Review: The Secret Keeper

Title: The Secret Keeper
Author: Angela Carling
Publisher: AZ Publishing
Release Date: May 2015
Length: 191 pages
Series?: The Secret Keeper #1
Genre: YA

Find the book: Goodreads | Amazon

When seventeen year old Winter Merrill was compelled to make a bargain with the mysterious Secret Keeper, she knew there were rules. The most important one, the next time you have a secret, you will not be able to tell it….even if you try.

What she didn’t know is that her next secret if not told, would destroy her life and the life of Liam, the only boy she ever loved. Can Winter find a way out of the dark bargain that binds her tongue or will her deal with the Secret Keeper bring devastating consequences unimaginable even to her?

***** Review *****

The Skinny

Winter has the best friend you could ask for. Ally is always there for her. Winter makes a terrible mistake and is pressured to admit it and hurt those she loves. She desperately seeks out the Secret Keeper for help. But there are rules, caveats. Winter walks away knowing her next secret she will never be able to tell.

Little did she know the next secret would be so life altering that it would destroy her world. And she can’t even say one word. Winter spirals and then is confronted over and over again with the magnitude of the secret she’s incapable of telling…a secret that could cost her her own life, and the lives of everyone she loves.

The Players

Winter – a seventeen year old; only child; best friends with Ally; dating Liam

Liam – Winter’s boyfriend; has liked her forever

Ally – Winter’s best friend

The Secret Keeper – a mysterious and creepy woman; lives in an bad area of town

First Impressions

I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book. It was something totally new from Carling, but also had some common ground with her other books. I just didn’t know what I would be getting from the cover and synopsis, but I knew it would be sinister.

Second Thoughts

Herber is a small town where not much happens. That also means it can be a hotbed for the rumor mill, no matter how much or little truth there is to the gossip.

And that is exactly what Winter is trying to avoid after realizing the ramifications of her great big giant mistake. In honesty, I think if she had actually fessed up to those she needed to, as she was being pressured to do by someone else, it wouldn’t have been as bad as what she thought it would be…because, well, it wasn’t that bad.

Either way, truth or lies, someone would get hurt. That’s the way it was with secrets. They were hidden for a reason.

Winter is convinced she only has two options: be forced to reveal her secret, or have the Secret Keeper erase it like it never happened. She thinks she can handle the terms of the agreement with the Secret Keeper, who lives in a dilapidated house on the worst street in town. The Secret Keeper has distinguishable qualities that are definitely hair-raising.

During Winter’s dealings with the Secret Keeper, I kept thinking about Ariel’s dealings with Ursula in The Little Mermaid. We all know you don’t make a deal with the devil, but when you think you have no other choice…

The plot moves on from there, and spirals out of control. If Winter thought her first secret was bad, her second one – the one she can’t tell anyone – is earth-shattering. Something that could definitely drive a person to insanity, especially not being able to tell anyone. Winter does her best to give all the signs she can to help others figure out her secret.

I was impressed with Winter’s attempts to point everyone she can in the direction of the one person central to her secret, given all the things happening. I don’t think I could have done as well if I were in her position. The entire premise of the book is based on secrets, and unfortunately Winter learns someone else’s secrets. Terrible secrets that can cost lives.

The ending is a slight cliffhanger, leaving readers open to ask many questions about what will come next as Winter moves forward in life. It was not quite what I was expecting, and definitely a turn upside down for Winter. Overall, this was a quick very quick read that’s a nice change. It opens the door for readers to question their own secrets.

***** About the Author *****

I was born and raised in Palm Springs, California and after living in several different states ended up back in yet another desert in Arizona, where I reside with my husband, three kids and five cats.  We’ve now lived here for ten years and haven’t melted yet, although we have fried eggs on the sidewalk. We love to escape to our cabin in the mountains or to my favorite place, the beach. I have several obsessions, including my passion for all kinds of music and my inability to stop buying cheap jewelry. I am often caught singing in public bathrooms, just for the acoustics, or rollerblading through my neighborhood while singing loudly to whatever is playing on my iPod. I love to have lots of flowers in my garden and shiny things in my house.  My favorite holiday of all (going along with the shiny things theme) is Christmas. All in all, I consider myself the luckiest, most blessed person alive and am so happy to have this opportunity to write and also to share my writing with other people!

Find the author: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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