Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Two Can Keep A Secret

Two Can Keep a Secret

Two Can Keep A Secret is a YA thrill fest I didn't even know I was looking for. I was impressed with Karen M. McManus' first book One Of Us Is Lying but this was on another level. I pretty much loved everything about it- except maybe for the end. Still this book was about the journey for me, not the destination, so even though I have a few quibbles about the end, I wholeheartedly recommend this. 

This is a dual POV story told from the perspective of Ellery and Malcolm. Ellery and her brother Ezra come to Echo Ridge to stay with their Nana while their mother is in rehab out in California. Their mother, Sadie, was kind of a big deal back in the day, growing up in Echo Ridge, being Homecoming Queen, and she had a twin sister as well- Sarah- who disappeared and was never found. Sadie went on to be an actress, although she only really has one minor role she's famous for, and she was something of an unconventional parent as well. 

Echo Ridge has a lot of little mysteries for such a small town. It's nestled near the Canadian border in upper Vermont, and is an upscale community, but in addition to Sarah's disappearance a few decades ago, there was a murder of a Homecoming queen just five years before the book opens. Lacey was dating the brother of Malcolm, and so when she died suspicion focused on him, but the murder was never solved.   

Ellery meanwhile is a true crime buff. I loved Ellery's perspective, her brother Ezra was awesome, and a lot of the supporting characters were great too. Especially Mia. This is almost like an ensemble book, in some ways- between Ellery and her brother, Malcolm and Mia, as well as the three mean girls Katrin, Brooke, and Viv, I felt like there was constant excellent character work going on. 

The plot really heats up when one of the "mean girls" goes missing, and suspicion falls on Malcolm. He was the last one to see her, after all. Ellery and Malcolm set out to solve the mystery, along with all the other related mysteries swirling around beneath the surface. The final reveal and twist I did not see coming, but I had a blast navigating this town and trying to figure things out. And I was punched in the gut a few times emotionally as well. I loved the halting, shy beginnings of a relationship between Ellery and Malcolm, and I could totally read a Mia story if the author is listening! 

All in all this story was  a blast, the chapters are short and punchy, the characters are delightful, and the clues and hints keep coming. I loved this book and would love to read more set in this town, as well. Karen M. McManus is pretty much an auto- buy author for me now, and if this appeals to you at all, I would say- get it. 

31 comments:

  1. oooh, this sounds so good -- I have seen the cover, but wasn't sure what to expect from it. The characterisation as you described it ups my excitement for it too!

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  2. Love this cover, I could definitely get into this story. Great review!

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  3. You sold it to me. Definitely want to read.

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  4. This sounds like fun! I need to add this author to my ever growing list of authors I want to check out😁

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  5. I love books that have great back ground and major characters. Definitely makes the story more interesting. Glad you enjoyed this one.

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  6. I finally read One of Us Is Lying about a month or so ago, so I'm excited to check this one out. It sounds great!

    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

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    1. Oh I thought this one was soooooo much better!

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  7. Oh it looks good there I always love a story like that and I remember seeing this one around

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  8. I was wondering if this was a sequel to One of Us is Lying, because in that case I need to read the other book first.

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  9. This is sitting in my shelf and I so need to get to this and he either book. Great review!

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  10. Yayyyy! I agree with everything Greg! She's also become an auto buy for me!

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  11. I thought this was a good, suspenseful read, and I certainly did not see that ending coming! Glad you enjoyed it too.

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  12. Will definitely be checking this one out! It sounds awesome. :)

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  13. McManus writes great characters, and the relationships really shine in both her books. I just loved how she had those little reveals all the way up until the last page.

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  14. Hooray! I'm so happy you enjoyed this one! I really loved it overall, and thought the characters were smashing. I disliked that Ellery kept the BIG secret to herself at the end. I really wanted other people to know what she did, because I think it would have offered closure to some, and maybe a wake up call to others. Also, the unknown family history (trying not to spoil anything for commenters who haven't read this), but damn -- didn't see that coming. I still need to read her other book!

    Lindsi @ Do You Dog-ear? 💬

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  15. I definitely want to read this one at some point, and I am glad that it was mostly good, though I am a bit worried about the end? As much as I enjoyed her first book, the end was my one gripe with it, and now if it isn't great again... maybe the author needs to work a little on the endings hah. Still, I definitely think I'll read it at some point for sure! Great review!

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  16. Awesome! Glad to hear this was a hit for you! I still need to get to the first book!

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  17. I'm quite curious about her work-the plots do sound interesting.

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  18. I'd seen good things about this and I definitely want to read this one. it sounds so good, and a quick read you're easily drawn into and don't want to put down until you reach the end.

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  19. I might pick it up. I was not impressed by the first novel, but since you say it's another level... Should give it a try at least))

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  20. I have heard good things about her YA thrillers actually. I need to read the first one first, I think. I know they aren't sequels but I would like to start with One of Us is Lying. I am glad to say you liked this one and how it raised the stakes from the first one!

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  21. I'm glad to hear this book was a winner for you! I still need to pick up a copy but I'm really looking forward to trying another of McManus' books.

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  22. This sounds like quite a read! I am glad you enjoyed it so much. I will definitely have to give it a try.

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  23. I've kind of decided to avoid YA in general because it very rarely works for me but this sounds like the exception! I'll definitely add this to my TBR.

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