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Reviewed by Stephanie Chapman for Readers' Favorite
Thorn of Secrets by B. Truly is the sequel to Scorn of Secrets. Madison moved to Baton Rouge with her daughter, Justice. She mourns the loss of her relationship with Justin, especially since his twin sexually assaulted her, and is mortified that her sister began dating Jackson. As her family gathers for Thanksgiving, her mother reveals that she has married Regan Jenkins, making Justin and Jackson her stepbrothers. To complicate the story further, her sister Tanya is actually Regan’s daughter and Aunt Cassandra’s ex from nineteen years ago. Madison recovers from the revelation and confides in her cousin, Dariel. When school starts, Madison becomes friends with Chauncey, who makes it obvious that he is infatuated with her. Madison consents, but as soon as they attempt to become intimate, she feels panic from her rape invade her mind. While Chauncey doesn’t push her, Madison doesn’t know how she will be able to tell him about the truth of her past.
B. Truly made this an increasingly intense story told through Madison’s eyes. Thorn of Secrets had me hooked in with the suspense to see if Madison would be able to make Jackson face justice. I was able to understand the cold feelings she had for her mother and sister. Knowing someone had raped me, I would hate my sister if she chose to date the monster. To add salt to the wound, having my mother marry the father of my attacker would probably have me disown my family. I appreciated that Madison did not fit the normal victim mentality because she had the fortitude to move forward with her life. The pace of the story blended well with the vivid imagery. Tastefully written intimate details are left to the imagination. There are several young adult social issues addressed, including being aware of your surroundings, dating abuse, and having someone that you can trust if you are struggling with trauma. I highly recommend this book to young adult readers who enjoy a suspenseful story of a young woman’s recovery from trauma.