Title: Two Can Keep A Secret
Author: Karen M. McManus
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Age: High school and above due to intense themes
Synopsis: “Echo Ridge is small-town America. Ellery’s never been there, but she’s heard all about it. Her aunt went missing there at age seventeen. And only five years ago, a homecoming queen put the town on the map when she was killed. Now Ellery has to move there to live with a grandmother she barely knows.
The town is picture-perfect, but it’s hiding secrets. And before school even begins for Ellery, someone has declared open season on homecoming, promising to make it as dangerous as it was five years ago. Then, almost as if to prove it, another girl goes missing.
Ellery knows all about secrets. Her mother has them; her grandmother does too. And the longer she’s in Echo Ridge, the clearer it becomes that everyone there is hiding something. The thing is, secrets are dangerous–and most people aren’t good at keeping them. Which is why in Echo Ridge, it’s safest to keep your secrets to yourself”(Amazon.com).
Hello folks! This book has been on my radar for so long and I am so happy I finally got to read it! Karen M. McManus’ first book One of Us is Lying was an amazing mystery that I tore through last year and it had a crazy twist at the end that blew my mind. This second book of hers is also a great mystery book and, I think, perfectly named. We’ll get to that, but first I have to talk about the beginning of the story.
I started out being a little confused, I’ll admit. There were two character points of view, which is great, but it also made it hard to keep so many names straight for the first part of the book. Maybe that’s why I had a little trouble getting invested in the story at first. I think it can generally be harder to get invested in mystery novels sometimes because they are so plot driven and that definitely affected my feelings of closeness to the characters at first.
As the story progressed, though, and SECRETS were revealed, I started getting the real scope of who these protagonists were and really enjoyed seeing their complex lives. Ellery had a really interesting family dynamic that just kept getting more interesting as the book progressed and Malcolm’s relationship with his brother was also super complicated and changed a lot. Speaking of the SECRETS… yeah there were A LOT (hence the name being perfect). I was on the edge of my seat for them constantly and I can’t believe how masterfully the author weaved them into the mystery, especially at the end. The finale was just like *thunderous applause*. Not what I was expecting!!! If you like books with a twist this is the book for you.
The one slight critique I have for this novel is about the romance content. I think overall it was definitely well done and I liked the idea, but I also think there were a few scenes that weren’t needed. Oftentimes in the YA mystery genre I have this comment, but I truly think that sometimes the romance overshadows the actual investigation itself. Despite my slight misgivings about romance in mysteries, I still loved the way this one ended up.
Last thing, let me mention how cool this cover is?! Not only is the design impeccable, but in the hardback edition it is TEXTURED. Also the book under the jacket is so simple but also aesthetic (although it got a little dirty in my back pack *sheds dramatic tear*).
So if you like mysteries with a twist and SECRETS then read this book!