(Review) The Secrets We Kept
The Secrets We Kept by Lily Velez
Publication Date: November 8th, 2015
Pages: 366 (paperback)
Genre: Young Adult
My Goodreads Rating: 2.5 stars
One year. That's how long it's been since childhood sweethearts Sully Graham and Cadence Gilbertson broke up, since one adoption and one out-of-state move turned their worlds upside down.
Suddenly, Cadence is back in New York City, but something's different about her. The light in her eyes, the music in her laughter, the warmth in her smile—all of those things have entirely vanished. In their place stand the makings of a girl Sully can't even begin to recognize, much less understand.
Still, despite the collective history of heartbreak between them, he’s convinced he can win her trust again, and he’s committed to proving the invincibility of their love no matter what it takes.
But Cadence is quietly harboring secrets of her own. Dark secrets. Ugly secrets. Secrets that could break a person. And though broken herself and unbearably lonely, she's determined to protect Sully from her terrible, biting truths. Even if it means locking him out of her life forever.
The only problem is it seems her heart hasn’t quite received the memo. One glimpse of him is all it takes for her to trip into familiar (and, she’ll admit, addictive) feelings that threaten to all but consume her. Now her biggest fear is that her secrets will begin to slowly unravel one by one...long before Sully’s resolve ever does.
The Secrets We Kept is a moving story about first love, friendship, and forgiveness, and the enduring bonds that forever connect us and give us our strength.
This premise and the beginning of the this book was like a dream come true for me. I love a good heartbreak/getting back together story so I requested this without a second thought. The story started our well with big, robust words and rich, fancy language that could only mean good things.
Only it started to feel a little flat to me. Sully is, sometimes, a great characters. He's working hard on his music (and at his other, multiple jobs). Sully and his brother spend most of their lives in foster care and now that Sully has aged out of it he's just trying to make a life for himself.
Cadence met Sully when they were preteens at the same foster house and they fell in love there. Personally, I felt that the serious relationship at twelve and thirteen years old was kind of weird. Eventually, though, Cadence got adopted and then moved from New York to California with her new family.
The story starts about a year after Sully decided that he didn't want a long distance relationship.
This book is full of a lot of other characters that are way more interesting than the main characters: foster siblings and real siblings, alike. To me, the main characters are annoying. They are selfish and a little whiny. Most of their encounters are them having the same argument over and over. It gets kind of tedious.
I do love character growth in a story and I think we definitely see that with these two, but...it's also a little boring. Cadence's growth occurs in group therapy where the techniques and her thoughts are described in detail. I thought this book could have been a lot shorter if some of the inner dialogue and repeated scenes would have been cut out.
The ending was sweet, but could have been fleshed out a little bit more.
Not a disappointing read, it just didn't WOW me like I thought it would.
Thanks to NetGalley and Blue Typewriter Press for the ARC.