Monday, September 1, 2014

No One Needs to Know by Amanda Grace (Review)

Young Adult, Contemporary, LGBT, Romance 
Publication.Date  September 8th 2014
Published By:  Flux
AuthorAmanda Grace

No One Needs To Know on Goodreads
My review copy:Received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Where to get:

Sometimes, the cost of love is too steep

Olivia's twin brother, Liam, has been her best friend her whole life. But when he starts dating, Olivia is left feeling alone, so she tries to drive away Liam's girlfriends in an effort to get her best friend back.

But she meets her match in Zoey, Liam's latest fling. A call-it-like-she-sees-it kind of girl, Zoey sees right through Olivia's tricks. What starts as verbal sparring between the two changes into something different, however, as they share their deepest insecurities and learn they have a lot in common. Olivia falls for Zoey, believing her brother could never get serious with her. But when Liam confesses that he's in love with Zoey, Olivia has to decide who deserves happiness more: her brother or herself?


I always felt like they bought the condo because it's like a shelf. They can put us up on that shelf and then go do whatever they want, and whenever they breeze back into town, they'll take us off the shelf and ask us how we are, and drag us to a couple parties or events to show what great parents they are, and then when the week is up, they can put us back on the shelf again.
Its right. When we kiss, it's always right.

      No One Needs to Know surprised me. In a good way.

     When you're about to read a book about teenagers and their first experiences with love, and not only does this book have a love triangle, but a love triangle involving siblings and two homosexual girls, well, you kind of expect a whole load of angst and drama. And you kind of brace yourself for all the tears, flip-flopping and indecisiveness. And, while No One Needs to Know isn't entirely free of all that, it's actually surprisingly light, positive and drama-free. And that's precisely what made me fell in love with this book - its simplicity and positive energy.

     No One Needs to Know is about love and relationships. It's about bond between siblings, friendship that was supposed to be strong enough to last forever, and - most importantly - about discovering yourself, opening your heart to another person and allowing yourself to be loved. Even if that love comes from a place you never even considered possible. 

     To be honest, this book could have been about Zoe and Olivia alone. Olivia's brother, Liam, could have been easily edited out of the plot line. Sure, his presence there and the role he plays in this story adds a dramatic flare to the plot, but it's such a small, irrelevant flare, it didn't really have to be there at all. Zoe and Olivia are at the heart of this story and, really, you don't need anything else. It's all about these two completely different girls and the feelings they develop for each other. It's about their thoughts and emotions. About the decisions they're facing. It's all about them. And that is more than enough. 

     Grace's writing is something that I enjoy immensely. I loved her Dangerous Boy and Ripple (both written under her real name, Mandy Hubbard), and No One Needs To Know is just the same. The style is simple and straightforward. And very concise. I always find myself completely captivated by her stories and unable to break the spell and put the book down. 

     Overall, while No One Needs to Know might not be destined to become your new favorite, it still is a nicely written, charming, quick little read that should at least entertain you and bring a smile to your face. It's cute, it's exciting, it's enjoyable. It's not too sophisticated, or too profound, and it probably won't be a life-changing reading experience, but it's still a really great story and I'm glad I got a chance to read it. 

     I'm giving it 5 stars for two reasons : 1) It was captivating enough to keep me reading into the wee hours (and that is something that doesn't happen very often), and 2) I loved the heart-pounding chemistry between Liv and Zoe.

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