Secrets & Lies

87p. Little, Brown/Poppy. 2013. $9.99. ISBN 978-0-316-24909-6.
Gr 9 Up—Keplinger presents two novellas about teens with secrets and the problems that result from them. In Abbreviations and Alliterations, college student Casey starts a relationship with her best friend's ex-boyfriend, Toby, a violation of "Girl Code." At first Casey tries to avoid meeting him, but she seems to run into Toby wherever she goes. She eventually gives in to temptation, but then feels guilty and hides the relationship from her friends rather than confess. The characters come across as all surface with no depth, offering light reading and little else. In People Worth Knowing, Bailey unwittingly becomes part of a bullying incident. In an effort to be accepted by the popular crowd, she reveals the silly actions of one of her fellow cheerleaders. Justine, the most popular girl in school, manages to make a video of the girl's embarrassing antics and post it on the Internet. When Bailey finds out, she is conflicted. Does she tell and risk her popularity? To make matters worse, Justine's brother seems to like her. This story is stronger than the first-even though the characters still come across as shallow. Those looking for substance will not be pulled in.—Rita Vernon, Jacksonville Public Library, FL

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