ARC REVIEW: The Secrets We Keep by Deb Loughead

cover98915-medium ISBN: 145973730X

Title: The Secrets We Keep

Author: Deb Loughead

Publication Date: December 10, 2016

Publisher: Dundurn

Format: eARC

Number of Pages:

Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Contemporary

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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.

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“I was ashamed too, for not having the guts to step forward and tell the police what I knew. And now I can’t even live with myself anymore.”

Okay, having your last read for the year as a two-star-worthy-read is probably one of the saddest thing ever. I hoped to end this year with a book that I will love but I ended up with the opposite. I didn’t actually hate this book, but I just didn’t like it either. It was just okay. So, 2 stars.

The Secrets We Keep was told from Clementine’s point of view. Clementine is hiding a secret. She was at the quarry that night when Kristopher Stitski died, the popular autistic boy. The thought that she’s responsible for it because of what she did that night is haunting her ever since, but she will never tell the cops. Clementine is oblivious to the fact that she’s not the only one hiding and being haunted by what they did that night.

I hate to say it but for a mystery novel, this is quite a disappointing one. I was bored from the very start up to the end.

I expected so much from this book. Honestly, what really got me is the cover (I TOTALLY LOVE IT!) and the intriguing title. The Secrets We Keep is a title that caught me the very first time I saw it. I thought that this is just for me because I love it when characters betray or keep secrets from another or when there are secrets that we will see be kept and be revealed. I love those. Sure, The Secrets We Keep has those things but the execution isn’t well. I was just really bored when I was reading this. So disappointing.

Clemente came from a family that is the type who will just stick their noses on their gadgets instead of talking and asking how you are or how your day went. Clementine herself is just an okay character. I didn’t saw anything special about her though I really admire that she’s not the weakling type. She won’t let you abuse her – especially use her. She can stand for herself. And she is also a great pretender and a liar.

Clementine’s best friend Ellie actually blackmailed her because Clementine’s parents didn’t know that she went that night. Though obviously, she won’t be accused of something just because of that – except if they’ll know that she’s the one who pointed that place to Kit and didn’t accompanied him. She didn’t kill him but she’s the one who accidentally sent him there. Clementine let her so-called best friend blackmail her for a while but eventually she finally decided to stand up against it. This is the only thing I liked from Clementine’s character. I didn’t like most things about her including how she likes Jake. Jake is actually kind and in fact, I liked him. It’s just that Clementine is like so high for this guy since middle grade. And I just didn’t like how a person can be head over heels to someone.

The story was fast paced and I was thankful that it has less than 200 pages because I can’t stand the boredom anymore.

More characters that are connected to Kit’s case have been discovered. I was hoping to see more twist and turns in the story but there were also none. I was hoping that these new connected characters to Kit’s death might help spice things up but they didn’t. Up to the end, they were all just the same with Clemente. Cowards. Liars.

“Kit it gone. All the probing and questioning and investigating in the world will never change that sad truth.”

Yes we got it. But the truth still needs to be told. How can she tell that they’re helping Kit’s family – his mom and brother – to move forward without even giving them every piece of truth? I don’t think giving half of the truth and the other half of it left behind is actually “truth” at all.

I really hate how things ended. I know, it’s not always the end that I want or in mystery novels, the truth doesn’t really need to always be told because if it was executed very well, that can also be something for reader to love. If executed very well. Unfortunately in this case, I definitely don’t like it. It’s frustrating. Clementine, Jake, Ellie and Mac, they were just all a group of teenagers who were scared. Scared to tell the truth. They’re just fooling their selves for thinking that things are alright and that
that 
is how things should end. They actually believe they solved the problem. Ugh, infuriating.

I got bored from the start to the end, there weren’t any characters development at all, boring plot and infuriating ending. Overall, I was really disappointed by this book.

I was frowning most of time while reading this book. It is sad and I hate the fact that this is my last read for 2016. That my last read for 2016 is definitely not good. Maybe this isn’t just for me.


“But you do know me, Mom.” I say. “Just not every little thing about me.”

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bio1.jpgDeb Loughead, a Toronto author, poet and workshop leader, has been writing since she learned how to read. In fact, she’s saved everything she’s ever written, including her very first composition entitled “A Narrow Escape for a Mouse” which she often reads during her classroom visits! As of 2015, Deb has published over 35 books for children and Young Adults.

Find her on:

Website | Twitter | Facebook

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Amazon | Kobo | iTunes

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