Apr 29, 2015

Review: The Secrets We Keep by Trish Leaver

Title: The Secrets We Keep
Author: Trish Leaver
Publisher: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux
Publication Date: 4.28.2015
Pages: 304
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Series: N/A
Source: ARC from publisher

Rating: 4 ½ Stars

Summary (from Goodreads):
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.

Holy Moses, I was not expecting to love this book the way I did. I had zero intentions of reading it in one sitting, but that's just what happened. THE SECRETS WE KEEP sucked me in from the first chapter and kept me captive until the very end.

There's something about twins that fascinates me. Maybe it's that built-in soulmate angle or having a confidant forever. Despite my lofty ideals, Ella and Maddy are pretty opposite and exist separately. Ella keeps her head down while Maddy is always searching for the spotlight. When Ella wakes up after a tragic accident where she was driving Maddy's car and the identical passenger was killed, everyone assumes she is Maddy.

Maddy, the golden girl. Feeling responsible, Ella decides to bury Ella so she can live out the life Maddy was meant to have. But it's never that simple. There are layers of lies and deception in Maddy's world that she shielded Ella from. So now Ella must unravel the mysterious surrounding her sister's life and decide if she wants to right the wrongs, but if she does that, she'll be outing herself.

Ella is such a fantastic character. Complex and beautiful, and my heart broke for her. She genuinely believes that everyone is relived Maddy is the surviving twin and her guilt eats up my gut the way it eats up the pages. She tries so hard to be the Maddy everyone loved, slowly losing more of Ella in the process. She is literally tearing herself apart the majority of the book.

Trish Leaver writes with spellbinding detail. A story like this could easily get cliché or overly dark. She tempers the darkness and somberness with subtle light. She truly pulls you into the mind of Ella, breaking down where Ella begins and Maddy ends.

This novel is 90% character driven and it's absolutely beautiful. I was sad to see it end, but the end is simply perfect.
Buy: The Secrets We Keep


  1. This was a great book (although I still think the cover looks like two ballerinas about to have a dance off).

  2. I didn't love this one, but it was definitely compelling and I had trouble putting it down!

  3. I'm glad you liked this one Hannah. The premise is certainly different and interesting.


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