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The Secrets We Keep Paperback – 26 April 2016
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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 by Trisha Leaver is a fast-paced, powerful story about identity, sibling love, and accepting yourself.
“Leaver's brilliant novel is the high school version of What Happened to Janie? The compelling premise will attract readers and the strong characterization will keep them enthralled.” ―VOYA, starred review
“A fatal accident leaves one twin sister dead and the other trying to figure out her identity . . . For lovers of melodrama.” ―Kirkus Reviews
“Watching Ella grapple with questions about life, death, and love makes for rewarding reading.” ―Publishers Weekly
“The love and loss of a twin sister leads to a powerfully complex and heart-wrenching journey of self-discovery. The depth and complexity of Ella grows on each page, and I soon found myself immersed in her personal struggle. She is so fully developed that her seemingly unbelievable choice is not only believable, but completely understandable.” ―Scott Blagden, author of Dear Life, You Suck
“Trisha Leaver crafts a powerful and unputdownable novel that will keep you up long after you read the last page. Full of twists and turns and FEELS, this book questions how far a person will go for her family . . . even if it means losing herself.” ―Lynne Matson, author of Nil
“Haunting and beautiful, The Secrets We Keep, is a gripping, evocative examination of siblings' complex relationships. It compels us to question what we know, or think we know, about our loved ones and--most of all--ourselves.” ―Karen Rock, author of the Camp Boyfriend series
About the Author
- Publisher : Square Fish; Reprint edition (26 April 2016)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 304 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1250073626
- ISBN-13 : 978-1250073624
- Reading age : 12 - 18 years
- Item Weight : 265 g
- Dimensions : 14 x 1.93 x 20.9 cm
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from other countries
Ella never meant for everyone to believe that she was her identical twin sister Maddy. But when she came to in the hospital surrounded by flowers meant for her sister, being comforted by her sister’s boyfriend Alex, and with her sister’s friends anxious for news of Maddy’s recovery, she knew she owed it them to keep Maddy alive. And, more importantly, she owed it to Maddy.
If it weren’t for her, Maddy would still be alive. She’s the one who caused the crash that killed her. The least she could do was give up her life so Maddy could have one, give her parents the daughter they love more, and give everyone back the sister they want. She knew it would be difficult to be as outgoing, to pretend to like her friends, to pretend to love her boyfriend, but she owed Maddy.
She just never imagined how tough it would be. To give up her dreams. To give up her best friend. To see her parents mourn for her. To keep Maddy’s secrets.
Author Trisha Leaver delivers a fascinating and emotional and beautifully-told story in THE SECRETS WE KEEP. She dives beneath the surface of Ella’s subterfuge and shares her character’s struggle with pretending to be her sister, the guilt she feels for causing her death, the pain she’s causing by not successfully being able to step into Maddy’s shoes, and the suffering she’s causing to those who think she is gone. And she adds in a bit of a mystery, making Ella’s pretense of being Maddy that much more of a challenge.
This is not a story of an identical twin playing a prank. Ella’s motives are not to deceive in a negative way or for selfish reasons. Ella’s grief at losing her sister may have caused her to make some poor decisions, but her intentions were altruistic. She is sympathetic and loyal, if a bit clueless about her own importance, and determined to do what she thinks is right.
THE SECRETS WE KEEP is sad, a little bit sweet, and a whole lot heartbreaking. It is an interesting and engaging and a well-paced story that can be read in one sitting. It is a touching story that promises to make you think and to make you feel.
Having one character pretend to be another character is no small feat for an author. The deception begins very early in the story but Leaver deftly creates these two distinct personalities so that the reader is never confused about motivations, personality traits or perceptions. The Secrets We Keep is brilliantly executed. And every time I was like, "Hmm. Wait a minute. This couldn't happen because..." Leaver would present the exact reason why it could happen--how this deception could hold. And I bought it. Because she was right. Every. Time.
It's no surprise this book is receiving so much buzz. It's too unique to pass by and the underlying message about bullying and self-love and shared love are so powerful that it's a must read.
When Ella is studying late one night, she gets a call from Maddy, asking her to come pick her up at a party. Ella's more than a little annoyed at having to rescue her black sheep sister once again, but does go. She finds Maddy an emotional mess, not even together enough to keep her shoes.
On the way home, they argue and Ella turns the wheel sharply in frustration, forgetting that it's hailing. Unable to steer, she watches as they hit a curb and then a big tree. The next thing she knows, she's in the hospital, Maddy's dead and everyone thinks it's her that died.
Her guilt makes her stay in the role of Maddy in an illogical attempt to make amends to her sister. The longer this goes on, the worse she feels, especially when she realizes how strong her feelings for Josh really are.
Reading as she navigates her way deeper into this emotional morass and what ultimately happens is a wrenching experience. The author does a stellar job of making you feel every single emotion that Ella feels as she desperately tries to figure out what to do.
This reminded me a lot of Jody Casella's book Thin Space which also dealt with guilt, grief and twins in a superlative way. Teens who like a very emotional read, who have dealt with grief or sibling guilt as well as those who have parents who favor, or appear to favor one child over another, will like or relate very well to this book. It would be a very good addition to both school and public library collections.