The Secrets We Keep
Author: Trisha Leaver
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Mystery
Release Date: April 28, 2015
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Ella and Maddy Lawton are identical twins. Ella has spent her high school years living in popular Maddy’s shadows, but she has never been envious of Maddy. In fact, she’s chosen the quiet, safe confines of her sketchbook over the constant battle for attention that has defined Maddy’s world.
When — after a heated argument — Maddy and Ella get into a tragic accident that leaves her sister dead, Ella wakes up in the hospital surrounded by loved ones who believe she is Maddy. Feeling responsible for Maddy’s death and everyone’s grief, Ella makes a split-second decision to pretend to be Maddy. Soon, Ella realizes that Maddy’s life was full of secrets that caught her popularity intact but that slowly destroyed her from the inside out. Caught in a web of lies, Ella is faced with two options: confess her deception and risk devastating those who loved Maddy, or give up all her own dreams and live her sister’s life.
First Sentence: I don’t remember her room being so cold.
I received a copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for a honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.
The Secrets We Keep was one of my most anticipated books of 2014 because of, let’s face it, TWINS. I’ve mentioned this before and I’ll mention it once again: I am obsessed with books about twins. If a book has twins in it, I’m almost guaranteed to read it. Add the fact that The Secrets We Keep is about a twin taking another twin’s place and I just NEEEEEEEEEEEED. I expected to love The Secrets We Keep (because how could I not?), but to my disappointment, I only mildly enjoyed reading it.
“I’m sorry,” I whispered before I laid the phone on the floor beside her and left the room. Waking her now was pointless. I wasn’t ready to deal with her tears. (ARC 224)
Although The Secrets We Keep is contemporary and is supposed to be realistic, I found myself side-eyeing parts of it. Yeah, sure, I believe that a high school boy can love his girlfriend so much that he’ll protect her from anything, but for a guy to understand the high school popularity ladder and organize his girlfriend’s popularity image to a T?
“And, she didn’t have me. There are plenty of people here willing to take your place. One wrong move and you’ll be exactly where she is now – at the bottom, staring up at where you used to be. I can help you, cover for you and keep you safe, make sure that doesn’t happen, but you gotta let me.” (ARC 127)
Yes, that was a guy speaking all that. A bit much, don’t you think? I’m sorry, but I just can’t believe that. There were also other parts of the book that was a bit over the top, especially the ending, but those are spoilers.
The Secrets We Keep did pull out several emotions from me and I did feel myself tear up once, but it didn’t pull up the amount of emotions I wanted it to for a book this grief-stricken and dark. Instead of feeling sad for Ella’s loss and her struggles with taking Maddy’s place, I only felt half the emotions I was supposed to feel.
Overall, there’s sadly nothing much to really say about The Secrets We Keep without spoiling some major plot points. If you also love reading books about twins, I’ll suggest you give The Secrets We Keep a try, but just don’t expect too much from it.