Review: Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen McManus

Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen McManus

Two Can Keep a Secret
Karen McManus
Delacorte Press
January 8, 2019

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Echo Ridge is small-town America. Ellery’s never been there, but she’s heard all about it. Her aunt went missing there at age seventeen. And only five years ago, a homecoming queen put the town on the map when she was killed. Now Ellery has to move there to live with a grandmother she barely knows.

The town is picture-perfect, but it’s hiding secrets. And before school even begins for Ellery, someone’s declared open season on homecoming, promising to make it as dangerous as it was five years ago. Then, almost as if to prove it, another girl goes missing.

Ellery knows all about secrets. Her mother has them; her grandmother does too. And the longer she’s in Echo Ridge, the clearer it becomes that everyone there is hiding something. The thing is, secrets are dangerous–and most people aren’t good at keeping them. Which is why in Echo Ridge, it’s safest to keep your secrets to yourself.

Two Can Keep a Secret on Goodreads

My Review

After reading ONE OF US IS LYING, I was really eager to read TWO CAN KEEP A SECRET. They’re not related stories, even though the titles have a cool thing going on. They’re both murder mysteries.

I liked the characters, both Ellery and Malcolm, right away. Malcolm gives his point-of-view as someone whose family has been tangled up with a murdered girl, since his older brother was accused, but not convicted, of killing her. Ellery sees her time in Echo Ridge as a chance to learn more about her missing aunt, the twin sister her mom never talks about.

The only really confusing element to the story, for me, was the timeline. I had a hard time piecing together the way all the characters related since they were varying ages and there were two girls whose lives ended tragically. Sadie’s sister is one generation back from Ellery and Malcolm. A family friend’s daughter is the homecoming queen who was murdered. For some reason I just had a hard time keeping track of all the timelines: the sister who disappeared and events surrounding her disappearance, the murdered homecoming queen and all the events surrounding her disappearance, and the present unfolding of the story. Could have just been me, though.

I did not guess who the murderer ended up being. I had some ideas along the way, but none of them turned out to be the right ones, which is always fun in a book like this. I think one of the best unexpected surprises was the way Ellery began to bond with her grandmother. She clearly didn’t expect it, and maybe her grandma didn’t either, but it was this sweet surprise, and I loved it.

If you like books about small towns packed with secrets, this is definitely the book for you.

Two Can Keep a Secret on Amazon

Content Notes

Recommended for Ages 15 up.

Ellery’s twin brother is gay. Two minor characters are Korean.

Profanity/Crude Language Content
Extreme profanity used regularly but not super frequently.

Romance/Sexual Content
Kissing between girl and boy.

Spiritual Content

Violent Content
A mysterious person leaves threatening messages involving mangled dolls. Someone holds two people at gunpoint.

Drug Content 
Scenes include teens drinking alcohol. In one scene, a girl drinks so much she vomits.

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About Kasey

Reads things. Writes things. Fluent in sarcasm. Willful optimist. Cat companion, chocolate connoisseur, coffee drinker. There are some who call me Mom.

One Response to Review: Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen McManus

  1. Pingback: 2019: #27 – Two Can Keep a Secret (Karen McManus) – Confessions of a Bibliophile