Evie Braithwaite's Reviews > The Truth About Keeping Secrets

The Truth About Keeping Secrets by Savannah Brown
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bookshelves: arc, contemporary, lgbt, mystery, young-adult

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 she struggles. She’s sad, angry and she uses sarcasm and jokes as her way of brushing off serious conversations.

Moreover, a large portion of the book is dedicated to establishing the relationship between Sydney and June; the golden girl who Sydney is fascinated by. We watch her feelings develop for her, picking flower petals in her mind while she is stuck in the liminal space of ‘does she love me back?’. The 20 minutes she spends in the car rides to school with her are her only moments of joy. Although I empathised with June's story, I struggled to take a shine to her. I wish what we learned about her wasn’t confined to the climax, but rather explored further over the course of the novel.

The second half of the story was weak. It is centred around the mystery behind Sydney’s ominous texts and peculiar incidents following her father’s death. However, I thought the answer was predictable from the get-go. Various red herrings emerge throughout which only made me more certain of the foreboding outcome.

The Truth About Keeping Secrets touches upon not only grief but other poignant relationship issues; manipulative friends and abusive relationships. This isn’t a story for the faint of heart. It is predictable, the mystery isn’t too compelling. Nonetheless, there is an abundance of beautiful paragraphs and turns of phrase which made this a pleasure to read.

Thanks to NetGalley and Penguin Random House UK Children’s for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
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Reading Progress

January 9, 2019 – Shelved
January 9, 2019 – Shelved as: to-read
January 21, 2019 – Started Reading
January 24, 2019 – Shelved as: arc
January 24, 2019 – Shelved as: contemporary
January 24, 2019 – Shelved as: lgbt
January 24, 2019 – Shelved as: mystery
January 24, 2019 – Shelved as: young-adult
January 24, 2019 – Finished Reading

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