Review: Legacy of Lies & Don’t Tell by Elizabeth Chandler

Series: Dark Secrets #1-2

dark secrets 1 -elizabeth chandlerTwo girls haunted by the past… and destined to relive it

In Legacy of Lies, Megan has to stay with the uptight grandmother she wants nothing to do with. She’s determined to get through the visit without any drama, but when she falls into a twisted love triangle with potentially fatal consequences, Megan may be caught up in her family’s legacy in more ways than she realizes.

In Don’t Tell, Lauren knows that by returning to the town where her mother drowned seven years ago, she’ll be reliving one of her most haunting memories. When she arrives, she is propelled into a series of mysterious events that mimic the days leading up to her mother’s death. Maybe her mother’s drowning wasn’t an accident after all…and maybe Lauren is next.

2 Drink Me Potions

It has been a long time since I’ve read Dark Secrets Volume 1, and can I just say? Time has NOT been nice to it.

As a younger person, such fast-paced attractions and supernatural occurrences would have been a fun and intriguing read at night. Now? Not so much. Let me explain why.

In Legacy of Lies, having our protagonist fall for her cousin (even though they’re NOT actually blood-related) was a little weird for my tastes. Did they have to be related? Was that TRULY necessary for the plot line to have worked out? I would say no, but I guess people can argue if they must.

As for the actual plot in that story – where the heck should I even begin? It had suspense, I will admit. And by suspense, I mean the feeling of what the hell is going on and why are such freaky dreams/sleep walks happening to Megan? It was entertaining in the paranormal sense. Obviously there’s something not quite logical or real occurring in this old house of her grandmother’s. That’s not what I’m bashing.

It was the absolute horrifying and confusing conclusion/rationale to all the craziness that was occurring. Even for a paranormal explanation, some things just never added up. The synopsis talks about a potentially fatal love triangle. Well, the grandmother was part of it (I know right? That’s just weird) in the past as a young girl, but now that she’s old and the love triangle is stirring again, WHERE THE HECK DOES SHE FIT INTO THIS PRESENT DAY TRIANGLE WITH HER GRANDDAUGHTER AND HER GRANDSON? I never quite understood the whole frenzy that was brought on Megan upon her arrival at the old house. And now that I re-read this again, the killer was surprising enough but the motive wasn’t fleshed out enough. The red herrings weren’t fully cleared either, in my opinion. So they might not have actually committed the final blow, but there was intent? Doesn’t that still make them a “bad guy”?

I’m just confused. Period. It left a very bitter after taste in my mouth.

As for Don’t Tell, don’t you worry. It’ll get its turn in bashing.

Likewise, there was suspense in it as well. And also similar to the previous story, the conclusion was just unsatisfying and too vague of an explanation . That’s me being generous. Actually, a villain disappears and no reader will ever know what’s to come of that person. The rest of the explanation for why the mother drowned made enough sense, but one of the girls just freaked the crap out of me. Of course, Chandler threw in the odd paranormal activity (HA, had to put that phrase into this review) that really was never fully fleshed out, and left only with the poor explanation of “oh, these things happen ’cause it’s a paranormal kinda world where people have such things occurring to them – big whoof”.

Anyway, time has most definitely not made it any better. Which leaves to me to wonder….


Overall Recommendation:
For a younger audience in the YA category, Dark Secrets 1 does have its merits (albeit very, VERY few). With a setting of suspense and dark secrets (of course – ’cause that’s the title) woven into either an old mystery/unsolved murder, it initially draws you in with intrigue. However, don’t be fooled, young ones! The conclusions, even coming from the perspective of a paranormal book, are hardly thought-out, riddled with holes and things that just don’t settle well. They were sloppy and could’ve been a whole lot better.
For a quick read ’cause there’s nothing better to do? Sure, go ahead and skim through it. But don’t expect it to be one of those masterful pieces with grand plots. They’re simply stories with dark pasts that ultimately come back to haunt the present, mixed in with a bunch of paranormal activities to “make sense” of the scary things that happen.

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