- Hardcover: 352 pages
- Publisher: Simon Pulse (July 5, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1481449540
- ISBN-13: 978-1481449540
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.1 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 23 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,662,829 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Secrets, Lies, and Scandals Hardcover – July 5, 2016
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From School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—Summer school is never fun, especially when the teacher is known for hating and berating every student. After the particularly brutal first test, five teens are in the room when their actions result in the death of their teacher. Ivy (formerly top of the popularity food chain), bad boy Tyler, new boy Mattie, teacher's pet Kinley, and privileged Cade all must decide to what lengths they will go to cover up the death of their teacher. They were not friends before the event, and now they must depend on one another for their future. Personal relationships continue to develop and add tension through romantic entanglements and Ivy's cop brother, who gets assigned the case. Morgan weaves a tale that is a tense blend of The Breakfast Club and How To Get Away with Murder. Told in five alternating perspectives, the work focuses on the motivations and story of each main character, but the different points of view can muddy the narrative and confuse those trying to keep them straight. Strong language doesn't inhibit readability but may dissuade certain readers. VERDICT A great addition to any YA collection.—Cyndi Hamann, Cook Memorial Public Library District Libertyville, IL
About the Author
Amanda K. Morgan lives in Nashville, Tennessee. She is the author of After Hours under the name Claire Kennedy as well as Secrets, Lies, and Scandals and Such a Good Girl.
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When a summer psychology course quickly escalates into the death of their professor, five teens who hardly know each other are forced to make a trust pact so that none of them gets caught. However, with varying levels of involvement and questions about their professor's disappearance following them everywhere, tensions rise amongst them. All of them have secrets that they're struggling to keep, on top of the one that they all share. An unlikely romance blooms between Kinley, the goody-two shoes of the group, and Tyler, the delinquent, but both are unwilling to completely trust the other. Ivy used to be queen bee until a harsh breakup pushed her off her pedestal at the top of the social ladder. Just when she thinks it can't get any worse, she's sworn into a silence pact for a crime she didn't commit and her cop brother has been put on the case.
Mattie was only staying for the summer to take the psych course, but was in the wrong place at the wrong time, saw too much, and was roped into the pact as well. Meanwhile, things are rocky with his boyfriend back at home, who may or may not know way too much information about Mattie's new secret. Cade, the last and most distant of the group, is the one who suggested the pact in the first place. Although he tries to deny it, the blame mostly falls on him, but he knows how to turn it around on the others. The group is sworn to silence and if anyone says anything, the others will team up to turn them in. Cade's set on two things: avoiding the blame himself and having one of the others found guilty.
SECRETS, LIES, AND SCANDALS is a fast-paced novel full of mystery, romance, and the question of who to trust. As more and more secrets are uncovered, it's clear no one is quite who they seem. The guilt and impending doubt of their secrets causes them all to take action --- and risks. When emotions get in the way, it's hard to decide what the safest choice is, and all of them have everything at stake. With the focus switching between characters each chapter, we get an inside look at the lives and secrets each one holds. It's not your typical murder mystery, since we know the culprit from the beginning, but it's not exactly your typical murder, either. The novel lets you discover more information with each chapter that holds an essential role in how it all plays out. SECRETS, LIES, AND SCANDALS was an exciting and intriguing novel from start to finish, and you'll find yourself sympathizing with each of the characters in turn as you wonder who will manage to come out safe in the end.
Reviewed by Maggie L., Teen Board Member.
I really enjoyed how the book was told from the different perspectives. We got a look at each of the kids before the teacher incident and then how they were coping after. Each of the characters was also experiencing some sort of personal issue so that was interesting to read about too. I think that really kept the story moving with the sides stories and kept me more interested in the book.
I would have to say my favorite character was Ivy she had a lot of issues that she was going through, but I felt like she was really growing on me during the book. Ivy was very popular and then giving up her virginity to a guy who broke up with her took her popularity from her. Ivy seemed the most high school girl. I also really enjoyed how Ivy tried to help out Mattie that she could see he was struggling. I felt like from the beginning to the end of the book you could just see a complete 180 in Ivy and I love that in a character.
Things I just couldn't find realistic was sort of the whole thing going down the way it did. I feel like 5 people to be involved in a murder is a lot of different people and also just how two people tried to help him and the others kind of just watched it seemed more like I am shocked one of them didn't instantly call 911 and somehow they all agree to this crazy plan.
Also, the ending is amazing! You think one thing and then the last page changes everything! I love how the author used the dates when writing the chapters it really helped to put timing in perspective.
I would suggest this as a nighttime read. It was a very fast read and easy to follow along. The book has a lot of suspense so you are going to want to know what happens next, but it does have points in which you could easily put the book down and start again.
I received a copy of this book from The Fantastic Flying Book Club in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my opinion of this book.
Five students in a summer psychology class accidentally kill their horrible professor. Chaos ensues.
SECRETS, LIES AND SCANDALS, while not a comedy, has a campy feel to the writing, which was my favorite part of reading this novel. Amanda K. Morgan drew me in with her delightful descriptions of the five main characters. Broken into short chapters from the 3rd person points of view from each character, we learn the secrets they harbor beneath their carefully orchestrated veneers. None of the characters was particularly likable, but they all had sympathetic aspects to their stories.
Plot wise, SECRETS, LIES AND SCANDALS was somewhat flimsy. The method of the killing seemed weak for the lengths the teens when to cover up their involvement. They could have just as easily concocted a plausible explanation for an accident trip and fall. Even the ending felt like a letdown, although the last chapter caused me intrigue. I wanted to know more about the five students' disposition.
Don't read SECRETS, LIES AND SCANDALS if you're expecting a taut mystery, read it because is a fun, fun book.