Picture drawn by Maggie Stiefvater, 2009. Header made by S.F. Robertson, 2010.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Dirty Little Secrets by C.J. Omololu

Dirty Little Secrets by C.J. Omololu
"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."

Since I am a tad obsessed with the show Hoarders on A&E, I was excited to read this book and was so happy to receive a copy (thanks Anna!). The jacket copy (which is not the one above) didn't mention the mom dying (not a spoiler- it happens within the first 30 pages or so) so I was expecting something different than what actually transpired in the story. Now, that doesn't mean the book was bad because it was still pretty good; it just didn't play out the way I expected it to. The mom dying had something to do with not going with my expectations. I was expecting a story of learning to deal with hoarding and maybe in the end, there's a hope for the family of getting better; also, secrets would come out. Unfortunately, with the mom dead and Lucy alone, not many secrets were revealed or, if they were, answered. So that aspect kinda disappointed me, but Omololu still did a good job with the novel.

There's a lot to be said about the things people keep and when you're going through a hoarder's belongings, memories come up and they make you nostalgic. I enjoyed getting to know about Lucy and her family's past through the cleaning up of the house and her coming across various items. It was a clever way of doing exposition.

The ending again was something I wasn't expecting, but it does feel right to end it that way. Very symbolic and all that English major jibberjabber. It was definitely an interesting read and I kind of want to read more books about hoarding. That should be the next trend in YA- hoarding. Oh please let it be so!

This book will be released on Feb. 2, so go get it then or pre-order!

FTC: Received hardcover from the publisher. Amazon link is an Associate link; any profits go toward funding contests.


  1. Nice review :) Like you, I love the show Hoarders. I have this one in my TBR pile and I did know about the mom dying. I'm excited to see how this one will unfold since I can't think of another book that deals with hoarding issues per say.

  2. I've been dying for this book. I think the subject is fascinating! I'm going to make sure I pick it up.

    Thanks for the review!!

  3. I have never seen Hoarders, but since I am interested in obsessive compulsive disorders -- and psychology in general -- this topic intrigues me. The book sounds interesting, and your review piqued my interest a bit more. :-)

  4. As the spouse of a hoarder (whose mother was a hoarder) and the sister-in-law of a hoarder (whose mother was also a hoarder) and the daughter and granddaughter of persons with hoarding tendencies, this book was spot-on. It was a painful, but cathartic read for me. I think there are a lot more people than we realize, who are out there connected with these people, and dealing with the heartbreaking struggle to exist in a place where there is no physical room for your existence.