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Monday, April 27, 2015

Blog Tour: The Secrets We Keep by Trisha Leaver (Review | Playlist | Giveaway)

Young Adult, Contemporary, Psychological
Publication.Date  April 28th 2015
Published By:  Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
AuthorTrisha Leaver

The Secrets We Keep on Goodreads
My review copy:Received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Where to get:

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.

The dark pieces of her life are hidden in the back of her closet for no one but me to see. She's not who I thought she was, but that doesn't matter. Maddy was my sister, my twin sister, and I'll do anything for her, including losing myself.

     The Secrets We Keep is such a great read. It's not an entirely original concept - twin sisters, identity struggles, loss of a family member and the emotional and psychological damage that follows - we've seen all of this before. And yet, Trisha Leaver managed to put together a fascinating, completely unputdownable story. A story of losing yourself in order to truly find yourself for the first time. A story of lies, secrets, rejection, guilt and grief.

     I devoured this book in just one evening. The pages really flew by and once I stared reading I knew there would be no putting this book down and going to sleep until I have finished. Trisha Leaver's writing style is pretty straight-forward and easy to absorb, and yet it is charged with incredible energy. Her writing really pulls you in and the way she navigates the events, slowly revealing all the dark secrets and the character's complex emotions and motivations, it is just so masterful, you can't resists it, you're drawn to this story like a moth to a flame.

     There is something utterly mesmerizing about the idea of one twin assuming the identity of the other - a deceased one, in this particular case. It shows love, dedication, the pain of losing someone so incredibly close, and yet I think it also shows deeply buried envy, the feelings of guilt and the longing to be someone else entirely. It's both moving and incredibly creepy.

     Maddy was always the popular one - the one who did everything to fit in with the popular crowd. She dressed up, put tons of makeup on, attended all the important social events, dated a popular boy and hung out with the mean girls. Her sister? She is the exact opposite of Maddy. Ella is said to be shy and socially impaired, but in truth she just isn't interested in impressing anyone, she prefers jeans and t-shirts over pretty dresses and high heels. Maddy pretty much shut Ella out of her life. Their relationship was strained. Maddy would only reach out to Ella when she needed her help - a cover story, help with school, a ride back home from a party. But as much as Ella would like to act like she didn't care about all that, she did. Deep inside,she felt hurt and betrayed and used by Maddy.

It was only after Maddy died that Ella began to truly get to know her own sister.. And herself.

     I loved this book. It really pulled on my heartstrings. I felt bad for Maddy from the very beginning, her hurt and pain was so obvious, I can't believe no one else noticed it - not her sister, not her parents, not her friend, sometimes not even herself. She always felt like she wasn't good enough, like she wasn't the one who deserved to survive, like she wasn't the one OTHER PEOPLE wanted to see survive. That resulted in the decision to become her twin sister - a decision that couldn't have been easy. It was emotionally riveting to witness Maddy struggle through all these events and deal with the loss of her sister. 


SAY SOMETHING, A Great Big World & Christina Aguilera


GONE, GONE, GONE, Phillips Phillips

FREE TO BE ME, Jessica Battistelli

I WILL WAIT, Mumford and Sons

IN THE END, Linkin Park


Ho, Hey, The Lumineers

I LIVED, One Republic  

IT’S TIME, Imagine Dragons

About the author:
Trisha Leaver live on Cape Cod with her husband, three children, and one rather irreverent black lab. (He is actually half Dalmatian so that could explain a bit of the excitability.) She is a chronic daydreamer who prefers the cozy confines of her own imagination to the mundane routine of everyday life. She is a member of the SCBWI, the Horror Writers Association, and the YA Scream Queens -- a group of nine female authors who are deathly serious about their horror.

10 Winners will each get a finished copy of THE SECRETS WE KEEP by Trisha Leaver (US/Canada shipping only)
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Must be 13 + To Enter. Open to US/Canada only.

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