Title: Two Can Keep A Secret
Author: Karen M. McManus
Genre: Young Adult/Mystery
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.
I didn’t expect this book to blow me away, and for the most part I was right. The plot follows a teenage girl, Ellery. She is sent, with her twin brother, to live with their grandmother in Echo Ridge. Their mother, a small time actress, is doing another stint in rehab, so the twins have to make the best of their new lives. Ellery’s only interest is the murder of the homecoming queen that took place five years prior.
This is a dual perspective narrative, which I didn’t anticipate. We get Ellery’s point of view, but we also get Malcom’s, whose brother was the prime suspect in homecoming murder. I didn’t like one perspective more than the other, which I find is good when it comes to books that alternate narratives. However, I did think that Ellery was always jumping the gun when it came to sharing her theories. She didn’t take the time to think things through fully, and went for the easy suspects.
One thing’s for sure, I couldn’t get behind Ellery and Malcom as a couple. Their relationship started instantly, without any development. I didn’t see the chemistry between the two characters. I was fond of, Mia, who is Malcom’s best friend. And, Ezra, Ellery’s twin brother. It was nice that they were both diverse characters, as Ezra is both biracial and gay. While Mia is a bisexual Korean. I could sense that Mia added some spice to Malcom’s life, while Ezra was more level-headed than Ellery. Also, I cannot get over the fact that his name is ‘Ezra’ and the book is titled ‘Two Can Keep A Secret.’ Pretty Little Liars Easter egg?
“I thought she was your mother.”
Something that I am not a fan of when it comes to books is multiple plots. In this book, we are trying to solve the homecoming murder from five years ago. But than there’s this hit and run accident, absent mother story-line and even some found family side plot. As if that wasn’t enough, Ellery is also trying to uncover what happened to her mother’s twin sister, who disappeared many years ago. All the pieces do come together at the end, but I think that was way too much for one book to handle.
The ending has got to be the best part. I think that somewhere around the last two chapters, you get a sense of whose the killer. Personally, however, I was still shocked at the reveal. The motive was done well, and it was jaw-dropping. At one point, you don’t think the characters are going to make it out of alive. Also, the final page had a major twist that I never saw coming.
Even though the book didn’t wow me like ‘One Of Us Is Lying’ did, Karen M. McManus is still an exceptional author. I probably wouldn’t give this one a reread, but I do wish that it was a bit longer since there was sort of a cliffhanger ending. I needed to know more.
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Until The Next Chapter,