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Young Adult Fiction 1556
Lovecraftian horror with a twist
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Adelle and Connie, polar opposite best friends, share a love for a rare gothic romance novel. Adelle loves to get lost in the romance of the hero and the aesthetics. Connie is enamored with the fiery heroine. When they are given the option to transport themselves into the story, they take it, largely doubting it will work. When it does succeed, however, the world of their favorite novel is not what they thought. Horrors have found their way into the world of romance and nothing is as it should be. Teaming up with secondary characters they never gave much thought to, Connie and Adelle will have to figure out exactly what's going on if they want to survive long enough to get home.

THE BOOK OF LIVING SECRETS is a delightfully weird story. It's a bit portal fantasy, a bit horror, and a bit mystery. At the heart of the story, past the tentacled monster, is a story about friendship. Adelle and Connie have very different personalities. Adelle is sort of Gothic romantic, while Connie is athletic and sensible. When they enter the world of the novel, they are separated, and there are several instances where it would have been so easy (and once or twice, maybe even smarter) to leave the other person behind. Connie and Adelle continuously fight for each other and show their loyalty again and again. I love the power of their relationship as they find their individual paths.

While I loved the weird and the monsters, it was difficult to understand exactly what was happening at times. Particularly after the epilogue, I'm not sure we're ever given much explanation behind the horror or what it all means. I kept wanting the story to dig a little deeper and explore a little further.

Overall, THE BOOK OF LIVING SECRETS is perfect for lovers of weird fiction who want something strange and unexpected.
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