Monday, November 14, 2011

Review: Dirty Little Secrets by C.J. Omololu

Title: Dirty Little Secrets
Author: C.J. Omololu site
Format: Hardcover, 210 pages
Published: 2/2/2010
Publisher: Walker & Company, Bloomsbury
Source: Library

“Everyone has a secret. But Lucy’s is bigger and dirtier than most. It’s one she’s been hiding for years—that her mom’s out-of-control hoarding has turned their lives into a world of garbage and shame. She’s managed to keep her home life hidden from her best friend and her crush, knowing they’d be disgusted by the truth. So, when her mom dies suddenly in their home, Lucy hesitates to call 911 because revealing their way of life would make her future unbearable—and she begins her two-day plan to set her life right. With details that are as fascinating as they are disturbing, C. J. Omololu weaves an hour-by-hour account of Lucy’s desperate attempt at normalcy. Her fear and isolation are palpable as readers are pulled down a path from which there is no return, and the impact of hoarding on one teen’s life will have readers completely hooked.” 

How it starts:
Things are finally coming together for Lucy. She get invited to a party by the guy of her dreams, and things are going great with her best friend. She comes home one day to find that her mother has finally died in her hoard. She is about to dial 911 when she stops. She thinks if she calls 911, after the paramedics and police, news crews will show up and everyone will know the secret she’s been trying to hide her entire life. If her secret gets out, she’ll lose her friend and her crush. She decides to clean up the whole house before calling for help.   

Lucy not only had really low self esteem, but also, it seemed, a low opinion of her friends. The whole story revolves around the idea that whoever finds out about her mother’s hoarding will automatically get out of her life. That she’ll spontaneously be alone. I can understand her behavior to an extent, but it borderlines on ridiculous.

The plot for this book was very weird. I guess I understand why Lucy felt compelled to keep her home life a secret. So much so that she’s willing to postpone calling emergency services about her dead mother. But I still think the whole idea is a little too crazy. Especially what happens at the end. *SPOILER ALERT* (highlight to view) She burns her own house down to cover up the evidence of her mother’s hoarding! Is it really okay to resort to arson?* From the last chapter, it seemed like the message was “Keep your secrets bottled up inside at all costs”. Not the best moral for the story in my opinion. I did like the “After” chapter added to the author’s website, I just wish it would have been printed in the book.

Writing Style:
Dirty Little Secrets is, for the most part, written as an hour by hour account of Lucy’s day. I seemed like there was either too much or too little going on in the span of an hour.

I didn’t really care for this one. I had hoped I'd like it since I love watching Hoarders, but I was left disappointed. The whole plot was a little too odd to really be believable. I’m giving it 2.5/5 stars. 


  1. Too bad. The plot sounds so different and interesting although I can't watch the show, Hoarders. I get totally mad at the materialistic, selfish, blah blah. I know, I shouldn't feel that way, since it is probably a sickness, but ugh.

  2. the premises sounds so good, sorry the book didn't deliver.

  3. Oh sad! I've actually heard some really good things about this one, so it's always interesting to hear the other side! Sorry this one didn't really work for you.