Book Review: Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

A great read if you take it as it is.

Book CWs

  • Child endangerment
  • Bullying
  • Abuse
  • Character Death
  • Profanity
  • Violence

Premise

When twins Ellery and Ezra move to Echo Ridge to live with their estranged grandmother, they are forced to come face-to-face with a town they know very little about. Here are the facts:

Their aunt went missing when she was seventeen.
Five years ago the school’s homecoming queen was murdered.

Ellery, as a true-crime fan, is desperate to find answers to all of the questions her mother always refused to answer. What she didn’t expect, was for the towns dark past to come back with a vengeance. Someone has begun vandalizing buildings, threatening to make homecoming the target of their next violent spree. On top of that, yet another girl fails to return home.

One thing is very clear to Ellery–everyone in the town is keeping secrets. The question is, how do you know which secrets are better left undiscovered?

Review (No Spoilers)

This book took me 56 days to finish, which is unusually long but not entirely the book’s fault. I admit that it took me a while to get into the story but what really kept me from reading was a bunch of blog tours that I had signed up for. Once I caught up on those reviews, I was able to pick this book back up and finish it fairly quickly.

One thing that I want to start off my review with is that this book is very campy. It reminded me a lot of Pretty Little Liars (if you’ve ever watched that show). Basically, the entire plot relies on every character being super sketch for no good reason. This is something that would normally be upsetting in a mystery novel, but while reading it I genuinely got the feeling that this was exactly what Karen McManus was going for–and I was into it. I think that as long as you don’t take the book too seriously, it’s very enjoyable.

What I enjoyed most about this book was the relationships between all of the different characters. While it does feature the classic absent parent trope and a standard romantic subplot, the book also includes a lot of interesting side relationships. I particularly enjoyed seeing contrasts between friendships/relationships that were healthy and loving vs. those that were toxic and insubstantial.

The main reason that I decided to bring the rating down to a 4.5 was because I didn’t feel 100% satisfied with the ending. The book was a wild (and entertaining) ride from start to finish, but I had hoped that the answers provided at the conclusion would have made more sense and provided more closure than they ultimately did.

The story, in my opinion, has a lot of potential to continue so I guess we’ll see if any spinoffs decide to make an appearance.

2 thoughts on “Book Review: Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus

  1. I really love her YA mysteries, but I think I enjoyed the first book the most so far. I actually have her latest book on my tbr for this month – looking forward to it.

    Liked by 1 person

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