Saturday, 27 July 2013

ARC Review: Secret For A Song by S.K. Falls

Secret for a Song

Title: Secret For A Song
Author: S.K. Falls
Series: None
Publisher: S. K. Falls
Publication Date: May 31st, 2013
Source: S. K. Falls
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?

Rating: 3 of 5 stars


I ate my first needle when I was seven.

Secret For A Song is a book about Saylor, who has Munchausen Syndrome. I'd never heard of it, but apparently it basically means that you make yourself sick. Her family is a bit screwed up, with a father that's almost never home (and when he is, he shows no interest in his daughter) and a mother that doesn't seem to care about anything Saylor does. So Saylor makes herself sick to get attention. 

Then she ends up in a local support group for terminal diseases by accident. She says she has MS -not entirely a lie, but interpret in the wrong way- and makes friends with kids with terminal diseases.

So, I didn't know Munchausen Syndrome existed until I read this book. It's very interesting to see how someone would willingly make herself sick in order to get attention. I really can't imagine doing such a thing to myself (I really hate being sick), but Saylor does and has quite imaginative ways of doing it as well. The scenes where she injects her own saliva into her veins and the abcesses that form were, unfortunately, described very good and detailed, so I was often grossed out. (I think in pictures, so it was all too easy to see it all happening - ew)

The writing was a pleasant surprise - way better than I was expecting. The prose was strong and steady, with good descriptions, but not too flowery. An example:

I believed in my mother's ability to reverse-transubstantiate, to change from one substance to another; her flesh and blood to smoke and shadows when I was near.

I also really loved the secondary characters. Drew was sweet and soft, Zoe so happy and brightening. It was interesting to see how they handled their sicknesses, how they grew weaker in body but stronger in mind. The relationship between Saylor and Drew wasn't overdone: they weren't immediately declaring their love for one another, but build it up slowly, with lots of sweet moments.

But (there's always a but), I didn't really like Saylor. She was very whiny and passive (except when it came to her making herself sick). I also really can't get over how she lied to her friends about having MS. MS is a very serious disease and I think it's a bit improper to use it as a cover for someone whodeliberately makes herself sick. A bit disrespectful, too. Especially if that someone thinks is so awesome to have a serious disease without having to work for it.

At times, I really felt the need to scream at her to stop bloody lying to her friends! If you keep lying, the truth will always backstab you in the end - but the sooner you admit the lie, the softer the stab will be. But Saylor never had the guts to tell her friends the truth, and of course, she paid for it. It was very annoying every time she could have told and didn't

This was a very interesting read about Munchausen Syndrome and what it did to a girl. The prose flows easily and most of the characters were very nice. I'd definitely recommend it if you're interested in Munchausen, or if you - like me - had never heard of it before.

Thank you, S.K. Falls, for giving me a galley of this book. No money or favours were exchanged to alter this review.

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