Scorn of Secrets


Young Adult - Coming of Age
328 Pages
Reviewed on 05/22/2021
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Christian Sia for Readers' Favorite

Scorn of Secrets by B. Truly is a mesmerizing coming-of-age story with strong themes and elaborately developed characters. When Madison Guillory’s father dies leaving a huge gambling debt behind, her mother doesn’t wait long to start dating again. After just a few months, she introduces Regan Jenkins to Madison and her sister, Tanya. Madison and Tanya are moved across the state to live with her mother’s “Rico Suave” and his two sons. Madison is not as outgoing as her sister, and she wants to give her new family a chance. Everything seems to be just fine until a dreadful night in which her life is completely shattered. The problem is that she can’t talk about what happened that night. No one will even believe her. But can she live with the secret?

This story is emotionally rich and filled with psychological underpinnings. Madison is a young girl who experiences sexual abuse and she finds herself in a very difficult situation. It is an experience that many young girls will identify with. B. Truly writes relationships brilliantly and I particularly loved the realism written into the encounter and the effect it has on her life; the text messages feel real, depicting the world of teenagers. The treatment she has received is something that will haunt her forever, but the challenge is communicating what happened to someone else. Scorn of Secrets is an immersive story with unforgettable characters and themes that are skillfully written, including love, sexual harassment, family, and friendship. The gorgeous prose is enticing and the conflict is expertly written to keep readers’ eyes on Madison as they want to know what happens next.

Jose Cornelio

Scorn of Secrets by B. Truly is a coming-of-age story with fascinating characters and a strong conflict, mostly internal and situational. Madison Guillory’s life is turned upside down with her dad dying and leaving behind gambling debts. Not long after her father dies, her mother starts going out two weeks in a stretch, dating. Things get complicated from the moment Mama introduces them to Regan Jenkins, an attractive man with caramel-colored skin, to moving Madison and her elder, outgoing sister, Tanya, to live with her “Rico Suave” and his two sons. While she must adjust to life in the new school, she has to deal with one of Rico’s sons who has started growing on her. When everything seems to be working out just fine, a painful event in one single night shatters everything. His face inspires fear and no one will believe her, even if she speaks about it.

Scorn of Secrets is an emotionally explosive story and contains mature content. This story feels real and captures one of the dilemmas that young women experience when faced with sexual assault and rape, torn between speaking up and shame. It is easy to be coerced into silence out of fear or shame. B. Truly does an impeccable job in writing the emotions of the characters and the protagonist is one of those characters that instantly win the sympathy of readers. The characters are well-developed and fully drawn, deeply flawed, and believable. Jackson and Justin are well-written and their relationship with Madison is skillfully done, allowing the complexity of the conflict to develop through their interactions. Scorn of Secrets dragged me through the gamut of emotions and gripping suspense. An intelligently plotted and smartly written novel that explores real issues.

Jennifer Ibiam

Madison’s father was addicted to gambling and alcohol. Her mom, Charlotte, moved on with another man in a heartbeat, who funded her extravagant lifestyle. She packed her children across the states to live with him and his teenage sons. Madison’s elder sister, Tanya, fitted right in–-a perfect replica of her self-absorbed mother. The case was, however, different for Madison, who was a victim of many unpleasant situations. Something devastating occurred in her life that could tear her entire family apart. With almost no one that Madison could trust, she will either endure the nightmares and take her secret to the grave for peace’s sake, or she’ll stand up for herself and face the consequences. Read this fantastic novel titled Scorn of Secrets by B. Truly to get the full story.

Scorn of Secrets by B. Truly is a beautiful and educative novel that I recommend for young adults coming of age. The book addressed social issues ranging from bullying to abuse (psychological, physical, and sexual), self-esteem, and more. It explored themes like loyalty, trust, honesty, deception, acceptance, etc. The most important message it sent was that young adults should never cower in the face of oppression. Oppressors feed on the victim’s fear. Parents should also listen to their children without judgment, making themselves approachable and easy to confide in. I loved the plot, which was strong and very realistic. The character development was perfect, especially Jackson’s. I enjoyed reading this book as the editing was flawless with a simple writing style. This made the story easy to follow. The novel was so engaging and enlightening that I finished reading it in one sitting. I look forward to reading the second installment.

Pikasho Deka

Scorn of Secrets is a coming-of-age tale written by B. Truly. Madison Guillory is a sixteen-year-old teenager whose life turns upside down with the abrupt murder of her father due to his crippling gambling debts. Madison's mother, Charlotte, wastes no time moving on and soon relocates herself and her daughters out of Baton Rouge into the home of her new boyfriend, Regan, in Houston, Texas. At Regan's house, Madison meets his two twin sons, Justin and Jackson. She quickly strikes up a rapport with Justin, and they form a burgeoning friendship while she finds herself intimidated by Jackson. Gradually, she acclimatizes to her new environment and makes friends at her new school. But an incident occurs over Christmas that will change lives forever.

Scorn of Secrets is a captivating tale about love and betrayal that will keep your eyes glued to the pages. Author B. Truly weaves an absorbing yarn that grapples with issues of sexual assault, trauma, teenage pregnancy, and its aftermath. The plot moves at a fast pace filled with twists and turns, and the narrative sails smoothly. I found the characters very realistic and relatable. I adored Justin and Madison's relationship and found Justin, Madison, and Gigi to be my personal favorites out of the bunch. The climax feels ambiguous as the book ends on a cliffhanger. I look forward to continuing the story in the sequel, Thorn of Secrets. Scorn of Secrets is full of moments of heartbreak. But I enjoyed it thoroughly. I will highly recommend it to readers who enjoy coming-of-age stories with mature themes.

Rolanda Lyles

Madison Guillory is smart, quiet, and the complete opposite of her sister, Tanya, who is popular and likes to flirt. Things take a turn for the worse for their family when Madison discovers that their father is in money trouble with some bad guys, and her father is murdered. Left alone to pick up the pieces, their mother, Charlotte, gets a job along with Madison and Tanya as well. They finally get into a routine but Charlotte begins to have late nights and overnight stays. Madison and Tanya wonder why their mother is out all the time, and one day they meet him, Regan Jenkins. Charlotte decides quickly to move them in with Regan and his twin sons Jackson and Justin. Other than being identical, the twins are night and day in personality. They both are popular, but Jackson is like Tanya, conceited and arrogant. Justin is more modest and laid back and he and Madison become fast friends. Madison decides to try to make the best of their situation and have a positive outlook but struggles when things take an unexpected and unfortunate turn. Does staying positive mean staying quiet? Is Madison doomed to remain traumatized and haunted?

B. Truly's Scorn of Secrets takes you on a non-stop emotional roller coaster as you experience the highs and lows of Madison's experiences. There were times I was happy, sad, and even furious while reading this story. B. Truly does a great job of creating realistic characters and a very relevant plot. I loved Madison's and Justin's characters. I appreciate the rawness that the author put in the story and that it emphasized the importance of asking for help and even talking to counselors or someone when you need to. In the African American community, many people don't trust going to see counselors or even asking for help when they have experienced trauma. Also, numerous women who have been harassed, raped, or abused many times don't report it. I hope that B. Truly will continue writing on Madison's journey to recovery and wholeness and that this story will impact someone else who is going through the same thing.