Review of Secrets and Lies by Kody KeplingerPublished by Poppy
on June 1, 2013
Source: e-ARC from the publisher. Please see my full FTC disclosure on blog sidebar.
Summary: Secrets & Lies contains two short stories, each one about a different character from Kody Keplinger's prior books. Alliterations and Abbreviations follows Bianca's friend Casey (from The DUFF) as she finds herself falling in love with someone she doesn't think she should be with. People Worth Knowing is about Bailey, the younger sister of Nathan from Midsummer's Nightmare as she decides how to handle an incident of bullying on the cheerleading squad.
My take: I've been a fan of Kody Keplinger since The DUFF. Her books are fun and engaging contemporaries with an authentic-sounding teen voice. The books tackle difficult subjects -- like teen sex and divorce -- in a way that isn't preachy.
I'll admit that I'm not the biggest fan of novellas, as most of them can't squeeze in enough character or plot development to make me completely happy. But I thought that the novella format actually suited Kody Keplinger's breezy, dialogue-heavy writing style very well and that she did a great job of keeping the plot lines tight and focused.
Casey's story is more intense and romantic -- she finds herself attracted to her best friend's ex and doesn't know how to handle it. Bailey's story is more issue-oriented, as some of her cheerleader friends are bullying another student and she has to decide how to handle it. Other favorite characters from The DUFF and A Midsummer's Nightmare make surprise appearances. In short, a fun summer read!