The Secrets We Keep - Deb Loughead | ARC Review

Pages: 184
Format: ARC Paperback
Publication: Dundurn Press

How I got the copy: Publisher 
Rating: 1/5 


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.  

This novel was such a disappointment. 

To be completely honest, The Secrets We Keep is anticlimactic and a complete blame game throughout the entire novel. I wanted to, for the very least, enjoy this even just a little bit but I couldn't. The entire novel depicts teenagers in so many ways an older adult would and it feels very out of touch to the target audience. This novel needed more research  and/or fact-checking of how teenagers interact and communicate with each other. And with saying that, I felt that the characters needed more dimensions. Each character was described and portrayed very simple.

There's also the fact that the police would have investigated the scene of the crime more throughly, especially, since there was word of students bullying the deceased, Kit, in the past. Who had social and learning challenges too. This in my eyes could have easily been considered as a hate crime, which would have needed more investigation to rule out before considering it as a "misadventure".

Another thing to mention is that there's an abusive relationship that gets brushed off. I think it's terrible how the novel describes this abusive relationship as happening because of a stressful situation. I don't think young readers should think or believe any type of abuse relationship is excusable or okay.

Every single character was blaming someone else for what happened to Kit and it got boring really fast. The entire novel is only 182 pages and it still felt too long. I do not recommend.


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