by Trisha Leaver
Narrated by : Kate Rudd
Published by Brilliance Audio Release date : April 28th, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Family, Mystery/Thriller
Length: 7hrs 13mins
Source: The Publisher | Format: Audiobook
Add to: Goodreads
A girl takes over her twin sister's identity in this emotionally charged story 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.
I received this book for free from The Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
I’ve seen The Secrets We Keep frequently popping up for the past couple of weeks. The consensus among readers is that it’s a must read. And yet…. there was that nagging voice telling me to tread with caution.
The Secrets We Keep is a very fast paced, compelling story that literally grips you from the beginning. (Most) of the characters were beautifully written and flawed, adding authenticity and making me feel something for each one. Be it hatred, empathy, love or heartbreak.
It’s a very emotional read – one I think was more emotional for me listening to on audio verses reading the book. Kate Rudd is an amazing narrator and she did an amazing job portraying the deep, raw emotions from Ella. I also loved how she changed her voice to differentiate between Ella and Maddy.
Leaver weaved together a story not just about love, but guilt, self-worth and forgiveness too. But it was a bit much and overwhelming for me. It was A LOT to take in and there was heavy emphasis on some elements while others were left way out in left field. There was no balance.
One aspect of Ella’s character that was hard to understand is her utter lack of self-esteem and the blindness to the impact she had on those that loved her. This was ultimately why she made the decision to become Maddy; because she thought that everyone would have been happier to have Maddy survive. I could not, for the life of me, even begin to comprehend how devastating it would be to feel that. Yet at the same time, I felt her priorities were twisted and her constant selfish actions were a hard pill to swallow. Especially since she wanted to bail at the first sight of trouble. I have never felt so conflicted about a character.
The “mystery” aspect of the plot had an intense build up – but the revelation and resolution just didn’t hit the nail on the head. I was also very bothered about how indifferent everyone was about “Ella’s” death. Maddy was just supposed to move on after a month and run for this Snow Ball Queen? She was supposed to just let things “go back to normal?” What the actual _ _ _ _ ?! Show some damn compassion, people.
The romance. In one hand, I loved it because the love that was expressed is raw and deep, it made my heart break for Ella and said love interest. I also find it ironic that he was the only one to figure things out, but that’s not here nor there. But I can’t help but wonder if the profession of love hadn’t happened, if it would have changed the outcome.
I did enjoy The Secrets We Keep. The emotional impact was high but I just couldn’t love everything about this one. Still, many readers loved this book to pieces and I do recommend it if you are looking for an emotional read.
Tell Me Your Thoughts
- Have you read The Secrets We Keep? If so, what did you think?
- If not, does it sound like something you would enjoy?