ARC Book Review | The Secrets We Keep by Trisha Leaver

Posted March 30, 2015 by Erica || 10 Comments

The Secrets We Keep by Trisha Leaver
Published by Macmillan on April 28th 2015
Genres: Bullying, Death & Dying, Family, JUVENILE FICTION, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Siblings, Social Issues, Young Adult
Pages: 304

Format: e-ARC
Source: Publisher via Netgalley
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication Date: April 28, 2015
My Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

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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.

My Thoughts:

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.


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10 responses to “ARC Book Review | The Secrets We Keep by Trisha Leaver

  1. kirstymstudio

    Yeah, Jenna was just a bitch, plain and simple. I actually thought when it came to her, it was a bit over the top, but I mean, you really hate her, so I guess it works, haha. Even with what we find out about Maddy and stuff, I still didn't like her either. Sometimes I didn't like Ella either, I'm still a little unsure how I felt about this one. Complicated for sure, haha. But, I do like the route they took with Ella, she kind of got the questions she had for Maddy, that she would never get answered, answered, in a way. 🙂
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  2. I liked the book but I had a few issues with it. I LOVE the writing, definitely one of the author's strongest points. However, it got slow a few times for me and things remained unresolved. Jenna was actually a huge part that annoyed me. She was mean and that was it. There was like no insight on her character even though the others constantly defended her actions. I didn't like that bit.

    This one was one that started off REALLY strong and then fizzled for me because it's more character driven than plot.
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  3. I agree, I REALLY enjoyed this book! I kind of love Trisha Leaver, I think she is a fantastic author, and I was SO fascinated by this whole concept! I had friends in high school and college who are twins, and they used to switch places ALL the time (like, if one didn't want to take a math test or something hahha) but I found it amusing, because I could always tell them apart! So I didn't know how they fooled the teachers. I think in this case, there wasn't a reason to doubt that it was Maddy, and in the aftermath and the grief… it just became so. PLUS- real Maddy wasn't around to compare Ella to. Anyway, that was ramble-y, but I really liked this book too! (And am currently in the process of writing my review, hence the rambling 😉 ) GREAT review, I am so glad you loved it too!
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