Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus


Two Can Keep a Secret
Author  Karen M. McManus
Publisher Delacorte Press | 2019
Pages 336
young adult | mystery

5 stars

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. (from Goodreads)

This review is spoiler-freeeeeee! 🙂

OH MY GOD. I literally just finished this book but I’m so hocked up on anxiety that I need to write this review right this second. I’m honestly shaking a lil’ bit right now because I have so much energy! Y’all, Karen McManus is good at writing thrillers. I added this book to my TBR pretty much as soon as I finished One of Us Is Lying, because that book was also amazing and one of my favorite books of 2018. I preordered it a couple weeks ago when it was announced that a preorder would also include the mini story about the OOUIL characters (which was FANTASTIC btw!!! I missed my kids!!!!!) and I’ve had it since release day, but I had to put off reading it because I wanted to get The Wicked King out of the way first.

This book is CRAZY good. Crazy, and good. There were so many twists that I was not expecting at all and I was so hooked I finished it in two sittings. McManus is really good at getting me emotionally attached to her characters very, very quickly. I was barely 100 pages in and I was like, oh my god if anything happens to Ellery or Malcolm I’ll FIGHT SOMEONE. I also really enjoy how McManus writes sibling relationships. I felt the same about OOUIL with Bronwyn/Maeve and Addy/Ashton, but this one I got even more with Ellery/Ezra and Malcolm/Declan! It’s so interesting to read about their different dynamics and how familial bonds can look so different but in the end show how much they really love each other. Also, of COURSE I love Ellery and Malcolm together so much they make me so happy :’)

“I’m an idiot. And Ellery sucks at solving true crime.”

There were like, 4 different mysteries going on at once and I couldn’t get a handle on any of them until they were actually revealed to me. Every time I thought I could see a pattern, another new piece of evidence is thrown into the mix and I have seven new theories about who the culprit could be. The ending is INTENSE and I was super anxious for the entirety of the last 50 pages but it’s sooo gripping and impossible to put down. AND THE LAST LINE. Ohhhhhhh man. I saw people who read this talking about it on twitter and I KNEW something was crazy was coming but I was still like, W H A T! Insane. But this book has just cemented the fact that Karen McManus is officially on my list of I-will-read-literally-anything-you-write authors. Yaaaaaaaaay!

Also, can I just add- one of my absolute favorite moments of this book was this exchange between Ellery and Malcolm (I cut out everything in this except dialogue but every piece of this page is incredible) :

“Can I ask you something? Are you afraid of clowns?”
“Um. What?”
“Are you afraid of clowns?”
“No. I’ve never understood the whole clown phobia, to be honest.”
“Me either. I feel like clowns get kind of a bad rap, you know? They just want to entertain.”
“Are you, like, their spokesperson?”

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. I was straight up CACKLING at this exchange for literally a full minute because WHAT?! It’s SO random and hilariously awkward but Malcolm is SUCH a dork and I love him. That is all.

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