Rebecca McCormick. Powered by Blogger.

Two Can Keep A Secret by Karen M McManus - Review

Friday, May 22, 2020

Where did I get it? I got it recently. But I can't remember where! Did someone buy it for me? I'm not sure. But it's been by the side of my bed for ages and I've been meaning to read it because I liked One Of Us Is Lying so much. This isn't a sequel to that book, it's a total standalone. The sequel is called One Of Us Is Next. It confused me and I'm not the only one. But yes, this is a standalone. 

What's it about? At the beginning of the books twins Ellery and Ezra are leaving their home in California to live with their Nana in Echo Ridge, New York, which is right up near the Canadian border. Their mother, Sadie, who is somewhat of a failed actress, has had to go into rehab after she crashed a car into a shop while high on prescription drugs. The twins aren't close to their Nana, but have nowhere else to go. 

Echo Ridge has a lot of history - in 1996, Sadie's twin Sarah went missing on her way home from the library and was never found. This had a massive impact onf Sadie's life, obviously, and is part of the reason she left the town. Five years ago, in 2013 ish, a girl called Lacey was killed. She was found strangled in the local theme park, Murderland. Her boyfriend, Declan, was heavily suspected to be involved, but nothing could ever be proven. He eventually left the town, and his mum and brother still live with the effects of what happened to Declan and the family. 

The book is told from two points of view - Ellery, and Malcolm, who is Declan's brother. As Ellery and Ezra arrive, a science teacher is found dead, the victim of a hit and run. Then, at a fundraiser in Lacey's name, some graffiti is found, hinting that there will be more murders. That's where Ellery and Malcolm meet. 

At school, the twin become friendly with Malcolm and his friend Mia, whose sister Daisy is back in town after years away. Declan is around too, meaning lots of people are under suspicion as graffiti and other vandalism is ramped up. 

Malcolm's mum is now married to Peter Nilsson, a big shot in the town, and Malcolm has a stepsister, Katrin, who is a shoe in for homecoming queen at the beginning of October. Ellery and Ezra get jobs at Murderland, now renamed Fright Farm. Ellery is obsessed with true crime and wants to get to the bottom of what happened to Sarah, who her mum and Nana barely talk about, as well as what happened to Lacey. 

There's loads of red herrings in the book, some of which I caught and some of which I didn't. There were a couple that I felt required further explanation (like some of Sadie's dodgy behaviour, but maybe that's just who she is as a person) but there were no unravelled knots by the end of the book which I appreciate. I really enjoyed the book. I LOVED both Ellery and Malcolm and their friendship as it developed. I thought the ending was slightly rushed, and would have liked a little bit more explanation at the end, but I wasn't unhappy with it. Karen M McManus is a very skilled writer, and I'm really happy she's using her skills in YA as I think it showcases it really well. Her crime narratives are believable, but her books have so much heart. 

What age range is it for? 14+ 

Are any main characters LGBTQ+? Yeah, but it's not often mentioned - I would have liked slightly more on this, if I'm honest. 

Are any main characters people of colour? Mia is Korean, and it is mentioned a couple of times that her family is one of the only minorities in town. 

Are any main characters disabled either mentally or physically? Not really. 

Is there any sex stuff? No 

Are drugs mentioned or used? Yes, there's mention of Sadie's addiction to prescription painkillers. It's not graphic, and it's well done. 

Is there any talk of death? Yes, but it's not graphic. 

Are there swear words? Yes! I actually loved this. Quite often Declan is the one swearing, which gives insight into his characters. 

What criticisms do I have? Apart from my brief criticisms above, I would have liked a bit more of Ezra in it. I liked him and I would have liked to get to know him better. I would read a whole book about him, honestly 

Would I recommend the book? Yes one hundred percent. 

Why did I choose to read it at this point in life? Because I've been meaning to. 

What do I think of the cover? It's cute, it does look like One Of Us Is Lying which may lead to confusion over whether it's a sequel or not, but I guess I get it from a marketing point of view. 

What other books is it like? One Of Us Is Lying. 

How many stars? Four out of five. 

Where is the book going now? Oh I'll definitely keep this!

No comments:

Post a Comment


Blogger news


Most Read