Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: May 13, 2014
Source: Edelwiss via publisher*
Get it: Amazon | B&N
With the intrigue of Pretty Little Liars and plenty of romance, bestselling author Sarah Strohmeyer weaves a story of secrets and lies—set in a funeral parlor.
Growing up in a house of female morticians, Lily Graves knows all about buried secrets. She knows that perfect senior-class president Erin Donohue isn’t what she seems. She knows why Erin’s ex-boyfriend, hot football player Matt Houser, broke up with her. And she also knows that, even though she says she and Matt are just friends, there is something brewing between them—something Erin definitely did not like.
But secrets, even ones that are long buried, have a way of returning to haunt their keeper.
So when Erin is found dead the day after attacking Lily in a jealous rage, Lily's and Matt’s safe little lives, and the lives of everyone in their town of Potsdam, begin to unravel. And their relationship—which grew from innocent after-school tutoring sessions to late-night clandestine rendezvous—makes them both suspects.
As her world crumbles around her, Lily must figure out the difference between truth and deception, genuine love and a web of lies. And she must do it quickly, before the killer claims another victim.
Oh how I adored The Secrets of Lily Graves by Sarah Strohmeyer! It’s not everyday where I really truly enjoy a suspenseful book. Not only was this suspenseful, it was fun and odd and creepy in a subtle way. It definitely gave a Pretty Little Liars vibe just without the confusion.
I’m going to start of with Lily Graves. I loved loved loved her times a million! She fascinated me and she totally made me laugh. She had a morbid sense of humor I was so down for. I really enjoyed her style and how she carried herself. She dressed differently from everyone else (black lace dresses all the time) and she read and breathed the dead... literally. She was different and she didn’t mind that at all. She didn’t let her fellow classmates put her down. I thought Lily was comfortable in her skin and that type of attitude was a breath of fresh air.
I also loved the family dynamics of this book. I loved how all of them worked as morticians. It was creepy, but hey, they dig it. Anyway, Oma, Aunt Boo and Lily’s mom loved and cared for Lily. They were overprotective, but super duper loving. They too, had a morbid sense of humor just not as much as Lily. They all just had a great bond as a family. It was nice to see some parental units who were more than around to guide Lily even though she was stubborn as hell.
The romance was wonderful and lovely and sweet and cute. I appreciated that Strohmeyer took her time to develop the relationship here with flashbacks and interactions. She gave enough to make me giddy, but she never took away from what was going on in the book and that was finding out who was Erin’s killer.
The Secrets of Lily Graves definitely had a mysterious yet playful feel to it. It had very intense, descriptive moments that disturbed me along with moments that were light and humoring but still startling. The mystery and intrigue of who really killed Erin was always at the forefront. I continued to guess and theorize who did it and why. Lily was a great amateur investigator, she was just as in dark as any reader can be. She takes the reader on this ride where small hints are dropped and people become suspects in your mind. It was not as thrilling as it can be, but entertaining enough because the questions keep running through your mind throughout the book. The closer I got to the end, the clues did start piling up and become clearer. However, I was still surprised and caught off guard.
Overall, The Secrets of Lily Graves had me hooked in every way. I really enjoyed this strange mystery story and was even more taken with Lily herself.
*Thanks to Balzer + Bray for sending a copy in exchange for an honest review