Dark Secrets by A.M. Hudson: The Book that Made Me Angry

I was so angry when I finished Dark Secrets, it was hard to contain it. If David Knight were real, I would have kicked his vampire ass all the way from the US, over the ocean, through Europe and Asia, and then back to the US. It took a lot of swearing after finishing it and a long conversation with a dear friend to get over my anger. I will explain the reasons later on. In all fairness, even if it was pure anger, not many books can stir up such powerful emotions, so I see it as a plus.

In short, this is a high school love story between a human and a mind reading vampire, plus the best friend from Australia who the female main character is also in love with. Love triangle, not that uncommon. High school, mind reading, undecided teen, well, it does sound a bit like Twilight. But it’s not.

Ara-Rose, or Ara, has just moved from Australia to the USA to live with her dad, step-mother and half brother. She goes to a new school after experiencing the death of her mother and infant brother in an accident she blames herself for. She’s obviously broken, sad, and generally unstable. On her first day in a new school, she meets David Knight, falls in love with him, and gets drawn into his life of dark secrets. A vampire that actually kills people every other day or so to stay alive.

While trying to figure out how to get along with her new family and deal with her loss, Ara discovers David’s secret, plus the fact that she has a few weeks to decide if she loves him enough to give up everything forever and become a killer, just like him. Enter BFF Mike who comes to visit her from Australia and pressures her into dealing with her feelings for him.

I loved how Ara’s grief and guilt were explored. I hated her inability to make a decision and let things drag on and how she could go from David to Mike and back to David again. But then I figured she was nothing but a teenage girl who had experienced a huge emotional trauma and no one should be that eager to decide for eternity while in high school.

What bugged me most about David is that he had no problem asking her to make a quick decision – leave everything behind, become a killer, and love me forever, and be quick about it – but he cannot really bear the idea of spending only her mortal life with her and seeing her die. Sure, ask the world of her, but never be ready to actually give it yourself! I guess this touched on some sensitive personal experience, and this is the cause of my anger. It seemed unfair and totally something that would happen often enough.

I thought A.M. Hudson did a great job when exploring grief and guilt, I loved the story and the contradiction between characters saying they were soul mates and then giving up so easily for reasons that didn’t seem worth it. Mike is the most dedicated of the bunch, but I think that blinds him to the obvious.

The story was too long, some feelings were explored over and over again, especially Ara’s insecurities and difficulty in making a decision, which made her seem annoying at times. If this had been cut short, it would have made for a greater pace and more entertaining story. I also have a problem with teenagers saying ‘yes’ to forever so easily. It’s beyond me how you can decide at such an early age, with your first relationship, that it’s going to be forever. And only weeks after starting to date that person, regardless of how well you know them!

Kudos for the choice of music in this book! Although a lot of people love Muse (yes, Twilight again), not everyone knows Unintended. A beautiful song which does fit Ara in a way, if David were her unintended love. To be honest, I don’t really get how someone could know how to play United States of Eurasia on the piano (a less popular Muse song, not a single of the album it is on), and not know Unintended, but let’s say it was an old enough song to make sense.

Will I read the next book in the Dark Secrets series? Probably! But as the same trio will go through a similar undecided mess, I need a break before I start.

If you want to read it, the Kindle edition is free on Amazon.

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A pleasure to meet you! Iโ€™m Alina Popescu, an author, traveler, and hopeless coffee addict. I write urban fantasy, science fiction, paranormal, and sometimes even contemporary stories. A significant number of my books are LGBTQ fiction and romance.

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