Honest Review: No One Needs To Know by Lindsay Cameron

by Theja Pk
0 comment
paperback of no one needs to know by Lindsay Cameron laying on top of brown wooden tray

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I'll get a commission if you decide to purchase through my links, at NO extra cost to you. Please read my disclosure for more info.

Last updated on December 17th, 2023

In this review, we’ll be diving into No One Needs To Know by Lindsay Cameron, which delves into the lives of three mothers living on the Upper East Side and showcases the immense pressure families face to gain admission into the most prestigious high schools. The author highlights how financial resources and the privilege they afford can dictate one’s life trajectory.

I was excited about this book’s interesting and unique premise, but I have to say, it didn’t quite live up to my expectations. I kept comparing it to Girls with Bright Futures, which had me hooked to my headphones the whole time. But this book was a bit of a struggle for me to get through, and I found myself looking forward to the end.

I appreciate the effort that goes into writing a book, so I prefer not to be overly critical in my negative reviews. Instead, I’ll summarize my thoughts in bullet points to highlight what I enjoyed and what didn’t quite work for me.

No One Needs To Know – Lindsay Cameron

2.5 out of 5
book cover of no one needs to know by Lindsay Cameron showing an illuminated city building

GENRE: Suspense, women’s fiction
PUB DATE: May 9, 2023
TWs: infidelity

This story delves into the lives of three mothers living on the Upper East Side and showcases the immense pressure families face to gain admission into the most prestigious high schools.

Characters
2 out of 5
Plot
3 out of 5
Writing
2 out of 5
Overall Enjoyment
3 out of 5

Pros

diverse media formats

unique premise

realistic portrayal of issues surrounding money & privelege

Cons

stereotypical, unlikeable characters

slow pacing with abrupt ending

anticlimactic reveal at the end

excessive descriptive writing

plot holes and unfinished subplots

infidelity

Synopsis

It was all confidential. Right up to the moment when it wasn’t.

UrbanMyth: It was lauded as an alternative to the performative, show-your-best-self platforms—an anonymous discussion board grouped by zip code. The residents of Manhattan’s exclusive Upper East Side disclosed it all, things they would never share with their friends or their spouses: secret bank accounts, steamy affairs, tidbits of juicy gossip.

The same people who, as parents, go to astonishing lengths to ensure that their children gain admission to the most prestigious boarding schools and universities. So when a “hacktivist” group breaks into the forum and exposes the real identity of each poster, the repercussions echo down Park Avenue with a force that none could have anticipated.

And someone ends up dead.

Is the murderer Heather, the outsider who would do anything to get her daughter into the elite’s good graces and into their even better schools? Norah, the high-powered executive failing to balance work with the emotional responsibilities of motherhood? Or Poppy, whose perfect-on-the-outside façade conceals more than her share of secrets?

Each of them has something to hide.

Each of them will do anything to keep secrets hidden.

And each of them just might kill to protect their own.

Why you should read it

  • Different media styles used to tell the story – forum discussions, emails, and news articles – made the story immersive and engaging.
  • Unique and interesting premise: What if everything you write in an anonymous forum suddenly loses its anonymity? What secrets do you think would be worth killing for?
  • Lindsay Cameron did great job pointing out how having money/privilege can provide certain advantages over those less fortunate, even if they deserve them more. For example, it can lead to access to top schools and more lenient punishments in school.

Why you should skip it

Characters

  • I found the stereotypical characters to be so similar to one another that I had a hard time differentiating them, even with the characters’ names titling the chapters. It took me more than half the book to get all the characters straight in my head, and I am someone who loves multiple POVs.
  • I didn’t like any of the characters in the book. I couldn’t find any redeeming qualities that made me empathize with or relate to them.

Plot

  • Slow pacing and ending every chapter on a note of suspense. While this worked well for the first few chapters, it started to become repetitive and lost its intended effect. It felt like the story was being unnecessarily prolonged without revealing any significant details. Too much time was spent building suspense without actually building the plot.
  • The book ended abruptly with a lot of plot holes and unfinished subplots. 
  • The murderer’s identity was revealed through a simple confession without any detective work, even though detectives worked on the case for most of the book’s latter half. And the motive itself was anticlimactic, especially after taking the reader on such a long journey with so much suspenseful build-up.
  • Justification of infidelity which I disagreed with (possible trigger warning)

Writing

  • Excessive descriptive writing – I understand how important descriptive writing is in painting a vivid picture, but, in this case, there was too much focus on how nervous or anxious the characters were feeling, which didn’t add much to the plot.
  • Interrupted dialogues – the descriptive writing that interrupted the dialogues was so overwhelming that by the time they returned to the conversation, I struggled to recall where it had stopped.
  • Found myself skipping a lot of paragraphs, which I rarely do, and realizing I didn’t miss anything important.

Best Quotes

  • Knowledge crowns those who seek her.
  • A gazelle doesn’t need to outrun a lion. It simply needs to outrun one other gazelle in the herd.
  • Always trust your gut. Your gut knows what your head hasn’t yet figured out.
  • life is what you do between what you have to do.

Conclusion

While the premise was interesting, No One Needs To Know didn’t quite work for me due to excessive descriptive writing and an underdeveloped plot. I also found the characters to be unlikable.

However, I know everyone has different tastes, so if you’re in the mood for an easy women’s fiction read with some parental drama set on the Upper East Side, it might be worth giving it a shot.

Enjoyed this review? Then, add ‘No One Needs To Know’ to your TBR. And if you have already read this book and have some thoughts to share, drop them in the comments below. I would love to hear them!

You may also like

Leave a Comment

Copyright @2022 – All Right Reserved. Designed and Developed by PenciDesign