Adopt an ARC! Check out this list! (PH Only)
  • ARC Review: Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia
  • ARC Review: The Secrets We Keep by Trisha Leaver
  • Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
  • Review: Karmic Hearts by Jhing Bautista
  • Review: The Conspiration of the Universe by Kenneth Olanday

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Review: The Secrets We Keep by Trisha Leaver

I might have mentioned it before, but I'll say it again. Books with twins as central figures have a special place in my heart. And Trisha Leaver's book is no exception.

Title: The Secrets We Keep by Trisha Leaver
Release Date: April 28th 2015
Published by: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Source: Publisher (Thanks Ruth!)
Buy: Amazon | Book Depository


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.

Stripping your own identity and burying it six feet under. Living your life as another person, with half of you dead. Losing the person you were born with, grew up with, in a flash of rage, suddenly. These are all the things Ella had to deal with in the aftermath of that faithful night when she lost her sister Maddy.

The story focuses on both twins, showing how different the lives they live in Ella's eyes as she tries to make sense of Maddy's life, her secrets, her ties to the people around her, the things she had done that led to that faithful rainy night. To see what Ella sees as the "unloved" twin, the "lesser" twin, gave this novel an extra kick in the heart. She couldn't be herself anymore, couldn't continue loving the boy she liked. Ella tried to pick up the pieces of her life, and that takes courage and for that I admired her, and for all other things, and for seeing Maddy as she is for the first time in a long while. I hated Jenna with a passion and I loved Molly. I'm not sure what to feel about Alex, his love for Maddy felt genuine but sorely misplaced. As for Josh, he's a constant but confusing presence for Ella but I felt like I was more focused on the dynamics of the twins life to feel fully what Ella feels for Josh.

Trisha Leaver just speaks to me in this novel. As someone with a twin, this novel puts into words the feelings I sometimes have, and they are not easy to translate into words on paper. The author knew the right things to say, express feelings in an honest, simple but searing way. Twins can be friends and rivals. Twins can be the closest and drift apart but they will always have that undeniable connection. Twins can be opposites. Like Maddy and Ella, one was popular and the other a shy, quiet, talented girl. I can only imagine the pain Ella was going through, losing Maddy the way she did. How she thought it was the atonement for what happened to Maddy, to sacrifice and erase herself to become her sister, because she was the one who will be missed, who was loved. The sting in my heart was felt so often and it felt so real that I found myself genuinely sad. How Trisha Leaver's words affect me.

Needless to say, my eyes were pretty damp right after I finished reading this. Prepare yourself for the last few pages because it is what ultimately made me love this book. It's a wonderful story of healing and acceptance, of moving forward, of acknowledging grief and facing it, writing the wrongs you have done, of family and that unbreakable bond you share with your twin, the differences and similarities, the little things that made them the person they are not less loved by their parents.

Worth the read, dear readers.

Content (plot, story flow, character):
The suspense/ mystery part added a different dimension to this book, but I felt like it had taken away part of what was supposed to be focused on Ella and Josh's relationship, which I hoped was explained more. Josh's character felt lacking for me, to be honest. But the heartfelt emotions, my gosh. Definitely what made me loved this!

Shining: Worthy of a Goddess' Love!

Book Cover:
Love the imagery for this book. The way the cover shows opposites and parallels perfectly describes what the novel is about in just one picture.


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