Book Review: Nobody’s Secret by Michaela MacColl

book reviewing-01

nobody's secretTitle: Nobody’s Secret
Michaela MacColl
Date(s) read:
July 26 – 27, 2013
YA Mystery
Publisher (Hardcover)


One day, fifteen-year-old Emily Dickinson meets a mysterious, handsome young man. Surprisingly, he doesn’t seem to know who she or her family is. And even more surprisingly, he playfully refuses to divulge his name. Emily enjoys her secret flirtation with Mr. “Nobody” until he turns up dead in her family’s pond. She’s stricken with guilt. Only Emily can discover who this enigmatic stranger was before he’s condemned to be buried in an anonymous grave. Her investigation takes her deep into town secrets, blossoming romance, and deadly danger. Exquisitely written and meticulously researched, this novel celebrates Emily Dickinson’s intellect and spunk in a page-turner of a book that will excite fans of mystery, romance, and poetry alike.

my thoughts-01

Thank you to Raincoast Books for sending me a review copy of this book! 

This was a very different read for me. I dove in without reading anything about it (I forgot the gist of the story when I had requested it!) and was actually quite pleased that it was a story about Emily Dickenson. Well, not a true story, but a fictionalized story about her, taking bits of factual information from her life, as well as bits from her poetry that suited the story.

It was a bit of a fun mystery to try and unravel. I loved the whole time period it was set in. I also really loved Vinnie, Emily’s sister. While Emily tried to keep her investigation efforts a secret from Vinnie, eventually they started working together. It was great to see the bond between the two as the story progressed.

The mystery was interesting to follow, too. I definitely had my suspicions as more pieces of the puzzle were revealed, but didn’t completely understand the whodunnit of it. The book revolves more around mystery and friendship than it does romance, though, to my disappointment (as the synopsis talks about romance), but it was still a good read.

The only thing that I really found wrong with the story was the things that Emily seemed to get away with. I’m doubting that in that day and age, a young girl going after people for murder would be something taken so easily or so lightly. But, it’s fiction, so I guess that’s okay?

It was also nice to have the bit of writing after the story was finished, talking about Emily Dickenson’s history. For a writer who was a bit of a recluse, it was neat to have a fictionalized story where her character seems to be so prominent in life.

I guess in the end, the one thing that I loved was the the story was written based on a certain work of Emily Dickenson’s — it was fun that the author included this poem in the end, so that we could see how it relates to the story. It was quite the charming read!


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4 thoughts on “Book Review: Nobody’s Secret by Michaela MacColl

  1. I do that all the time. Read the summary when I request a book and then when it comes time for me to read it, i forget what the book is all about. It’s like a surprise for me haha. This one looks interesting. I like that the mystery was a good one. I havent had the best luck with mysteries lately.

    Great review!

    • I think there are a LOT of books out there … or, at least on my shelf … that I have NO idea what they’re about anymore. It’s nice to just start reading and be surprised!

My home is where my books are. - Ellen Thompson

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