Secrets of Skin and Stone

Something is wrong in Hidden Creek. The sleepy Alabama town is more haunted than any place fiend hunter Grisham Caso has ever seen. Unearthed graves, curse bags, and spilled blood all point to an evil that could destroy his gargoyle birthright. The town isn’t safe for anyone, and everyone says fiery Piper Devon knows why.

Piper wants to leave Hidden Creek behind. She’s had enough of secrets—they hide in the shadows of her room and tell her terrible things are coming. Too-charming city boy Grisham might be her only chance to save herself.

To survive, Piper and Grisham have to shed their secrets and depend only on each other. But what lurks in Hidden Creek still might take everything away from them, including each other.

Admittedly I was a little concerned because before the story even starts there’s a “Trigger Warning”. There is no other phrase that elicits more eye-rolling yet perfectly encapsulates the kind of society we’ve become than this one but at least I give the author credit for trying to head off the trolling and inevitable tantrums after what happened when Netflix brought us 13 Reasons Why – oh wait that was actually based on a book that had already been around for 10 years without issue – never mind, let’s save that argument for another day.

Laine has provided a story with a character who is not perfect, fails so often you aren’t surprised her mental health rating would be in the toilet YET is strong enough to keep going.  It’s obvious, if you didn’t get it from the ‘Trigger Warning’ that the author has done lots of research and had personal experience with certain mental health issues because she did a damn good job of creating someone to showcase these both accurately and with respect t what a person goes through. This was not just some plot device thrown in to elicit publicity, ride the chaos Jay Asher has thrown American society into, or for shock value. Laine is telling a story and demanding people shut up and realize this happens off a Netflix screen to a person next to you so find some humanity and educate yourself.

Her character work is wonderful but what sealed it for me was the mystery she told through them which made me keep reading way past when my battery wanted a break so I went scrambling for my charger to plug it in and keep going.

You will become inquisitive by the fact there are gargoyles! Shouldn’t you want to read it just for that because gargoyles are not something we see often enough?

The biggest downside for me though was the insta-love. Why does it seem all YA books teach that every relationship must start by instantly falling deep in love? Damn Romeo & Juliet for teaching generations this is a must!

Aside from the overused device of insta-love I thought it was a great book and hope there will be a sequel.

Thank you to Netgalley and Entangled Teen for allowing me to review this book.

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*synopsis and pic from

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