Friday, October 17, 2014

Dark Secrets: Book 1 by A.M. Hudson

   Keeping secrets can hurt people, but most of all, it can hurt yourself.  No one knew this better than seventeen-year-old Ara.  Right now her life seemed like one big disaster.  A few months ago her mother, baby brother (Harry), and she were all in a car accident.  She was the only one that survived.  Her father came to get her in Australia to take her to America to live with him, his wife Vicki, and Sam.  It was a hard adjustment.
   Carrying the weight and guilt of her mother and Harry's death, Ara starts a new school that is right across the road from her house.  It's where her dad works as a teacher.  The first day she meets some new friends and a guy named David.  He has apparently never shown any real interest in any of the girls at school until she comes along.  Within a week she has fallen in love with him and it doesn't take long for him to tell her that he loves her.  But their relationship gets rocky when David tells Ara that he will be leaving soon and won't be coming back.  But that isn't even the half of it.  He also admits to being a vampire and she can't tell anyone.  It scares her at first, but then Ara gets more curious about it and tries to invite the beast within David to come out and play.  She doesn't always like the results.  And unfortunately she has a choice to make very soon.  Should she go away with David and become immortal?  Or stay and have a normal life?  Ara knows one thing and that is she is no murderer and never could be.  David has to kill to survive, and he is immortal.  Essentially he will never die.  It is killing her inside to think she will have to say goodbye to him after dealing with the death of her family members.  It's enough to make her somewhat suicidal.  To make matters worse in an already complicated situation, her best friend and former crush, Mike, has come to visit from Australia.  Turns out he's in love with her too and wants her to marry him.  Ara has no idea what to do now.  She had waited so long for Mike to say that he loved her, but now she was with David and she was deeply in love with him.  Could Mike help soften the blow to her broken heart when David leaves?  Perhaps she should "Let fate decide."  But fate can be funny in the way things play out.  Just as in this book.  David's twin brother, Jason, shows up and the coin is tossed for her.  Where it will land will leave you shocked!

   The one thing that absolutely irritated me the most was how Ara's vampire romeo tells her goodbye multiple times, only to show back up in her life, making it even more difficult to let go and move on.  He keeps spouting how it's better for her not to be in his world and all that mess but frankly I just don't think he can or wants to let her go, even though he knows he really can't have her.
   I am convinced that her best friend Emily knows more than she is letting on about Jason and David.  Perhaps she really knows that they are vampires?  But I also think that Emily is not always the best friend for Ara.  Then again, they are teenagers and drama is just something that happens.  Who knows?  Maybe the next book will enlighten the situation with Emily.
   After all of the teenage angst, depression, moodiness, and downright teenage drama in this book, I have to say that it was masterfully written.  I was never once bored even though this is a very long read.  And by that I mean you should prepare yourself.  But in all honesty I couldn't put the book down and don't regret spending so much time reading this because it was very good!  Do I think this girl was selfish beyond all reason at times and always wanting her way? Yes.  Do I think that she had good reason to be the way she is a lot of the time? Yes.  After all the suffering she has gone through, I can see why Ara acts out and has depressive mood swings so much in this book.  I can also relate to how tragic it would be to have to say goodbye to anyone you love very deeply, and she seemed to have to do that a lot.
   Honestly, I don't like David in the end.  We all know he's leaving, and he is giving her a choice, but no options for himself.  He seems kind of selfish too in a way.  But the way things fall in the end make me really root for Mike instead.  He seems the better, more balanced, choice.  If you read the book you will see why.  Mike was right when he told Ara that David was causing her more pain, just breaking her down more.  A love that tragic can't exactly be healthy.  We'v all seen Romeo and Juliet.  They ended up dead because of infatuation with each other.
   I have to say that I am loving the cover of this book.  It's great and ties in nicely.  In a way, it also shows the mask that she wears in front of everyone every single day since the accident happened.  She doesn't open up to anyone but David and I think that is one of the reasons why such a deep connection is forged between the two.  She keeps to herself the guilt of feeling responsible for her mother and brother's death.  It's all bottled up inside.  But you can never leave something bottled up forever.  It will eventually come out.  It always does.

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