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[personal profile] penmage

Deadly Little Secret by Laurie Faria Stolarz

Camelia (sounds like Chameleon) almost died three months ago, when she bent down to pick up her earring in the parking lot and nearly got hit by a car. Before she knew what was happening, a mysterious hot guy had shoved her out of the way, saving her life, before running off when she tried to thank him.

She is, of course, determined to find out more about Ben, the mystery guy. But when she confronts him in the hall and tries to thank him, he pretends he doesn't know what she's talking about.

Camelia's chemistry teacher has an annoying practise of decreeing that whoever you're sitting next to on your first day will be your lab partner for the rest of the year. As luck would have it, the last empty seat in the room is next to Camelia--and then Ben walks in. At first, he acts like he can barely sit next to her. But then he starts to warm to her--even though he warns her that she shouldn't be friends with him, it's too dangerous.

Sound familiar?

Yeah. The plot diverges after this little bit of prettied-up plagiarism, and turns into a Mysterious Stalker novel (Camelia has a stalker. Ben wants to help her) but still--did it seriously have to rip off the most famous crappy YA novel of our time?

Camelia and Ben's relationship is hot, I'll give you that much, but seems to be based on nothing more than his looks (she describes him looking yummy and delicious and hot hot hot as often as Bella described Edward as a marble statue of a Greek god) and her fascination with his bad boy reputation (he reportedly killed his girlfriend back at his old school.)

The writing is not amazing--I get the sense that we're supposed to care about and like Camelia's neglected best friends (she ignores them in her fascination with Ben) but they're really not that interesting--they're actually kind of annoying. And Camelia's family drama is contrived.

This book would be a mild "pass" for me if it didn't rip off Twilight in an unbelievably derivative way. That elevates it to a "can you believe this book?"

Sigh. I feel like I've been disappointed by every book I've read recently. I'd really like to read a good book again.

Date: 2009-05-14 02:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
BEA is coming. There will be ARCS enough to renew your hope -- I hope.

(If you're not going, or if there's a Saturday signing you want, let me know and I'll go for you. We should be there by.... nerrrrrm.... 10AM on Saturday.)

Date: 2009-05-14 02:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Did you know that BEA this year is over Shavuot? And then Sunday is the Israel Day Parade?

I am going to try to steal a couple of hours for BEA on Sunday morning, but wow, packed weekend.

Are you going to be there all weekend, or just Saturday?

Date: 2009-05-14 02:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I knew about Shavuot, but I did NOT know about the Israel Day Parade, and it's likely we'd be HA HA HA driving into Midtown on Sunday to accommodate the lack of PATH trains, so thanks for the heads up.

We're doing Saturday/Sunday, driving back Sunday evening. N and I wanted to go up for Friday, but there's that whole "no leave whatsofreakingever" thing...

Date: 2009-05-14 03:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

Date: 2009-05-14 07:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Ash is top of my pile! I am trying to clear out my library stack so I can return them in a timely fashion.

Sometimes I think all of my books should have fines hovering over their heads, because otherwise some of them end up punted to the side because they don't have a due date.

Date: 2009-05-14 03:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
You know, maybe I'm old, but I was brought up to believe, if a guy has a reputation of having killed his girlfriend, we should judge favorably but not date them on principle?

Date: 2009-05-14 05:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] (from
Have you read Dreamhunter, by Elizabeth Knox? I bet you'd like it. Laini and I do.

Date: 2009-05-14 07:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I LOVE Dreamhunter. My review of it (and Dreamquake) are here--I think they're absolutely gorgeous and totally original.

My next up book, as [ profile] grammargirl so cheerfully reminded me, is Ash by Malinda Lo, which looks really promising.

Date: 2009-05-14 10:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

Laurie Faria Stolarz has the dubious distinction of having written the worst books I have ever read. Yes, 'books' plural. I recognized the trainwreck less than halfway through the first one and turned all three into my personal Mystery Science Theater fodder for a couple weeks.

Date: 2009-05-15 03:50 am (UTC)
g33kgrrl: (Default)
From: [personal profile] g33kgrrl
What's hilarious is I have never even read Twilight, and as I read your summary I was all... "Twilight?"

I mean, in that even I could pick out the plagiarism.
Edited Date: 2009-05-15 03:50 am (UTC)


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