June 13, 2013

Secret for a Song by S.K. Falls

Secret for a Song by S.K. Falls
Release Date: June 3, 2013
Publisher: Self-published
Pages: ?
Series: n/a
Review Source: Netgalley

Synopsis: (from Goodreads)
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?
My Thoughts:
If I had one word to describe this book, especially at the beginning, it would be “unsettling”. It’s such an uncomfortable thing to read about a character who is so blasé about self-harming herself in so many ways. Saylor is a character who knows she’s hurting herself, but she gets a high from how it feels. This is a psychosis that's been ingrained in her for years, triggered by her want of attention from her emotionally distant parents. Now, this is something that normally I would shy away from reading about, but the way it’s presented seems so truthful and interesting. It’s so far from “normal” behaviours and ways of thinking, and yet as the reader you can’t help but empathize with Saylor in some way.

As the synopsis states, a connection grows between Saylor and Drew. It’s a beautiful relationship that feels built on trust and understanding -- they begin to truly know one another and teach one another, and yet the whole thing is built on a lie. It’s a painful thing to see this amazing relationship, when you just know it’s all going to come crashing down at some point. What I think is really beautiful, and so well done, is the gradual change you see in Saylor. It almost sneaks in there and you don't quite see how much she's grown at first, with actually being willing to see what’s she’s been doing as wrong, in how it’s affected their family, etc.

This is definitely a bittersweet story. It’s the type of book that you have to be in the mood for, so if you’re looking for a light read at this moment, I would hold off on this one. ‘Secret for a Song’ is gorgeously written and intricately plotted, a five-star read that I found incredibly interesting.

The Cover:


Find Secret for a Song by S.K. Falls on Goodreads, Amazon, and B&N. The author also has a great page for the book with FAQ and Book Club Questions.


  1. That name, Saylor! One of my friends named his daughter Saylor and most of us just rolled our eyes (I still do) but I hadn't heard/see it anywhere else until now. Huh. ANYWAY...I can definitely see being unsettled by her attitude towards self-harm.

    1. I hadn't really heard it before! At first I thought it sounded strange, but it's kind of pretty.

      Yes, it's definitely very dark in that regard, but thankfully the tone changes throughout.

  2. Great review, I had shied away from it because of the whole premise of it all, but you made it sound like something I could really like if I was in the mood for it , so I'll keep it in mid.

    1. I know, my first thoughts were "omigosh I don't want to read about that" but then I was too intrigued not to. I'm glad I did, even though it was very tough to read at some points.

  3. Wonderful review, Ashley! It was really hard to read about Saylor's home life and self harm techniques, but like you said, you could also empathize and understand WHY she was going to such disturbing lengths to get attention. I think the characterization was wonderfully done and you are right, you don't really realize how much Saylor is changing because of her relationship with Drew and new friends because it is done in such an organic way. No one changes overnight and the author really understood that!

    I'm glad you enjoyed this one so much too :)

    1. Yes, it was so nice to see it that way instead of it being blatant/in your face like a lesson or something. It was quiet and gradual, just like how I think it would be in real life.

  4. I'm a sucker for stories involving unusual psychological disorders, so I have to admit I'm interested to see how this one handles that. I don't think I've read a YA novel about Munchausen syndrome before!


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