Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Scorn of Secrets by B. Truly, a young adult, coming of age story that follows Madison as she navigates possibly the most awful situation she will ever experience in her life. Read on for a synopsis, excerpt, my review, author info and don’t forget to enter the giveaway where you could win a $10 Amazon or B&N gift card!
I must keep it locked away—the memory of my darkest secret….
When the rising tides of my life peak, I’m left struggling with the currents of the storm. The first dilemma is my dad’s gambling debt. Mama bounces back quickly from the ramifications it causes. She proves this by getting a new man. Her Rico Suave is just the tip of the iceberg—she moves us across state to live with him and his two sons.
My outgoing, older sister fits right in—she’s the total opposite of me. I am Madison Guillory, the shy, quiet type. Taught to make the best of even the worst situations, I contemplate giving my new family a chance.
Living with my future stepbrothers is interesting, to say the least. They’re like night and day. I have more in common with the laid-back brother, and we become instant friends. I’m adjusting to Taylor High, and the arrogant brother is even starting to grow on me. Maybe everything will work out after all.
My life finally seems to be falling into place until a dreadful night shatters my dreams. My world is flipped upside down because of the consequences I must now bear.
The memories of that night lurk in the shadows to torment me. If I think of what happened, I’ll succumb to my fear. His face has scorned me. No one will believe me if I confess, not even my own sister. I hold the key to my darkest secret, desperate to keep it locked away.
“For the love of all that’s holy, don’t start with this again. We’ve been over this a thousand times.” She listens for a spell, before sighing. “Phillip is just under stress at work. His job has been tight with hours.”
That’s a contradiction from what mama has told us. My dad has been getting home late over the past several months. According to her, he’s working loads of overtime, the total opposite of what she just said.
“We’ll be able to pay you back next month,” Mama says to the person she’s on the phone with. After a moment of silence, Mama smacks her lips. “Why do you always do this? You sound like a broken record. Spare me the lecture of ‘what you do in darkness, shall come to light.’ Stop with the theatrics, it’s been over eighteen years. Honestly, what good would it do now?”
My mother doesn’t respond for a while, then she snaps, “Look, Mama, we appreciate your help, but I can’t deal with your self-righteousness right now.”
Mama disconnects the call. I back away from her cracked bedroom door, so she won’t catch wind of me spying. I’d gone to ask her a question, but now is not the time. I’ve been taught not to eavesdrop, but it was kinda hard not to, hearing the secrecy in her voice.
Mama had been talking to my grandma about my father. Her conversation shot chills down my spine. What is this big secret she’s been hiding for years?
* * *
“Madie? Earth to Madison.”
My cousin, Dariel, snaps me out of my deep thoughts. We have last period geometry together. I’d zoned out in class, which is not like me.
“The final bang rang. Time to bounce.” Dari raises her eyebrow. “What’s up with you?”
The bizarre conversation I’d overheard still disturbs me. Dari and I normally don’t keep secrets. There’s just something about the conversation that makes me hesitate to share. “Sorry, my mind wandered.” We tread down the hallway to our lockers.
“What were you thinking about?”
“Just crap at home.”
“Is your mama being her strikingly lovely self?”
I can’t help but smile at Dari’s sarcasm. She knows my mom well, has experienced her—it’s all about Charlotte’s ego. Being the same age and growing up living near each other, we are close. I decide to divulge part of it, needing to get it off my chest. Dari won’t say anything. “Nah, actually, something’s going on with my dad.”
“I’m not sure. I overheard Mama talking about him on the phone to Gigi.” That’s what we call our grandma. “I only picked up weird, vague details.”
“Hum.” Dari’s forehead wrinkles. “Has your dad been acting strange?”
“Lately, I hardly ever see him. He’s been getting home late for months—supposedly working overtime.”
“Why did you say supposedly?”
“Because my mama mentioned paying money back to Gigi. That kind of contradicts him working late hours.”
“I agree. Maybe he owes her a lot of money and it’s taking him longer to pay her back.” Dari shifts her weight. “Which leads me to the question of why your dad needed to borrow money from Gigi in the first place.”
Creases line my forehead. Good question. “We are a one-house income. Maybe something came up.”
Dari nods. “That’s probably it. My parents whine every year about how the taxes go up.”
The pressure in my chest lessens with this logical explanation.
Madison’s life is turned upside down after the secrets of her father’s gambling debt come to light. Trying to deal with the ramifications of this, she struggles to understand how her mother can move on so easily…not to mention, so quickly. Her mother’s boyfriend is movie star perfect, and soon enough her mother is moving them all across the state to live with him and his two sons. Madison’s sister fits in straight away, she never did have any trouble making friends, Madison prefers to keep her head down and just battle away at school like she normally does. Things don’t go to plan however when Madison ends up close friends with one of her new future step brothers. The stepbrothers are like night and day, and Madison really does enjoy soaking up the rays as her friendship with the more laid back of the two blossoms. Settling into school, making friends and adapting to her new life, things are looking up for once. However, one night shatters everything. She can never tell anyone what happened, they would never believe her, not even her own sister, but what else is she to do? As the secrets of that awful night continue to haunt Madison day in, day out, she reaches a breaking point, but will her speaking out about what happened ruin everything?
Wow. So this book threw me for a bit of a loop, I’m not going to lie. I was interested in reading it due to the synopsis, the secret intrigued me, and even though I had already picked what would happen at the beginning, it still made for one hell of a wild ride.
When Madison’s life is turned upside down and she’s ferried across the state to live with her mother’s new beau, things go as you would assume. Attempting to adjust to her new life, deal with the events of her most recent past, and just trying to settle into a new school. It’s almost boring in it’s monotony. The first half of the book had me questioning whether I would actually be able to make it to the end, I even came back to the goodreads page for it numerous time to go through reviews, wondering if I was reading the same book that everyone else did. It was very slice of life with a hint of semi-forbidden romance sprinkled in and not much seemed to be happening. Don’t get me wrong, things did happen, but it was all very…normal, and not super intriguing.
As stated above, I had already picked what was going to occur, the thing was, I just didn’t know HOW this would occur and what exactly would happen afterwards. Once the story hit the 50% mark, I honestly could not put it down. What was originally a hard slog of a read for me, turned into a bloody page turner, and I am here for it.
At times the writing felt a little juvenile, but after finishing the story and reading the afterword, I noticed that the author states how she wrote this story twenty seven years ago. TWENTY SEVEN YEARS! And honestly, it really held up as a modern coming of age tale. It also made me less annoyed at the juvenility of the writing at times. There were a lot of ‘homeboys’ and other such terms which made me cringe a little, but it was easy to overlook, especially once I knew how long ago this story was actually written. And once the event had happened, I noticed that I was so wrapped up in the story that I didn’t even care about the narration that much anymore.
Madison is a likeable enough character, and I feel like she goes through a decent amount of growth throughout the story. Her sister and mother are incredibly unlikeable, and I am totally okay with not really giving a rat’s about them. I found that I had a bit of a tender spot for the future step-father though, and I feel like it’s due to the way he handled things in the end of the story, it sort of endeared him to me a little. And Gigi, be still my heart, she’s exactly what you want your Grandmother to be and I absolutely adored her character. The son’s were incredibly well written in their difference of personality and I felt that Truly did a wonderful job at making her characters all believable and real.
The story itself was well written, though I wish the initial set up was a liiiiittttlllleeee bit shorter, there’s a lot of building happening in the beginning, and though a lot of it set a solid foundation for what was to come, I feel like some things could have possibly been cut down a bit or edited out, but hey, I’m not an editor, so what do I know, honestly. The message behind this story is incredibly important and it will never not be an important topic to speak about. The way that Truly wrote Madison’s pain and isolation was so real, I felt that in my soul. The not knowing whether anyone will believe her, the grief for herself and what she’s lost, the feeling that you cannot tell a single soul because who would care anyway. It actually had me wondering whether the author had gone through something similar herself in the past, it’s that raw and real and believable.
All in all, this book turned into one that I have actually spoken about and recommended to people, if you find that you are struggling in the beginning, I implore you, please stick with it, because it is so worth it in the end. I am actually hanging out for the follow up story to be written because I need to know what happens next, and I’m secretly rooting for Justin and Madison to be able to break through the hard times they face at the present moment, and be able to pursue what they started before all hell broke loose.
B. Truly has wanted to be an author since she was fifteen years old. She is grateful to have accomplished this dream. B. Truly has very vivid dreams and a wild imagination. She likes to read, watch tons of TV shows, and movies. She’s addicted to romance and gets a thrill out of suspense and sci-fi. She writes young adult, new adult, and adult romance, sci-fi, dystopian, and paranormal genres.
B. Truly likes to explore conflicted plots of romance with thrilling twists. She also loves creating impossible situations for her characters to grow from and try to overcome.
B. Truly has three wonderful children, and a husband who defines the person that she is today. She works full-time as an Ultrasound technologist in Houston, Texas.
B. Truly will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.