Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Genre: Mystery and Young Adult
Release Date: March 16, 2014
Pages: 304 (Paperback)
Anne Dowling—a fresh, original, and funny new YA heroine whose knowing, irreverent voice will remind readers of Pretty Little Liars and Private—is back for her second semester at Wheatley Prep. Although things have settled (somewhat) since her roommate Isabella’s death, Anne’s still kind of obsessed with the disappearance of Wheatley student Matthew Weaver thirty years ago, since she found a picture of him and his crewmates with the words “they killed him” scrawled on the back among Isabella’s things.
When Anne learns that her boyfriend Brent’s dad is one of the now-powerful Wheatley alumni who rowed crew with Matthew, and that the crew team continues to induct new members with a creepy-sounding ritual called “The Drop,” she knows further investigation could put her relationship with Brent in danger. Determined to discover the truth, she reaches out to Anthony, Isabella’s townie brother, who helps her delve deeper into the secrets in Wheatley’s past. Secrets someone would kill to keep hidden. As the school’s Spring Formal—and its notorious afterparty—approaches, Anne sees the perfect opportunity to do some off-campus digging into the lives of Wheatley’s VIPs in this thrilling, unputdownable read—but if she’s not careful, she’ll be the next student who never comes back.
The excitement and fun never seems to end in this series. Wicked Little Secrets doesn’t suffer from second book syndrome, instead it charges forward and demands readers attention. I loved reading about Anne and all of the trouble she can cause in just a few hours. It’s a thriller that isn’t all about the planning and clues, it also doesn’t have an overbearing romance. It has just the right amounts of almost everything.
That being said, there are a few things that are off. As a person with a pretty small tolerance for info-dumping I found the beginning to be a little like even dismissing the recaps for the first book. Another problem that I had is with our protagonist, Anne (I still adore her though) and her friendship with her friend Chelsea. For someone she calls her best friend, Anne never talks to Chelsea and only mentions her in passing. I wanted more from this friendship because Chelsea is part of the old Anne, the one that I’m sure many people want to know more about and I felt let down by this. Hopefully her best friend is in the last book.
Nonetheless, this book is still great. I loved the writing, it’s still as smooth as ever and the romance isn’t in your face. It’s a lot laid back than I thought, only finding cracks in the story to seep into. Although I’m team Brent, the romances with both guys are really well done. Another thing that I enjoyed about the story is the action because it isn’t boring and there’s a constant stream of it with not too much planning. The characters for the most part are great, Anne is a lot wilder and committed than ever (she punches a guy in the face to defend her friend!). The problems that I had in the first novel are pretty much gone in this one. Remy feels a lot more real, letting her past and emotions through this time. Moreover, the sarcasm is so good! It’s not constant that it feels annoying nor is it far between that it feels forced. It’s perfection.
Wicked little Secrets is pretty intense but in a more fun than dark way. The ending will keep readers at the edge of their seats and craving for the last one. I recommend this series to anyone looking for a thriller that isn’t boring and straightforward. I’m hoping that the last one is just as good.