Secrets Never Die
Published August 29, 2023
About Secrets Never Die
We call it the Dark Place. I don’t know who built it or when but, for us, it’s special.
Every year Sam Hall and his friends hold funerals for their secrets in an abandoned hut in the woods that they call the Dark Place. But this year, their secrets are coming back from the dead…to terrorize them.
Sam is a former child star whose career went up in flames – literally. And no one, not even his best friend knows why. His friends each hold a secret pertaining to the night. A secret they would all like buried.
Now someone from the past is blackmailing them with their dangerous secrets. Sam isn’t sure who he can trust, who’s watching him – or how far he’s willing to go to bury the past once and for all.
When you’re alone in the dark, some things won’t stay hidden.
I liked that SECRETS NEVER DIE starts with a close-knit friend group, in which everyone hides a secret. I definitely didn’t predict the direction that some of those secrets took the story. There were a few things that I did successfully predict. They were pretty minor, though, so mostly, that made it satisfying that I was right.
One particular plot bend shifted the focus of the story away from the main characters. I found some of the things that happened at that juncture to be a little less engaging. By that point, though, the stakes of the story were so high, and it seemed like whoever had it out for Sam and his friends was closing in on them.
In one scene, Sam and his girlfriend need to make up after a fight. She sits at her desk reading her favorite book, THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER. Sam wants to talk to her, but he says she makes him wait until she gets to the end of the chapter she’s reading. I thought that was funny because PERKS only has four chapters in the whole book, and they’re like 40-60 pages. That’s a LONG wait, unless she happened to be near the end of one already.
On the whole, I think the book does a great job in the way the story builds tension. I liked the characters, and I kept finding reasons to sneak another chapter in so I could keep reading.
I think readers who enjoy suspense/thriller stories will want to check this one out.
Recommended for Ages 14 up.
One minor character is gay.
Profanity/Crude Language Content
Extreme profanity used somewhat frequently.
Kissing between boy and girl. Kissing between two boys. Brief reference to who’s had sex and who hasn’t within Sam’s group.
Sam and his friends have a yearly ritual in which they each go into a hut to speak their darkest secrets, to release themselves from guilt over their pasts.
Situations of peril. More than one person faces danger from a fire. One character survives a suicide attempt. Characters receive threatening messages and creepy items. Two characters are in a car accident. Someone attacks others with a knife. In one scene, a child appears to be in danger.
Teens drink alcohol at a Halloween party.
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