Author: Lily Velez
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Publisher: Blue Typewriter Press
Publication date: November 8th 2015
Pages: 366 (paperback)
One year. That's how long it's been since childhood sweethearts Sully Graham and Cadence Gilbertson broke up, since one adoption and one out-of-state move turned their worlds upside down.
Suddenly, Cadence is back in New York City, but something's different about her. The light in her eyes, the music in her laughter, the warmth in her smile - all of those things have entirely vanished. In their place stand the makings of a girl Sully can't even begin to recognize, much less understand.
Still, despite the collective history of heartbreak between them, he's convinced he can win her trust again, and he's committed to proving the invincibility of their love no matter what it takes.
But Cadence is quietly harboring secrets of her own. Dark secrets. Ugly secrets. Secrets that could break a person. An though broken herself and unbearably alone, she's determined to protect Sully from her terrible, biting truths. Even if it means locking him out of her life forever.
The only problem is it seems her heart hasn't quite received the memo. One glimpse of him is all it takes for her to trip into familiar (and, she'll admit, addictive) feelings that threaten to all but consume her. No her biggest fear is that her secrets will begin to slowly unravel one by one.... long before Sully's resolve ever does.
The Secrets We Kept is a moving story about first love, friendship, and forgiveness, and the enduring bonds that forever connect us and give us our strength.
When I first requested The Secrets We Kept I did not know what to expect of it. At first it was just the cover that attracted me to the book. It is a really simple cover but at the same time really beautiful as well. After reading the synopsis I knew that I had to read this book. The foster system is something that should be paid more attention to. So I was glad that The Secrets We Kept portrayed two teens that had grown up in the foster care system.
The Secrets We Kept revolves around Sully and Cadence. They both were in the foster system and that’s how they initially met. But then Cadence’s parents decide to move to the other side of the country which is the start of a lot of problems that will arise and eventually it leads to a breakup between the two. After a year Cadence moves back and Sully thinks that they can amend things and pick up their lives where they left off. But things are different, Cadence is different and she will not let anyone in to help her. Cadence has closed her off from everyone she loves because she does not want to hurt them more than she has to. She has hiding something big that is slowly killing her. They both have to decide if the other is worth fighting for.
It was amazing how well-developed all the characters in this book were and I loved each and every one of them. They all had their unique characteristics but what bound them all together was the foster system. I really felt for Cadence, she never had an easy childhood and when finally thinks start to look better her whole world gets turned upside down again. She was really stubborn and withdrawn a lot of the time. But I couldn’t blame her for that; she was carrying a heavy burden on her shoulders all by herself. She felt like she had to deal with everything alone because it was her fault. I could not imagine living like she did and while her decisions might not have been always the wisest I did respect her because of it. And in general I really liked her as a character. Sully was another great character. I liked how determined he was about being with Cadence and to figure out what was going on with her. A lot of people might have given up already by how closed off she was. He was really loyal towards her but like her he was carrying a heavy burden on his shoulders. The only thing that bugged me after a while was that he did always put Cadence on the first place. While at times he should have thought about himself first for a change or about his younger brother. He also needed him to be there in his life.
It was really hard to put The Secrets We Kept down; I just wanted to keep reading it. Especially since I wanted to find out what had happened during the time that Cadence was away and what changed her. And when her secrets were finally unraveled I wanted to know how everyone around her would deal with it. This was a really good book that kept me interested until the very last page.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. The characters were lovely and the plot was really interesting. I would really recommend this book if you are looking for a YA book that deals with some heavier issues.