Thursday, June 19, 2014

Book Review: Silver is for Secrets

"Keeping secrets doesn't bring people together; it only pulls them apart."
1st Published: 2005

1st JAICO Impression: 2013

Number of Pages: 277

Price: Rs. 199/- (This was a review copy sent by the publishers.)

ISBN: 978-81-8495-423-4

About the Author: Laurie Faria Stolarz is an American author of young adult fiction novels, best known for her Blue is for Nightmares series. Her works, which feature teenage protagonists, blend elements found in mystery and romance novels.


School is over, and now Stacey, her boyfriend Jacob, and their friends have rented a beach cottage for the summer. But then Stacey has nightmares warning of forthcoming death- predicting the cruel death of Clara, a mysterious girl with a secret.

And now Jacob, the only one who understands Stacey's magic, is keeping secrets, too. Is Jacob betraying Stacey's trust or protecting her from revenge and tragedy?


"So maybe I'll see you around later," she says.

I nod and extend my hand to hers for a shake. And that's when I know. When I feel it. It's like my skin has iced over inside her palm. Like a million tiny ice-needles have just splintered into my veins. 

Clara is going to die.

Arpita Says:

A book with a title that seems interesting, and a synopsis that would certainly pique your curiosity, "Silver is for Secrets" can raise your expectations. Whether it meets those expectations, however, is another matter. The story is the sort which definitely draws you in- it's the kind of plot that one would wish to watch on a screen, too. It has a protagonist with a special 'gift', as well as a heroic figure who is full of intrigue, and flesh and bone supporting characters who manage to chalk out a place for themselves instead of getting sidelined as I had expected they would be. Even though this book is part of a series, it can be read as a stand alone novel.

The plot is centered around Clara, a girl that these friends come across while on holiday. Stacey is certain that Clara is in danger and she is determined to help save her- even if it could spell danger not only for herself but also for her friends. The action of the novel is driven by the attempt to figure out who could want to harm Clara and how to stop them. But the twist is, Stacey has had dreams in which Clara seems to threaten her. Apparently, the girl has got secrets which no one should find out because if they do, she will make Stacey pay.

There are moments when one feels as if the author is winding the reader up. It seems like there could be nothing wrong with Clara except perhaps an attitude problem and a flirting disorder. She hardly seems the type to keep deep, dark secrets. She is certainly not the stereotypical mysterious stranger with a brooding look and alluring persona. She is bubbly and surprisingly shallow which doesn't seem to fit in with the image she creates for herself in Stacey's nightmares about her.

There is, however, a formidable character who features in the novel and makes up for the lack of mystery in Clara's case. A certain photographer who lives in one of the beach houses nearby makes an appearance and becomes a cause for genuine concern. This character could have added a very interesting angle to the plot but he is poorly sketched and therefore fails to live up to the reader's expectations. While one cannot say that the basic issue underlining the story is frivolous, the photographer could have given the story more depth and made it a matter of serious discussion.

What was disappointing about the book is the way the author has dragged the plot- this book could have been even shorter had it not been for a number of sub-plots which are hardly relevant and only seem to be there to fill pages. Moreover, one can notice that there is a lack of sympathy towards most of the characters. The end might trigger some emotion in the reader, but the rest of the time one feels exasperated with each and every character at some point or the other. Jacob's stubbornness leaves one completely annoyed especially when it becomes obvious that his secrecy is what leads to disaster even if his intentions were noble. His habit of biting his lip is reminiscent of Bella from Meyer's "Twilight" series and it does not help the reader like him any better. Nevertheless, Stacey and Jacob are characteristically 'good' people, with magic that they apparently inherited from their ancestors. Both try to use their gift to save lives, as is evident from their attempt to protect Clara and the characters' frequent mention of incidents that occurred in the past.

Amber comes across as the most entertaining character in the story. Her sense of humor, which might border on the crude at times, is a source of comic relief and sure is superior to that of PJ, whose name seems quite symbolic of his Pathetic Jokes. Chad and Drea seem genuine and caring but with flaws which make them seem quite realistic even if they hardly make an impression on the reader. Clara happens to be the most frustrating individual one could come across. A hopeless flirt who feigns innocence whenever she is caught red handed while creating problems for other characters, she rarely gains sympathy as a victim.

The plot has several twists and turns, some of which can leave you surprised. Ghosts of the past seem reluctant to let go of Stacey while there already seems to be a premonition of danger in her path ahead. The end, no doubt, was unpredictable, even if the revelation of the culprit's identity was actually not so surprising. The book concludes on an unexpectedly melancholic note.

It's the kind of novella you can read on a journey to kill time. Otherwise, you may skip this one.

Rating: 2/5

1 comment:

  1. ah well you say it all// 2 out of 5 ..

    good review though



Thank you for passing by and please do leave your valuable comments,they mean a lot to us. Please make sure you leave your blog link or your mail id so that we can get back to you.