Laurie Faria Stolarz
Until three months ago,
everything about sixteen-year-old Camelia's life had been fairly
ordinary: decent grades; an okay relationship with her parents; and a
pretty cool part-time job at an art studio downtown. But when Ben, the
mysterious new guy, starts junior year at her high school, Camelia's
life becomes far from ordinary.
Rumored to be somehow responsible
for his ex-girlfriend's accidental death, Ben is immediately ostracized
by everyone on campus. Except for Camelia. She's reluctant to believe
he's trouble, even when her friends try to convince her otherwise.
Instead she's inexplicably drawn to Ben...and to his touch. But soon,
Camelia is receiving eerie phone calls and strange packages with
threatening notes. Ben insists she is in danger, and that he can help –
but can he be trusted? She knows he's hiding something...but he's not
the only one with a secret.
2.5 out of 5 stars
Deadly Little Secret is the first book in the Touch series.
At the end of the school year, Camelia was saved from being run over by Ben. He disappeared before she could thank him and it has been on her mind ever since. When the new school year starts, he's there but he pretends that he's never seen her before. He refuses to even speak to her, despite the fact that they are lab partners. Then he has a miraculous turn around and tells her that she's in danger. Camelia is being stalked by someone who is getting more disturbing as time goes on. But is she in danger from him? There is a rumor that he killed his ex-girlfriend but got off on lack of evidence.
I am torn about Deadly Little Secret. I think the story itself was actually an interesting concept, but the execution wasn't wonderful. I liked the fact that the stalker had chapters from his point of view. I also wasn't 100% sure who it was until it was revealed, which was nice. The biggest problem for me was the characters.
I didn't hate Camelia, but she became increasingly stupid through the book. By the time she met her stalker, I didn't even feel bad for her. It's one thing if you don't involve your parents in your secret supernatural life, but if you have a stalker that ultimately threatens to kill you then you tell them. And this is where the parents fail as parents... they are too involved in their own problems to bother to talk to their daughter. Still, if your life is in danger, it trumps your mother's sister problems. The only time that I didn't think she was stupid was when she was actually in danger... I liked that part actually.
Ben was really weak- both as a character and as a love interest. He was like a really faded Edward. I hate being forced to make Twilight comparisons, but this book had at least two scenes and a couple general things that screamed "I got this from Twilight." Ben saves Camelia from being hit by a car in the parking lot at school. They are lab partners in Chemistry class, but he won't even look at her until he suddenly has a miraculous turn-around and is really interested in her. He is constantly lurking around her house. He is reluctant to get involved with her because he might hurt her. But Ben isn't even as interesting as Edward despite the "Did he or didn't he kill his ex?" question hanging over him. It was also never really clear if he was actually interested in Camelia or he just wanted to save her life.
The minor characters- Kimmie, Wes and her parents- were all a bunch of assholes. There is actually a point after Kimmie and Wes know that Camelia is being stalked that they complain that she's not thinking about their lives enough. Her parents basically ignore her because her mom is so upset that her sister is in the hospital that she won't get out of bed and her father can only hover over her mother.
I am not quite sure about how I really feel about Deadly Little Secret. I enjoyed the actual writing, but feel like the whole book progresses because of Camelia's stupidity. If she had handled being stalked in a sane and smart way, we wouldn't have most of this book. The touch aspect didn't really do much for the book except to push Ben into her life and give information off-screen for her to be saved. The more I think about the book, though, the more I feel it's below average.
*Picture and description from Goodreads