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The Truth About Keeping Secrets

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  4,256 ratings  ·  696 reviews
Sydney's dad is the only psychiatrist for miles around their small Ohio town.

He is also unexpectedly dead.

Is Sydney crazy, or is it kind of weird that her dad-a guy whose entire job revolved around other peoples' secrets-crashed alone, with no explanation?

And why is June Copeland, homecoming queen and the town's golden child, at his funeral?

As the two girls grow closer in
Paperback, 336 pages
Published March 7th 2019 by Penguin Books Ltd
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Average rating 3.92  · 
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May 20, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
both more and less than i was expecting.

-the way this portrayed the turbulence of the grieving process
-it was well written, especially for a debut

-the mystery element was predictable, with a cliche ending, and was unsatisfying to me (maybe bc i read a similar plot twist earlier this month?? anyway)
-each character lacked the depth that would have made this story really stand out

cw: descriptions & discussions of grief, dying, death (of a parent), domestic abuse, forced coming out,
Savannah Brown
Nov 13, 2018 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
With the pub date less than four months(!) away and ARCs soon to be released into the wild, I thought it was a good time to mention that there are content warnings on my website if you need them, as well as links to a bunch of resources (which are also included in the back of the UK edition).

That's all! Hope you all enjoy! Back into my hole I go!
Louise Wilson
Feb 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Sydney's dad is the only psychiatrist for miles around their small Ohio hometown. He has died unexpectedly. Is Sydney crazy, or is it just weird that her dad, a man whose job revolved around other people's secrets, died alone. And why is June Copeland, homecoming Queen and the towns golden child, at his funeral?

What an incredible debut this is. The book covers some intense topics: abuse, grief and sexuality. The writing just flows beautifully across the pages, drawing you in. I simply adored Syd
Nov 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2018
Devoured this in a day. The characters feel so real, the explorations of grief and fear were so good they hit a little too close to home, and every few pages you come across an exquisite paragraph or turn of phrase that knocks you out. If this isn't a prize-winning bestseller I'll eat my own face. ...more
Feb 03, 2019 marked it as to-read
sounds very intriguing
Julie Parks
Feb 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya, thriller
Sad, honest and brilliant. So much more than a YA thriller, this book tells a story from a very emotional perspective.

If you read the synopsis, you'd assume it's a YA mystery. But it's not really. It's more about what grief feels like than why the narrator is grieving.

It's a sticky book that will glue it's addictive tiny details to your mind and walk with you to your next grocery trip, or sit along with you in your next class. Or sing along with you the last lullaby to your son at night, lingeri
Jan 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars

The Truth About Keeping Secrets is a quiet, slow-paced contemporary novel following a girl who has lost her dad in a car accident - but was it really?

I'm seeing that this is being marketed as an f/f thriller, but while it does have a mystery element, I'd recommend it more to those who loved Nina LaCour's We Are Okay than to fans of Far From You or People Like Us.

That's because to me this book felt more like an exploration of grief than a thriller, at least for its first half. The second
Jan 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing

* I read this book back in January and I still think about it constantly, something that doesn’t usually happen that often
* it’s probably the best book I’ve ever read that deals with grief and how we cope with it
* so poignant, so soooo beautiful, I honestly have no words to properly describe how much I loved this story
* the writing is phenomenal and the main character’s dark humour is something that I really appreciated and related to
* this is a f/f story so yaaaassss we honestly NEED m
Meghan Hughes
Apr 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
ALRIGHT FOLKS! Here is a YA novel that is now up there with Jandy Nelson’s “I’ll Give You the Sun” for me... This is absolute magic from youtuber turned author Savannah Brown 💛 It is so wonderful to see someone like her write something like this & I truly don’t want that to sound minimizing. It is just personally SO encouraging to read a body of work like this from someone I know. I was enveloped in this story from the START. What a beautiful way she wrote on queer romance, death, grief, emotion ...more
Schizanthus Nerd
When you live in a fishbowl, everything seems bigger, magnified, and no one was safe. People said that, in Pleasant Hills, everyone got their scandal. Fifteen minutes of infamy.
I was to get more.
Sydney’s father, the only therapist in Pleasant Hills, has died. Sydney isn’t convinced her dad’s car accident was accidental. After all, he knew all of his clients’ secrets and maybe one of those secrets got him killed. And why was June Copeland, golden girl of Pleasant Hills, at his funeral?
The N
Liz Barnsley
Jan 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Truth About Keeping Secrets is a beautifully plotted novel with mystery elements but mostly focusing on a portrayal of grief – one young girl and her journey through the loss of her Dad, as such it is an emotional, compelling story that will have you hooked.
I loved Sydney and engaged with her fully – her distinct sense of loss, her reaching for connections and in doing so her developing friendship with June, the golden girl, who is hiding behind a facade. But why and what does this have to d
Ellie (faerieontheshelf)
> 4 stars!

I hadn’t actually heard of Savannah Brown before this, but I fell in love with the proof cover for TTAKS with its little keyhole and then was pretty delighted when I found out this was f/f. I didn’t know she was a YouTuber (?), and had written a book of poetry already.

The first thing you have to do when reading this is let go of the assumption that this is a thriller/mystery, because it’s not. It was only when this clicked for me that I was able to enjoy TTAKS a lot more. It’s a rea
Mandy White (mandylovestoread)
The Truth About Keeping Secrets by Savannah Brown was not exactly the book that I expected. I do like Young Adult books and I did enjoy this but it wasn't the thriller I was expecting. The characters were great, but a little predictable - as was the ending. It was a good quick read that didn't require too much thinking.

Sydney is still grieving the death of her father in a car accident. He was the local Psychiatrist and knew the towns secrets. But did she know his? And why does she think that the
Aug 25, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2019
i'm really unsure on my rating ffs ...more
★★★★✰ 4.25 stars (rounded up because...why not)
“The terror of it all was almost funny. Truly. The pain was ludicrous, completely unreasonable, completely alien; I found it impossible to believe that this sort of feeling could even exist, that the boundaries of human suffering extended this far.”

And I thought that I was 'over' YA novels...
I ended up liking this so much that I bought it in paperback too... (hopefully Savannah Brown can write another amazing book).
“I was afraid of myself when left
Zoë ☆
Jan 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
I thought this was ‘just’ going to be a murder-mystery going in, but it was about so much more: grief, mental illness, love, friendship. I couldn’t stop reading it once I started! I quite liked the writing as well.
PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps
Sydney, convinced the crash that killed her father is actually murder, refuses to accept his death could be an accident. When she sees June, the homecoming queen, at her father’s funeral and gravesite, Sydney becomes suspicious. What does June know and why would a popular girl like her want to befriend an outcast like Sydney?

I wasn’t surprised to learn that debut ya writer Savannah Brown is also a poet. Her word building slows seamlessly, often dancing off the pages.

charlotte, (½ of readsrainbow)
Rep: lesbian mc, biracial (black) bi li with depression/anxiety/PTSD, black gay side character, bi side character, East Asian side character

CWs: full list
Sep 21, 2019 rated it liked it
Decent premise, but overwhelmingly disappointing story. I called it from the beginning!
May 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars. This was so very exciting! I read the book in less than a week and even though my reading time doesn't usually correlate too much with corresponding enjoyment since I've also got a lot of real-life stuff going on (pretty much constantly, the stress! In a good way though!), there's more than a strong connection going on in this case! I happily sacrificed my personal life over and over again just for the sake of being able to continue the book, as in: Kathi gets invited to stuff that so ...more
Evie Braithwaite
The Truth About Keeping Secrets is a slow-paced novel and an exquisite portrayal of grief following the sudden death of Sydney’s father in a car accident.

I have mixed feelings about this book. The first half is an atmospheric exploration of grief and the unique coping mechanisms one can develop. Sydney is reeling from the sudden death of her father and her coping mechanism? Scrolling through a website which posts surveillance footage of deadly road accidents. We delve into her mind and see how s
There's a lot that I enjoyed about this book. I mean, it's an f/f mystery, so that's already a lot! It is quite a dark book, and starts off very depressing, but I think it does a good job of dealing with some of these heavy themes. I also really liked the sapphic relationship here. I liked the way it was developed, and that was can clearly see the good and the bad about the two characters and how they relate to each other. I also liked that they both address the potential unhealthy stuff in thei ...more
Jun 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
- tw forced outing, abusive relationships, descriptions of self harm, past rape
- so I ended up reading this in a sitting
- I love discussions and takes surrounding grief because people can experience and deal with it in different ways
- And in this story we see how it affects Sydney and her friendships
- .. and also a murder mystery
- I had a hunch who the killer was .. because I’m just extremely untrusting of a certain type lol
- BUT the lead up to the reveal and so forth .. so intriguing 👌
Nov 17, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 3-stars
kinda disappointed with this one. was really looking forward to reading a book i thought i’d relate to, but i felt like something was missing the whole time. thought some of the characters were pretty uninteresting, the mystery was predictable, but the writing was good and it was entertaining and quick.
Apr 19, 2018 marked it as to-read
I was so excited when I saw that Savannah is coming with a debut YA book, I can't wait to pick it up!
The blurb gives me a bit of a Riverdale vibe, and I'm all for it tbh.
Sifa Poulton
May 09, 2019 rated it it was ok
From the title, blurb and - you know - the fact it's labeled as a thriller, I was expecting a mystery but this book is NOT a thriller. The 'mystery' is a weak idea that pops up occasionally and has a really unsatisfying ending. The plot doesn't revolve around this mystery at all, and it certainly doesn't move the book on.

This book is a contemporary that deals with grief and relationships. Calling it a thriller is just insulting to the book and the genre.

“I'd shut myself out for so long that I had forgotten how wonderful it felt to be included, to be seen, to be heard.”

This book is heavy. As in there were do many emotions and feelings explored in here. The words. The words were flowing so naturally that it made me keep reading and lost track of time.

I love all of the characters (and shocked by one particular character). They were all seem real. Teenagers with all their emotions and feelings. Yes, emotions and feelings played a very important par
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Honestly, I was kind of afraid that I would be disappointed, because even though I didn't want to, I had quite expectations, especially because I had been waiting for this book since the day it was announced and pre-ordered it ages ago. I wasn't disappointed. I loved this book. First of all, the characters were amazingly done, just the writing style and the way they were set up was very strong and believable. And just the writing style, in general, worked so well and just hooked me into the stor ...more
Alannah Clarke
Feb 17, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley, reviewed
Thank you to for providing me with a free copy of this book.

With this book, I thought I was getting another thriller but I thought the author made it slightly different by exploring the process which would be something I would see in a women's fiction novel rather than a mystery/thriller novel. I have to admit that it took a while to really get into the novel, it didn't feel like what I normally read but that's a good thing. Once I got about halfway through the book, I was hooke
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Savannah Brown is an American writer living in London. She's the author of two collections of poetry and two novels. The second novel, THE THINGS WE DON'T SEE, is out on June 24th with Penguin Random House UK.

twitter: @savannahbrown
instagram: @savbrown

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