This book was excellent. Here's the blurb: From the outside, Lucy's home looks normal. All of the secrets start inside the front door. Towering piles of newspapers and magazines. Bags of junk flooding every inch of open space. The rotting smell permeating the air. This is what she's kept from everyone—that her mother's compulsive hoarding has reduced their lives to garbage...literally. Everything changes when Lucy comes home to find something she never expected and she has only minutes to decide—how far will she go to keep the family secrets safe?
I read Dirty Little Secrets in less than a day. I was actually in the middle of another book, flipped this open to check out the first page or so and couldn't stop. It's one of those stories that called to me, I was itching to get back to it when I had to go do other stuff. It was a fascinating story, expertly written.
It occurred to me, more than once while I was reading, how easy it would have been to mess it up. Hoarding is a tough topic and the characters' decisions in this story could make them very unsympathetic and unlikeable. But they're not. C.J. Omololu handles it just right, showing just enough backstory and emotion that you wind up understanding where each character is coming from. She strikes exactly the right balance emotionally, letting you see enough of Lucy's hurt - and that of other characters - that you know how deep it runs, but don't wind up wallowing in it. It is masterfully done.
The writing is outstanding - tight, with real, believable characters and dialogue. I thought this book was really, really great and could go on and on about it. Instead, I'm going to encourage you to read for yourself. Dirty Little Secrets will be out February 2, you can pre-order here. And since I've already placed my order - this one's a keeper - I'm giving away my copy of the ARC (given to me by our shared publisher, FTC).
To enter the giveaway visit C.J. Omololu's website, then post a comment back here with one thing you noticed on her site (anything: what pictures are up, where she lives, the background color, whatever) before 11:59pm EST Sunday, January 10.
One winner, drawn randomly, will be announced Monday, January 11. The giveaway is open internationally to anyone age 13 or older.
C.J. Omololu is also giving away her copy of The Mark. To enter, visit her blog.