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The Secrets We Keep by Trisha Leaver

The Secrets We Keep

by Trisha Leaver

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796152,477 (3.71)1



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Maddy and Ella are identical twins. Maddy is the popular and fashionable one, while Ella is the shy and geeky one. They used to be inseparable, but they've been getting on each other's nerves lately. One night, they get into a tragic accident leaving Maddy dead and Ella consumed with guilt. Ella decides to pretend she's Maddy believing that she will spare more people from the pain since Maddy is popular and well-loved. But Ella soon realizes that assuming her sister's identity is harder than she thinks, especially after uncovering a secret her sister has been keeping.

The twin angle is formulaic, it reminds me of Jessica and Elizabeth from the Sweet Valley series. The plot isn't as explosive as I hoped, yes Maddy did something bad but it's not as monumental as what I suspected. I also wonder, if Josh really likes Ella, why did he even go out with Kim? I think it would've been more interesting if Ella did a convincing job of being Maddy. I mean I understand she's grieving and all, but why assume your sister's identity if you'll only do a half-hearted effort?

Still, I enjoyed this well-written book, it's a fast-paced and emotional ride that will hook you from the first chapter and keep you turning pages until the end. ( )
  VavaViolet | Aug 21, 2016 |
This is the tale of two twin sisters, Ella and Maddy. Maddy is the popular one while Ella is the artistic, smart sister. One night Maddy dies in a car crash, and in the confusion in the hospital, it is assumed that Ella is the sister who dies. In reality, it is Maddy, but for all sorts of reasons, Ella assumes Maddy’s identity and tries to live her life as her twin. This of course causes problems for all concerned. However, the plot is really not credible, as the only one who immediately sees the error is the family dog. The author tries to save the tale several times, but it really is a little beyond credible. I kept reading, thinking it would get better, but it did not. ( )
  Susan.Macura | Jun 12, 2016 |
This is a fast-paced book which likely deserves a better review than what I will give it. At first, I thought this book was going to be entirely too similar to Lauren Oliver's Vanishing Girls, which I read just a few months ago, but I was pleased to discover that was not the case, although many similarities between the two novels remain. Ella is remarkably aware of what she is doing through most of the novel, although that does not prevent her from making some heartbreaking mistakes. Nevertheless, I felt as though Ella's reasons for assuming her sister's identity after the accident were less than convincing and not fully developed by the author. Still, this novel does make for a good tale and a quick, satisfying read. ( )
  wagner.sarah35 | Feb 15, 2016 |
This book was full of melodrama, but the thing that really annoyed me was the fact that Ella's parents didn't know which of their twin girls had survived the accident and which one hadn't, even though Josh, Ella's best friend knew from the start. As a teacher, I have known many families with twins and family members have always been able to identify each twin despite outsiders having no idea. So for me, I found the storyline of "The Secrets We Keep" absolutely implausible. ( )
  HeatherLINC | Jan 23, 2016 |
I wanted to read The Secrets We Keep because I was intrigued about the twin aspect, and how they switched places in life, and what made one sister decide to be the sister who died when she wakes up. The complexities as well as the different lives of two girls with identical DNA appeals to me. I also wanted to know the things Ella discovered while pretending to step into the life of Maddie, and what has happened in her life since they stopped being as close.

Its interesting to see the differences between Maddie and Ella. They're identical twins so you would think that would make them more similar than different but since high school has started Maddie's kinda moved on to being different than she used to. She's a popular kid she has tons of friends and a new best friend that Ella never really understood.

Ella was really upset because they lost that close bond that used to have and Maddie all the sudden wanted to hang out with new people and kind of shoved Ella to the side or at least that's what she felt like.

I connect with Ella better because I am more of the quiet person with a smaller but overall closer group of friends. Before the car accident, we got to see some of the dynamics between the two girls. Maddie was always asking for Ella's help and get in trouble and Ella would help cover for her with the parents as well as even doing her school work or taking her tests for her.

Ella was strong and beautiful and loved. She just didn't see it as much because she focused on how everyone adored Maddie and when you have two different personalities like that sometimes I guess it's hard to realize that people love you when you compare to how it looks when the other lets people in more and you think that is the only way that it looks to be loved. Ella was certainly more independent and she didn't let people help her as much, so she compared to how Maddie let everyone help her and was more out in the open.

Ella had a best friend named Josh and I love their dynamics they watch anime together and they were both applying for the same art school. They had a really deep connection and I really liked him. But when Ella woke up in the hospital all that she saw was Maddie's friends, Maddie's boyfriend and her parents thinking she was Maddie and telling her so they were so glad that she was alive. She did have some amnesia right after the car accident and when they told her that she was Maddie so she believed it because her mind was so confused. But she pretty quickly realized that she was really Ella but since she felt like what everyone really wanted was for Maddie to be the one that survived, she decided that through her guilt she was going to give everyone Maddie-- that she was going to give Maddie the life that Ella thought she deserved.

Ella was angry during the accident and she was trying to pull over and lost control of the car so she felt like it was her fault that Maddie died. She couldn't reconcile the guilt that she felt because her sister was the one who died and she felt like it was her fault and then she couldn't get over that she was angry at her when she was dying beside her in the car. Also that their last words to each other weren't kind but treating one another apart.

Ella tries to fit into the life that Maddie had but it was really hard on her. Not only did they have the different personalities, different interests, different circles of friends, she soon realizes that Alex wasn't quite what he had seemed and that there were a lot of secrets that Maddie was keeping and balancing, Since Ella stepping into this life without really knowing anything about the secrets or what happened at the party when Maddie was so upset and wanted to come and get her. So there were some confusing relationships that she didn't quite know how to navigate.

She had a really hard time also trying to fit into the perfectly dressed and made up and hair fixed girl who everyone expected her to be. She was still the comfotable girl who preferred to be off the radar to everyone except for Josh and Maddie. People overlooked the out of character responses because obviously they see a girl who's just lost their sister, a girl who was driving the car and they don't expect it to be Ella because she says that she's Maddie. But Josh, Ella's best friend, who Ella wanted more with, but didn't realize he loved her back, is one of the first to suspect or at least voice his opinion that she wasn't really Maddie, but Ella pretending or so confused. But he had been pushed away at the hospital because everyone though Ella was the one who died, and Ella didn't see the ones who were grieving for her through the Maddie haze and her pain.

I was very caught up in the story and while I can understand why Ella wanted to pretend to be Maddie at it was frustrating at times because I knew that she was living a lie and she was having a very very hard time with it. I didn't know how I wanted this story to play out because there was no way that Maddie was really going to come back to life and it really seem like there was no way that Ella was going to be happy trying to fit into the life of a dead girl who while was her twin also is very different from her and had a different kind of relationship with the people around her.

Once Ella figured out some of her sister's dark secrets and saw some of the web of guilt, lies, and deception that Maddie was involved in, that finally gave her an incentive to act. She figured out a lot of about Maddie's regrets. I liked how the ending finally played out and the decisions that were made. The epilogue was especially sweet and gave the ending that I realized I craved for her. Nothing was perfect, but there was a balance.

Bottom Line: Emotional story of a twin with guilt over her sisters death, and who steps in to fill her shoes, but it is more than she could have imagined. ( )
  brandileigh2003 | Mar 30, 2015 |
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