Book review #29 Dirty Little Secrets by C.J. Omololu Rating: Four stars (refer to the rating system on the right)
Summary: (taken from the inside flap of book-the Goodreads summary gave way too much information)
From the outside, Lucy's home looks normal. Inside the front door is where the secrets begin. Towering piles of newspapers and magazines. Bags of junk flooding every inch of open space. The rotting smell permeating the air. That is what she's kept from everyone-that her mother's compulsive hoarding has reduced their lives to garbage...literally.
With just two years until graduation, Lucy finally feels like a normal life is within her grasp. Her new best friend, Kaylie, and her longtime crush, Josh, make a future seem almost possible
Then one morning Lucy comes home to find something she never expected, something that will change her life forever. And she must ask herself-how far can she go to protect her family's secrets?
That was the craziest, most disgusting, sad, twenty one hours I've ever read about. Even though it was set over twenty one hours, it felt like several days each full with lots of events. Told through present tense and flashbacks Dirty Little Secrets was one of the most unique books I've ever read. I almost felt like I was intruding on this secret lifestyle, that I knew existed, but never experienced.
Lucy has the normal side to her life, such as hanging out with her friend Kaylie, going to the movies, babysitting the neighbors, and meeting with her crush Josh (aka normal teenage things). On the other hand, Lucy's life comes down to counting down the days until she can escape the walls of garbage she is forced to live in. Her mother is a hoarder. Each room is crammed with magazines, trash, and garbage- things known as "collectibles" to her mother. With bathrooms that barely work, Lucy can't even take a shower at her own house. Lucy has the responsibility of keeping this secret in order to protect herself and her family. She has to live in fear of not letting anyone see the inside of her house. Now that a tragedy has happened, Lucy has to go above and beyond to try to avoid letting her secret from becoming exposed. But how far can she actually go?
The descriptions and scenes were so powerful and vivid. I easily imagined everything in my head- the disgusting trash and house, the intense scene at the party, and every encounter she had with Josh. I'm not going to lie the house was really sick. I really really wanted to just jump in and start cleaning for days (I'm sort of a clean-freak). I almost felt dirty and a bit uncomfortable myself. I think it's amazing that a book can actually do that.
Lucy tops the list for characters I feel most sorry for. Saying that-she also tops the list for characters I'm most proud of. Lucy has a horrible life-not only a terrible mother with issues, but a runaway father, an overall messed up family, and an unbelievable lifestyle she has no control over. I couldn't imagine living like that, I was very impressed with how Lucy handled everything.
I had zero ounce of love for Luce's mother. I know she does have issues, but I really just couldn't understand her no matter how hard I tried. I mean imagine begging your mom to let you clean up the house. Kaylie, Luce's one friend, on the other hand, I loved. She was true friend that anyone would be lucky to have. She brought the normal to Lucy's life- which you do get a glimpse of. I did feel like Kaylie really could have helped Lucy, if she opened up about her problems, but I understand why she couldn't do that. Lastly, there was Josh. Josh was unbelievable,perfectly adding a sprinkle of romance to the story.
The only thing I didn't love so much about this book was the ending. It just wasn't my favorite, I mean it was in theory a good ending, but it felt really rushed. I was still very hungry for more. I wanted to see how Lucy's life ended up after making her final decision.
Overall Dirty Little Secrets was really an extraordinary novel! I've never read a book about this subject before, and I'm definitely glad I finally did. This was so unique, powerful, and fast-paced that is not to be missed. It is really impossible to put down, I would recommend this to anyone and everyone :)
I'm a seventeen year old Muslim girl living in Kentucky. Coming from a huge family, I tend to be a bit shy, but never afraid to speak my mind. Growing up without a TV in the house, I willingly turned to books. Ever since I've been a proud book-aholic. Since I love reading I decided to write a review on every book I read (mostly YA fiction) from here on out to share my thoughts and opinions. I love comments and am open to any book suggestions :)