First, the title is completely wrong; it is not the secret life of CeeCee, it is the secret life of Eve. Second, everything in the novel is contrived, overdone, melodramatic, and soap operatic. For example, CeeCee is so gullible as to agree to the whole kidnapping shenangins (despite being supposedly so intelligent) without once looking up Andie's case in microfiche at the local library. Then, Tim and Marty are surprised the Genevieve is pregnant (despite having stalked her to plan for the kidnapping...oh yeah, we find out later that Tim did know she was pregnant and thought it might be his baby, really? He chose to kidnap a pregnant woman even though that would compound the difficulty?). The plot was paper thin; my note on page 115 (of a 500 page book) as soon as CeeCee comments on Genevieve's hair color is "so Corinne is really the Gov's daughter kept for all these years."
The set up was nauseating (CeeCee is an orphan and her mom died of cancer and was raped and wrote these amazing letters for her and...blah!). The post-kidnapping was unbelievable (really there are so many organized nice, caring people in SCAPE that CeeCee is able to start over virtually painlessly???).
Corinne is not a likeable character in any way; I get that Eve/CeeCee was an overbearing mother, but jeez the woman can't even drive herself around the block. However, she successfully got through college and job interviews, etc. Oh, and when it really matters she can muster up the courage to drive to see her "real" father and talk him into helping Eve. Ugh. Double ugh. And then it turns out that Ken is also lying to her.
I felt like Chamberlain was following Ken Follett's advice about changing the plot every three pages a bit too literally. It would have been nice if she didn't keep trying to startle the reader and instead created something believable and less dramatic.
This novel was a page turner, I will give it that much. If it had come in on library reserve next month while I will be on vacation I might have given it a better rating simply because I would have read it sitting on the beach with a daquari in hand. Then again, maybe I'm just saying I only would have liked it if I was drunk.