Friday, January 8, 2010

Dark Secrets 1 by Elizabeth Chandler

Grade: A+


In Legacy of Lies, Megan has to stay with the uptight grandmother that she wants nothing to do with. She's determined to get through the visit without any drama, but when she falls into a twisted love triangle with potentially fatal consequences, Megan may be caught up in her family's legacy in more ways than she realizes.

In Don't Tell, Lauren knows that by returning to the town where her mother drowned seven years ago, she'll be reliving one of her most haunting memories. When she arrives, she is propelled into a series of mysterious events that mimic the days leading up to her mother's death. Maybe her mother's drowning wasn't an accident after all...and maybe Lauren is next.


Character Development: 10/10
Originality: 7/10
Overall Enjoyment: 8/10
Ending: 9/10
Voice: 9/10
Plot: 10/10
Setting: 10/10
Total Score: 63/70

Obtained: It was a gift. Thanks, Elise! :-)

Age Appropriate? PG-13

Cussing: None.
Alcohol, Drugs, etc: Some references to teen drinking and drug use.
Sexual Content: Some subtle references, but nothing explicit.
Disturbing Images/Violence: Some extremely scary stuff involving graphic, bloody murder, disturbed children, insanity, ghosts, paranormal activity, attempted murder, etc. I was actually frightened at times. A good Halloween read. :-)


Elizabeth Chandler has a gift for lacing her stories with the supernatural without leaving the realm of reality. In all of the books I've read by her, some aspect of magic has contributed to the plot -- angels, ghosts, telekinesis. Just a touch, enough to make it creepy or creative, but not enough to reinvent our world. If it was anyone else, I would ask: Does that really make a good story? But in the hands of Elizabeth Chandler, it is a powerful device indeed.


This is quite the ghost story! Dabbling in reincarnation, the walking dead, disembodied voices, twisted fate, and possible murder, Legacy of Lies provided a fascinating plot. Every last one of the characters was infinitely intriguing and seemed lifelike despite their eccentricities. A wealthy, paranoid old woman haunted by the ghost of her sister. A strangely hostile young man. A fortune-teller. A telekinetic young woman. And--maybe--a ghost coming back to set things right. All of these things and more come into play in the mysterious Maryland town of Wisteria, which was sometimes frighteningly realistic and at others seemed too shrouded in magic to be real.


Wow. What a story! This was probably my favorite of the two books. It was frightening. The tone was continuously ominous, even when there wasn't any reason to be. The character of insane nineteen-year-old Nora was creepily realistic, as were her sister and mother. In this novel, no one is trustworthy. No one is free of guilt. Everyone is seeped in secrecy. With the vivid memory of Lauren's mother's drowning seven years past haunting the present, and strange, unexplainable events that defy physics occurring at every turn, I can guarantee that you will be chilled and shivering throughout.

These two novels are thoroughly intertwined, yet never fully touch. Their common setting and unique plots made them both decent companions and wonderful stand-alone books. The voices of Megan and Lauren were very different, yet I appreciated how both of them, in their own ways, tried to determine realistic excuses for the paranormal events they encountered and only accepted that supernatural activity existed around them when they were out of options. This struck me as an element that is missing in many modern novels. Chandler's other ingenious part of her writing was the variation in her characters. Megan was an adopted Arizonian. Lauren was the daughter of a famous (and unpopular) political figure. These two girls have vastly different backgrounds, yet Chandler succeeded in crafting both of them to be entirely human and mostly average. Lovely!


  1. Sounds great. I'm adding this one to my read list.

  2. loved this book! read it for my summer reading

  3. It's a great book, I couldn't put it down! It's not very scary or disturbing, despite the information that the Age Appropriate portion above describes.(I disagree with that part) I would reccomend it to anyone! It's great!

  4. Good book, but I would have made it a bit scarier. :)

  5. That book is very good:)!!!!:)


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