Everyone has a secret But Lucy s is bigger and dirtier than most It s one she s been hiding for years that her mom s out of control hoarding has turned their lives into a world of garbage and shame She s managed to keep her home life hidden from her best friend and her crush, knowing they d be disgusted by the truth So, when her mom dies suddenly in their home,


10 thoughts on “Dirty Little Secrets

  1. MischaS_ MischaS_ says:

    Lucy lives in a house full of garbage which her mother calls Treasure I was so sorry for poor Lucy This instead of normal life It is terrifying to imagine that so many people live in these conditions Those suffering from hoarding as well as their family members I cannot imagine being a teen, and this being my home I did not expect much from this book, and I could not put this down It may not be perfect, but it delivered where it mattered I never knew I wanted to read a book about hoard Lucy lives in a house full of garbage which her mother calls Treasure I was so sorry for poor Lucy This instead of normal life It is terrifying to imagine that so many people live in these conditions Those suffering from hoarding as well as their family members I cannot imagine being a teen, and this being my home I did not expect much from this book, and I could not put this down It may not be perfect, but it delivered where it mattered I never knew I wanted to read a book about hoarding, or about a teen who lives with a hoarder parent, but I certainly am happy that I did Even if it s very terrifying to think about and I have a sudden urge to go through all my drawers to clean up the unnecessary clutter Anyway, I would appreciate if there would be one or twochapters, cause the ending was sort of very quick, and it remained open I have so many questions What s going to happen What about Josh Kaylie Phil Sara never ending questions


  2. Megan Megan says:

    C.J Omololu had me at hoarding.Megan glued to the television gasp Ewww Hubby in the next room If it s so disturbing, why are you watching it Megan Oh my gawd You have to come see this Hubby I Will Not Megan No, really Yougottacomeseewhatthesepeople Hubby It s the same thing every week Some fat person is too lazy to clean her house End of story But it s not the same thing on every episode of Hoarders Each person has a different obsession, rationale, family issue I cou C.J Omololu had me at hoarding.Megan glued to the television gasp Ewww Hubby in the next room If it s so disturbing, why are you watching it Megan Oh my gawd You have to come see this Hubby I Will Not Megan No, really Yougottacomeseewhatthesepeople Hubby It s the same thing every week Some fat person is too lazy to clean her house End of story But it s not the same thing on every episode of Hoarders Each person has a different obsession, rationale, family issue I could go on and on here In her debut novel, C.J.Omololu tackles the oh so fascinating subject of compulsive hoarding and the toll it takes on a family Dirty Little Secrets is the story of Lucy, a teenage girl desperately trying to cover up the fact that her mother is one of the worst sort of hoarders Junk piled in every available space Years of garbage in the house Questionable plumbing Non functional kitchen Busted furnace You get the picture, right This is a quick read, and although it only covers a day or so in Lucy s life, we learn so much about her, her mother and her siblings through memories and reflections When things go wrong, Lucy makes some questionable decisions Had her story been one told through the media or an episode of Hoarding Buried Alive it would be so easy to judge and condemn her Omololu manages to make us sympathize with and understand the choices Lucy makes, even though her actions may be drastic and not the most well formed plan Once again, this is one of those novels that I am finding it difficult to write a review for without giving away spoilers However, I did love the writing and the characters Lucy is not a YA heroine to look up to She is a teenager who has had a fucked up life and copes the best she can Somehow, in her rash and poor decision making, she comes across asrealistic than many YA protagonists This is a book that I definitely recommend for just about anyone It s fast paced, disturbing, intense and about hoarders Need I say


  3. Kristi Kristi says:

    Dirty Little Secrets was such an emotional and absolutely disgusting book I can t describe the dismay I felt for teens that have to grow up in this type of environment It s bad enough that people suffer from this disorder, but it s even worse that there are innocent minors that are subjected to this sickness.My heart broke for Lucy and her ache for normalcy I didn t really understand it at first I was angry at Lucy for not calling the police right away, and then by the end, I had so much ad Dirty Little Secrets was such an emotional and absolutely disgusting book I can t describe the dismay I felt for teens that have to grow up in this type of environment It s bad enough that people suffer from this disorder, but it s even worse that there are innocent minors that are subjected to this sickness.My heart broke for Lucy and her ache for normalcy I didn t really understand it at first I was angry at Lucy for not calling the police right away, and then by the end, I had so much admiration for her I don t think I would have even been so brave.I loved how Omololu revealed Lucy s past and basically showed us the path of her mothers illness through the layers of trash that goes through.This was such an informative read as well, I know there is a lot of stigma surrounding hoarding because science has a hard time defining it it is an obsessive compulsive disorder, or is it something totally different Omololu does an excellent job exposing an issue that not many people understand.Overall, Dirty Little Secrets was a very intense, unsettlingly real and emotional read, but definitely worth reading


  4. Lara Lara says:

    SoI read this entire book in one sitting, but I had some very definite issues with it the ending in particular The choice Lucy ends up making about how to handle her situation felt really drastic, andwell, not at all mentally sound view spoiler She doesn t really face her problems, or let anyone in to help her, just hides them in the end even from her own family just like her mother had been doing most of Lucy s life And there s absolutely no discussion about the consequences of L SoI read this entire book in one sitting, but I had some very definite issues with it the ending in particular The choice Lucy ends up making about how to handle her situation felt really drastic, andwell, not at all mentally sound view spoiler She doesn t really face her problems, or let anyone in to help her, just hides them in the end even from her own family just like her mother had been doing most of Lucy s life And there s absolutely no discussion about the consequences of Lucy s actions All the lies and the fear and the shame bothered me, because none of it gets resolved at all within the story yet I feel like the author wants me to believe that at the end, all of Lucy s problems are over and everything will be fine, and I don t see how anyone could possibly believe that hide spoiler Also, view spoiler the comparison to What s Eating Gilbert Grape that Lucy brings up irritated me as well In that, it seemed like the way they handled things was mainly for their mother s benefit a way for her to keep her dignity But Lucy seemed almost entirely focused on herself, and I couldn t really commend her for her decisions in the least hide spoiler In the end the story just felt extremely shallow despite its having such a sad and serious subject matter and incomplete, and I was left thinking, Really That s it But what about this Or this Or this Disappointing


  5. Reynje Reynje says:

    Dirty Little Secrets is a book that I had to let percolate for a while before reviewing If I d written this review based on my initial post reading response I think it might have been quite different in tone and content Having allowed time for my thoughts to settle, however, has resulted in aholistic view of the novel as opposed to a knee jerk reaction to the ending Because what initially felt shocking now seems exactly right for this story I think Omololu not only made a bold, confron Dirty Little Secrets is a book that I had to let percolate for a while before reviewing If I d written this review based on my initial post reading response I think it might have been quite different in tone and content Having allowed time for my thoughts to settle, however, has resulted in aholistic view of the novel as opposed to a knee jerk reaction to the ending Because what initially felt shocking now seems exactly right for this story I think Omololu not only made a bold, confronting choice but that she made one that successfully communicates the traumatic nature of Lucy s situation.Compulsive hoarding has garnered increased attention over recent years thanks to the saturation of rehabilitation style reality TV I m not here to argue whether this is exploitative rubbernecking or genuinely helpful, but I do think that the majority of such coverage initially at least is presented in such a way as to shock or disgust Montages of squalor are packaged together so as to elicit a sort of slack jawed horror in the viewer it s telegraphed quite plainly that we should feel something because it isn t normal Buton this later Lucy s mother is a compulsive hoarder Outside, their house looks like most of the others on the same street Inside, it s choked with detritus stockpiled clothes, decades worth of newspapers and magazines, abandoned crafts, plastic containers, rotting food The house has fallen into disrepair and is being consumed by a small mountain of junk and filth This is their secret from the outside world And when Lucy s mother dies amid the chaos, she decides to make sure that secret remains hidden It s up to Lucy alone to conceal the truth about their life The key to understanding just how high the stakes are in this story lies in being able to see them from Lucy s viewpoint The decisions she makes throughout the novel need to be considered in the context of the life she has lived up to that point, glimpses of which Omololu provides through flashbacks and memories Further, she juxtaposes this with the life that Lucy wishes for, by incorporating interactions with her schoolmates, her best friend, her crush, and her siblings This isn t just some passing embarrassment that Lucy is worried about, rather, she fears that revealing the truth will cost her the future she longs for While she had previously determined to stick it out for the remaining years until she could leave home and put her mother s hoarding behind her, now she s racing against the clock to stop everyone finding out what s really been going on Making the shift into Lucy s mindset is what made this novel click into place for me and Omololu facilitates this by having the reader experience Lucy s progression of emotions throughout the day It s a short novel, and one that takes place over a short period of time, but Omololu keeps the movement of the plot tied to Lucy s mental state as she moves through various stages of processing her mother s deaths and the repercussions thereof There s a clear sense of rising urgency in the novel, as the clock is ticking on Lucy s window of opportunity to prevent her mother s hoarding from becoming fodder for local gossip And that s where public reaction comes into the equation Whether or not the response Lucy fears is realistic is not really the issue here The fact is, it s real to her The outpouring of revulsion she expects from people is the driving force behind her actions in the story Whether or not Lucy is cognizant of the fact that her mother s hoarding is an illness, it s overshadowed by her fear of the public s perception The possibility of empathy or understanding is all but drowned out by the expectation of disgust and humiliation This is not an book easy to summarise without significantly spoiling it, but it s worth bearing in mind that this isn t an in depth analysis of the psychology of compulsive hoarding, but rather how it affects a hoarder s family members Omololu gives us some insight into the reasons why this situation has come about, but the novel isconcerned with how it has impacted Lucy s life both physically and emotionally In that respect, it s a compelling book showing the extreme pressure that Lucy has lived with and has shaped her as a person And this is powerfully portrayed in the ending of the novel, which crystalises years of fear and stress into a haunting final scene


  6. Sesana Sesana says:

    Yes, this is a problem novel, and the problem this time around is hoarding Sort of an unusual choice to write a YA novel about, but not entirely surprising Gawking at hoarders is a bit of a cottage industry on certain cable channels, after all Dirty Little Secrets is entirely from the perspective of the teenage child of a hoarder, and it s set almost entirely in the day that she s discovered her mother dead in their home And fair warning, some of the descriptions in this book are stomach chu Yes, this is a problem novel, and the problem this time around is hoarding Sort of an unusual choice to write a YA novel about, but not entirely surprising Gawking at hoarders is a bit of a cottage industry on certain cable channels, after all Dirty Little Secrets is entirely from the perspective of the teenage child of a hoarder, and it s set almost entirely in the day that she s discovered her mother dead in their home And fair warning, some of the descriptions in this book are stomach churning.Lucy s decision, to spend a few days cleaning up the house before reporting her mother s death, was at first all but anything but understandable to me I m not sure why Omololu decided to start with that shock and then use the rest of the book to try to convince her reader that Lucy isn t an unbelievably awful person She gave herself quite an uphill battle It s partway through the tour of the house that I started to understand, even if I never could imagine doing this myself Maybe it was when Lucy found the hamster cage, or realized that her mother had given nocare and consideration to things that Lucy had made than to random pieces of garbage There s also plenty of flashbacks that put her relationship with her mother into context Essentially, there isn t one, which is one of the saddest things about this book.Lucy s mother was definitely a compulsive hoarder, and she had come to the point that building walls of things around herself had cut her off from her family Lucy believes that her mother loved her stuffthan she loved her, and because we never see inside her mother s mind, we don t know how true that is And does it really matter if it isn t It s what Lucy genuinely believes to be true, and she ll never know otherwise at this point Lucy s apparent coldness is a defense she s built up over time After reading this book, I visited the website Omololu mentions at the end of the book, Children of Hoarders, and wasn t surprised at how much Lucy sounded like the people on the site She did her homework On the last few pages, Lucy makes a decision that, if I d read it at the start of the book, would have seemed insane But by the end, I was able to understand just how much she felt backed into a corner Not excuse or defend her actions, exactly, but I could understand It was hard to read at times, but I m very glad this book exists Gawking at hoarders is almost a national pastime, but it s always from the perspective or an outsider At best, there s some dwelling on the state of mind of the hoarder, but the effects on the others in the house aren t really talked about so much


  7. Rebecca McNutt Rebecca McNutt says:

    There are very few young adult novels out there that bring attention to the issue of hoarding a psychological behavior where a person literally keeps everything, from fine jewelry to moldy paper plates, because they can t let go of anything, whether it s treasure or trash The main character of this novel, Lucy, is a normal teenage girl on the surface, but inside her home, she has to deal with her mom s compulsive hoarding and isn t permitted to throw away anything or try to clean it up De There are very few young adult novels out there that bring attention to the issue of hoarding a psychological behavior where a person literally keeps everything, from fine jewelry to moldy paper plates, because they can t let go of anything, whether it s treasure or trash The main character of this novel, Lucy, is a normal teenage girl on the surface, but inside her home, she has to deal with her mom s compulsive hoarding and isn t permitted to throw away anything or try to clean it up Desperate to hide the mess from her friend and her romantic interest, Lucy doesn t report her mom s sudden death, but instead leaves the house on a short quest for normalcy This book was great, interesting and very sad, but down to earth


  8. Alissa Alissa says:

    Extremely graphic and highly disturbing, but a gripping page turner nonetheless Lucy s mom is a hoarder Highly paranoid that she s going to need something someday, she never never throws anything away, never allows anyone to touch her so called treasures Old newspapers magazines, plastic containers from take out meals, mounds of items bought en masse at bargin sales, and countless other odds and ends create unsanitary mountains of filth and trash that all but bury every surface Black mol Extremely graphic and highly disturbing, but a gripping page turner nonetheless Lucy s mom is a hoarder Highly paranoid that she s going to need something someday, she never never throws anything away, never allows anyone to touch her so called treasures Old newspapers magazines, plastic containers from take out meals, mounds of items bought en masse at bargin sales, and countless other odds and ends create unsanitary mountains of filth and trash that all but bury every surface Black mold edges the drapes of every window The overpowering stench of rot permiates the air The interior of the house is no better than a landfill This is the environment in which Lucy had spent most of her life.Deeply, almost guiltily ashamed of her mother and her homelife, Lucy does all she can to hide her living situation from classmates and neighbors Even Lucy s best friend has never set foot in her house.Then one morning Lucy returns home to find her mother s dead body sprawled beneath a toppled stack of old magazines Instead of calling 9 1 1, Lucy decides to clean up the house Her reasoning saving her family the embarassment the sight of all that filth will surely bring if made public is twisted, selfish, and almost as disturbing as her mother s reasoning for keeping every scrap of whatever that makes its way into the house But as I continued deeper into the story, I began to sympathize withandwith Lucy s plight As the day and the cleaning progress, Lucy uncovers lots of unexpected and unpleasent things long lost items, huge unpaid credit card bills from her mom s mass purchasing, heaps of clothes with the tags still attahed, food that had been rotting for who knows how long There were several places I phycsically cringed the maggots in the kitchen, discovering a long dead hamster buried under the woodchips of a forgotten cage, to name a few The ending of the story finds a desperate Lucy taking a page from her favorite Johnny Depp movie, Gilbert Grape, and setting the whole house on fire She feels there is no other alternative.While this story was exceptionally creative and very well written, it was also very difficult to read to keep reading There were several times where I almost put the book down, unable to stomach the gravity of what Lucy was going through In the end, I think the only thing that got me through was the same sort of morbid curiosity one gets when driving past a horrific accident on the roadway You can t not gawk I couldn t not finish the book Still, I predict this one will win awards I would like to stress that this book is NOT for younger readers Those with a weak stomach who become grossed out easily may want to pick up something lighter


  9. Agatha Agatha says:

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers To view it, click here WARNING SPOILER ALERT.Young adult fiction about a girl whose mother is such an extreme hoarder, that she cannot ever invite any of her friends over Just picture that tv show, Hoarders, and that is how this girl s mother is I wouldn t recommend this book, however, to either young adults or not so young adults b c there were some pretty immature decisions made, in my opinion, which just left me scratching my head that anyone would create this scenario for young adults to read and absorb Basi WARNING SPOILER ALERT.Young adult fiction about a girl whose mother is such an extreme hoarder, that she cannot ever invite any of her friends over Just picture that tv show, Hoarders, and that is how this girl s mother is I wouldn t recommend this book, however, to either young adults or not so young adults b c there were some pretty immature decisions made, in my opinion, which just left me scratching my head that anyone would create this scenario for young adults to read and absorb Basically, the girl s mom DIES from a horrid asthma attack likely brought upon by the mold and other allergens in the filthy house and the girl decides that she cannot call 911 b c then it will come out in the news that her house was so filthy and she ll lose her friends, so she decides to try to clean up as much of the house as possible before alerting anyone immature decision 1 She props the windows open to let the winter chill in to keep the mom s body from decomposing too quickly and for a 24 hour period tries to go on a cleaning and purging rampage immature thought process example 2 But wait, it gets better in the end, don t worry everything gets solved when she just decides to burn down the house w the mother in it Say wha Craziness Not to mention too simplistic b c it wouldn t solve the problems of the mother s overdrawn credit card bills, the lack of paperwork now for the mom s estate, etc Dumb To the max


  10. J.C. Phillipps J.C. Phillipps says:

    I loved this book.Dirty Little Secrets tells the story of how Lucy, a high school junior, hides the family s hoarding secret from her friends, neighbors, and the normal world.It has a great hook We know in the first line that Lucy has a secret Ms Omololu doesn t lead the reader on for too long, and we find out the secret quickly Then it s all about what Lucy has to go through to keep the secret hidden I was impressed by the control of the pace And I like a good pace I can t stand books I loved this book.Dirty Little Secrets tells the story of how Lucy, a high school junior, hides the family s hoarding secret from her friends, neighbors, and the normal world.It has a great hook We know in the first line that Lucy has a secret Ms Omololu doesn t lead the reader on for too long, and we find out the secret quickly Then it s all about what Lucy has to go through to keep the secret hidden I was impressed by the control of the pace And I like a good pace I can t stand books that spend two pages describing a room Things move along quickly, and just as Lucy s starts to get a handle on one issue, another one pops up demanding her attention But the story had it s quiet moments too moments when we d see another side of Lucy s life good and bad.There is a nice little romance cooking I like a good romance but it wasn t the main focus of the plot I liked Lucy from page 1 She was smart and kind but flawed and she went through a gamut of emotions as she lied and schemed to keep her secret hidden.For me, it was a fun read, an emotional read, and a very satisfying story well told