The Secret by Michael J Shell

The Secret by Michael J Shell

The Secret by Michael J Shell
Publisher: Shell Publishing
Genre: young adult, horror, suspense, contemporary
Length: Full Length (204 pgs)
Age Recommendation: 16+
Rating: 4 Stars
Review by: Stephanotis

Jenna Parker and her father moved to the town of Vertigo after the suicide of her mother. As Jenna works to deal with her own inner demons, she begins to realize that something not quite right is lurking around the hallways of her apartment complex. Something unsettling is waking Jenna each night and causing her to forget her dreams from the night before. Then, there is the secret that Jenna possesses that has the potential to destroy her entire family.

The Secret is an entertaining read that draws you straight into the plot. It’s told in first person narration through the main character, Jenna Parker. Her mother committed suicide but we don’t get to hear a lot about that and the circumstances surrounding her death until almost the end of the book. I liked Jenna. I thought the author did a good job with developing this character. She seems as would any girl her age, older than she actually is because she’s had to grow up quickly and now spends lots of time on her own while her father works as a police officer.

The story has a wonderful creepy tone to it. Shadows and noises in the night. The strange apartment building they live in. And then there’s the neighbor Jessie who stays with them while her parents are out of town. She too has her own set of problems. Then there’s the huge spider that’s lurking around and sets off the conflict for the rest of the novel.

What I liked most about this book, besides it’s creepy factor, was that there weren’t too many secondary characters to try and keep track off. The main focus was Jenna and her friend Jessie and the plot didn’t go off on too many tangents.

This is the first book in a series featuring Jenna and set in Vertigo, a town in Montana, and I think it would be a good pick for a teen who enjoys the scare factor while reading.

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