Title: Secrets and Lies (Capital Girls #2)
Author: Ella Monroe
Genre: contemporary, romance, chick lit
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Publication Date: November
Pages: 304 pages
Rating: 2 stars
Synopsis (from goodreads):
Jealousy, rivalry, and dark secrets threaten to tear the girls apart in this sizzling follow-up to Capital Girls
It’s the start of senior year, and Excelsior Prep is on Code 3 lockdown. Secret Service agents swarm the halls searching for the First Son’s girlfriend, Jackie Whitman. Outside a SWAT team hunts for the man who’s been threatening the First Family for weeks. Only this time he’s singled out Jackie, leaving a menacing message on the school’s voicemail. Jackie’s safe for now, but for the Capital Girls—three privileged kids who live in a political fishbowl in the nation’s capital—every day is filled with tension and thrills. Though, even for them, a raid on the school by AK-47-toting marksmen is a standout.
And a stalker isn’t Jackie’s only problem. Still shattered by the shocking news that Andrew cheated on her with Taylor the night Taylor died, Jackie’s whole world has fallen apart. Not only did the love of her life betray her, so did her best friend and idol. What made Taylor do it? Who was she really? On top of it all, Whitney Remick is plotting to take Taylor’s place, and Jackie will do anything to stop her.
Secrets and Lies is the perfect title for this book – there’s not a character that’s not lying and carrying secrets around with them. After the accident in the end of the first novel, Capital Girls, Lettie, Laura Beth and Jackie are all trying to come to terms with the loss of their friend. But the drama doesn’t stop there. Several kidnapping threats have been made regarding Jackie, Lettie’s facing deportation and Laura Beth still has Whitney on her tail causing trouble wherever she goes.
This book has a Gossip Girl vibe to it but instead of just the social politics there’s a Capital Hill flavour to it all. I thought the characters were mostly well written and interesting but I didn’t really feel like I connected with any of them. They’re all a little selfish and well… a little bitchy if I’m being completely honest. They all get preoccupied with their own drama that they aren’t all that supportive of their friends but they’re the first to recognize the shortcomings in others. Mean Girl Whitney was probably my favourite but that’s mostly because she knows how awful she is and makes no apologizes for her behaviour.
I liked the time frame in which Secrets and Lies took place – roughly a six month period – with different stories having time to develop. I did feel a little dissatisfied with the plot in terms of action. I thought the first couple of chapters were more dramatic than the ending and I felt a little let down by that.
The supporting characters – boyfriends and mothers – were an interesting touch. For the most part the boyfriends are shown in a negative light. There’s a cheater, a suspected cheater, a stoner who’s father’s political connections are what get him out of trouble and a very angry young man who’s convinced that one of the other boyfriends is a murderer… Like I said, interesting. I felt like more could have been explored with each of them. And the mothers are fascinating in their own way.
If teen series that deal with the social politics of high school along with healthy doses of sex, lies and the White House are your thing then I can definitely recommend Secrets and Lies. However if you want a little more plot, action and likeable character, it’s probably not the book for you.
Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Griffin for the review copy.
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