First she blamed herself. Now she doesn’t know who to trust.
When Kit disappeared at a party and was found drowned in the quarry the next day, Clem knew who to point the finger at: herself. She was the last person to see him alive, the last person who could have helped. If she had just kept a closer eye on him instead of her crush, Jake, maybe Kit would still be here. She knows she made a mistake, and wishes she could just forget about it — but Clem’s friend Ellie says she’ll expose Clem’s secret if she doesn’t play along with Ellie’s lies.
Jake seems to have his own difficult secrets, and when he and Clem start to talk, they make a plan to help themselves move on. But when an unexpected discovery at the quarry makes everyone question what they thought they knew, Clem and Jake decide it’s up to them to uncover the truth.
Deb Loughead is the author of more than thirty books for children and young adults, ranging from poetry and plays to picture books and novels. She lives in Toronto.
The excitement in The Secrets We Keep starts on the first page and pulls you through to the last paragraph. Romance, loyalty, guilt, and suspense are all here, as is humour and a recurring ghost. Don’t start late in the evening unless you are prepared to lose a night’s sleep.
Loughead’s mystery is a short and fast-paced one, and the accessible language makes it particularly well suited to reluctant readers.
Has both the strong plot and character development to hook teen readers, but its strong message about connecting and disconnecting, both personally and digitally, makes the story one worth reading and heeding.
A welcome addition to library and classroom collections of Young Adult quick reads.
Deb Loughead has a good ear for teenage dialogue and an astute understanding of how peer pressure can manipulate kids into doing things they know are wrong.
A nice page-turning mystery, The Secrets We Keep neatly captures the angst and emotion of adolescence, while highlighting the increasing isolation of the digital age.