Review: The Secrets We Keep
I received a copy from Netgalley.
The premise of this mystery was what intrigued me when I read the synopsis on Netgalley and put in a request. On reading it, I must admit I was rather disappointed and found it rather dull. There was nothing wrong with it per say, other than the main character’s horrible best friend and said BFF’s appalling boyfriend, but it just didn’t work for me.
The novel starts with an assembly for a boy who died during a party under mysterious circumstances The death has been officially ruled as an accident, however, the boy’s mother a pushy lawyer doesn’t believe so and is demanding anyone who knows the truth come forward. Our main character Clementine is nervous – she was there that night and has a secret, her former best friend Ellie knows about and is blackmailing her so she can keep going out with an older boy with a dangerous reputation her mom wouldn’t approve of. Clementine reluctantly agrees.
Clementine was kind of spineless and annoying, Ellie was a flat out bitch who took advantage and manipulated everyone around her and had a way of making Clem feel guilty or bad when she tried to find some backbone. As the novel progresses Clem learns that she’s not the only one with secrets relating to this party where the boy died. Clem and Ellie lied to their parents about where they were the night of the party – the old you tell your mom I’m at your house for the night and we’ll tell mine you’re at mine. Which makes things worse for her never ending guilt.
She also finds out the boy she’s had a crush on forever – whose name I have already forgotten – was there and may be involved. He always used to be a nice guy but has recently seemed to fall with a bad crowd and become meaner and hotter with preppy popular girls clamouring after his attention, yet it’s Clem who manages to get through his façade and get to know him on a more personal level. They both have terrible feelings of guilt for their own parts and try to figure out what they should do about it.
As the novel progresses Clem does finally find her spine when she learns Ellie’s secrets. Ellie continues to lie and manipulate things to her advantage. Though when Clem finally learns the truth –I found myself really disappointed with the conclusion. It was sort of like – after all that Clementine goes through to find these answers – that’s it?!? Kind of dull and boring.
It’s pitched as YA though the tone of the characters came across at least to me as very young and that tone didn’t work for me. It was interesting enough that I was intrigued at least to find out how it ended, but I didn’t really like it that much to be honest. Just not for me.
Thank you Netgalley and Dundurn Press for approving my request to view the title.