Friday, January 30, 2015


Few things make a author smile wider than a positive trade review! But getting a starred review... that feeling is just indescribable! 

*stared review* 5Q 4P J S

Leaver, Trisha. The Secrets We Keep. Farrar Straus Giroux, 2015. 304p. $17.99. 978-0-374-30046-3.

Leaver’s brilliant novel is the high school version of Whatever Happened to Janie? (Bantam Doubleday Dell, 1994/VOYA August 1993). The compelling premise will attract readers and the strong characterization will keep them enthralled. Identical twin girls, absolute best friends until age thirteen, who—as seniors—can substitute for each other in classes without detection, are involved in a horrific car wreck. After two days of being unconscious, the surviving sister awakens without memory of her identity. Allowing others to fill in the gaps for her, she is misidentified as the wildly-popular Maddy, an average student and strong athlete. By the time she understands she is Ella, the introverted AP student, she believes she must give up her own identity to allow her late sister to live. Readers will find her journey into her twin’s identity gripping. As the demands of living Maddy’s life become increasingly difficult, Ella must decide whose life to live.

Carefully crafted, Leaver’s novel accounts for every question that might be asked about the girls’ identities, addresses Ella’s survivor’s guilt, and effectively explains why she initially believes Maddy is the better twin to survive.... Complex relationships between sisters, family, and close friends will sustain interest. Guaranteed to engage reluctant readers, libraries should obtain multiple copies; once discovered, this title will long remain in circulation.—Cynthia Winfield

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