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The Secrets of Lily Graves by Sarah Strohmeyer Book Review

The Secrets of Lily GravesWith the intrigue of Pretty Little Liars and plenty of romance, bestselling author Sarah Strohmeyer weaves a story of secrets and lies—set in a funeral parlor.
Growing up in a house of female morticians, Lily Graves knows all about buried secrets. She knows that perfect senior-class president Erin Donohue isn’t what she seems. She knows why Erin’s ex-boyfriend, hot football player Matt Houser, broke up with her. And she also knows that, even though she says she and Matt are just friends, there is something brewing between them—something Erin definitely did not like.
But secrets, even ones that are long buried, have a way of returning to haunt their keeper.
So when Erin is found dead the day after attacking Lily in a jealous rage, Lily's and Matt’s safe little lives, and the lives of everyone in their town of Potsdam, begin to unravel. And their relationship—which grew from innocent after-school tutoring sessions to late-night clandestine rendezvous—makes them both suspects.
As her world crumbles around her, Lily must figure out the difference between truth and deception, genuine love and a web of lies. And she must do it quickly, before the killer claims another victim.

Source: Publisher via Edelweiss
Pages: 304 pages
Release Date: May 13, 2014

I’ll read anything Sarah Strohmeyer writes, due to how much I love Smart Girls Get What They Want. Going into The Secrets of Lily Graves, I was especially excited to see how the author would transition to a new genre. Unfortunately, The Secrets of Lily Graves was somewhat disappointing, and although it was good, I didn’t like it as much as I hoped to. 

The narrator, Lily, was pretty morbid. It’s understandable, considering her family owns a funeral parlor. She dresses in all black and basically looks the part of someone who would stereotypically work at a funeral parlor. I wouldn’t normally mind too much, but there were hints to her possibly using those outfits as an armor or disguise to deflect attention. The hints at tension in her relationship with her mom were never fully explained, and I really wanted to know more about her family. 

Matt was a sweet guy, but I was hoping for more backstory and his and Lily’s relationship. There were a few flashbacks, but I really hoped to see more moments when she realized she liked him. Also, I was wondering when Matt has first started liking Lily. I kind of wish he had been in the book more and we had seem more interactions between Lily and him.

The murder mystery started out kind of slow. I was mainly curious to who had done it, and I had so many different speculations throughout the book. The killer is revealed in the last few chapters and I was extremely surprised. There was a ton of foreshadowing throughout, but I still didn’t expect anything until the very end. I honestly was surprised that I hadn’t figured it out sooner, especially since the author did such an amazing job about weaving in certain hints throughout.

The writing style was great, which made The Secrets of Lily Graves a super quick read. It’s definitely not my favorite of Strohmeyer’s novels, and I’d recommend her other novels over this one, but I still liked the plot of The Secrets of Lily Graves. I’d give it 3 out of 5 flowers.


  1. I think most of the reviews I have seen for this one were the same, that it was somewhat disappointing. Even so, I still want to read it. :)

    Great honest review!!

  2. Too bad this one wasn't a favourite, but glad it was still pretty good.

  3. I also liked Smart girls, but this didn't work for me.. I also wanted more development in Matt and his relationship with Lily. It felt flat to me and I missed chemistry :(


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