Hello everyone! Happy Tuesday! Today I am back with another book review, and this one is much different from last week’s. About a week ago, I finished Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus, a YA thriller novel. I have so much to say about this one, so let’s get right into it.
I love all of Karen M McManus’ books; I picked my first one up in college for a YAL class, and ever since then I have picked up every book she releases. Side note: She actually just came out with a new book called The Cousins that is on my TBR list. So, I recommend all of her books. This one in particular has the best ending in my opinion. It was so shocking, and I didn’t see it coming at all. I had so many theories about what was going to happen and who was involved with what, but they were all wrong. The person I did not suspect at all who was the one that actually committed the crimes. Well, some of them.
So, where to begin? For starters, this book is a YA thriller novel. That alone may turn some people away, but I swear this book is worth the read. It does switch point of views because it follows Ellery who is new to town, and Malcolm who has lived in Echo Ridge his whole life. Ellery has a twin brother, Erza’s, and their mother grew up in the small town of Echo Ridge, but once her twin sister, Sarah, disappeared she left and never came back. She never talks about her sister, not even to her kids. But Ellery is a crime junkie and reads way too many true crime books, so she is always looking for ways to pull information from her mom. Everything changes when Ellery and Ezra have to live with their grandma in Echo Ridge, in the town their mom ran from. Threats start happening close to homecoming, threatening to kill the next crowned homecoming queen. Everyone is on edge about what happened twenty years ago, what happened five years ago, and what is happening now. Is the same thing happening again? Is some else going to disappear? Guess you’ll have to read to find out.
While I do really love this book, and I will touch on the good things, there were also some things that I didn’t like. For example, there were a lot of moving parts in this story; there were a lot of characters to try to keep track of and their relation to one another. It was difficult at times to keep everything straight. I don’t think all of the minor characters were necessary to the story. Not when some were only mentioned a handful of times throughout the whole novel. Readers will usually get confused if there are more than five main characters. Anything extra usually isn’t needed. (THERE ARE SPOILERS BEYOND THIS POINT!!) The other thing I didn’t particularly like or even understand is how you spend the whole novel wondering about what happened to Sadie’s twin sister all those years ago, and then it’s never really touched when the novel ends. It is more or less left up to speculation for the reader. I have a love-hate relationship with those kinds of endings. Sometimes, I want to imagine my own thing. Other times, I want to be shown what happens or at least given a little push in the right direction. While this isn’t a bad thing, I, personally, feel like you’ve gone this far why not just bring it all to light. Unless, of course, there is going to be a second book. I was left with more questions than answers...and maybe that’s a sign of a good thriller. Like I said, I go back and forth with this ending. As a writer, I love it; as a reader, I'm iffy about it.
Now let’s talk about something more uplifting. There were a lot of things this book did well. Right at the beginning you are caught off guard because someone is already dead. Literally in the first chapter someone dies. So, there’s already a great hook and push to continue reading. Also, since this is a thriller novel there has to be suspense, and believe me, there is. I got to a point in this book where I couldn’t put it down. I was flying through the chapters because there was always action. Also, if you’re like me and love short chapters, this book has it! Probably part of the reason I thought I was flying through it. This book is like The Goonies meets Pretty Little Liars. Overall, I give this book a 4/5.
Bottom line is, if you’re looking for a fast read that is suspenseful and keeps you on your toes, this is the book for you. I highly recommend it!