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I Belong


Early Review: Secret of the Sevens by Lynn Lindquist

Secret of the SevensTitleSecret of the Sevens

AuthorLynn Lindquist

Genre: YA Mystery

Series: N/A

Publication Date: June 8, 2015

Format: Paperback, 408 Pages

ISBN-100738744042 (Flux)

ISBN-13978-0738744049 (Flux)

Reviewed by: Kaitlin

Synopsis:

Everyone at Singer, a boarding school for underprivileged kids, knows the urban legend of the Society of Seven. Decades ago, the original members of the secret guild for elite students murdered the school’s founder and then perished in the fire they lit to hide the evidence. Or so the story goes. Talan Michaels doesn’t care about Singer’s past. He’s too focused on his future and the fact that he’ll be homeless after he graduates in May. To take his mind off it, he accepts a mysterious invitation to join a group calling itself the Sevens. He expects pranks, parties, and perks. Instead, he finds himself neck-deep in a conspiracy involving secret passages and cryptic riddles about the school’s history. Even worse, he’s now tangled in web of lies someone will kill to keep hidden.

Quick & Dirty: I found this mystery to be a clean, gripping book with a suspenseful undertone that kept me hooked.

Opening Sentence: I can be such an ass.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

The Singer boarding school is for unfortunate children — those whom are removed from families where they are beaten, foster care, drunkards. Decades ago, when the Singer school was created, the founder collected seven trusted students and made a secret society. They were entrusted with his biggest secrets and allowed a part of his riches, in return for his help keeping the school towards its original purpose of helping needy children. The rumor goes that the founder was murdered by his closest friends (in an attempt to get all of his money) in a fire they started but couldn’t escape from, killing the sevens as well.

But only five bodies were found. Two of them escaped…And still live. Years later, when they are needed, the sevens are being resurrected.

Talan Michaels has learning disorders that make it difficult for him in school, where he lives and learns due to his mother being in rehab. He has football skills and hookups galore. He is painfully aware that as soon as he graduates he’ll be homeless, and what job can he get without a college degree, because he can’t pay for college? When he gets a mysterious black envelope that claims he has been chosen to become a Seven, he thinks it’s an elaborate joke. He joins only because Laney, his house sister whom he can’t help being attracted to, is convinced it’s real and has gotten her own invitation. As things deepen and they realize the threat to the school, Talan must embrace his differences in order to pass the tests and save the beloved Singer school.

I really enjoyed how Talan’s learning disabilities were done. It was in a way that you realized his differences and could empathize, but didn’t feel too much pity. You could also see how his brain was wired in a certain way that made it easy for him to solve the clues and riddles. He had strengths and weaknesses, both explored in the book. I must admit that the first few chapters, I didn’t like Talan very much. He had disgusting thoughts about women and would do things I didn’t agree with for his next hookup. As the story deepened he slowly developed, though still retained his sense of humor and the best parts of his personality. By the end, he had been changed by the experience and Laney.

I really enjoyed the clues in this novel. As far as mysteries go, they usually aren’t my genre of choice. They get so complex and the plots become tangled until it’s difficult for me to distinguish what’s going on. This wasn’t the case for this book. The mystery was clean and engaging with enough suspense to keep me gripped. The clues weren’t too obvious, but some of them I solved alongside Talon, which made me proud of myself when I did. It was a lot of fun and I enjoyed how they formatted the novel so that the reading audience could play detective as well.

Altogether, I found this novel to be super good. I loved it a lot, especially the suspense and dark undertones that were subtly creepy. The story unwound at a perfect pace, not too fast and not too slow. I also adored the romance in the book. Laney was able to be a shoulder to cry on as well as her own capable force. He needed her more than he cared to admit and I liked how he could let down his walls with her. She changed him for the better, helping him keep grounded and recognize his own strengths and embrace them. Their romance was paced well too. Lynn did their relationship in a cute, relatable way that mirrored a high schooler’s crush. Also, fun was the male point of view, which was executed nicely. Prior to receiving the story, I hadn’t heard anything, and was super pleased when I enjoyed it so much! All in all I really enjoyed this book and I think mystery and suspense lovers will enjoy it!!

Notable Scene:

The room is empty, except for a  chalkboard on one wall with a message:

Yes, Talan. The letter is for you. And it’s real.

My breath catches in my throat. What letter? What’s going on? I look around the room and then peer out into the hallway, but there’s still no one around.

Scanning the room again, I spot a black velvet envelope with a red wax seal sitting on the ledge of the chalkboard. I go over and grab it, just as a cold sweat begins to collect under my shirt.

skull5

FTC Advisory: Flux provided me with a copy of The Secret of the Sevens. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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Rating: 10.0/10 (2 votes cast)
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Early Review: Secret of the Sevens by Lynn Lindquist, 10.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
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