Told in two interwoven timelines—the summer when everything changed, and the summer that changes everything—Where Secrets Lie is a seductive thriller as dark as it is enthralling.
Amy Larsen has spent every summer with her cousin Ben and their best friend Teddy in River Run, Kentucky, loving country life and welcoming the break from her intensive ambitions and overbearing mother—until the summer she and Teddy confront the changing feelings and simmering sexual tension growing between them, destroying the threesome’s friendship in a dramatic face-off.
One year later, Amy returns to River Run dreading what she might find. But when Teddy’s sister disappears, Amy, Ben and Teddy agree to put aside their differences to search for her. As they dig deeper into the dark history of their small town, all three friends must unearth the truths that tie their families to tragedy, cope with their own toxic upbringings and beliefs, and atone for the damage done to each other and themselves.
I am complete trash for Eva V. Gibson. You will catch me lightly stalking her social media forever to make sure I don’t miss anything she has coming out for the rest of my life.
♥ Eva’s first book spoke to me in a way that very few have ever been able to. After Cubert and I read, and reread, and reread, I weaseled my way into being Eva’s friend on Twitter and long story short I loved Together We Caught Fire so much that Eva asked ME to host the cover reveal for Where Secrets Lie. ME! THIS HAD NEVER HAPPENED FOR ME BEFORE! It was the most exciting blog event I’ve ever taken part in! And when I saw the cover, I loved the book already!
To quote myself, “It’s so atmospheric, spooky but still sexy at the same time.” And guys, this is exactly how I’d describe the story, too.
♥ Before we even start, Eva gives us a trigger warning page, which I always find really nice because then you have the option to skip it you want. Don’t want anything that might possibly be a spoiler? No problem, just turn the page. But if there are topics you just need to stay away from, you shouldn’t have to go looking.
Because Eva does not write nice, simple love stories with Nice Characters. She writes complicated people, complicated stories. Characters who know the right thing and pick the wrong one anyway. Characters who have a viscous mean streak but are still deserving of love and understanding.
I find myself in these characters over and over again. In TWCF, I loved to crochet and knit like Lane, I’d lost my mom at a young age, I understood a lot of her trauma. I had felt a lot of it personally.
I’m not an artist like Amy, and I’ve never been a big country fan. But a lot of the things she says feel like they’re aimed right at me. Like so:
“I stood there, blinking at him in typical Amy form–the sociopathic stare, silent and helpless.”
I have been told that this is a very specific look that I give on more than one occasion, by more than one person. Though now I think about it. these people were all MEN, so their opinion of my face is bullshit.
“Not to be desperate, but when it comes to him, I’m happy to take what I can get, however badly it ends.”
Look, I’m an old married lady now, but in high school, this was my base personality.
Basically, the characters in this book are very real. They all do shitty things, they all do stupid things, they all do things that could make you call them “unlikeable” (I have very strong feelings about calling female characters unlikeable but I will not make you all sit through that lecture again). But they’re still just people–and none of us do the right thing all the time.
♥ SPEAKING OF CHARACTERS, there is a super swoony romance right from the start.
Are Amy and Teddy complicated and maybe a disaster? Sure. Are they probably a little bit toxic? I mean all of River Run is, I don’t think anyone would deny that. But look, they are just sexy together from the jump. Even when you don’t know what happened last summer and they’re still mad at each other, there’s this undercurrent of tension between them that never breaks. I spent the whole book waiting for them to talk about each other, think about each other, pass with quiet touches, have explosive fights.
“His gaze strung me up and held me fast, and I died and lived and died again in those eyes. I chose that end a thousand times rather than look away.”
♥ The mystery was really excellent, and all of the adult characters were super compelling. I would love to see a prequel with their story!
Flipping back and forth between the two summers is really effective. It gives us a chance to really see Teddy’s sister interact with Teddy, Amy, and Ben. We got to see how important she really was to them, since she disappears pretty early into the book.
♥ So, this last part–guys. I am in the freaking acknowledgements of this book. Eva thanked me AND Cubert personally, even naming my blog, for helping to hype her work. And like, it is an honor to hype her work?? It is a privilege I only could imagine a few years ago, to get to read her work early and tell people all about it. Honestly, I will never forget this, and I will never stop appreciating seeing my name in a book.
I always read the acknowledgements in books–I think it’s fun to see who authors want to thank beyond the dedication. I just truly never dreamed one of them would be me.
DOES THIS REVIEW MAKE ANY SENSE? No probably not, Eva’s books usually make me incoherent and I tend to just word vomit and blather on and on and forget what I’m saying and forget what I even wanted to say in the first place!
TL;DR: IS EXCELLENT, BUY BOOK