ARC Review: The Secrets We Kept

About the book:

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Title: The Secrets We Kept

Author: Lily Velez

Genre & Age Group: Contemporary, romance, young adult

Goodreads Synopsis:

One year. That’s how long it’s been since childhood sweethearts Sully Graham and Cadence Gilbertson broke up, since one adoption and one out-of-state move turned their worlds upside down.

Suddenly, Cadence is back in New York City, but something’s different about her. The light in her eyes, the music in her laughter, the warmth in her smile—all of those things have entirely vanished. In their place stand the makings of a girl Sully can’t even begin to recognize, much less understand.

Still, despite the collective history of heartbreak between them, he’s convinced he can win her trust again, and he’s committed to proving the invincibility of their love no matter what it takes.

But Cadence is quietly harboring secrets of her own. Dark secrets. Ugly secrets. Secrets that could break a person. And though broken herself and unbearably lonely, she’s determined to protect Sully from her terrible, biting truths. Even if it means locking him out of her life forever.

The only problem is it seems her heart hasn’t quite received the memo. One glimpse of him is all it takes for her to trip into familiar (and, she’ll admit, addictive) feelings that threaten to all but consume her. Now her biggest fear is that her secrets will begin to slowly unravel one by one…long before Sully’s resolve ever does.

The Secrets We Kept is a moving story about first love, friendship, and forgiveness, and the enduring bonds that forever connect us and give us our strength.

Source: Thanks so much to Blue Typewriter Press via Xpresso Book Tours for providing me with an e-ARC of this book via Netgalley!

How I Found Out About It: Netgalley

Review:

I have to admit, I was totally attracted to that cover when I requested this book. Just LOOK at it! It’s a stunner, and it’s super artsy, as well. I have also always wanted a glimpse into the foster system, and what it’s like for teens. Thus, I expected good things from this story, and that’s what I got!

The Secrets We Kept revolves around the dual-POVs of teens Sully and Cadence. They were both in the foster system, which got them together, but unfortunately, Cadence’s move had forced them to break up. As luck would have it, Cadence ends up moving back near Sully, but she is quite different; and it’s hard for him to place his finger on what’s changed. In spite of that, Sully still knows that he can make things work between them, and pick up where they left off beforehand. Cadence, though, is hiding some secrets, BIG ones, ones that can threaten the two from getting together. Will the two be able to hit it off without Cadence’s secrets slipping out, and ruining their relationship?

The characters of this book are very well-developed, and I felt like I could connect with them well. First, let’s talk about Cadence. Yes, she did get stubborn and whiny at times, but I don’t blame her, due to everything she was going through. I really felt for her as she kept having to move, and also as she had to bubble up her big secrets. I could not imagine living a life like that! So, I think she was a pretty nice character inside, but it’s just that her circumstances were quite unfortunate.

Now, I’d like to talk about Sully. I loved his determination to be with Cadence and to figure out what’s been changing in her life. Reading the story, I could tell that he was a very loyal person, which showed in his persistence and curiosity for Cadence. In a way, this reminds me of Miles in Looking for Alaska and his persistence for Alaska, which, ironically, I am currently reading for school!😜 Anyway, I’d totally want Sully as a friend, that’s for sure!😊

Because of the secrets unravelled near the end of the book, I don’t really think this book would be suitable for tweens or younger teens (unless they are very mature). I don’t want to spoil anything as it wouldn’t be fair to those who haven’t read this book, but it is mature, so I’m just giving you a heads-up, and recommending that you only pick up this book if you’re fine with some mature themes.

Overall, I really liked most things about this book, which includes the characters, plot, and writing style, but I just think it could be a little shorter, as there were quite a few scenes I don’t think were necessary. Any who, if you’d like to take a peek into the lives of teen foster children, and are also on the lookout for great characters and beautiful writing, then don’t hesitate to read The Secrets We Kept!😊

Rating: 4/5 Stars

*I received a digital ARC of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*

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