July 3, 2016

Secrets, Lies, and Scandals Blog Tour: Review + Giveaway

Secrets, Lies, and Scandals
Author: Amanda K. Morgan
Genre: YA Thriller/Mystery
Release Date: July 5, 2016
Publisher: Simon Pulse

Rating: 4 Stars!


In the tradition of I Know What You Did Last Summer and How to Get Away with Murder, five teens must overcome their paranoia in order to keep their teacher’s death a secret in this fast-paced suspense thriller.

Nothing ruins summer vacation like a secret…especially when it involves a dead teacher.

Ivy used to be on top of the social ladder, until her ex made that all go away. She has a chance to be Queen Bee again, but only if the rest of the group can keep quiet.

Tyler has always been a bad boy, but lately he’s been running low on second chances. There’s no way he’s going to lose everything because someone couldn’t keep their mouth shut.

Kinley wouldn’t describe herself as perfect, though everyone else would. But perfection comes at a price, and there is nothing she wouldn’t do to keep her perfect record—one that doesn’t include murder charges.

Mattie is only in town for the summer. He wasn’t looking to make friends, and he definitely wasn’t looking to be involved in a murder. He’s also not looking to be riddled with guilt for the rest of his life…but to prevent that he’ll have to turn them all in.

Cade couldn’t care less about the body, or about the pact to keep the secret. The only way to be innocent is for someone else to be found guilty. Now he just has to decide who that someone will be.

With the police hot on the case, they don’t have much time to figure out how to trust each other. But in order to take the lead, you have to be first in line…and that’s the quickest way to get stabbed in the back.
Secrets, Lies, and Scandals is a taut young adult thriller that will have readers devouring each page. The plot isn't wholly original - a horrid teacher dies after a night summer school class, and five students witness it all. Each has their own reason for taking the course, for being at the school that late, for not wanting to be connected to the death in any way. What happens after that is what really gets the story moving - you don't know who is lying or who to trust - who might band together or turn on each other. Each of the students has something big going on in their lives that could be ruined by a mere few minutes - but can they all keep their secret?

I'm a huge fan of thrillers, so I was definitely excited to read this book. I was eager to see how things would happen and play out during the after-effects of the death of their teacher - and I wasn't disappointed in the least. There were lots of unanswered questions, lies, and not quite knowing what was going to happen - which kept me on the edge of my seat until I had finished the entire book (which ended up with a binge read that lasted only a few hours). The author did a fantastic job with every aspect of the story - the plot was intriguing and kept you guessing, the characters were all rounded with their own distinct personalities and issues, and the writing seemed to flow naturally. One thing that I both loved and hated (weirdly enough) was the author's writing style. The book is told from the five students perspectives, but it's written in the third person point of view. I absolutely loved that we got to see everything that happens from multiple characters - it really helped to build the suspense and kept dropping little twists and turns that came back up in the story later on. The only thing that could've made this better was if it had been done in the first person POV. I'm a huge advocate for using that writing style - mainly because of the deep personal connection that forms between the reader and the narrator. If the author would've written the book in the same style - but using the first person POV - this would have been a home run for me. I think the idea of using multiple narrators was smart and definitely added to the suspense, but it was dampened a bit because of the detached feeling of the writing. I hope that makes sense - it feels like I'm just rambling and not getting my point across. In essence, if everything had been exactly the same - except written in the first person point of view from each character's unique perspective - this book would be nothing short of amazing. It would have had me guessing until the end and would've added genuine thrills to the story - it would have been one of the best books I've read this year. Don't get me wrong - I really liked this book! It's just my personal issue with the whole point of view thing that hung me up a bit. This novel is great just as it is and I know that it'll be a big hit, especially for fans of the genre. I definitely highly recommend reading this book - for fans of mysteries, thrillers, suspense, contemporary fiction and even just readers looking for an overall well written book.
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Follow the Secrets, Lies & Scandals by Amanda K. Morgan Blog Tour and don't miss anything! Click on the banner to see the tour schedule.

Amanda K. Morgan is a freelance writer living in Nashville, TN. She covers events and works as a technical writer when she isn't working on her YA novels.

At age 15, Amanda finished her first novel and continued to write in college, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in English and an emphasis in Creative Writing.

Amanda is an avid volleyball player and spends time playing both indoors and out. When Amanda isn't writing, she enjoys being entirely too busy and trying new things. Endeavors as of late include appearances in music videos, TV, and movies, rock climbing, and attending as many concerts and shows as her schedule allows.

Amanda headed up the Do The Write Thing for Nashville Project (with co-organizers/authors Victoria Schwab and Myra McEntire), which tapped some of the biggest authors, editors, and agents in the industry for an online auction that raised over $70,000 for Midsouth flood relief.
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  1. This sounds like a very interesting read. That blurb had me hook, line and sinker. I definitely want to know why the teacher was murdered and what these students had to do with it.

  2. This sounds like a good mystery so I'd be very interested in reading it.