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Two Can Keep a Secret

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Echo Ridge is small-town America. Ellery's never been there, but she's heard all about it. Her aunt went missing there at age seventeen. And only five years ago, a homecoming queen put the town on the map when she was killed. Now Ellery has to move there to live with a grandmother she barely knows.

The town is picture-perfect, but it's hiding secrets. And before school even begins for Ellery, someone's declared open season on homecoming, promising to make it as dangerous as it was five years ago. Then, almost as if to prove it, another girl goes missing.

Ellery knows all about secrets. Her mother has them; her grandmother does too. And the longer she's in Echo Ridge, the clearer it becomes that everyone there is hiding something. The thing is, secrets are dangerous--and most people aren't good at keeping them. Which is why in Echo Ridge, it's safest to keep your secrets to yourself.

329 pages, Hardcover

First published January 8, 2019

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About the author

Karen M. McManus

27 books26.1k followers
Hi, and thanks for stopping by my Goodreads page! I don't visit this site often, so the best way to reach me is via my website at www.karenmcmanus.com, or on Twitter/Instagram, where I'm @writerkmc.

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Karen M. McManus is a #1 New York Times and international bestselling author of young adult thrillers. Her books include the One of Us Is Lying series, which has been turned into a television show on Peacock and Netflix, as well as the standalone novels Two Can Keep a Secret, The Cousins, You’ll Be the Death of Me, and Nothing More to Tell. Karen's critically acclaimed, award-winning work has been translated into more than 40 languages. 

To learn more, visit www.karenmcmanus.com or @writerkmc on Twitter and Instagram.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 12,404 reviews
Profile Image for chai ♡.
321 reviews150k followers
January 15, 2019
What'd I do today? Oh you know, just isolated myself and sat on my bed staring sulkily at the wall because existing in general is unbearable when one of your most anticipated releases disappoints you!

I can't believe I'm saying this but I think Colleen Hoover's Verity put me in a permanent slump and now I guess I can't enjoy thrillers anymore unless they were written by her!
Profile Image for Karen McManus.
Author 27 books26.1k followers
Read
April 16, 2018
Can confirm that this book does, in fact, exist.
Profile Image for Chelsea *Slowly Catching Up* Humphrey.
1,390 reviews77.2k followers
January 13, 2019
"If I believed in omens, this would be a bad one."

This is a difficult review to write, as I was so taken with McManus's debut last year, but as an adult reader I didn't feel her sophomore effort lived up to the hype I had created in my head. Obviously this is no one's fault but my own, and as a novel for YA readers I think it will be well received as it still gives off a similar vibe as One Of Us Is Lying, although I found this one to be much slower paced and less twisty than her previous work. Personally, this was more of a 2-2.5 star read, but I feel the YA audience will feel this is an overall positive experience and the final twist in the last line of the book will blow a good number of readers out of the water.

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Beyond thrilled to announce that this is our #ScaredSuspenseBookClub pick for January 2019! If you'd like to join in with our discussions, please follow our new account over on Instagram, @scaredsuspensebookclub. <3
Profile Image for Emily (Books with Emily Fox).
525 reviews56.8k followers
June 3, 2019
This was a mediocre YA mystery. No real complaints about it but I can't say it kept me on my toes or that I didn't see the twists coming.

I listened to it as an audiobook which probably helped.

The only thing is that the main character is called Ellery and that sounds exactly like Hellery - what I've been calling celery because I hate it with a passion... Not sure how I feel about that.
Profile Image for megs_bookrack.
1,425 reviews9,018 followers
February 2, 2023
**4.5-stars rounded up**

Oh my goodness. McManus left me clutching my pearls!



I don't think I have ever been so chilled by a final line as I was with this one. Well played, well played!



I can't review this. I need to take in the whole story again before I can even begin to think about doing that. I had that much fun with it!!



Two Can Keep a Secret has hella Autumnal vibes the entire way through.

An absolute gem for your Spooky TBR!

Profile Image for Sabaa Tahir.
Author 20 books31.2k followers
October 9, 2018
THIS BOOK IS SO GOOD OMG. My review would just be endless fangirling, so I'll keep it short and say that Karen McManus is a plot twist genius and you must read this one.
Profile Image for Emma Giordano.
317 reviews116k followers
February 8, 2019
3.5 Stars! This was a fair and enjoyable read.I have no intentions of picking up One Of Us Is Lying, but I decided to give Two Can Keep A Secret a chance. It was not the most notable young adult thriller on the market, but I enjoyed my time reading.

CW: murder, grief, talk of substance abuse, statutory rape

If any other readers happen to be confused if they must read Karen M. McManus’s first novel to understand her second (as I initially was), you don’t! They’re totally separate stories. As I have not read One Of Us Is Lying, I can’t exactly compare the two. Based off of reviews, what I can say is that Two Can Keep A Secret seems to have made great improvements in terms of representation. I was surprised to find out the main twins are latinx (one of them being gay) and there are two Asian side characters (one being bisexual). I can’t say for sure, but it seems as if the author made deliberate improvements in creating characters free from stereotypes and I was pleased to see this inclusion.

I did enjoy the writing of this book. It’s not super flowery or dense and was easy to devour. One issue I did pick up on is the novel was VERY repetitive. I feel like every chapter, we were given a recap on what had happened in the past and how it ties into what is going on in the present. I just did not need a constant summary of the girls who had gone missing in past years and it did weigh down the book at times.


The characters were fine, but nothing special. I actually think each person would have benefitted from more development, as I can’t say much about them beyond their role in the story. The mystery was alright, but the majority of the novel didn’t WOW me. I was shocked by the final reveal, which is a plus because I’ve been fairly underwhelmed with some of the thrillers I have read recently. The END END of the novel was also super unexpected. It left a lasting, chilling impression I was not prepared for.

Two Can Keep A Secret isn’t at the top of my favorites list and there are distinct problems I had with it, but I overall really enjoyed my time reading this book and am definitely happy I spent my time on it. If you’re looking for the most amazing thriller to ever grace bookshelves, this ain’t it. But if you just want a simple mystery thriller to have fun with, I think it’s worth the read.
Profile Image for jessica.
2,480 reviews29.8k followers
December 1, 2021
the saying goes that ‘two can keep a secret if one of them is dead,’ but what isnt mentioned is that secrets like to be shared. its in their very nature and karen mcmanus definitely understands that. this book is full of secrets just dying to get out!

and whilst i didnt think this was quite as good as ‘one of us is lying,’ it definitely does not feel like a sophomore slump of a novel. its fast-paced, clever, and downright mysterious. i actually didnt find this to be predicable, which is the case with most YA thrillers, so that was exciting for me. i enjoyed how my opinion of everyone and everything constantly changed as the story progressed, and i think thats a sign of good storytelling.

and really, the only issue i have is with some particular writing style choices that made the story feel a bit disjointed. for example, a chapter ends right in the middle of a scene/situation. the reader is then told what occurs next through little introspective flashbacks via a main character in the next chapter, which happens to begin halfway through the day after said scene/situation. this happens consistently - its just a weird way of telling a story to me and not really beneficial in any way. i feel like a much more consecutive storytelling method would have been more effective.

regardless of my nit-picking, i really did enjoy the book. its entertaining, discreet, and everything i would expect from KM. if you enjoyed ‘one of us is lying,’ then you really need to pick this up ASAP!

3.5 stars
Profile Image for Ali Goodwin.
116 reviews8,390 followers
October 28, 2022
4.5 stars! LOVE teen detective books. This is my third book by Karen M McManus and so far I've never been disappointed by one of her books. The ending definitely surprised me. I never ever guessed how all the pieces of the mystery would fit together. AND THE LAST LINE OF THE BOOK WAS CRAZY. the biggest one sentence plot twist I've ever read👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻
Profile Image for Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥.
516 reviews34.4k followers
August 31, 2020
”Missing girls don’t come home in Echo Ridge, Ryan,” she says in a hollow voice. “You know that.”

Okay, to read Courtney Summer’s “Sadie” at the same time as “Two Can Keep a Secret” was probably definitely not one of my best ideas but thankfully those two books went into two completely different directions and this is probably the only reason why I was able to continue with both. XD The story in here went in the direction of a good “Whodunit?” though, and kept me thinking while I tried to put all the puzzle pieces into their right place. And yes, I solved the mystery when I was about halfway through the book but that didn’t take away any of my enjoyment. On the contrary, it was pretty satisfying to see it all unfold and to know I was right. *lol* I’m just weird like that. ;-P

”I finally meet his eyes full-on. They’re sad and scared and, yes, kind. In that moment, I choose to believe he’s not a Kelly boy with a temper, or someone with opportunity and motive, or the quiet kind you’d never suspect, I choose to believe he’s the person he’s always shown himself to be.
I choose to trust him.”


One of the things I enjoyed the most about “Two Can Keep a Secret” was the characters and their friendships. McManus always makes them very relatable and her concept of a bad boy and a clever girl seems to be some sort of trademark. At least Mal and Ellery definitely fit that bill. As did Nate and Bronwyn in “One of Us is Lying”. It is also always those two characters who try to solve the mystery in the end. ;-) Still, it’s a nice concept and it works, even though I’ve to admit that I wish some of the other characters would have been more fleshed out. Don’t get me wrong, Ellery and especially Malcom were interesting lead characters, but I really wish we would have gotten to see more of Mia and Ezra. I mean Mia is Mal’s best friend and Ezra is Ellery’s twin. You’d think they would have been a more active part of the book, but in fact they were just side characters that were never part of the big action.

”If I weren’t so sick to my stomach, I might laugh at how fiercely Mia glares at everyone we pass in the hallway. “Go ahead and try it,” she mutters, as a couple of Kyle’s teammates who are twice her size give me the once-over. “I hope you do.”

This is me counting beans though so I’m pretty sure others won’t see this as a flaw. The setting of the small town Echo Ridge and its amusement park made for a really great atmosphere and I’ve to admit that I loved all the little details and secrets that weren’t a part of the bigger plot but still played a part in the general scheme of things. XD I know that sounded pretty vague now but just like with “One of Us is Lying” I don’t want to spoil any of the fun and want you to experience this for yourself. ;-P

All told “Two Can Keep a Secret” was a really nice murder mystery that was entertaining and not all too heavy to read. Sure, the topic of missing girls and dead homecoming queens is a tough one by nature, the balance between serious subjects and enjoyable moments was nicely done though. So if you feel like reading a light “Whodunit?” that will keep you guessing this might turn out to be the right book for you. =)

_________________________________

This was really good even though I managed to solve the mystery but then again that was a huge part of the fun! *lol*
Malcom was such a precious snowflake and I loved his friendship with Mia! <3
Thankfully this was not as serious as “Sadie” and I could continue to read both books. McManus definitely has a talent to keep you guessing. ;-)

Full RTC soon! Stay tuned!
__________________________________

It’s time to broaden my horizon again and to read another mystery book!
I loved “One of Us is Lying” so I’m really looking forward to read “Two Can Keep A Secret”, which automatically remembers me of the title song of “Pretty Little Liars”. *lol*

Let’s hope the sentence doesn’t end like the lyrics in the song.... “Two can keep a secret if one of them is dead.” >_<

Then again this book seems to be about murdered Homecoming Queens so yeah, “if one of them is dead” might actually be the right assumption. XD

Let’s stop pondering and find out instead! ;-)
Profile Image for BernLuvsBooks .
685 reviews4,625 followers
March 24, 2019
4 I Didn't See That Coming Stars

Ellery and her twin brother arrive at their mother's hometown of Echo Ridge in a hail storm to discover a body on the road - a local high school teacher victim of a hit and run. That welcome was merely the beginning. The twins quickly find their new home is seeped in secrets, disappearing girls and murder. It all began with the disappearance of their mother's twin sister on Homecoming Night. Her disappearance may have remained unsolved but its effects ran deep both within their family and the community at large.

Fast forward 5 years and another Homecoming Queen, Lacey goes missing and ends up dead. Now, the twins find themselves in the middle of yet another mystery when the town in besieged with bloody messages, broken dolls and other ominous threats to members of the current Homecoming Court. Are all these events related? What evil lurks in Echo Ridge?

I was a huge fan of McManus' first book, One of Us is Lying so I had high expectations for her second novel. While I found this one engaging I definitely wasn't as blown away as I was with the first book. Still, it was a fun read. Echo Ridge and its inhabitants were interesting, creepy and felt like a guilty pleasure to read about. It seems like everyone had some skeletons hidden in their closet which added to the whodunnit aspect. I kept going round and round, changing my mind on who the "bad guy" was and speculating on their motive. I was a bit underwhelmed by the reveal but I think I just wanted/expected a bit more after One of Us is Lying. My mind had certainly come up with a few outlandish theories that I was hoping would be correct!

All in all, a strong sophomore effort by Karen McManus. I look forward to seeing what else she comes up with. Keep it BIG Karen - you know how to do that well!
Profile Image for Larry H.
2,440 reviews29.4k followers
January 14, 2019
4.5 stars.

With Two Can Keep a Secret , her follow-up to the excellent One of Us is Lying (see my review), Karen M. McManus proves she's not a flash-in-the-pan talent, but rather a pretty terrific storyteller, one who is tremendously skilled at depicting the complex behaviors of teenagers, and the mysteries that unfold in front of our eyes.

Ellery and her twin brother Ezra have to leave their California home and move to Echo Ridge, a small town in Vermont, and live with their maternal grandmother while their mother goes to rehab. They've never been to Echo Ridge before, and barely know their grandmother, despite the fact that their mother grew up there, and was even crowned homecoming queen. But that night, their aunt (their mother's twin sister) disappeared and was never seen or heard from again.

Their aunt's disappearance wasn't the town's only tragedy. Five years ago, Lacey Kilduff was crowned homecoming queen and was then found murdered shortly thereafter. It's a crime that affected many in Echo Ridge, as the murder was never solved, yet many town residents have their suspicions about who is guilty, and they take it out on anyone connected to him.

"'I should probably preface this by saying...I think about crime a lot. Like, an abnormal amount. I get that. It's sort of a problem. So you have to take what I say with a grain of salt, because I'm just this...naturally suspicious person, I guess.'"

For someone fairly obsessed with true crime, a town with as many secrets as Echo Ridge is a treasure trove for Ellery. Not only does she want to understand what happened to her aunt Sarah all those years ago (not to mention why her mother has kept them from Echo Ridge), but she begins finding clues to what might have happened to Lacey. And when it appears that someone is threatening to harm another candidate for homecoming queen, Ellery is determined to uncover all of the answers—but it may put her own life in danger in the process, because someone wants to keep the town's secrets hidden.

Just like anytime I read a book that has any type of mystery component, I'm immediately suspicious of everyone. A new character shows up? Bam, they're a suspect. The funny thing is, McManus really did keep me guessing here, and while I wasn't shocked with how things resolved themselves, I wasn't disappointed either. There definitely were some good twists to be had here, and McManus gave you characters to root for and characters to instantly dislike. (And here's a funny point—this is the third book I've read in the last year with a main character named Ellery.)

A hallmark of YA books is characters that are more articulate and sarcastic than most adults, and while that's certainly the case with the characters in Two Can Keep a Secret , it felt right here and didn't detract from how much I liked this. I also liked the way diversity was presented as almost an afterthought—there was too much going on in the high school and around town for anyone to focus on someone's sexuality or ethnicity. (I would have liked a same-sex relationship thrown in, but I know that wasn't the focus of the story.)

As far as I'm concerned, McManus is now two for two, and seeing as I started this book the day after it was released, I'll probably have a while to wait until her next book. I'm sure it will be worth the wait, but until then, I love marveling at the incredible depth and breadth of talented writers creating such fantastic YA books these days.

See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com, or check out my list of the best books I read in 2018 at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2019/01/the-best-books-i-read-in-2018.html.
Profile Image for Charlotte May.
673 reviews1,029 followers
February 4, 2019
All of Fright Farm's success is based on how much people love to be scared in a controlled environment. There's something deeply satisfying about confronting a monster and escaping unscathed. Real monsters aren't anything like that. They don't let go."

3.5 ⭐️

I did enjoy Karen McManus' second novel, but it didn't blow me away as much as One of Us is Lying did.

Ellery and Ezra have moved to their mother's home town of Echo Ridge with their grandmother, while their mum is in rehab. Echo Ridge is famous for its Homecoming Queen murder. Lacey, a few years older than the twins was murdered in the fair ground then known as Murderland before it changed its name.
Before that, when their mother was in school, her twin sister disappeared, but was never found.

Now it seems the Murderland Killer is back. There is graffiti everywhere with threats; who is behind them and why? And when another girl going missing - things are looking grim.

When Ellery is one of the targeted homecoming Queens, tensions are high. I liked that the plot kept me guessing, and that we had no idea who could have been behind it. I was pleased with the final reveal. The only part I didn't like much was

Overall, entertaining enough. Just not enough lovable characters as One of Us is Lying, and a few loose ends I felt needed tying up, just not as polished I thought.
Profile Image for ✨ A ✨ .
424 reviews1,594 followers
December 8, 2020
When I finished One of Us Is Lying I immediately wanted to get my hands on Karen McManus's next book. I was hyped and my expectations were huge. Silly me. Maybe if I hadn't psyched myself up so much I wouldn't feel so severely disappointed as I do right now.


Ellery and her twin brother, Ezra, are sent to stay with their grandmother, in Echo Ridge, while their mom is in rehab for treatment. Ellery is curious about this town that their mother hardly speaks about. The town where her own twin sister went missing right after prom. It is also a town where just five years ago another girl was murdered on prom night.

Strange things happen in Echo Ridge, but it just so happens that Ellery is a crime book fanatic. And ever since the night of their arrival weird things start happening once again.


I didn't feel any sort of attachment to the characters. Besides Malcom, he I liked. And it's sad because that is what I really loved about McManus's last book. I loved those characters and it was what made the book great for me.

The mystery of this book was very luke warm. I didn't feel anticipation, I felt annoyed that all these side characters were acting shady as fuck when they knew that there was an investigation and weird things going on.

The big reveal just had me like:
description

I can't even pin point what specifically I didn't like. I just felt very unsatisfied at the end.

description
Profile Image for Josu Diamond.
Author 7 books32.6k followers
September 23, 2021
Un misterio que no termina de cuajar.

En Alguien tiene un secreto la autora Karen M. McManus nos presenta un pequeño pueblo que lleva a sus espaldas dos tragedias y unos hermanos mellizos que se mudan y se verán rodeados de amenazas... porque parece que una nueva tragedia ocurrirá en el pueblo.

description

A ver, honestamente... Me gusta mucho el estilo de escribir de McManus, pero en este libro se me ha hecho bastante cuesta arriba en algunos momentos. Creo que uno de los principales hándicaps del libro es la cantidad de personajes que hay, con demasiadas relaciones entre ellos como para seguir la pista, haciendo que me perdiera en gran parte de la historia. Vamos, que noséquién es sobrina de una pero está saliendo con el ex nieto de noséquién y es amiga de la novia del hermano de un amigo que tiene relación con noséquién... Un poco caos. Al final sí que me estaba enterando, pero tampoco es plan de hacerlo cuando apenas quedan 100 páginas.

El misterio, lo que es el elemento thriller, tiene cosillas que eché de menos en Lazos de sangre, que leí recientemente de la misma autora. Me quejaba de que me faltaba algo macabro, y es que en Alguien tiene un secreto lo tenemos. ¡Lo conseguimos! La verdad que en ese aspecto sí que me ha convencido, porque creo que el misterio va creciendo y cogiendo envergadura poco a poco hasta convertirse en otra cosa diferente a la que parecía. El camino que sigue la trama de misterio me gusta, y me gustan sus elementos.

Eso sí, y como siempre, los personajes son de lo mejorcito. Me encanta la tenacidad de Ellery, su relación con Ezra, con Nana, con su madre Sadie... En fin, no solo es buena ella sino que todo lo que le rodea funciona perfectamente. Ahora bien, no permitiré más tonterías como tramas románticas. Super innecesario y absurdo: queremos muertes y asesinatos, no besitos y amor. No tiene ningún sentido incluirlo en la trama porque literalmente NO APORTA NADA.

description

La resolución del misterio nos conduce a una idea un poco... pillada por los pelos. O al menos a mí me lo parece. Creo que hay demasiadas explicaciones que se solucionan gracias a la ayuda divina, porque por mí habría más personajes implicados que tienen mucho más sentido. También tengo que decir que este final lleva a una escena que cierra el libro que me puso los pelos de punta, porque considero que sí, el tema es repugnante, pero por otro lado, al descubrirse tan al final... pierde un poco de fuerza.

Si quieres leer un libro de misterio que va poco a poco, más centrado en personajes y relaciones interpersonales y familiares, ¡este es tu libro! Alguien tiene un secreto te atrapa por el manejo del lenguaje y la protagonista.
Profile Image for Baba.
3,505 reviews737 followers
September 27, 2021
Echo Ridge is a picturesque town near the Canadian border - twenty years ago a homecoming queen disappeared; her twin sister's teen twins (yep, you read that right) come to stay in the town 20 years later… a town still trying to come to terms with the murder of another home coming queen five years ago! Twin Ellery, true crime fan, turns amateur sleuth, with sometimes investigative partner late-teen Malcolm, whose brother is still prime suspect for the murder, when a spate of homecoming queen threats stirs up the present, and the past.

Another 'fun' read, this time set around a community under siege with murder, gossip, threats, multiple suspects, and unfortunately a teem romance, albeit a pretty subdued one within this book. McManus provides enough twists and turns, and a detailed enough wider cast to make this book above average and a fine follow up to the very good One of Us is Lying; although this read is nowhere near as innovative and original, it's still a good read, and I can imagine her publishers high-fiving each other, after McManus turned out such a solid second book. 7 out of 12.
Profile Image for Gwen.
21 reviews
November 25, 2018
Here's the thing: I'm not necessarily the biggest fan of YA thrillers as an overall genre, but there's something about Karen McManus's work that pulls me in and keeps me frantically flipping pages until the end. Definitely part of it is the characters, who are given just as much weight as the plot. But there's also how the overall tone strikes an uncanny balance between dark and light, seriousness and levity, respect and irreverence, that is so exactly the teenage way.

Also: while I loved Ellery and Malcolm, a lot, Ezra and Mia need their own book.
Profile Image for Matthew.
1,219 reviews8,691 followers
April 1, 2019
This book has fallen victim to the “Loved the last book so I had high expectations” syndrome. I thought One of Us Is Lying was great, Two Can Keep a Secret was just okay.

I expect these books to be cheesy – but this one was maybe too cheesy.

The dialogue and the characters once again reminded me of a CW TV show. The blurb on the book does mention Riverdale and during the book one of the characters even mentions all the male actors on the CW. I think all of this combined felt like, “Look at me! I am like those shows! You have to like me because you like those shows! Lookie here! Uh . . . Supernatural! Did you hear me?? How about Pretty Little Liars!!! No, um, VAMPIRE DIARIES!!!! C’Mon! LOVE ME!”

I expect these books to be mysterious – but this one maybe went a bit overboard.

My wife described it best when we were done (we listened to the audiobook together in the evenings – a fun spouse activity if you have never tried it). She said that it felt like a series of thinly veiled mysteries piled on top of each other. Since there were so many they were trying to force together, it ended up being confusing and, in the end, when there was a resolution it was not all that satisfying because it was kind of hard to tell which mystery was being solved (and which parts were maybe just red herrings to throw us off).

I expect these books to hold my interest – and this did . . . to a point.

I have used the word “expect” a lot in this review. In general, it was what I expect from a YA mystery, there is no doubt about that. But, since it felt a bit like a forced followup to One Of Us is Lying, I found myself drifting at times. It didn’t feel particularly original in a genre that might be getting tougher and tougher to be original in. I will continue to give McManus a try since I have liked her work in the past and I have big hopes for the future, but this one was not really mu cup of tea.
Profile Image for Nilufer Ozmekik.
2,071 reviews38.2k followers
August 25, 2021
It reminds me of Riverdale episodes with better characterization and storyline. I liked the way writer develops the final twist.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Caro (Bookaria).
585 reviews18.4k followers
May 5, 2019
Last year, I read ONE OF US IS LYING and loved it. It was a YA mystery/thriller by this author, so when I learned she was publishing a new book, I placed a hold on the library right away.

This is a YA thriller/mystery that takes place in the small town of Echo Ridge. The main narrator is Ellery, a high schooler who recently moved with her twin brother into their grandmother's house while their mom attends a rehab center for a few months.

Right from the start there's trouble, as Ellery and her brother arrive in town, along with their grandmother and a neighbor, they bump onto a dead body. It just gets creepier and creepier from then on.

I enjoyed this book but not as much as ONE OF US IS LYING. It was a fun read, and I recommend it to readers of YA and contemporary fiction.
Profile Image for Isabelle Reads.
131 reviews231 followers
September 13, 2022
not me unintentionally reading a book about dead homecoming queens during my school's homecoming 👀

i swear i'm sort of normal 😊😊

i'm also currently procrastinating on homework, so i'll keep this review succinct.

Ellery and Ezra are the Corocan twins, siblings that live every day hoping that their addict single mom Sadie Corocan comes home every night.
Usually she does.
But one night, Sadie crashes into a jewelry store while drunk and high. She's sent to rehab while the twins are sent to live with their maternal grandmother in the sleepy town of Echo Ridge.

But Echo Ridge has a history; a rather bloody one.

Twenty years ago, Sadie lived in Echo Ridge with her twin Sarah. Sadie and Sarah were inseparable. They were happy. They were popular. But on the night that Sadie was crowned homecoming queen, Sarah disappeared.
She was never seen again.
Needless to say, Sadie was devastated. Within a few months, she left Echo Ridge and her old life behind. Years later, when Ellery and Ezra started asking questions about Echo Ridge and their dead aunt, Sadie refused to talk about any of it, especially Sarah. Said she didn’t want to remember.

But then five years ago, homecoming queen Lacey Kilduff was found strangled to death in Murderland, the town’s horror amusement park. The main suspect was her boyfriend, Declan Kelly, but there was never evidence strong enough to arrest him. Declan left Echo Ridge soon after.

That was the last mystery of Echo Ridge.
Until this year.
Someone’s been leaving up ominous red signs, one of them saying, I’m back. Pick your queen, Echo Ridge.
A teacher was killed in a hit and run.
Malcolm Kelly, Declan’s little brother, keeps being caught in suspicious situations.
Vivi’s acting strange and bitter, while Brooke’s depressed and drinking.
Declan and Daisy, Lacey’s best friend, are both back in town after five years.
Corocan twins are living in Echo Ridge for the first time since Sadie and Sarah.

And then another girl disappears.

But this time, Echo Ridge is not letting another daughter vanish without a chance.


OMIGOSHAHHDFHSDIHFDSOODISFJH
I LOVED THIS BOOK SO MUCH
IT RANKS ON MY BEST MURDER MYSTERIES OF ALL TIME LIST

The absolute ✨skill ✨ it takes to run two people’s stories and perspectives (YES it’s dual perspective ;) and then to drop clues to THREE different mysteries from different decades at the same time is just JAW DROPPING BONE CHILLING AMAZING.

*squeals in pure and utter joy*

very honestly speaking, this book was a thousand times better than One of Us is Lying. i was even one of the ones who really liked One of Us is Lying, and Two Can Keep a Secret was LEAGUES better.

one of the main things that really set Two Can Keep a Secret apart was the characters.
I loved the characters. I loved how cracked and broken they were. How they didn’t come from perfect families. How they made many, many mistakes. How they grieved for those they lost, but they also let it fuel their desire to find the killer. How they overcome their pasts.

our two MCs (that each have their POV ahh no im still not over that yet) are Ellery and Malcolm.
have I mentioned how much I love them?
Ellery’s read hundreds of crime novels and binge watched true crime shows. She's done everything to try to make some sense of the tragedy. The disappearance that stole her mother's spirit and drove her to drugs.

Malcolm’s messed up from being the younger brother of Declan Kelly, suspected murderer of Lacey Kilduff. He’s never had a good relationship with his brother, his father left, and his mother was too grieved to support their family. The only reason the Kellys even have a roof over their heads is because Peter, the town mogul, fell in love with and married Malcolm’s mom. Peter's presence has stoppered the worst of the accusations, the glares, the whispers.
because in Echo Ridge, the Kellys are guilty until proven innocent.

*takes deep breath*

AHHHHHHHHHHHH SO GOOD.

final thing and then I’m gone. A lot of people extol the wondrous beauty of a book’s first line.
However.
Let me tell you.
That last line.
THAT LAST LINE.

that last line chilled me to the bone.



Ratings:
Star Rating: ★★★★★
If This Book Was a Movie Rating: PG-13

Recommendations If You Liked This Book:
One of Us is Lying by Karen McManus
A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson
Profile Image for Rachel Reads Ravenously.
1,790 reviews2,134 followers
January 23, 2019
4 stars!



Every single time I read the title of this book I had the PLL theme song running through my head.

Gotta say, McManus's sophmore novel knocked it out of the park! She is a officially an author I will be revisiting again and again in the future. If only she would write faster......

TCKAS is about twins Ellery and Ezra who move in with their grandmother after their mother goes into a care facility. Before they were born, their aunt had gone missing, about 5-6 years before another girl went missing. And not soon after the twins arrive in town threatening messages begin popping up everywhere leading the town to believe there's a killer ready to strike.

I really enjoyed this book, it was a great balance of teen soap (like a CW show) and a genuine mystery novel. I got some serious Riverdale and Pretty Little Liars vibes from this story and the characters. I honestly did not guess who did it, which I normally do. It may be obvious to other readers but I was stumped and that was a refreshing change for me.

I devoured this book, if you are on the fence I highly recommend giving it a try!


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Profile Image for Anne.
3,792 reviews69k followers
June 24, 2022
I enjoyed the mystery part of this one a lot more than I did One of Us Is Lying. It was more...mysterious? I don't know. I just know that I didn't immediately know who had done it. Then there's a little extra twist thing at the end. <--but to be honest, that didn't surprise me at all.
Still.
IT'S YA and I don't wanna be too judgy.

So. A Prom Queen disappears and her identical twin goes to Hollywood.

description

Fast forward a few years. Actress Twin ends up in rehab and her twins end up going to live in the town she grew up in with grandma. In the meantime, another pretty prom queen has been killed and her killer never found.
Dun, dun, duuuun.
The kids show up in Echo Ridge and right away there's a hit and run that kills a universally beloved teacher, some threatening graffiti and creepy dolls, and a lot of angst. Most of it because young girl-twin (Ellery) is an amateur crime...watcher? I don't know what to call it. She's one of those people who likes to devour a lot of that True Crime shit.
So she's suspicious.
Of everything.

description

Oh and there's a romance with the brother of the aforementioned dead girl's boyfriend and only suspect in her murder. <--He's the other POV

description

Things happen. Crimes get solved. Nerds hold hands.

But my favorite thing about this story?
SERIOUS SPOILER! ---> <----

Long story short, I thought this audiobook was a good way to pass the time.
Profile Image for Ova - Excuse My Reading.
470 reviews349 followers
December 31, 2018
Not as good as One of Us is Lying, but super fast paced and engaging plot. I've guessed the ending this time, but still enjoyed it a lot. Tbh 3.5 rounded up to 4, as I think it's definitely a book more than 3 stars in this genre.
Would definitely read from McManus again.
Profile Image for Sophia Triad.
2,239 reviews3,428 followers
May 8, 2019
Two can keep a secret...if one is dead.
i.e. Two alive people could never keep a secret


Another absolutely fantastic book by the author of "One of Us is Lying"!

This is another book that confirms the truthfulness of the following rule: “NEVER start a new book, when you go to bed". You may not get any sleep. If it is a mystery book highly anticipated to read, you know that you will love it and you most probably stay up all night trying to solve the mystery and find who is the murderer before the last chapter.

Well, I never listen to advices anyway, I never learn....and I always repeat my previous mistakes. Maybe because they made me have fun.

So, yes I stayed up all night reading and trying to discover the murderer of the two homecoming Queens from a small school in a small town in the middle of nowhere near a Halloween inspired theme park. The disappearance (murder???) of the first girl and the death of the second girl had many years difference and the murderer and his reasoning were never found out.

Now there is a new school year, a new homecoming party and three new girls for the role of the new Queen. One of them is the niece of the first Queen who disappeared. Ellery and her twin brother Ezra are new in Echo Ridge. Their mother is in rehabilitation and the two teenagers will need to live with their grandmother.

Ellery has a sharp mind and the attitude of an investigator.

When strange things set in motion,
when scary threats are made to the girl who are nominees for the role of the Queen,
when one of them disappears
Ellery will decide to investigate.

The brother of the guy who is suspected for the murder of the second Queen will be her assistant, aka Malcolm. Nice and quite guy. He had never become the star athlete that his brother was in high school. And after the murder of the second girl, his family tried to lay as low as possible.

The atmosphere of the book is mysterious (ha ha).
There are so many players to keep track of. And the story and the solution in the end are really complex.

Let me just mentioned a few questions that kept popping up:
1. What happened to the first girl
2. What happened to the second girl
3. Is another girl going to disappear and who will that be
4. Who killed the teacher
5. Why Malcolm’s brother is back
6. Who puts scary graffiti on the walls
7. Who is Ellery and Ezra’s true father
8. Why the post popular kids in school act so strangely
9. Why the police investigator always so nervous around the twins
10. What happened to Ellery's suitcase
11. Why Ellery’s mother never talks about her sister
Etc. Etc. Etc.
And are all these events interconnected or they are random facts and events?


The story has two points of view by Ellery and by Malcolm and the main events take place in just two months time.

Highly recommended, just don't started before bedtime 😋
Profile Image for Jamie Rosenblit.
867 reviews492 followers
November 4, 2018
McManus does it again! Certainly no sophomore slump with Two Can Keep a Secret! I absolutely loved this story of a town with dark secrets that are seemingly resurfacing again. Twins Ezra and Ellery are staying with their Nana while their mother is doing a stint in rehab - however, they don’t know much about their mother’s hometown, where her twin sister was killed years before and when they move to the town and hear of other murders, they start asking questions, but what happens when they hear the answers?

Told in a suspenseful way that had me guessing and theorizing until the very last page, this book gave me everything I love from my YA books!

Thank you to Random House Kids for an advance copy. All opinions are my own.
Profile Image for ELLIAS (elliasreads).
478 reviews37.3k followers
January 19, 2019
alright, alright, alright.....

This may come as a slight surprise to some folks who already know that I DNFed McManus' previous book, One of Us Is Lying, but I'm going to give this one a rating of 4 stars.

All three of them look like the kind of teenagers you'd find on a CW show—too beautiful to read.

Literally, this whole quote encompasses everything I feel about this book. Think Riverdale, Pretty Little Liars, and even The Vampire Diaries. What do they have all in common? Pretty people in the midst of tragedy and horror— a mysterious circumstance, a harrowing mystery itself, surviving amongst themselves and falling in love here and there.

Not saying that that's whole book but then again,....it kinda was. I went into this book with very, very, and when I say very....I mean hell of a very low expectation.

Thank god.

I don't think I would have give this book the rating I did just now. It's somewhat slow and trudging, a quiet and ambivalent mystery set in a small town with a tragic past.....the usual trope most thrillers go by with a setting in a small town.

However, however.....there were so many aspects I liked about this book that elevated the story from my rather 'low expectation' into something better, something more enjoyable, and surprising.

1) Twins.
I really liked these two characters although I wish we had a main focus on the brother twin, Ezra, and not just the sister, Ellery, who had the main POV.

2) Poking sentimental fun and knowing where it stands.
I think this book knows where it stands on a line of believability and realism. It pokes fun and calls back tropes of certain soapy high school TV, like the CW, mean girls 'wearing pink on Wednesday. It knows exactly what it is and I respect that.

3) The last 10 pages.
I would have given this book a 3 star rating if it hadn't been for those last ten pages. The book itself didn't bring anything new to the table; but there was such a monstrosity of surprise out of nowhere I was completely delighted to find that I enjoyed it immensely. The ending was somewhat rushed and I wish it could have expanded juuuuuust a bit.....but that very ending.....wow.

What I didn't like:

1) Romance.
UGH. Of course. Not really great and could have skipped it altogether.

2) Not enough thrills or tension.

3) Small towns with too many blonde-hair and blue-eyed people scare me more than Michael Myers or Freddy Krueger......pretty sure they were white too but the point is, there are some diverse characters sprinkled here and there. But then again, they either don't do much or get sidelined. Actually come to think of it, most YA books are better with representing diverse and queer characters more than the actual adult thrillers I usually read.

Holy shit this review is looooong wtf I was not expecting to write this much or be as critical LOL.

Honestly, if you're looking for something thrilling and fast paced, I'm not too sure this might be the book for you. It's rather unremarkable in terms of the small town mystery so many other books have done before and rather slow and unprecedented in it's mystery and pacing but........

I think if you go into this one without expecting much, the outcome will be much, much greater, with happier and better results. Perfect for anyone looking to try out the genre though. Definite recommend if you're looking for that.
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Profile Image for Kelly (and the Book Boar).
2,396 reviews7,271 followers
February 25, 2019
Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/

“You know what they say. When in Murderland . . .”

After practically crapping my pants over One Of Us Is Lying, I wanted this in my life as soon as I saw it on NetGalley . . . and was immediately denied my request, naturally. Luckily, I have the most awesome of libraries to provide a hook-up.

Two Can Keep A Secret is told from Ellery’s perspective. She and her twin brother Ezra have been relocated to their Granny’s house after their mother had a bit of a run-in with a plate glass window while driving . . . .



Granny’s location? Echo Ridge. A town known for disappearing girls. The first was Ellery’s aunt (and mother’s twin sister) back in the day. Another five years ago. And now???? It appears to be starting all over and once again it appears one of the homecoming princesses may be the target . . . . .



Lemme tell you Karen McManus knows what the eff she’s doing when it comes to teenie-bopper mysteries. As a grown-up (a/k/a not target demographic) as well as an avid mystery reader, I will note that before page 50 I had made a notation that “REDACTED did it.” I’m also telling you . . . . .



This was so much fun.

And as an old lady, let’s discuss this cover. Once again, MAAAAAADDDDDDDDDDD props to authors who are bright enough to have similar covers. If someone name-dropped Karen McManus randomly, I am 100% certain I’d be all “who?” Buuuuuuuut, thanks to this cover looking remarkably similar to her first YA mystery release, I was all over wanting to read it like stink on a poo poo platter. (Bonus this time with the “One” then “Two” titling. Will a Three be next???? I hope so!)
Profile Image for Elli.
369 reviews9 followers
June 25, 2019
While everyone in my class was sat doing resits, I was sat in the front row living my best life and reading this book.
my review :)
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