusive ending.  If that doesn't bother you, than you'll love it.  If it does, then you'll probably have mixed emotions.

****Thank you to Balzar + Bray for providing me with an eARC via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review****

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