Date of Publication: May 10th, 2021
Genre: General Fiction
Paradise is no more. She’s a stranger in her new home…
… as she sails the choppy waters of teen life. Teresa longs for picture-perfect love, but in the real world you often have to say “No”, even if it breaks your heart.
From tropical Mozambique to drab, 1970s Lisbon, from the golden beaches of Durban to five-star holidays in verdant, mountainous Madeira, and even the Moroccan kasbah, follow Teresa as she stumbles and falls and picks herself up again.
Will Teresa’s grandparents let her out of their sight for a minute? Can she forge her own path in a country that struggles to emerge from fear and taboo? Will she find true love, or is she forever fated to navigate an ocean of boys who demand more than she is willing to give?
I detested my first kiss.Love Secrets Lies by Teresa Vale
When I first got the email from the author requesting that I review her book, I almost said no. As a rule, I do not review anything that resembles even resembles a biography or an autobiography. But the sweetness of the request email and the blurb that I read on Amazon sold me on reading the book. I am glad I did because this was a fantastic book.
Love Secrets Lies is the story of Teresa and her journey to adulthood. Teresa was forced out of Mozambique as a young teenager when that country became politically unstable. She, her brother, her grandparents, and her parents fled to Portugal. Teresa and her brother settled in Libson with her grandparents while her father and mother (divorced) went to North Portugal and England. Teresa is a headstrong, opinionated young lady growing up in 1970s Portugal. Can Teresa overcome the obstacles of her childhood (mainly her very strict grandparents) and become the woman she wants to be?
I loved Teresa. She was a vibrantly written character who made me laugh during the book. I have a seventeen-year-old daughter, and I could see her getting into some of the shenanigans that Teresa got into. The whole kissing scene had me in tears laughing because, well, it was relatable. How many of us enjoyed our first kiss? And how many of us had the experience that Teresa had? I did find her a little tiring during certain scenes (the political scenes I skimmed over). But other than that, I loved her joy in life. It exuded from the book.
I liked seeing what it is like for a teenage girl growing up in the 70s and outside of the USA. It was very refreshing. Plus, I got to experience the 70s through her, which was a trip in itself.
Teresa had several romances throughout the book. The author didn’t hold back with them. She showed the good, the bad, and the ugly. And oh man, did the ugly get nasty towards the end. Teresa went through a terrifying situation that could have turned out bad if a certain someone didn’t step up for her.
Sexually, this is a very clean book. There are a few kissing scenes, one where Teresa and her boyfriend do heavy petting, and one very memorable scene where Teresa’s boyfriend uses a pillow as a cover for his privates (and as a supposed sexy gesture??). The author never details what Teresa is doing, but there is enough said that I could figure it out. I knew she wasn’t having sex (the author often stressed her virginity in the book).
The only thing I didn’t like about this book was how bratty and immature Teresa sometimes came across. But, saying that, she was a teenager living under stringent rules. So I kept an open mind while reading.
I also want to mention the locations that this book took me to. South Africa, different areas of Portugal, and Mozambique are among the few places that the author mentioned in the book. The author vividly described every site to the point where I could picture it in my head.
The end of Love Secrets Lies was a bit of a cliffhanger, and I am looking forward to reading book 2!!
I would recommend Love Secrets Lies to anyone over 16. There is mild language, violence, and mild and non-graphic sexual situations. There is also underage drinking and smoking.