Monday, April 16, 2012

Title: Dirty Little Secrets
Author: C.J. Omololu
Publisher: Walker Childrens (Feb. 2, 2010)
Length: 224 pages
Source: Hastings
Format: hardcover

Description from Goodreads:

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.
My Thoughts:
       C.J. Omololu takes readers on one emotional and heart wrenching ride in Dirty Little Secrets. I am the type of person who can walk into my room and tell you exactly what is out of place. If I can't find a good reason to keep it, I throw it away. The idea and emotions behind hoarding is fascinating and is a disease that hasn't been explored in many books. What makes this book beyond interesting is it takes a look at the strain and emotional toll this life takes on the loved ones of the hoarders. Lucy is a character that throughout the entire book I felt so sorry for and angry for. Her mother is dead and she is so ashamed that she feels the need to clean up the house before she tells anyone is heartbreaking and incomprehensible. The book details the shame she feels daily and the fear that someone will see inside her home, that she will smell like trash, and that she will become known as Garbage Girl.
      One of the stand out aspects of this book is the fact that Lucy has an older sister and brother who had the potential to help her and didn't. Whether it was the selfish relief of being free of the hoarding or the fact that they had this disease, I don't know, but it was sickening. A very "real" part of the book is that during this time span Lucy keeps day dreaming about what life will be like when she has the mess cleaned up and how it will bring together her fragmented family. The simple fact is that she yearns for a normal life.  This is a stand alone book and the end is good, but the only thing I find myself wanting to change is being able to know what happens "after".There is no other way to describe this book than heartbreaking. This book was amazing and eyeopening and I recommend this book to any fan of contemporary writing. I give this book a 4 STAR rating.
***The author wrote an "After" chapter, but it does contain spoilers***
~~~~This post is part of the feature Topic of the Month: April Contemporary. Check out the Giveaway tab to enter to win a box of contemporary books!~~~~


  1. This book sounds really good! I have a book on NetGalley by this author that I need to read.....

    1. It was good! I picked it up cheap and wasn't expecting much, but it surprised me.