Thursday, December 22, 2011

Review - Dirty Little Secrets by C. J. Omololu

Book Summary from Amazon

Everyone has a secret. But Lucy's is bigger and dirtier than most. It's one she's been hiding for years-that her mom's out-of-control hoarding has turned their lives into a world of garbage and shame. She's managed to keep her home life hidden from her best friend and her crush, knowing they'd be disgusted by the truth. So, when her mom dies suddenly in their home, Lucy hesitates to call 911 because revealing their way of life would make her future unbearable-and she begins her two-day plan to set her life right.
With details that are as fascinating as they are disturbing, C. J. Omololu weaves an hour-by-hour account of Lucy's desperate attempt at normalcy. Her fear and isolation are palpable as readers are pulled down a path from which there is no return, and the impact of hoarding on one teen's life will have readers completely hooked.
My Review - 5 Tea Time Perfection
I found a YA book that I loved.
The topic of hoarding completely fascinated me and reading the story from the perspective of the teenage daughter was a perfect choice.  I think every detail you can think about was discussed in the book, usually I think there is to much missing or not deep enough for me to feel engaged, well I think Omololu did a great job.
I knew hoarding was an illness but I had no idea of the level it was, how unsafe and unhealthy, I am in shock.
Lucy was so strong in my opinion, how hard is it to know what is right when you are told to ignore, forget and to wait it out until she can escape from what she calls home.  Purposely not allowing herself to live life but knowing she has the right to have a 'normal' life. 
What emotional turmoil to have to deal with the heartbreak of being called Garbage Girl which started from an old best friend   She never wanted to live through that again or bring shame and heartbreak to the rest of her family.  She has to make the hardest decision, calling 911 or keeping her family secret.  This was so well done that you don't think she is foolish or that it is unbelievable.  I wanted to magically become part of the story and help her, great character.  All the other characters were secondary but still made an impact.  The next door neighbour TJ, loved him, children done well are so special.
I loved the description and feel of mother/daugther relationship.  I felt the journey, the daily life, before the hoarding, a glimpse of the mothers childhood that Lucy didn't know, the moms dreams that Lucy found, the moms career as a Nurse, all of this was such a rewarding important part to the story.  I thought it completely ironic she was a loving Nurse and a hoarder, how is that possible.
One thing, it starts out saying 'before' so I was waiting for the 'after' but it didn't come.  The ending can be the end so there is no 'after' but i'm unsure if this was done on purpose or not.  A small issue for me but not enough to change my rating.
I would have to say this is one of my favourite YA stories.
Favourite quote - this is a conversation between Lucy and TJ.  It shows the extent of how disgusting hoarding is, their thinking but also the innocence and creative mind of a child in response to it.
"How about a snotty-nose tissue that someone who has the worst cold in the world has blown their nose in until it was dripping with boggers?"
I stopped to think for a minute.  "Well, she might throw it away," I said.  "But if someone was working on an art project that could incorporate a snotty, boogery nose tissue, then she would keep it in a bag somewhere until she could give it to them."
I chose this book to complete my very last Challenge, yaaaay me.
I definitely will be reading Dirty Secret, a memoir I saw reviewed over Kathy's blog BermudaOnion.


  1. That's great that you found a YA story you love. It makes me want to read it. I only like the very very best of YA...otherwise I can't deal with it lol.

    Lah @ LazyGirl Reads

  2. That sounds like a powerful book. I read another book on hoarding and was amazed at how much it affects the whole family.

  3. I read an adult novel called Dirty Secret...about hoarding. And loved it. This one sounds good, too, with a different perspective. I'm adding it to my list.

    Oops...the "list" word again! lol

  4. I have watched this on TV regarding this illness of Hoarding, which is part of OCD and it amazes me every time I see the living conditions. I have never read a YA book before but I might just have to pick this one up to see what it is like living in those conditions from a child's point of view. Great review.

  5. Oh putting this on TBR! I have heard of the memoir and that's on my TBR too. Have you watched the TV show Hoarders? I watched 1 season and it's quite interesting (though the whole time I was like, ummm do I do that too...?)

  6. Just stopping by to wish you a very Merry Christmas and all the best in the New Year!

  7. YA isn't my normal genre and I take notice when other bloggers rave about one. Hoarding is horrifying and fascinating. Looks good.

  8. I have never read a book about hoarding but I have seen the TV show called Hoarders.I'm always amazed at the living conditions hoarders live in.

    I would love to read this book since it would give more depth to the problem of hoarding instead of just watching it.


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