“You know what it’s like having a child? … It’s like your heart walking out the door on two legs, vulnerable and unprotected. It’s scary as hell.”
What can I say about Little Secrets?
So. Freaking. Much.
Yet, I’m also at a loss for words.
Exactly, Little Secrets is that good.
Let’s start from the beginning. Initially, what drew me in was the synopsis, but the rating, a 4.35 on Goodreads, is what truly won me over. I know, I should not base what I read off of its rating, but it works so well. Usually.
Turns out, the method worked. I am incredibly happy to say that this will be my first 5-star rating in about two weeks. You start losing hope after a week goes by and then your motivation begins to diminish, it’s awful. Luckily, Jennifer Hillier wrote Little Secrets and saved me from my reader’s block.
Now, let’s move onto the review. I can hardly contain myself!
Here’s what I plan to do: the first section will be spoiler-free and I will give a warning when I head into the realm of spoilers.
“Four minutes. That’s all it took to steal a child. A lollipop, a Santa suit, and two hundred forty seconds.”
Miran Machado was doing last minute Christmas shopping with her son Sebastian at a popular, jam-packed market. When Miran dropped Sebastian’s hand to send a few quick texts back to her husband Derek, a man in a Santa suit swooped in and coerced Sebastian away with the reward of his favorite lollipop. That was all it took. A couple seconds.
“They say if a missing child Sebastian’s age isn’t found within twenty-four hours of his disappearance, chances are he never will be.
This is the first coherent thought Marin Machado has every morning when she wakes up.”
Over a year passes with no leads. At the four-month mark, the FBI labeled it as an ongoing case which led Marin to seek out help from personal investigator Vanessa Castro. As you probably already know, it is from Castro that Marin eventually learns of Derek’s infidelity with McKenzie, a 24-year-old grad student, which was the final straw for Marin. When she opens up to her ex-boyfriend turned best friend of 20 years about it, Sal mentions how he knows a person who could take care of it. Yes, you’re right if you thought hitman. He knows a hitman.
And that is all I will say about the plot here. It’s better to go in knowing less than too much. Otherwise, it won’t pack the same punch.
You will not regret reading Little Secrets; it’s raw, honest, gritty, and realistic. Marin is just like any other person and it’s impossible to avoid becoming entangled within her story because it can happen to anyone. However, the odds of a child being kidnapped is one in 300,000 which is relatively low. Still, that is not to say that a parent/caretaker should leave their child unattended because there are messed-up people out there.
Without further ado, I hope you give Marin a chance and read her story. It’s fantastic and if you’re experiencing the same reader’s block I went through, this will definitely (crossing my fingers) get you out of your funk.
Warning: Do not scroll down if you want to avoid spoilers.
Spoilers Galore Review
Holy. Hell. This book. I called it around the halfway mark. I knew it had to be someone Marin knew and my bets were on Sal. In the beginning, I suspected Kenzie just because it would be an incredibly diabolical plot twist for it to be the other-woman. Imagine finding out that the person you’re having an affair with is the same person who abducted your child. That’s some psychological-grade warfare.
Alas, it was the best friend! Finding out that your best friend was the one behind your child’s kidnapping would be incomprehensible. You would never suspect them which was why Sal was so incredibly low on my radar; especially when said friend would send morning and nightly check-in texts. Then the warning signs began to snowball and it all became crystal clear.
Warning Sign #1: Marin and Sal dated back in college and about 23 years, give or take a few, have passed. By no means am I an expert on the proper timeline for getting over someone (honestly, there is no specific timeframe, everyone is different), but 20+ years? By that point, you need to take some time to reflect and realize that it probably won’t happen; especially if the ‘one that got away’ has been married for 20 years and has no plans to leave the marriage. It is probably time to move on.
Warning Sign #2: He knows a hitman. I don’t know about you, but if you know someone who knows a hitman and has used their services, then you should definitely be worried. I mean, if you get on their bad side, keep your fingers crossed that they choose to not retaliate.
Warning Sign #3: Remember when Sal blew up on Marin for simply suggesting to be a good friend by spending some time with his ailing mom? What he brought up was understandable as they should have never slept together knowing that 1) he was not over her and 2) she was not in the best headspace at that moment. However, it was the timing of the blow-up that made it all very suspicious. The only reason that made sense for why he was so adamant of Marin not coming to his mom’s house was because Sebastian was there. Why else would he go off the rails?
All in all, I feel a wide range of emotions regarding Sal’s betrayal. How on Earth did he think he would ever have a chance with Marin after kidnapping her son? And how can you even think to do that to a person you supposedly love? To add insult to injury, he continued acting like her best friend and showed concern for her mental state, yet it was his doing! I mean, he told Derek that Sebastian was dead because of him. What kind of sick sicko does that? It baffles me. It truly does.
In regards to Marin and Derek, I hope they continue to co parent successfully. I’m not sure if a romantic relationship is in their future, but if they manage to come out of this looking to reconcile, awesome. If they choose to get a divorce, good for them. All that matters is that they are happy and at peace with their decision. #noregrets #livingtheirbestlife
Little Secrets is #thebest and is definitely a #bookworthreading. If you loved Little Secrets, I would suggest Verity by Colleen Hoover or The New Husband by D.J. Palmer.