Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Legacy of Lies & Don't Tell by Elizabeth Chandler

Legacy of Lies & Don't Tell (Dark Secrets, #1-2)

Series: Dark Secrets
Author: Elizabeth Chandler
Page Count: 431
Published: March 8th, 2011
Publisher: Simon Pulse
  3.5 Stars ★★★

In this bind-up, two suspenseful stories are told. In Legacy of Lies, Megan is being haunted while staying at her grandmother's house. She is adopted, and along with dealing with her grandmother's cold attitude towards her, she has to deal with Matt, her "almost-cousin"'s aloofness as well. The story of her late great aunt comes to light, with many mysteries surrounding her death. How did she really die? And how does her death connect to the present, to Megan and Matt? Megan may not live to find out the truth. 

In Don't Tell, Lauren has returned to Wisteria for the first time after her mother drowned there years ago. With her cousin Nora seemingly unhinged, and her cousin Holly and old friend Nick welcoming her with open arms, Lauren isn't sure if she's ready to face the dock where her mother died. Her aunt Jule doesn't have much empathy towards Lauren's remaining sadness, but more is at stake than Lauren's feelings. Nora claims to hear Lauren's mother asking for her child, and mysterious knots begin to appear, things tying up themselves. Is Lauren going to survive this trip? Or will she face the same fate that her mother did?

I gave Legacy of Lies four stars, and Don't Tell three, with this averaging out at 3.5 stars. As you can see, I enjoyed the first book a bit more than the second. 

Both stories had characters with very sinister pasts, pasts that threatened to affect their present lives. I liked this connection between the past and the present, this idea that the characters couldn't outrun the past. Both stories contained suspicious deaths, deaths that may or may not have turned out to really be murders....the mystery behind what happened to Megan's great aunt and Lauren's mother were the main issue behind both stories, the events that started it all.

Legacy of Lies took place in a creepy mansion-like home, with a grandmother that I hated and an interesting paranormal component. I have to say, I did not see the twist coming at all. I was very surprised by the ending and I think it wrapped up the story very nicely. Megan was a great narrator, and I enjoyed reading about the creepy events she was experiencing, through her own eyes.

Don't Tell also had a very interesting twist that I wasn't able to guess. There was also a possible paranormal component throughout the story: I often found myself debating whether it was paranormal or simply a living person mundanely messing with Lauren. I won't give away the truth, but I think the explanation was fitting for the story. I liked this story less because I think some of the explanations were a bit hazy....most were fine, but at times I was really confused as to why people were acting the way they were. On the one hand, it made me keep reading. Yet on the other, it made some events a bit unclear. However, the story was enjoyable overall.

I recommend this bind-up to people looking for short, creepy stories. If you're a fan of Elizabeth Chandler or you want to read books about secrets affecting peoples' lives, this is a great pick for you.

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