I figured we might as well start talking about the first book that we are all reading together, both in D&D as well as in the high school book club. I would just like to establish a few rules:
Please start your post by saying what page number you are up to. This way, everyone is aware of the spoilers that are about to happen.
Otherwise, please feel free to comment on this post about any questions or observations you might have. This can be an ongoing discussion so that when the author comes to visit, she can not only see live posts as people are reading her book but we also can use this as an archive for questions we might want to ask her. Thanks in advance Trisha Leaver!
I’m getting very confused between Ella’s thoughts and what is actually going on. Is she trying to pick up her sister at her boyfriend’s house or is she acting like Maddy already? Is Maddy in any real trouble? Maybe her boyfriend is abusive of some kind, or he’s dead from drugs. How come people cannot tell Maddy and Ella apart of Maddy fails most of her classes and Ella doesn’t? Does Ella contain herself more when she is acting like Maddy? Can Maddy act so convincingly like Ella?
And how come the only friend of Ella’s we know about is Josh? I mean, surely they are not that good of friends of Ella thinks that Josh is an “idiot” if he can not handle his own teenage problems (page 5).
Though, so far, I am actually very into this. It reminds me a lot of Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger and I am really excited to see where this goes.
Stop reading now if you have NOT finished the book yet.
Because I just read the whole thing in one week, perhaps the shortest time it has ever taken me to read a book, and honestly, I’m very impressed.
I compared the book to If I Stay by Gayle Foreman to quite a few people, and I do think that they have some similarities, though this one poses much different questions.
If I Stay was much more about the internal feelings of staying or going, about overcoming the darkest fears anyone can have, whereas The Secrets We Keep is about other people’s feelings, despite the title; about how completely ignoring the fact that you are pretending to be your dead sister for some kind of “closure” that you will never get does not actually work.
Though this book was somewhat unbelievable at first and that “How come she just didn’t come clean in the hospital room when it was reasonable to say so?” is a very valid question, I have no idea what it is like to be in that situation, so I am in no way justified to answer that question. So assuming that Ella had her reasons, this book puts strain up strain on the plot line, in a way that I have rarely seen.
The entire book had me going “Yes, ok, she is Maddy now, but so what?” until it hit me:
She had no way out. No one knew her secret, and everything in her life was different.
With each introduction of a new character I had to think, “How did they think of Maddy? How did they think of Ella?”
And although the subject of “being at your own funeral” is literally morbid, it does show character development like nothing else. Leaver used the plot points to her best advantage, and I would definitely suggest this book to anyone aching for more If I Stay (and maybe even Her Fearful Symmetry).