Would you face your biggest fear, to save the one you love?
Nicola Jackson escapes from her abuser, only to realize she has no one to turn to and nowhere to go. In a twist of fate, she accidentally bumps into Jenny O’Connor, the most popular girl at school. They strike up an unlikely friendship. As their trust in each other develops, they share their darkest secrets, and their relationship blossoms into a secret romance.
Jenny loves Nicola, but she is fearful that if their secret relationship is discovered, she might lose her family, friends, and her seemingly perfect life.
Nicola confronts her abuser and blackmails him to leave for good, but things go terrifyingly wrong. Jenny is left with a life-changing dilemma: should she face her fear and accept who she is, or let Nicola take the blame and pretend their relationship never happened?
It’s been a while since I’ve read a LGBT book, and I was wary of this because its not a genre that I’m particularly interested in, but I’m happy to say that other than some meager character development, I had no qualms with Secret Lies.
The scenes were very graphic and raw, which I loved, the characters honest and true, and the whole story just on an amazing roll with lots of different aspects sort of coming together to make it what it is. The only problem I had with this book was the obvious insta-love. It just didn’t connect with me why Jenny, the popular teenager, all of a sudden took an interest in Nicola, the invisible girl whom everyone either called a freak or ignored. I just don’t see why Jenny personally went up to her and inquired if everything was alright and whether or not she would like to stay over at her home. It’s just no a very Jenny thing to do.
Aside from that, I do think Jenny had a very wild and vivid character. She was alive throughout most of the book, and frankly, my favorite character. But like all things in life, Jenny had two sides as well. She struggled in the book with encasing emotional pain away from physical pain and often tried to hurt herself and inflict pain psychically so that she’d forget about all the emotional turmoil going on, which I also thought added great depth to her character.
The only thing I really knew about Nicola was that she had been abused by her mother’s boyfriend since she was thirteen and hadn’t done anything about it, and for the life of me I cannot understand why. I get that Nicola is supposed to come off as an introvert, but I just don’t think that the reader should be held at arm’s length from her as well. I would’ve just liked to have some insight into more of her character.
Other than that, though, once I was able to get over the insta-love, the romance just kicked in and I, for one, completely ship Nicola and Jenny together as a couple. I do think some loose ends could’ve been tied at the climax of Secret Lies, but maybe its better off. A must read, Secret lies is raw, emotional, and will have you reeling. I definitely recommend it to all New Adults lovers. You’re in for the ride of your life!
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