Saturday, July 6, 2013

Dirty Little Secrets by C.J. Omololu

I hadn't heard about this book until I listened to the author at a YA Panel at the RT Convention this past May.  It was a panel on tough issues, which this definitely is one.  So once she talked about it, I had to buy it.  And I was not disappointed.  As with the other books I've enjoyed by this author, Transcendence and Intuition, the writing was very good.  And what I mean by that is that it flowed so seamlessly it was hard to put the book down because I wanted to know what would happen next, I was so involved in the story.
Dirty Little Secrets is the story of Lucy.  Lucy's mother is a hoarder.  Lucy has had trouble in the past keeping friends once they saw what her house really looked like on the inside.  The piles of newspapers, and stacks of boxes, and the disgustingly dirty kitchen, what counter space there is showing, is covered by mold. The house smells of rotten trash.  When she lost her last friend from seeing the house, Lucy asked to be transferred from the private school to public school, to get away from all the teasing.  To get where no one knew.  And now she has a best friend named Kaylee.  And the book starts with the girls out for a movie.  And they see in line two boys that they're interested in.  When Kaylee goes up to talk to the guy she likes, Lucy is left with Josh, a guy that she thinks is cute.  And they kind of seem to hit it off.  He even invites her to a party that his band is playing at the next night.  Lucy kind of floats home on cloud nine.  Only to walk in and find her mother on the floor under one of the piles of trash.  And she is dead.  Lucy can see that she was reaching for her asthma inhaler, and unable to get to it.  All Lucy can think about is that once she calls 911, the secret will be out, everyone will know that her mother was a hoarder.  The house is so bad in fact, that Lucy knows the paramedics won't even be able to get a stretcher through the house to get her mother.  And so she comes up with the plan that she must get as much cleaned as she can before they come.  It's cold out, and she hopes that if she keeps the house cold enough, she'll be able to get by without calling 911 long enough to get the house cleaned enough to help her not be so ashamed.  As she starts cleaning, we get to read memories of her past, and how things got to this point.  We learn more about her sister and brother, and how they got out of the house as soon as they could.  Now Lucy must decide if she can go meet Josh at the party or not.  And she must figure out how in the world to clean up the house, when before it had even got to this point, when they'd still been able to use the kitchen, it had taken 3 people 2 weeks to clean it.
This is such a good story.  And I'm sure there are people out there, kids, that are dealing with things like this at home.  While you may not agree with how Lucy decides to handle the situation, you'll have to admit after reading her story, that it is easily understandable why she makes the decisions she does at her age.
Now, reading this made me really start itching to get my house cleaned.  My upstairs bedroom has definitely started piling up, books, stuff from school, stuff from working on my last degree, and things that I had intended to sell in a garage sale that we've not ended up having this summer.  So after reading this, I'm pretty motivated to get in there and start throwing things away as well as cleaning and organizing.

10 comments:

  1. This sounds interesting! To-read list! :D

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    1. Glad you think so. It's a quick read, so you can't go wrong.

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  2. I don't think I've come across a book about hoarding before. I definitely want to read this.

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    1. It was the first I'd seen as well. Very good.

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  3. Too scary to read at night alone . But I know alot of friends who would love it.

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    1. Not sure it's really scary, more disturbing.

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  4. Hmm, this sounds a little like Cornerstone. The mother of the MC is a hoarder in there too, but that one is a paranormal series...
    Oh, I hear you, I'm far from being a hoarder but can't deny having a few piles of books around me. Maybe I should read this book to motivate myself to sort through them :)
    Great review!

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    1. Hadn't heard of Cornerstone, I'll have to look for it! This is definitely a very realistic fiction story. Thanks for commenting.

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  5. I need to read this book to see the consequences of hoarding and how she deals with her problem. Thanks for the review.

    slehan at juno dot com

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    1. The way she deals with the problem in the end is a bit of a shocker. And I'm sure it's not anything that is recommended, but such a page turner! Thanks for stopping by!

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