Thursday, June 13, 2013

Dark Secrets: Legacy of Lies and Don't Tell by Elizabeth Chandler - 4 stars & 4.5 stars

Legacy of Lies and Don't Tell are the first two books in the Dark Secrets series. These two were published separately and then were combined into one omnibus. Dark Secrets 2 has book three and four. The fifth Dark Secrets book is on it's own as it is the end of the series.

I read Don't Tell when I was still in middle school so it was awhile ago. There is a small portion of paranormal in these novels. Legacy of Lies focuses on reincarnation and Don't Tell focuses on telekinesis type of abilities. Each has it's own murder mystery that needs to be solved, the main character has to solve the secret.

Legacy of Lies
4 stars

Legacy of Lies focuses on Megan. She was adopted by her parents and she has younger brothers. Her maternal grandmother, Helen, basically disowned Megan's mom because of the choices she made when she was younger, mainly marrying a black man. Talk about major racism. Helen had very high expectations and Megan's mother disappointed her.

Out of no where, her grandmother invites her to Wisteria and stresses that it is important. Right about this time Megan is having dreams and visions. When Ginny, an old friend of Megan's mother, drops Megan off at her grandmother's house, Megan is shocked. The house she had been dreaming about was suddenly real. Helen is strict and uptight. From the very beginning she tells Megan to mind her own business and to not go poking her nose around the place. Of course Megan ignores this.

We also have Matt, her "sort of cousin." Since Megan is adopted, they're only related by law and not blood. The end still bothers me a little because of the whole cousin aspect it (view spoiler).* Matt is a complete jerk to Megan and keeps telling her to go home. Megan replies to everything smartly.  She is sassy and funny and does not let anyone push her around. I like that she is strong-willed and stubborn. She stands up for herself. She actually develops a couple of friends during her short visit.

The only problem I have with this book was the length. It was short for a novel. The pacing was good in the beginning but I felt it was a bit rushed in the end. I wasn't expecting the reincarnation aspect. I feel that it would have been creepier for me when I was in middle school but I still enjoyed the book.

Review on Goodreads.

Don't Tell
4.5 stars

Our main character in this book is Lauren. Seven years ago her mother died by drowning after she fell off the dock. Lauren had been visiting her godmother at the time and after her mother died, it took her seven years to return. The death was considered an accident but most believed she was murdered. Lauren decides that it's time to return to Wisteria to see her beloved Aunt Jule.

When she arrives in town she decides to walk to the festival and where she runs into an old childhood friend, Nick. Over the seven years Nick has grown into a handsome young man and Lauren feels that instant attraction. I like Nick. Lauren is the daughter of a senator and which makes her rich. He was able to afford sending her to an all girl boarding school. Being surrounded by girls constantly definitely didn't expose her to boys.

While she is walking around, Lauren notices that someone is following her. It really creeps her out so she decides to head to Aunt Jule's house (view spoiler).* Her summer escape from her childhood is now falling apart. Jules is deep in debt and Jule's daughter Holly is in charge of taking care of expenses. Lauren offers money to Holly to help with the house and the cost of food for which Holly is grateful.

When Lauren gets to the house she meets Nora, Holly's little sister. When they were younger, Nora was already a little different. She was the one who discovered Lauren's mother and it is obvious this has affected her. Aunt Jule ignores it while Holly just tells her sister to knock it off. Only Lauren seems concerned about Nora. Jule is defensive when Lauren approaches the subject of getting Nora psychiatric help. The anger shocks Lauren as Aunt Jule has always treated Lauren better than her own children. When they were younger, Holly was extremely jealous of Jule's attention to Lauren. Holly is much nicer to Lauren now and told Lauren she has forgiven her (view spoiler). **

Strange things are beginning to happen around Lauren. She is threatened and is almost killed a couple of times. Mysterious knots are appearing around the house in in Lauren's room, exactly like the knots that Lauren's mother told  her about the days before her death. As she gets closer to discovering the truth behind her mother's death, the creepier things get.

Ending spoilers here.***

I found Don't Tell better than Legacy of Lies. The creepy factor is definitely higher in this book. Even though I've read the book before, I didn't really remember anything about it. I couldn't remember the details so it was enjoyable to read again. I wasn't kept at the edge of my seat and it was an easy read but I liked it enough. I will continue on with the series. As authors continue to write you can usually see growth and the books and writing get better. Hopefully this will hold true for the next three books in the Dark Secrets series.

Review on Goodreads.

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