Saturday, November 20, 2021

Review: Seven Dirty Secrets by Natalie D. Richards

Author: Natalie D. Richards
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication Date: November 2021

 I know seven secrets:
One caused the fall. One did nothing. One saw it all.
One didn’t care. One used their head. One played the hero.
One was left for dead.

On her eighteenth birthday, Cleo receives a mysterious invitation to a scavenger hunt. She’s sure her best friend Hope or her brother Connor is behind it, but no one confesses. And as Cleo and Hope embark on the hunt, the seemingly random locations and clues begin to feel familiar.

In fact, all of the clues seem to be about Cleo’s dead boyfriend, Cyrus, who drowned on a group rafting trip exactly a year ago. A bracelet she bought him. A song he loved. A photo of the rafting group, taken just before Cyrus drowned. And then the phone calls start, Cyrus’s voice taunting Cleo with a cryptic question: You ready?

I have very  mixed feelings about Seven Dirty Secrets.  On one hand, I enjoyed the scavenger hunt part of the book.  The notes were intriguing and interesting puzzles.   They weren't too easy or too hard for the characters to figure out.  I also liked the loyalty between Cleo and her friends, especially Hope.  As well as the relationship healing she went through with her brother.

What I didn't like was the fact that I called what was happening about 30 minutes into the audiobook.  It's fairly obvious from the beginning who is behind the scavenger hunt.  That was a let down because I was just waiting for Cleo to play catch up. It took a while. I also was having a hard time with her guilt over what happened.  It was a clear case of self defense.  Had she said something a year before when the "event" happened,  things probably would have worked out differently.  It was overall entertaining, but not a favorite by this author.  

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