Published by Macmillan on April 28th 2015
Genres: Bullying, Death & Dying, Family, JUVENILE FICTION, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Siblings, Social Issues, Young Adult
Source: Publisher via Netgalley
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication Date: April 28, 2015
My Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
A girl takes over her twin sister’s identity in this emotionally charged page-turner about the complicated bond between sisters.
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. Caught in a web of lies, Ella is faced with two options—confess her deception or live her sister’s life.
The Secrets We Keep is such a thought provoking and heartbreaking story. The writing is so flawless and the story flows so perfectly that it’s impossible not to get sucked into Ella and Maddy’s story. You feel everything from the gut wrenching pain, to the all consuming guilt, and that’s what makes this book so amazing.
Ella and Maddy may be twins, but they are the furthest thing from similar. Ella is the quiet one who is always drawing, and Maddy is the popular one. It hasn’t always been that way though, they used to be inseperable, and even though Maddy isn’t the best sister to Ella, Ella would still do anything for her. But when tragedy strikes, and Ella wakes up to everyone calling her Maddy, and she realizes that her sister is dead, she makes a split second decision to make sure that Maddy has the life that she should have had. But it isn’t long until Ella realizes that Maddy’s life isn’t what she thought and Maddy has been keeping secrets.
It was so easy to form a connection with Ella, her grief was so raw and real that I felt like I was right there with her (as evidenced by all my tears). Ella and Maddy’s parents were wonderful, even though they were grieving for one of the daughters, they still made an effort to try and be there for the other, and I can’t imagine how hard that would be.
I really didn’t like Maddy’s set of friends, especially Jenna. She was so deceiving, back stabbing, and flat out mean. I know everyone tried to make excuses for the way she was, but I wasn’t buying it. There is no good reason to treat people, specifically one you call your best friend, the way she did.
The Secrets We Keep is an emotional, gripping and gut wrenching story about grief, loss, guilt and finding yourself.