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Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Blog Tour Book Review: My Secret Lies With You by Faye Bird

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Three close friends. Two unforgettable summers. One girl's darkest secret.

Alys appeared last summer, and then she vanished without a trace. Cait's new in town and she needs to know the truth: Who is Alys?


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Faye's Favourite Mysteries: The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold


I'm thrilled to be taking part in the blog tour for My Secret Lies With You and to celebrate the book's publication, I'm also sharing one of Faye's favourite mysteries. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold is one of the many books currently sitting on my tbr, so I was excited to hear Faye talk about it! Read on to hear what she had to say.
"I came to this book late. It had a lot of attention when it was first published and I’d heard about the opening; I wasn’t sure that I wanted to read a book that opened as it does with a girl describing her own rape and murder. However, so many people I spoke to had loved the book and recommended it that I eventually relented and picked it up. And when I started reading I almost very quickly put it down. The opening is just so uncomfortable – it’s harrowing to be with a first-person narrator describing her own death. I think it was incredibly brave of Alice Sebold to write the opening of this story, as she did. Brave both personally and brave in story terms too.
So here is a book that we’d call a mystery, except in essence the mystery is debunked at the outset. We know who killed Susie Salmon by about 20 pages in because she tells us and we were there with her when she was killed. And yet somehow the knowing doesn’t ruin or demystify the story that follows. I think this is because Susie Salmon continues to tell us the story beyond her death. Her voice lives on – and we, like her, become observers to the action that follows. So, like Susie, who watches from her own version of ‘heaven’, we watch alongside her as the emotional drama and the crime drama around her death simultaneously evolve. And I love the way that the emotional story interweaves with the detective story. It feels in lots of ways like a story that would work well on the small screen – there is a familiarity to the family drama, the detective and the way he works, and I welcomed it after that shattering opening. There was a comfort in being in a space that felt everyday and familiar.
For me, there was something both richly dark and moving about the way this story is told and in part this is the narrative voice, but it is also down to some beautiful writing. And so what we, the reader, are hooked into here is not the whodunit, but rather how the truth will come out and how it will be received and as a reader, I was fully invested in that. So what I love about this book is the unique perspective Susie gives us in her story, sitting as she does somehow in this strange place in the prose between life and death. Without a doubt, this book was a big influence for me on writing My Second Life."
My Review

Alternating between past and present, with the events of two summers spliced together, My Secret Lies With You tells the tale of how three friends find themselves caught up in something much bigger than they ever could have imagined.

Arriving from London for a holiday in North Wales with her mum and her mum's new boyfriend, Cait soon finds herself thrown headfirst into unravelling the events of last summer, along with her newfound friends.

Each of the main characters in the book - the three friends, Cait, and the mysterious Alys, were fascinating to read about. Fully-fledged, multi-faceted characters, each with their own distinct personalities, I found myself turning pages, wanting to find out more about their lives.

In addition, the story itself was also gripping. Once the story had been set up and the premise explained, I couldn't wait to find out what would happen!

However, upon reaching the end of the book, I felt a little underwhelmed - I wanted more from the story. Of course, that doesn't mean that there was anything wrong with the book, but I felt that the plot had so much potential for more that sadly, wasn't realised. Maybe there will be a sequel that will help to explore some of my unanswered questions?

One thing I really loved about this book above all else was the attention to detail when it came to the setting. The story is set in North Wales and is littered with references to specific towns, villages and beaches - it was really great to be able to picture places mentioned in the story that I'd previously visited!

My Secret Lies With You is a solid read and, all in all, a good Young Adult book. I might be struggling to put my finger on the exact reason why I couldn't fully engage with it, but it might just be your next favourite read!

Rating: 3 stars

My Secret Lies With You is available to pre-order now.

Will you be reading the book? Let me know in the comments below!

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