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The Secrets We Keep

3.53  ·  Rating details ·  3,696 ratings  ·  642 reviews
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 f
Hardcover, 294 pages
Published April 28th 2015 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
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Average rating 3.53  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,696 ratings  ·  642 reviews

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Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies
This book is about a girl who decides to take her twin sister's identity after her sister dies in a car accident, and it is seriously so fucking dumb. Her brilliant reason to do it:
She’d get the life she deserved. She’d grow up, go to college, and have a family. I’d make sure she had everything she ever wanted or die trying. I’d make this up to her, to my parents, to Alex. I’d bury myself and give Maddy my life in return.
To which my reaction was: WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK? How does that make any
Jul 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, own
I don't know why exactly, but stories that involve twins always intrigue me. The whole growing up with a lookalike deal sounds just really cool to me. Though I imagine it has its ups and downs >.< But this is what initially caught my attention with this book. Then the whole taking-over-her-sister's-identity plot line is what sold it. It does have its flaws, but I was overall pleasantly surprised with the depth this novel reached. I also found the characterization fantastic - yes, the main charac ...more
Paula M
Oct 11, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition


"...this was our secret... a secrets sister would keep"

This book make me ache all over and I can feel it everywhere. The Secrets we keep is so raw and powerful. Truly something that you will never forget anytime soon. It will leave a mark, it will make you think and it will absolutely make you feel. Trisha Leaver words just seeps into you.

I don't have a sister and everyday I wish I have one. Don't get me wrong, living with 4 teenage boys is surely.. interesti
Jen Ryland
Sep 09, 2014 added it
Shelves: april-2015
I really love twin books and books about impersonators and books about twins who impersonate one another. I've loved this trope since The Parent Trap and all those cheesy soaps I was watching instead of doing my homework, in which everyone seemed to have an evil, interfering twin who impersonates them, sleeps with their boyfriend, and creates general mayhem.

Sometimes these twin switch plots are just for kicks, but in this case, as the synopsis suggests, it's because one sister is dead and the ot
Dec 10, 2014 rated it did not like it
Huge thank you to Farrar, Straus and Giroux Books for Young Readers & Netgalley for this ARC!

I have to admit something -- I can't remember the last time a book really made me legitimately angry while reading it, but here we are with The Secrets We Keep. It's about twins! One twin dies! The other decides to take on her life because she was more popular and well liked! Chaos... doesn't actually ensure, and that's really the issue with this book. The plot hole is so large and flimsy that the book d
Karen Rock
Oct 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Where do I begin with such an incredible YA contemporary novel by the ever-so-talented novelist, Trisha Leaver? Emotional honesty, I suppose. It abounds in every raw, evocative and gripping scene that adds up to a page-turning story that brims with shoes about to drop and questions that make teens consider if the person they show the world, and themselves, is their truest self.

In this poised, yet visceral book, identical twins Maddy and Ella have reached their senior year and are no longer clos
Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)
I have been basically bugging everyone to read this book for a long time. I read it more than six months ago, but it still is with me today, which says a lot, because I often forget books weeks later, nevermind months. I plan on buying this book when it comes out for sure, because I really enjoyed it, and quite honestly want to reread it!

I was SO fascinated by this whole concept! I had friends in high school and college who are twins, and they used to switch places ALL the time (like, if one did
lily ☁️
DNF at around 68%.

1 1/2 stars. The Secrets We Keep is not a bad book per se—as long as you neglect the fact that the entire story is based on a completely implausible plot. To be honest, I can only imagine it to be enjoyable for readers who don’t mind the fact that the main character’s thought process ranges from illogical to downright ridiculous—because the reasoning behind Ella wanting to pretend to be her dead twin sister Maddy is mind-numbingly stupid:

(view spoiler)
Jaime Arkin
As identical twins, Ella and Maddy were as close as you can get, but when they entered high school, things drastically changed… Maddy drifted to the popular crowd and didn’t exactly welcome Ella to join her. Ella was okay with this, and instead focused on her art and her close friendships instead.

But over the years, the differences between them seem insurmountable and Ella fears they’ll never overcome them. And an argument coming home from a party leaves Maddy dead… and Ella decides in a split
Anna Kay
DNF. Full Review to come about why I quit reading this one (as it seems to be quite popularly loved by its readers, with me as the exception to the rule).


The premise of this kind of reminds me of a true story from a few years back, about two girls that were close friends and looked like sisters (I don't remember their names). They were in an accident, and one of them died. The other lost the ability to speak for awhile and was gravely injured, so she spent months being cared
K.R. Conway
While I do not have a sister, the idea of giving up one’s whole existence for the sake of another is both poignant and painful to absorb. In The Secrets We Keep, readers travel through Ella Lawton’s life – that of a semi-outcast whose popular twin sister, Maddy, has cast her aside for the sake of the “in-crowd.” It is a shunning that Ella finds horrifically painful, but she deals with it by shutting out many people, her parents included.

The one friend she has is Josh, a fellow art-addict and eq

just kidding, my review is here:
Mar 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This was such a great Book!! Very unique!
May 27, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya, netgalley
2.5 stars

Thank you to Macmillan Children's Publishing Group via Netgalley for the free review copy in exchange for my honest opinion.

Did I like this book?

Meh. I didn't love this book, or even like it as much as I expected to. The main character, Ella, fully got under my skin, and not in a good way. I'd compare her to a splinter, but really she's more like an underground zit that you can feel building pressure - it friggen hurts but you can't do anything about it because you can barely see it, a
May 20, 2015 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: People who want books about twins
Shelves: contemporary

So often you are excited beyond belief for a certain book to release, only to finally get your hands on a copy and find yourself beyond disappointed. The Secrets We Keep was not like that. This is a book that doesn't just meet expectations, it surpasses them by miles. From start to finish, you will be pulled in to this emotional and beautifully written story and the characters inside it.

When identical twin sisters Maddy and Ella are caught in a terrible car accident, Maddy immediately dies
For such a short book, this took me forever to read. Partly because it was just so two dimensional in every single way. Great idea for a novel, but very poor execution.

I didn't connect with any of it. I didn't feel sad when Maddy and Ella get into the accident. I didn't feel sad when Maddy dies and Ella decides to take over her identity. I didn't feel anything at all when Ella struggles with her decision. I didn't hate any of the bad guys. I wasn't overly absorbed in the story. Nothin'. The aut
Brandi Kosiner
Jan 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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 differen
Apr 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Brooke (The Cover Contessa)
I want to thank the publisher Farrar, Straus and Giroux for providing me with a copy of this book to read and give an honest review. Receiving this book for free has in no way altered my opinion or review.

I have to say that I'm not much for reading blurbs, but when I was given the chance to possibly be on the blog tour for this book I jumped in to see what it was about. I've never read a twin book and this one really intrigued me. My biggest question, of course, was how on earth was this girl go
Aug 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
Ella and Maddie are twins but very different. Ella is a shy, reserved artist with really only Josh for a friend. Maddie lives the popular life. She and her boyfriend Alex work hard at staying at the top. Ella wakes up after a car accident and everyone thinks she is Maddie.

Sad and interesting. I was kind of hoping for something more exciting and mysterious going on in her sisters life. Mostly she took it over because of confusion and grief. Ella feels guilt over the accident and like everyone wo
Dec 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book was different than most that I read. Two identical twin sisters, one popular and cares about her appearance to a fault the other more concerned about school and is the quiet one. Except for them being twins they're completely different. But Ella will do anything for Maddy. When Maddy calls crying Ella runs to her. There's an accident and popular Maddy dies. Ella tries to become her.

I felt so bad for Ella throughout this book. She never felt good enough. She figured everyone would be de
Megan  (thebookishtwins)
Nov 25, 2014 marked it as to-read
Shelves: twins, contemporary
I'm looking at the synopsis, and it sounds interesting, but being an identical twin myself, I know that I get mistaken a LOT for my sister...BUT my family can tell the difference. My mother thinks we look completely different, and the rest of my family think we look pretty different too. So while it sounds interesting, I'm still not sure and find it hard to believe her loved ones mistakes her for her sister. I shall have to get a copy myself and give it a go. ...more
Michelle Madow
Dec 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I couldn't put The Secrets We Keep down! It's so unique, and definitely a stand-out. I love books about people taking over lives that aren't their own, so I tore through this story, needing to know what happened next. I also love that it's a standalone, and that it tied up neatly at the end. It's now an all-time favorite of mine. Definitely recommend! ...more
Paige  Bookdragon
This is the type of book that has a catchy blurb but when you finished reading it, it was just an okay book. Nothing memorable.

What this book needs is a cliffhanger or a heartbreaking ending to be interesting..
See this review and more on my blog, Lilybloombooks

I've seen The Secrets We Keep frequently popping up for the past couple of weeks. The consensus among readers is that it's a must read. And yet.... there was that nagging voice telling me to tread with caution.

The Secrets We Keep is a very fast paced, compelling story that literally grips you from the beginning. (Most) of the characters were beautifully written and flawed, adding authenticity and making me feel something for each one. Be it hatr
My thanks to Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

Point of View: Single (Ella)
Writing: First Person | Past Tense
Setting: Rhode Island
Genre: Young Adult | Contemporary/Mystery

It's still a surprise to me that this book had made me cry. Twice. Clearly, I didn't see that coming. (view spoiler)
Jul 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The Secrets We Keep is such a thought provoking and heartbreaking story. The writing is so flawless and the story flows so perfectly that it's impossible not to get sucked into Ella and Maddy's story. You feel everything from the gut wrenching pain, to the all consuming guilt, and that's what makes this book so amazing.

Ella and Maddy may be twins, but they are the furthest thing from similar. Ella is the quiet one who is always drawing, and Maddy is the popular one. It hasn't always been that w
Jul 05, 2014 rated it did not like it
Huge thank you to the publisher for letting me read an ARC of this

Man I wanted to like this book more than I did. I thought it was going to be mysterious and emotional and it just felt so flat to me. We all know that it's about a twin who's twin dies and how she takes over the twin's life. That sounded twisty! It was not. There was no depth in this book. I never felt like anyone was really grieving (well, the mother because we're told she is, but it didn't really seem like it for quite a bit of
Aug 09, 2015 rated it liked it
This was an okay read, but I didn't enjoy it as much as I thought I would. The story was quite dull in places, and it just wasn't as interesting as I had hoped it would be.

The ending was a bit of a let down as well, unfortunately.

Overall, Not a bad read, but disappointing.
Dec 04, 2014 marked it as to-read
Oh my, another book coming out on my birthday! And it sounds so interesting... Yeeei!

I think I'll have the best birthdays ever, with all these books coming out on my magical day :)
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Trisha Leaver lives on Cape Cod with her husband, three children, and one rather disobedient black lab. She is a chronic daydreamer who prefers the cozy confines of her own imagination to the mundane routine of everyday life. She writes Young Adult Contemporary Fiction, Psychological Horror and Science Fiction and is published with FSG/ Macmillan, Flux/Llewellyn and Merit Press. To find out more a ...more

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