Monday, April 27, 2015
Just Finished Reading ... The Secrets We Keep by Trisha Leaver
by Trisha Leaver
To be published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
on April 28, 2015
Source: ARC for review
Synopsis 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.
My take: I really love twin books and books about impersonators and books about twins who impersonate one another. I've loved this trope since the original The Parent Trap and all those cheesy soaps I was watching instead of doing my homework, in which everyone seemed to have an evil twin.
So let's just say I've seen this plot a few times before. Perhaps as a result of all those twin switch books I've read, I've developed my preferences. While I liked The Secrets We Keep, I can't say I loved it. In my opinion, twin switch plots work better if they choose a lane: comic or creepy. This book was sort of ... neither. As the synopsis suggests, Maddy dies and Ella feels responsible for her death and, in a sort of strange twist, decides to pretend to be the dead sister out of guilt. Which also prevents her from facing her guilt. And that should make her feel even more guilty...
I think this book was trying to do too many things. It had to be a switching places book and a grief book and a guilty secrets book and a romance and then there was also a mystery thrown in -- not about Maddy's death, which I think could have improved the story, but about some shady stuff that Maddy had been up to before she died. For me, this prevented this book from being as suspenseful and/or emotional and/or romantic as it could have been. On the plus side, this story avoided messy love geometry, as can happen in these kind of life swapping stories.
If you love impersonator books, definitely give The Secrets We Keep a try, and you can also check out my review on Goodreads, which includes a list of twin/impersonation books I've read.
Be sure to stop by on Friday, because I'm giving away an ARC of this book!