(Review) The Secrets We Keep
The Secrets We Keep by Deb Loughead
Publication Date: December 10, 2016
Pages: 184 (ebook)
Genre: Young Adult
My Goodreads Rating: 2 Stars
First she blamed herself. Now she doesn’t know who to trust.
When Kit disappeared at a party and was found drowned in the quarry the next day, Clem knew who to point the finger at: herself. She was the last person to see him alive, the last person who could have helped. If she had just kept a closer eye on him instead of her crush, Jake, maybe Kit would still be here. She knows she made a mistake, and wishes she could just forget about it — but Clem’s friend Ellie says she’ll expose Clem’s secret if she doesn’t play along with Ellie’s lies.
Jake seems to have his own difficult secrets, and when he and Clem start to talk, they make a plan to help themselves move on. But when an unexpected discovery at the quarry makes everyone question what they thought they knew, Clem and Jake decide it’s up to them to uncover the truth.
I was really looking forward to a suspenseful, YA read but in the end I was a little disappointed.
This book didn't read like a mystery or YA, for that matter. The characters are juvenile and petty. Though their ages are never even said, you would think that you are reading about middle-schoolers rather than other kids. The main character, Clem, is dead set on being the reason for Kit's death though and her "best friend" Ellie holds it over her head as blackmail. Ellie's "blackmail" is getting Clem to constantly lie for her so she can hang out with her older boyfriend that her mom doesn't approve of.
They are constantly talking in circles about the night that Kit died and, to me, it doesn't feel like anything was ever resolved. One thing I did like was how Clem got her family to "unplug", even if it was because Ellie was bugging her about stuff.
The relationship between Jake and Clem is kind of a side-point to everything else, but it takes up most of Clem's thoughts. Instead of grieving for her friend or feeling guilty she just thinks about Jake.
The reveal at the end, like I said, doesn't really feel like a reveal and I felt like it ended abruptly. This book definitely had potential and I would have loved to have seen more character growth and had a more concrete ending.
Thanks to Dundurn and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.