Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Secret for a Song - S.K. Falls

Secret for a Song by S.K. Falls
Publication Date: June 3, 2013
Source/Format: Author (Thanks!) || e-galley
[I received this book from the author. This in no way affects the thoughts expressed in my review.]

Saylor Grayson makes herself sick. Literally.

She ate her first needle when she was seven. Now, at nineteen, she’s been kicked out of college for poisoning herself with laxatives. The shrinks call it Munchausen Syndrome. All Saylor knows is that when she’s ill, her normally distant mother pays attention and the doctors and nurses make her feel special.

Then she meets Drew Dean, the leader of a local support group for those with terminal diseases. When he mistakes her for a new member, Saylor knows she should correct him. But she can’t bring herself to, not after she’s welcomed into a new circle of friends. Friends who, like Drew, all have illnesses ready to claim their independence or their lives 

For the first time, Saylor finds out what it feels like to be in love, to have friends who genuinely care about her. But secrets have a way of revealing themselves. What will happen when Saylor’s is out?

Secret for a Song was an unusual read, as it's about a girl who has Munchausen Syndrome (which I've never encountered in a book before). This basically means that Saylor makes herself sick -- and I mean, really sick. This book was equal parts heartbreaking, horrifying and (surprisingly) hopeful. Even though I couldn't exactly relate to Saylor in all things, the story was compelling and kept me reading right until the end.

Saylor Grayson is an interesting character. She appears surly and sad, right away making it clear to the reader that she's getting herself deliberately sick to get someone to notice and pay attention. Her confusing psych profile interested me greatly. She went back and forth on the spectrum from sheer, utter joy to angry at the world. It was actually quite good to witness the authenticity of her emotional responses, even when they would end up making me angry or breaking my heart.

The presence of Munchausen Syndrome truly fascinated me. I've got a low threshold for pain, and do not enjoy being sick at all. So reading about someone who feels the complete opposite about illness was eye-opening and shocking, even though there was a reason for it. So reading about Saylor was like reading about a coming train wreck - you know something's going down. It's a fascinating spiral down and up, and that really reeled me in.

Then, there's Drew. Drew, who happens to be kind, sweet, thoughtful, creative and a singer who plays guitar. Drew, who possesses an illness of his own to contend with. His character toed the line between originality and cliche, barring the illness, but I did like him a lot. He was such a sweetheart! I admired his passion, his determination and his sheer will. But what endeared him to me was his treatment of Saylor, as it was utter perfection.

Saylor's journey with Munchausen Syndrome is documented in this novel, including how it changes once she befriends a group of terminally ill young adults. The dynamics of the group are well-done, and it's no surprise that it leads to a change in Saylor. We witness her transformation as she forms stronger friendships and gains confidence in herself. Her journey does not end perfectly, but it continues to be changing... and only in a positive way!

I liked Secret for a Song much more than I expected. It's not a perfect book, especially as I felt there were moments when it slipped into cliche a bit. But it does have a lot of heart, particularly when it comes to exposing Saylor's true personality and story, and that's always appealing. It's a good book, and definitely worth a read if you're interested in new adult books that stand out from the norm.

For the full tour schedule, check out this post.

5 comments:

  1. I would never have given this book a second glance if it weren't for your review, Alexa. I think the premise is original, as I've yet to read of a character with this disease. I'd read it based on that, alone. Plus, it sounds like the story really resonates, which makes it a success, for sure! Wonderful review!

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  2. Thank you so much for your honest review, Alexa! :)I'm so glad you liked the book overall.

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  3. This sounds really interesting. I'd just be interesting to see how the author handles writing a main character with Munchausens because I imagine that would be hard to do. Thanks for your thoughts and bringing this book to my attention!

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  4. This one definitely sounded interesting but I kind of wanted to get a feel for it from reviews before I picked it up. I generally enjoy books that deal with a psychological aspect so I think I'd enjoy this one! I like getting into characters' heads and thoughts. It sounds shocking, but in a good way!

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  5. Wait.. he's a musician? Yeah!! Drew sounds awesome! haha. I'm so glad you enjoyed it! The reviews have been really positive so far for being an emotional and gritty read.

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