Monday, November 2, 2009

Deadly Little Lies by Laurie Faria Stolarz

Title: Deadly Little Lies
Author: Laurie Faria Stolarz
Publisher: Hyperion
Genre: YA
Hardcover, 282 pages
Date Published: November 10, 2009

Description (Taken from Amazon)
Last fall, sixteen-year-old Camelia fell for Ben, the mysterious new boy at school who turned out to have a very mysterious gift--pyschometry, the ability to sense the future through touch.  But just as Camelia and Ben's romance began to heat up, he abruptly left town. Brokenhearted, Camelia has spent the last few months studying everything she can about psychometry, and experiencing her own strange brushes with premonition. Camelia wonders if Ben's abilities have somehow rubbed off on her. Can the power of psychometry be transferred?

Even once Ben returns to school, Camelia can't get close enough to share her secret with him. Despite the romantic tension between them, Ben remains aloof, avoiding contact. Then when an unexpected kiss leads to a frightening argument, Camelia makes the painful decision to let Ben go and move on.  Adam, the hot new guy at work, seems good for her in ways Ben wasn't.  Adam is easygoing, and seems to really care about her.
But when Camelia and Adam start dating, a surprising love triangle results. A chilling sequence of events upturns secrets from Ben's past--and Adam's. Someone is lying, and it's up to Camelia to figure out who-before it's too late
.
I was lucky enough to get a copy of this book at one of Laurie's signings in late October. Her publisher sent 40 copies to the store and I had to grab one.

Deadly Little Lies picks up where Deadly Little Secret left off. Camelia is dealing with what happened with her stalker at the end of the first book and having Ben leave town. Her family is slowly recuperating, but there’s still a lot of unresolved issues between Camelia’s mother and her aunt Alexia. Ben’s return to town and school complicates Camelia’s life because he is so standoffish and distant. Her attempts at moving on with new guy Adam are hindered by Ben’s obvious jealousy and unwillingness to fully let her go. Camelia also begins hearing voices and creating premonition-like sculptures. On top of Camelia’s newfound talent, she is once again faced with stalkerish notes and threatening phone calls.

I was more than happy to read Deadly Little Lies because I really enjoyed the first. The story was well-paced and flowed easily. The dialogue was once again fantastic, witty, and smart. The whole diary entry backstory that was introduced in the first book continues here from another perspective. Stolarz was once again able to make the stalker aspect of the story incredibly creepy, while countering it with Camelia's and Ben's complicated and sizzling relationship. The introduction of Adam may upset some readers, but I liked him as a character. He adds more tension to the story and forces Camelia to deal with all of her Ben issues. Camelia's possibly developing psychic powers is also quite interesting and I'm excited to see where that goes in the series.

The story focuses on Camelia being stalked again and as much as I enjoyed that aspect of the plot, it felt overdone. Deadly Little Secret was all about Camelia’s stalker and Ben’s involvement and I felt like Deadly Little Lies was about the exact same thing. Camelia is being stalked, Ben is still mysterious and a possible suspect, and Camelia still has very strong feelings for him. The only difference was that the stalker notes were more intense this time around and they were accompanied by more threatening phone calls. The stalker plotline wasn’t even what really kept me completely drawn to the book, it was the story within the diary. I have a feeling Stolarz will delve more into that in the next book though, so I won't spoil anything here. 

The book was by no means bad, but I think it some things could have been done differently. I wish Ben had more dimension. He is presented as being sexy and mysterious. People don’t understand him, so we don’t know that much about him, but I think at this point, we need to. Camelia feels so strongly about him, but we don’t really know him. Aside from telling Camelia about Julie, we know nearly nothing.

Kimmie and Wes are back again to lighten the mood, but they seem to have no purpose other than to do that. They both have their own family issues that are talked about a bit, so I hope there’s a payoff with that. Oftentimes minor characters have no purpose, but to advance the plot and I hope Kimmie and Wes don’t fall into that category.

Deadly Little Lies is a story in a series, so I have high hopes that most of my worries are unwarranted. The story does draw the reader in and hold them there. The pacing is perfect and moves swiftly enough that there’s never really a dull moment. The revelations in this one leave a lot of possibilities in Deadly Little Game, the next installment. I look forward to seeing where Camelia’s story goes.

Even with the aspects I didn't really enjoy, I have hope that it will all be fleshed out more in the following book(s). Deadly Little Lies felt too short to me because there is so much that can happen and that's a good thing. A story like this keeps the readers  hooked and I am one person who will be eagerly anticipating the next installment.
*This review is my honest opinion and I received no monetary compensation from it.

2 comments:

runningforfiction said...

i've had the pleasure of meeting Laurie Faria Stolarz, and i loved Deadly Little Secret so much.
she was at the Barnes and Noble a few towns over a week or two ago, but i didn't go.
she has another signing next Friday i think, and now that i know you enjoyed this book, I'll definately buy a copy! :]

Nikki (A Haunt of Ancient Peace) said...

I got this book at one of her signings at B&N in Peabody in late October. She was very kind and seemed to really enjoy talking with everyone. If you have the chance you should definitely go to one of her signings. I know she has one on November 13th in Marblehead.

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