The Secrets We Keep by Trisha Leaver

Standalone. Farrar, Straus, & Giroux (April 2015) Library
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.

In The Secrets We Keep, Ella is drawing a piece of art for submission to an art school she's planning to go to when the phone rings. Her identical sister Maddy is on the line and practically begging her sister to pick her up. Maddy looks out of sorts when Ella comes to her sisters rescue and when she questions it she and her sister get into an argument. An argument that ends with one sister's death. Everyone thinks the girl who survived was Maddy, outgoing, popular, life-of-the-party Maddy. But, it's really Ella who decides that she's going to give everyone what they want - Maddy.

For some reason, the premise of The Secrets We Keep didn't bother me the first time around. Then I read a review and was extremely worried I wasn't going to like it. But when I read a book I love and see others who have written unfavorable reviews it doesn't change my opinion of the book. So with all that in my mind I read The Secrets We Keep.... and basically I was warned and should have known better.

There are major cliches with Maddy and Ella's character. Maddy is the popular one that everybody loves and Ella is the brain/different one who everyone looks down on. I actually do not mind cliches because authors who do a really good job are able to create great personalities for their characters and stories so I don't mind it in the end. In this case, it was there and it wasn't that big of a deal. What was a big deal in my mind was the plot. Maddy feels so guilty she decides to act like she is her sister. I don't know if it was the way it was written and/or if it's just the plot in general, but I couldn't help think how dumb it was of Maddy to make that choice. I understand why she did, but it really didn't make sense in terms of the story. In The Lying Game series, Emma discovers she has a twin sister and must act like she is her dead sister after her murderer threatens her life. She's on a mission to keep herself alive and find her sister's killer. Now that's a motive to pretend to be your sister. The motive here is faulty.

The elements of a story didn't blend well in The Secrets We Keep. It was sort of interesting but wasn't executed as well as I would have liked plus the plot was not to my liking and Maddy was ridiculous with her reasoning to be her sister. Really, you were going to be your sister the rest of your life? The whole secret that Maddy was keeping wasn't even that interesting. Like really that's it? And the way it's revealed? The only thing I can say I really liked was Ella discovering she's good enough and people love her. That's a really great message with a book I otherwise did not jump for joy when finishing.

What are some cliches that you are tired of and what are some you can't get enough of?


  1. Eh, that other book you mentioned sounds better. lol

  2. Sorry this one ended up not working for you! It's hard to tell if you'll like a book when reading "meh" type of reviews.


    1. It is hard because I've loved books that other people have reviewed as meh books.

  3. The summary did sound interesting to me, but you're right...why would you wake up from that and decide to be your dead twin? Something I get tired of are the instant "sparks and electricity" when the hero and heroine meet at the beginning. I tend to roll my eyes when I read that, LOL!

    1. It doesn't bother me if there is some chemistry there with love interests when they first meet like you know they could end up together. But, when it's that instant it drives me crazy too.


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