"The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." — Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Deadly Little Secret (A Touch Novel) by Laurie Faria Stolarz

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Summary: Teenage Camelia gets involved with the town bad boy, who was accused of murdering his last girlfriend.

This book read like a Lifetime movie. Not that there's anything wrong with that, okay (I love Marlena Hall and Shannen Doherty as much as the next housewife), but it felt cliched to me.

The book opens with dark brooding Ben saving Camelia from an out-of-control car. Twilight, anyone?

Then the next chapter opens to the diary of someone who is loving Camelia from afar. The stalking part and the insane diary writer just scream Lifetime movie. One of my favorite movies has a woman unsuspectingly marry her rapist. You can't make this stuff up! Oh, wait, you can.

Then there's an encounter in biology class, where Ben touches Camelia's hand and they have a shocking moment. A moment so disturbing to Ben that he leaves school for a few days. Twilight, again. 

When Cam and her friend shop at the mall, the outfit she tried on but didn't buy is waiting for her on her bed. And the word "Bitch" is written on her mirror with lipstick. 

From the stalker's diary:
"I hate seeing her with other guys. The way she flirts with them and laughs at their stupid jokes. I saw her talking to that dirtbag. So I called her. I had to set things straight. To put her in her place. To warn her."
"What I don't know is why she acts like this. you think she'd be grateful for the gift I left her. That she wouldn't go behind my back ignoring my warning like we never even talked."

Like many Lifetime movies, there is limited parental involvement in the teen's life. Cam's parents are dealing with adult stuff, so Cam never mentions the gifts left on her dresser, the photos of her left in the mailbox, the late night heavy-breathing phone calls, the threatening graffiti, the menacing notes. Of course she tells her friends, but they're convinced that it's Ben, since everyone knew he killed his last girlfriend. But Camelia knows that there's something off about Ben. Did he kill his last girlfriend? Is he violent? Is he the one stalking her? Or is something else going on. Plot spoiler: something else is going on.)

By page 108, I knew who Camelia's stalker was. But I was wrong. Which totally redeemed this book.

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