ARC Review: The Secrets We Keep

The Secrets We KeepThe Secrets We Keep by Deb Loughead
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Release date: March 7, 2017

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.

When I had started this book, I expected it to be a mystery or you know, a thriller regarding secrets being kept and there being some weight to it, some consequences attached. What I got was a letdown on many fronts. First, we have a narrator who sounds sometimes like a 10 year old and then like a middle aged writer trying to sound like a 10 year old. She comes off as bratty in one scene and preachy in the next. That whole ‘let’s not use technology’ seemed like an odd plot device to place – almost as if the author wants you to leave your phone and ‘live your life’, as they say. Listen, buddy – people have been ignoring people since way before cell phones were invented; earlier there were newspapers, radio and books to keep busy. So, all that attitude can be best left for a think-piece on how millenials are ‘not connecting’.

Then comes the protag’s equally bratty friend and her POS boyfriend who she should have dropped like a hot potato long ago. Long story short, there are secrets – she is being threatened but there is no threat threat. Like, they are worried the police will think they are responsible for the death of their autistic classmate. So, when all that worrying eventually amounts to nothing in the way of secrets and nothing in the way of consequences, you are left wondering what exactly was supposed to be keeping you invested in the novel. It was more of a healing-wounds story than a mystery one, as was being projected, and even on that front, it was too easy of a resolution. By the second half I was waiting for the ordeal to be over and me to be liberated from this book. Overall, I would not recommend if you came for the mystery.

Received a free galley from Dundurn, via Netgalley.

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