Review (ARC Edition): HALF TRUTHS by Claire Contreras

Title: Half Truths
Series: Secret Society, #1
Author: Claire Contreras
Publication Date: October 21, 2019
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Thriller/Mystery
Add to: Goodreads / Amazon
Rating: ★★☆☆☆ (2 stars)
You've heard of these groups - the secretive ones that only the crème de la crème are invited into, the ones outsiders speculate about for centuries - I'm the second in my family invited to attend, but to them, I'm fresh meat. New blood. New money, too.

They think they'll elbow past me, that I'm here for their amusement, for them to walk all over, they'll find out soon enough that I'm not.

I may look like one of them, with my designer bags and clothes straight from the Parisian runways, but I'm not. I'm here for answers, to take revenge for blood spilled on their centuries-old Persian rugs.

I transferred here in search for answers about what happened to my older brother, who hightailed out of here, and my friend who seemingly disappeared into thin air. I certainly wasn't here for the attention of the star hockey player, regardless of how much he willed my eyes his way. I wasn't here for his scrutiny or his judgment or to read into his mysterious aura. I was here for the society, because only they held the answers I needed. That was, until I found out that in order to get those answers, I needed to to go through him. He's saying if I want in, I have to play by their rules, follow their lead.

It's a game I'm willing to play.

I may be the second person I know of to be invited into their society, but I'll be the first to make it out intact.

Reading the summary sounded so good but this was just not it.

I was expecting a good suspense romance because when you read the summary of the book, you'd think it would be dark. That the main character/heroine is some badass or headstrong girl who's out there to seek justice. That this could also be a thrilling story despite that it's romance. That there would be surprising twists and turns, and even shocking revelations. Well, not really.

These happened:

  • I hardly felt the suspense.
  • The suspect/culprit was so easy to identify (and too early to be mentioned).
  • The heroine, Amelia, was too slow. And made the poor choices and picked the wrong people to be with.
  • And I had to roll my eyes every time someone brings up how beautiful she is like lol okay we get it. It's nice to know she's pretty but does it have to be (almost) every character who meets her say that...
  • Also the romance between her and Logan, the hero, has zero chemistry.
  • They kept arguing who dislikes who (which was pretty annoying by the way) to her bringing up his groupies every chance she could get to their unfounded jealousy (like since when did you two started dating anyway?) to them declaring their love for each other like HUH?? 
  • Wish there were more Logan POV chapters though because he seems to be the hero here but there's still so much layer to his character that wasn't tackled.
  • The secret societies were interesting at first but then they just sounded ridiculous in the end.
I could actually go on but let me not. 

But one thing that really frustrated me was how the Amelia just ignored the UNKNOWN text messages she's received. I AM SO TIRED OF THIS TROPE. Like yeah, she told someone about it but that wasn't enough? And they just brushed it off later on?? You're trying to look for clues/answers to this missing person's case. You're INVOLVED and you've been vocal about your curiosity to the people (sometimes even frankly which I gotta say was kinda dumb because you never know if they're trustworthy or not). PEOPLE WOULD KNOW YOU. Or at least be familiar of you and your interest in this case. You just don't brush off messages from unknown numbers especially if they link to the case in hand and are weird and cryptic. THIS TROPE NEEDS TO END. I've watched a lot of true-crime and missing persons documentaries and when I say "a lot", I don't mean that lightly. So this solving thing Amelia was doing was just... crap. 

There's also still so many questions I wanna ask. Questions I need answers to because the focus on this book was really big on these secret societies, one in particular. The initiation tests felt like it dragged on and were completely unnecessary. Like I just want to know more about this missing person case. I want some leads. Some clues. Some clear backstory of the person and the events. I mean yes, there were but it really got overshadowed by this society thing and the no-chemistry romance. 

The thing they got right though was when the characters filed for a missing person, the officer in-charge was like "maybe she blahblahblah" which is a realistic but frustrating thing. It's really sad when the authorities create some alternative scenarios so they could avoid this and make you wait before you could file for a report. Messed up system, I swear.

Lastly, this will be a bit spoilery but as a Fine Arts student, can someone tell me how they easily stole a painting that costs millions so easily by hiding it under their shirt? This painting is estimated 106x78 inches in size. I get that in the scene, there was no frame but canvas cloth isn't light? It's not even thin even if you roll it up. Heck, the size alone is big. I carry a 12x18-inched sketchpad and it's already a hassle for me every Friday class. The artist in me probably just jumped out at this scene because.. it's just impossible and ridiculous.

Anyway. I'm ending this review with me feeling disappointed but still giving two stars because there were parts my interest was piqued. Sadly, it wasn't enough. This book had its potential. The execution was just lacking. 

ARC received in exchange 
for an honest review.


  1. Oh boy, this one sounds like a big mess. Not only the lack of suspense and the easy to guess culprit, but the romance aspect seems really off. I've read a couple by Contreras before and was kind of eyeing this one, but I think I'll be passing on it now.

  2. Ouch! I have only read Contreras' Hearts series, which I really liked. I am a little sad this book was not good for you, but I understand being frustrated by so many unanswered questions.