Dark Secrets 1: Legacy of Lies and Don't Tell - Elizabeth Chandler

This is a bind-up of the first two books in a YA mystery/paranormal series. You don't need to read the books in order; they focus on completely different characters but take place in the same town.


I didn't like the first book, Legacy of Lies, at all. The story follows Megan, who visits her grandmother she's never met. She has strange dreams about her grandmother's house and her family, people in town feel unexplainable connections to her, and there seems to be some ghostly activity in the house.


I didn't feel like any of the characters in this book were believable. They were all very one-dimensional and their reactions to the weird happenings were not how a normal person would react at all. The story ended up not being a ghost story, but a tale of reincarnation and righting wrongs and seeking revenge from past lives. I'm all for a good reincarnation story, but it didn't work here at all. The fact that something like four people in this town were all reincarnations and all happened to meet up at the same time to "fix the past" so to speak was totally implausible. The main character wasn't even from the town and was adopted into the family. Apparently her sole purpose in life is to reveal what happened to her former self and find her former lover from 60 years ago, who is ALSO a reincarnation...OK. Not buying it. 1 star.


Luckily, I really liked the second book, Don't Tell. It follows Lauren, who returns to the town where her mother drowned seven years earlier. She begins to believe her mother's death was not an accident, and is determined to find out the truth. But strange events that plagued her mother right before her death begin happening to Lauren, and she fears she's next.


I liked the main character in this one; the rest of the characters were a little flat, but still entertaining. This story thoroughly creeped me out, which I was not expecting at all. I never thought a book could make knots so scary! Yes, knots. You'd have to read it to understand. I actually regretted reading this one late at night, and I'm a horror junkie and am not easy to scare. The ending was kind of predictable and a little cheesy, but overall I liked this story a lot. 3.5 stars.


I'm giving the whole book 3.5 stars, because I can't get past how boring and unbelievable the first story was. I don't know if I'll continue on with this series, but this bind-up was nice to read in between heavier books (each book in this collection is about 200 pages and very easy to read). I'd recommend checking it out, if only for Don't Tell.