Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 541
YA contemporary about grief with elements of suspense
Overall rating
Writing Style
THE TRUTH ABOUT KEEPING SECRETS is a book about grief, the desire for belonging and understanding, and the search for logic amongst the illogical. Sydney's father unexpectedly died in a car crash, and she feels like she has been set adrift, searching for the meaning in life, death, and the why of it all. Through her grief, she is reached by June, a girl who seems to have been one of her psychologist father's patients and who is also affected by his loss.

As Sydney begins to feel a little more anchored, she receives text messages that make her begin to think that maybe her father's death was not an accident. Sydney is not sure what to do with these messages, but she is afraid of what they could mean, and the implication that she could be next.

The majority of the book is an introspective read about loss, grief, and the search to create meaning from the random. Sydney becomes stuck in thoughts about death and dying. Her mother has trouble reaching her, but she finds solace in June, who is also grieving her father's death, and others who have experienced something similar. The last part of the book really dives deeper into the thriller aspects and leads the reader to an intense crescendo. While the mystery of the texts does drive the plot forward, the strength of this book was more as a contemporary about grief, bearing witness to Sydney's struggles and experiencing the aftermath of her father's death. It felt really genuine.

Overall, this YA contemporary was a compelling read about grief and death of a loved one with some mystery/suspense elements. I would recommend for fans of THEY WISH THEY WERE US, ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES, and LONG WAY DOWN.
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