Published by Balzer + Bray on 05/13/2014
Genres: Contemporary, Mystery, Young Adult
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.