Review: Part 1: Dark Secrets by Elizabeth Chandler

Publisher: Simon and Schuster Kids UK, Simon Pulse

Where did you get this book: Review copy from S&S.

Release date: Out now.

Blurb taken from Fantastic

She had seen Scarborough House only in her dreams. Now Megan was here, visiting the grandmother she’d never met, and her newfound cousin Matt, too handsome by far, who wanted her to disappear. Grandmother was so cold, so distant. Why did she finally reach out to Megan after all these years? And why was Matt so determined to call her his “almost” cousin? For all her prophetic dreams, nothing could have prepared Megan for Matt’s astonishment when he first saw her…or the reaction of perfect strangers who looked at her with fascination-and fear…

Megan thought she knew who she was. Until she came to Grandmother’s house. Until she met Matt, who angered and attracted her as no boy had ever done before. Then she began having dreams again, of a life she never lived, a love she never knew…a secret that threatened to drive her to the grave.

Legacy of Lies is part murder mystery, part romance, and part ghost story that centres around a family that is hiding painful secrets. Megan – who is adopted – has never met her Grandmother, Helen, due to Helen cutting off all ties with Megan’s adoptive mother, Caroline. Caroline met and married Megan’s adoptive father, Kent, who is African American. Helen thought her daughter had married someone beneath her, and soon disowned her, never meeting Megan and Megan’s adopted brothers.

Megan is now 16, and she receives a letter from Helen demanding that she come and visit her at Scarborough House. Megan, not originally wanting to go, agrees to a visit but only to please her mother. When Megan arrives, she meets not only her Grandmother, but her cousin Matt whom she has also never met. Things for Megan become bizarre, and scary when she starts to have strange dreams that she feels she’s lived though, and she’s bewildered by her cousin Matt who seems to have decided to dislike her from the moment he saw her. Megan starts to learn the secrets of the past, and these secrets have the potential to silence Megan forever.

Legacy of Lies made a nice change of genre for me with it being part mystery and ghost story. IMO, the story is more plot driven, rather than character driven, and I felt that there wasn’t a lot of character development because of this. But despite that, I found it compelling, and I found myself more and more curious about the family dynamics between Helen, Matt and Megan.

I found the slow pace suited the almost haunting tone of the story. I say ‘almost’ because I didn’t feel spooked due to the hazy/dreamlike descriptions that were used when Megan had those strange dreams. Megan is determined to find out these secrets, and she wants to know why she is having these strange dreams. And despite her cousin Matt warning her not to delve, she does. I found Megan to be a strong heroine in actions, as she fought with Matt for him to acknowledge her and he began to have a grudging respect for her. Megan’s wary and hostile relationship with Matt is explained at the end, and you then understand why Matt acted as he did. Again, I didn’t feel that there was a lot of character development. I felt that I didn’t learn much about their personalties, only their actions.

Reincarnation comes into play in this book. This is where things started to go weak for me in regards to the plot. The reincarnation was too weird for my liking, especially when you learn who they were in a previous life. I felt that it was almost unhealthy, and I could have done without that aspect. The mystery I found to be satisfying, as I was kept guessing about the strange circumstances regarding the murder, and I wouldn’t have guessed who the killer was at all.

There is one aspect of the story that I didn’t understand. Why did Megan’s mother and father encourage Megan to visit Helen? Helen disowned them because of Kent being black, and for years had nothing to do with the family. Why on earth they would want their daughter to have anything to do with the Grandmother who was also a complete bitch, I couldn’t understand.

Overall, I enjoyed Legacy of Lies and I’m looking forward to reading the other stories in this series. Hopefully without the reincarnation!

I give 4.0 Stars for Legacy of Lies.

8 thoughts on “Review: Part 1: Dark Secrets by Elizabeth Chandler”

  1. Love the book ! It was so good ! Everyone should read it ! Greaaat book . I didn’t know there was a second one ?

  2. The books were really good. I was told there was a third one, but I don’t believe there is. And, I think the reason for Megan’s adoptive mother and father wanting her to go to meet Helen is because they wanted to try and re-form their family ties. I think it says so in the book, but I can’t remember. But what got me was the sudden switch of stories in the books. First, there’s Megan and her family, then, in the next half of Dark Secrets 1, it switches to a girl named Lauren. It just seemed odd to me. But all in all, it made for a good story.

  3. Ok first of all I LOVE HOW SHE FINISHED IT OFF WITH “HER GRANDMA IS A COMPLETE BITCH” LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL. &&&& for all of you who don’t know how to spell……………………………………. READ.

  4. I read this book for school and thought it was ok. I do agree, i didnt like the reincarnation. I think the caricter development is next to none, and the plot pretty slow. I cant say i enjoyed it, but i cant say i didnt. I love to read, but maybe it is the author or genre thats not in my favor.

  5. This book is a amazing I read it when I was a freshman in high school, and now I’m a junior who is trying to look for it but no luck I’m just trying to say that i love all of her work but this one would have to be my favorite. Lies,Betrayed,and last but not least LOVE this book has it all if you are looking for it in novels such as this one.

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