Sarah Reviews… Two Can Keep A Secret by Karen M. McManus

Title: Two Can Keep A Secret

Author: Karen M. McManus

Publisher: Penguin

Publication Date: 8th January 2019

Format: Paperback

About the book:

Ellery’s never been to Echo Ridge, but she’s heard all about it. It’s where her aunt went missing at age sixteen, never to return. Where a Homecoming Queen’s murder five years ago made national news. And where Ellery now has to live with a grandmother she barely knows, after her failed-actress mother lands in rehab. No one knows what happened to either girl, and Ellery’s family is still haunted by their loss.
Malcolm grew up in the shadow of the Homecoming Queen’s death. His older brother was the prime suspect and left Echo Ridge in disgrace. His mother’s remarriage vaulted her and Malcolm into Echo Ridge’s upper crust, but their new status grows shaky when mysterious threats around town hint that a killer plans to strike again. No one has forgotten Malcolm’s brother-and nobody trusts him when he suddenly returns to town.

Ellery and Malcolm both know it’s hard to let go when you don’t have closure. Then another girl disappears, and Ellery and Malcolm were the last people to see her alive. As they race to unravel what happened, they realize every secret has layers in Echo Ridge. The truth might be closer to home than either of them want to believe.

And somebody would kill to keep it hidden.

What I Thought:

Back in 2017 I picked up One Of Us Is Lying and absolutely loved it. It was one of my first forays back into YA fiction and it certainly did it’s job in reminding me just how amazing YA can be. So you can imagine my excitement when I picked up Two Can Keep A Secret.

Ellery and Ezra are twins who have spent their whole lives in California, they’ve never visited Echo Ridge, the town where their mother grew up and her sister went missing. Sarah’s disappearance isn’t the only tragedy to strike Echo Falls though, a Homecoming Queen was also murdered five years before the twins arrival, and still hangs over the town with the identity of her killer having never been proven. When the twins arrive at Echo Ridge it’s not long before drama envelops the town once again, with threats being made against this years homecoming queen potentials. Will they all survive this school year?

Two Can Keep A Secret certainly started off with a bang with a body found in the middle of the road within the first couple of chapters and then the threats beginning. There are almost three mysteries within the story that I wanted to know the answer to, what happened with the twins aunt, who was responsible for murdering Lacey Killduff and who’s the one leaving the threats. This kept me reading until I reached the climax.

Two Can Keep A Secret is told from the perspective of two main characters, Ellery and Malcolm.

Ellery and Ezra arrive in Echo Ridge, after their mother is forced to go to rehab and they have no choice but to go and stay with their grandmother. I liked Ellery well enough but I must confess I think I preferred Ezra, and wished he featured more heavily. Although logically I understand that with the focus of the story being the homecoming queens and the history with her aunt it makes more sense to feature on the female twin I can’t help but feel I’ve been almost cheated out of more time with the more interesting twin.

I actually quite liked Malcolm and I thought his character gave an interesting new perspective in the story, what it’s like to be the younger brother of a person suspected of murdering the town darling, to be the one left behind having to face the stares and the judgment. Following his side of the story, and how it has affected his life, along with the relationship with his brother was one of the more interesting aspects of the story.

I was disappointed that I didn’t really feel like I managed to connect with the characters, although One Of Us Is Lying focused on more central characters I felt like I knew more about their personalities that I did of either Ellery or Malcolm.

Final Thoughts

I went into this book with such high expectations after loving One Of Us Is Lying, unfortunately it didn’t quite reach them, I don’t think it’s a bad book but I just didn’t connect with the characters in quite the same way. I think that’s why it’s taken me so long to actually post my review. There was a twist at the end that I suspected but that doesn’t take away from an incredible last line. I still have high hopes for the One Of Us Is Lying sequel due out next year

More Karen M. McManus on SWB

About The Author

Karen M. McManus is the author of the New York Times and international bestselling young adult novels One of Us Is Lying and Two Can Keep a Secret. Her work has been translated into 40 languages worldwide. Karen lives in Massachusetts and holds a master’s degree in Journalism from Northeastern University, which she mostly uses to draft fake news stories for her novels.

Connect With Karen

Website // Twitter // Instagram

Want to buy it?

As always if you’ve read the book let me know what you thought! If you’ve not read it yet will my review convince you to pick it up?

4 thoughts on “Sarah Reviews… Two Can Keep A Secret by Karen M. McManus

  1. A Cup of Wonderland

    I definitely had similar feelings about this book – I absolutely loved One of Us is Lying and with this one I was just a bit let down I think. I think it was also because I ended up guessing the killer and what was going to happen by about page 50. Fingers crossed that I will enjoy One of Us Is Next more – a sequel I am actually really excited about.

    Liked by 1 person

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