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Secret Lies by Amy Dunne
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Secret Lies

by Amy Dunne

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I snagged a copy of this book from Netgalley when it was available as a 'Read It Now'.

An enjoyable contemporary lesbian romance. Which is always nice to see in YA books. When I read the blurb it was the relationship that appealed to me - nobody girl falls in love with popular girl and have a secret relationship.

Some mild plot spoilers.

The two girls in the story Nicola and Jenny are very different, Jenny is from a good wholesome Catholic family, whole her parents believe Jenny is a good girl - Jenny has a secret life of partying, sex, drugs and drinking. Jenny lives in the shadow of her perfect bitch of an older sister Elizabeth. While Nicola is a nobody, suffering terrible horrific abuse from her mother's live in boyfriend.

I didn't particularly like Jenny from the start - she comes off as rather bitchy herself and selfish. She has some serious issues self harming but she is seeing a councillor and getting help by herself (her parents have no idea) but at least she's trying to deal while keeping up with the image she's set for herself. She's chatting with some friends and they see Nicola walking past, a weird girl in trousers and long sleeves even though its hot weather. They make fun of her for being a freak.

Nicola's introduction is rather graphic, the abuse she suffers is awful and its shown right off. Its impossible not to feel for her. I did find her the much more likeable of the two girls. Even though Nicola can be stand offish and bitchy herself, though given her circumstances I found it easier to accept her. I just didn't like Jenny.

How they meet and get together and become friends is rather unbelievable, but the story progresses and the two get to know each other and realise they have more than friends feelings for each other. I found it interesting, even though Jenny as a character doesn't appeal to me personally, I can completely see why Nicola fell for her. Both try to open up though Jenny is more reluctant after their first kiss. It does get all angsty and a sort of will they won't they but its fairly obvious where its going.

There's also that feeling that something is going to go wrong at some point. Nicola has escaped from her abuser and ends up staying with Jenny, Jenny makes up a story to convince her parents to let Nicola stay. Jenny's parents were lovely people. Kind and helpful and really nice. Though as Catholics Jenny thinks they won't be accepting at all of a lesbian relationship between her and Nicola. So they keep their relationship a secret. And it looks like everything going smoothly but then....

There's a boat load of more drama thrown in when Elizabeth, Jenny's horrible overachieving perfect sister shows up. What a bitch! The drama goes a little overboard, and it was getting a little...irritating leaving me thinking oh come on, now what's going to go wrong?

Though I have to admit, Jenny really did come through for Nicola and did grow as a person by the end of the novel. The characters were well fleshed out and even though some of the story and plot was annoying and unbelievable, I did find the book to be a good absorbing read.

So thank you Bold Stroke Books and Netgalley for the opportunity to view this title a 'Read It Now' ( )
  sunset_x_cocktail | Aug 20, 2014 |
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After Nicola Jackson escapes from her abuser, she becomes friends with Jenny OConnor, the most popular girl at school. As their trust in each other develops, 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?… (more)

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