Review: The Secrets of Lily Graves by Sarah Strohmeyer

Review: The Secrets of Lily Graves by Sarah StrohmeyerThe Secrets of Lily Graves by Sarah Strohmeyer
Published by Balzer + Bray on 05/13/2014
Genres: Contemporary, Mystery, Young Adult
Format: Ebook
Source: Library

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.

I decided to read The Secrets of Lily Graves by Sarah Strohmeyer for no other reason but that I could get it from my library’s ebook sites, it looked short, and it was a different kind of book than I had been reading.  Even having read another of Strohmeyer’s books (How Zoe Made Her Dreams (Mostly) Come True) and not loving it, I still decided to give The Secrets of Lily Graves a shot, and actually, I definitely enjoyed the time I spent with this book.

I can’t say that the mystery in this one is really stellar, but I thought it was solid.  Although I didn’t figure out the whole story before the big reveal, I did figure out the most significant part of the mystery.  But hey, that’s okay.

Lily Graves was an interesting main character.  Having grown up in a funeral home, she has never really been popular in school.  Lily plans on taking over the business eventually, and certainly that setting was unique.  It’s clear that Strohmeyer did her research on what it means to run a funeral home, but I had a difficult time with some of the details she shares.  That’s just me, though.  I didn’t want to know how the bodies are prepared for funerals.  Nope, I definitely did not need to know that.  It’s only reaffirmed my desire to be cremated when the time comes.

Lily is very into dressing in black – sort of gothic, and I did find that aspect to her character a little uninspired, but I still liked Lily.  She is very much herself, and doesn’t apologize for it.  I also really enjoyed the flashbacks of how Lily and Matt got to be friends.  It had decent swoon levels.

It was fun to watch Lily try to figure out who killed Erin.  Lily knew that Matt couldn’t have been the murderer, but trying to prove that is not easy.  Again, I did figure out the mystery aspect (or part of ) early on, but still, I enjoyed watching Lily figure things out for herself.  While The Secrets of Lily Graves may not be stellar, it is a decent read, especially if you are looking for something somewhat of a palate cleanser.


16 Responses to “Review: The Secrets of Lily Graves by Sarah Strohmeyer”

  1. Charlene @ Bookish Whimsy

    Hmm, I think I could do with no knowledge of what goes on in funeral homes as well! But I remember reading another so-so review of this book, so I wasn’t eager to read it. It’s unfortunate you figured out some of the mystery though, a better mystery might have attracted me more to this book. I think it’s good to try something different though once in awhile, so you go girl! 🙂

  2. Tabitha (Not Yet Read)

    Ehh not the book for me but it is cool that the funeral home background info was done well. Really too much black clothing huh? I always find it funny the things that might annoy us or aspects we individually key in on.

  3. Sara Viti

    I think I could give this one a try, without many expectations, though.
    I kind of like books that resembles PLL but I guess that the mistery should be very solid… we will see !

    P.S I laughed so hard when I read about your reaction to the funeral home details ^^
    Thanks for sharing!

  4. Danielle

    I’ve heard a lot of mixed opinions about this book but it definitely intrigues me and makes me want to read it. I like the setting, it’s different and my grandfather was an undertaker so it would be interesting to compare Lily’s experience with the stories I’ve heard growing up. I’m glad the mystery was pretty good and you enjoyed reading it. I’ll keep it on my tbr and hopefully get to it soon! Lovely review, Quinn!

  5. Ana @ Read Me Away

    I’ve never really read a story where the main character is associated with a funeral home, but I think I would be rather interested. I do like watching CSI, and those body-examining scenes aren’t TOO bad for me. 🙂 I also really love mysteries! 😀

    Great review!

    • Quinn's Book Nook

      Then you should give this one a try. The funeral home details aren’t really the same thing as in CSI, but I bet it won’t bother you much. It wasn’t exactly gory but more just information I didn’t want to know. It’s hard to explain.

  6. Jennifer @ Feminist Fairytale Reviews

    I’m not really into thrillers like this, but it sounds interesting. The funeral home aspect is different.

  7. Trish @ Between My Lines

    I’m jealous that you can get ebooks from your library as that just isn’t a thing here. And yes pass on the funeral home ins and outs, I’m happy staying oblivious! But it still sounds like an interesting book and it’s always good when you don’t fully guess the plot.

    • Quinn's Book Nook

      My library system is really pretty good in providing lots of access to books. This book was interesting, even if I had to read some funeral home details that I didn’t want to know about.

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