TITLED: Seven Dirty Secrets
AUTHOR: Natalie D. Richards
GENRE: YA thriller
RATING: 5 Stars
Book will be released November 2, 2021
A huge thank you to Soucebooks Fire for sending me an e-copy of this book to read and review.
How much do I like this author? I fell in love with her last book and had high hopes for this one and I was not disappointed. I think what worked so well, for me, in her last book was the amazing way the author created a feeling of isolation - snow, one stranger not to be trusted, etc.....we experienced the story "live" --that is the reader was in real time along with the characters and experiencing every twist and turn at the same time.
For this book, we are actually starting the read AFTER the event. Again, there is a bit of a feeling of isolation in this one - but hands down, nothing beats snowstorms for isolation. I hope Richards sets all her future books during snowstorms.
In this book, the isolation feeling is felt when we read that a 7 YA went into the woods and only 6 came out. We learn, ultimately that each person becomes "a dirty secret" because everyone has a role/responsibility in the fact that only 6 people came out.
It is very hard to review this book without giving any spoilers, but suffice it to say that the author was very clever in setting up this fated woods trip intertwining it with the "now". We stay mainly in the present, but we do get a few clues as to what really happened during this trip and how it has affected every member in their present.
Some very stressful/scary moments and a very clever plot that I kept trying to decipher kept me reading, but every time I thought I had it solved, I turned out to be wrong. Loved the Hope character and she does have a central part in this. Cleo.....I am not sure. At times, I found her to be a little annoying. Another interesting aspect of this book is that the author doesn't even bother to incorporate Connor and Cleo's parents. They are mentioned in passing, but never in a particularly positive way - I liked that, because too often, YA books feature parents that are way too perfect and it does not feel like reality to me.
Overall, I LOVED this book. Richards always has excellent pacing and her main plot idea in this one was genius. I can't believe I will have to wait to read her next one. I want it NOW!!! please.