After traveling for almost the entire summer, I’m happy to be settling back into a routine…which means updating you guys on the books I’ve been reading! I didn’t read that many books these past few months but I’m really excited about today’s review. If you’ve been following my blog for awhile you’ll know that I am a serial thriller reader. I think 50% of the reviews I share on She’s Well Read are thrillers! With that being said, I usually don’t have lingering opinions about these books. I have to say Little Secrets by Jennifer Hillier surprised me. Each page had me guessing and by the end I had no idea where the story was going(in a good, suspenseful way) A good thriller in my opinion is fast paced with morally ambiguous characters. It’s easy to predict the outcome of a thriller with an obvious villain… but it’s more interesting to follow a story where the characters surprise you. I’ll explain this more in the heart of the review…so let’s get into it!
Synopsis and Goodreads
As a thriller reader, this book has been highly anticipated on my TBR. I have seen several influencers on instagram feature this book in their Instagram stories. This usually puts me off reading a book because I often get disappointed when a book doesn’t live up to the “hype” I see in the media. this happens a lot with books recommended by influencers. I have nothing against people promoting their favorite books on social media…I love that more people are getting into reading! I personally find that the books I see promoted have no substance or the writing does nothing for me. This book is definitely an exception. I was hooked after the first chapter and quickly finished the book in 24 hours.
- This novel deals with topics that may be distressing to some viewers. If the following topics trigger you I would advise against reading this book or take a closer look at the synopsis: Self harm, Child abduction, Cheating(possibly more)
- “It’s all in the details”: Details, no matter how small are crucial in a great thriller novel. Usually this means having pieces of information strategically placed throughout the plot to make things interesting. Hillier did an amazing job of introducing the characters to the audience without disclosing too much information. It was just enough information to help me have context while at the same time making me want to read more. I like to call this the “Hansel and Gretel” effect. Basically authors leave a crumb trail of clues for the audience to follow. There is an art to making a trail like this. You don’t want too many clues to be revealed at once…the end wouldn’t be a surprise this way. Instead it’s a strategic game of giving information down different paths. The end of every story is enviable, but it’s the journey that leads toward it that really makes or breaks a book.
- “Girl Boss Energy”: Marin Machado screams “you don’t want to mess with me”. She reminds me of the Lana Del Rey song that goes “Baby I’m a gangster too and it takes two to tango”. If you know what song that is please comment it down below because I’m terrible at remembering song names! Anyways, I am a sucker for a Girl Boss main character. Hillier gives us all of this and more with Marin’s character. This is a spoiler free review so I won’t get into details(to say she has some bad a** moments is an understatement) but I loved how strong willed her character. Like most characters there were things that I didn’t agree with but in my opinion it made her more likable. I also liked that she was a hair salon tycoon. I’m not sure why this intrigued me so much but it definitely made for an interesting background story.
- “Grief is a Double Edged Sword”: I’m definitely not the person who discovered this phrase but to me it describes Marin’s grief in the novel perfectly. Grief can harm someone internally…but it can also impact one’s world tremendously. I think Hillier did a good job of capturing the essence of the “stages of grief” authentically. I obviously haven’t dealt with grief like Marin did in the novel, but I think the conversations discussed were important not only to the storyline but in general. We need to talk about mental health more in novels. Even though I’m talking about a fictional story with fictional characters, real life issues being featured in stories like this can be a way for people who are actively grieving, etc to get through it.
The Great Wrap Up
Overall, I really enjoyed this novel! It definitely left me with a lot of questions which is always good for any book I read. I didn’t personally connect with any of Hillier’s characters like most thriller novels I read, but I did think the book as a whole will be something I’ll never forget. I hope you guys enjoyed today’s review and I am excited to share more thriller reviews on here(also because it’s 95% of what I’ve been reading lately). Please feel free to start a *kind* conversation in the comments and or DM me on instagram with any questions or suggestions(or even to say hi!) Links to my social media can be found at the top of the page.
With Love & Magic,