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Dirty Little Secrets Hardcover – February 2, 2010


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 - 17 years
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 890L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Walker Childrens; First Printing edition (February 2, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080278660X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802786609
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 6.3 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (101 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #678,138 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Shocking, tragic, desperate, and believable. Characters, situations, and settings are vivid, and dialogue rings true... a valuable new addition to heartbreaking but honest books about teens. School Library Journal A disturbing appraisal of how a mother's obsessive hoarding affects her teenage daughter in this frank novel. Publishers Weekly An emotionally charged novel...readers will be rapt. Kirkus Reviews --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

C. J. OMOLOLU is the author of Dirty Little Secrets, her first novel. She lives in Northern California, with her husband and two sons.
www.cynjay.blogspot.com
www.cjomololu.com

More About the Author

Every journal I've ever had ends on or around January 21st, because I find it really boring writing about my own life. I have found, however, that I really like writing about the lives of imaginary people and that the voices in my head often have interesting things to say.

My picture book WHEN IT'S SIX O'CLOCK IN SAN FRANCISCO came out in July, 2009, and my young adult novel DIRTY LITTLE SECRETS (under C.J. Omololu) released in February 2010. TRANSCENDENCE, a YA novel about reincarnation and the meaning of life came out in June of 2012, followed by the sequel INTUITION in June of 2013. The YA thriller THE THIRD TWIN will be out in February of 2015 followed by another standalone thriller RECOVERY in early 2016. You can catch up with me on my website at www.cjomololu.com.

Customer Reviews

I thought the story was well written.
My Favorite Pastime
I've never really been interested in those specials on TLC about Hoarding; honestly the whole idea of it freaks me out, someone really living like that by choice.
CRISTY
So, just a warning, if you are going to allow a troubled kid to read this book, read it yourself first and discuss the ending with him or her.
Book Worm Mom

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By J.C.Phillipps on February 3, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I don't want to go into the plot too much because I don't want to spoil anything, but the story centers around a high-school junior, Lucy, who is trying to keep the family secret of hoarding away from her "normal girl" world.

From the first sentence I was hooked. Ms. Omololu starts off by letting us know Lucy has a secret. As Lucy's world starts to unravel, the pace quickens and slows - in my opinion - perfectly. At times, Lucy is frustrated, angry, determined, and maybe even cold. At others she is warm, loving, and protective.

Loved the character. Loved the pace. Loved the plot. This was a wonderful read for me. And it inspired me to clean my house. Seriously.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Laura Manivong on February 2, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I would never want to enter a real world like Lucy's, but I now understand the horror of her home life. I found myself holding my breath in passages, wanting to help her overcome the effects of her mother's hoarding but I was powerless to do so. Instead, I came face to face with Lucy's panic and shame. If ever there was a book that created empathy for such a misunderstood illness, DIRTY LITTLE SECRETS is it.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Sharif on April 14, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Lucy has a secret that has the possibility of becoming a public and embarrassing scandal: her mom Joanna is a hoarder. Years ago a school friend caught a peek into their house, and afterwards everyone cruelly nicknamed Lucy "Garbage Girl." She switched schools to avoid the harassment. Now she has a best friend and a boyfriend, but she can never have them over to her house. She can't let people see her home stacked with junk that is packed so tight that it's like walking through a maze to get from one room to another.

A tragedy strikes that can either free Lucy or burden her even more. The entire story takes place in 24 hours, with flashbacks to Lucy's past, and I was on the edge of my seat waiting for Lucy's next move towards normalcy or further difficulty. This novel is unique and suspenseful. I may never forget the emotional twists and a main character with such a memorable problem.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Kelly Jensen (STACKED Books blog) on June 12, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Dirty Little Secrets by C. J. Omololu, weighing in at just about 200 pages, packs an unbelievable amount in a short book. It is worth every minute of your time.

Lucy keeps secrets. Her best friend doesn't know them. Her soon-to-be boyfriend doesn't know them, nor will he. The secrets remain between her and her mother, as well as her distance brother and even more distant sister.

The secrets are the items her mother hoards in their home.

Lucy's mom keeps everything, from old, rotting food, to Christmas gifts meant to be given years ago. Her mother seems normal from the outside, working in a medical facility, but she is far from okay both inside her house and inside her own head.

Unfortunately, we never get to know Lucy's mother. She dies immediately in the book. But Lucy ISN'T sad about it. In fact, she's terrified that the secrets will get out, and she cannot imagine a fate worse than making the news for living in a house of squalor.

Dirty Little Secrets takes place over the course of just over one day. Lucy is a character who you will be unable to forget, as she drags the reader through emotional torment. At once, I feel sorry for her mother and hate her mother, but throughout the book, I was far more concerned about Lucy. I wanted her to be safe and get out, and I wanted her to overcome the troubles she had been keeping without ruining a sweet budding relationship with a boy. She'd never had one before, of course, thanks to keeping the secrets.

We are dragged through this house and the accumulation of things in this book, and in such a manner, we are completely invested in Lucy's safety. Although it would be easy to label her heartless about the death of her mother, we also see how this is a moment of liberation for Lucy.
Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mary VINE VOICE on September 15, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Final Grade: 93/A

Poor Lucy. She's lived with her mother's secret her entire life, never getting too close to anyone and definitely never inviting them into her house. The one time one of her friends did get a look inside, she gave Lucy a terrible nickname and makes her a complete social pariah. Lucy changed schools to get away.

I can't even imagine living like that. Piles of trash, unwashed dishes, stacks of newspapers...it reminded me of that Shel Silverstein poem, "Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout Would Not Take the Garbage Out." (Huh. Makes me wonder if Sarah Cynthia was actually a hoarder, rather than just a lazy kid who didn't want to take out the trash.) C.J. Omolou really did her research for this book, portraying the difficulties facing someone living with a hoarder, someone who doesn't have the same tendencies, seamlessly.

(This next part could be considered spoiler-y considering it's teased in the blurb but this event happens in the first quarter of the book, so I'm going for it.)

When she finds her mother dead, Lucy has to make a difficult decision--and she choses to try and preserve her now-semi-normal life by holding off calling the police and trying to clean up the house so she and her house won't end up on the news. It's not a completely rational decision but Lucy really has no one to talk to about it. Her older sister is just like their mother and her brother has no desire to return or even discuss anything regarding their mother. She can't tell her friend, she can't tell her sort-of boyfriend. This is a decision she has to make completely on her own. And she has to live with the consequences.

DIRTY LITTLE SECRETS. You have to read it to believe it.
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