Book Review: The Secret Keeper by Angela Carling

Quote from The Secret Keeper

For this month’s book review, Jill reports on The Secret Keeper by Angela Carling.

The Book at a Glance:

  • Title: The Secret Keeper
  • Author: Angela Carling
  • POV: First person (Split between Winter and her boyfriend Liam)
  • Genre: YA action
  • Theme(s): Sacrifice, Honesty
  • Setting: Modern Day, Heber, Arizona
  • Single word descriptor: Action

The Summary

Winter Merrill is a teenager who loves her best friend Ally and is crazy about her boyfriend Liam. At the beginning of the book, she has one major regret: she wasn’t there for her brother the day he died. She actively shoves this train of thought away as she and Ally get ready for the most magical date of their high school life: prom.

Dressed to the nines and giddy as all get-out, the girls go with their boyfriends to the dance.

The night proves fateful. Ally’s painfully handsome boyfriend, Hayden, breaks her heart in the middle of the dance. Loyal friend that she is, Winter leaves Liam to console Ally. By the time Ally stops crying, the dance is over. Winter returns home only to be coaxed into going to a party by her parents.

At the party, Winter gets drunk and adds to her list of regrets when she kisses Hayden.

She lives with consuming remorse. With the most important relationships on the line, Winter does all she can to keep the kiss a secret. The only thing is, Hayden is liable to say something any minute.

Grounded from her phone and friends (for getting drunk), she takes a run and meets a girl from Phoenix who was once in a similar situation and found a way out: go to the secret keeper and she can erase the consequences.

It works, but at a terrible cost.

My Favorite Part

The premise is fabulous. I love the concept of a secret keeper. It is unique and well thought-out. The burden of secrets, the power behind them, and the consequences were all intriguing to me.

Also Liam. His characterization is solid, and I love the fact that he stays with Winter. Read it and you’ll see what I mean.

My Least Favorite Part

I wish Winter’s character was a little more memorable.

Kate’s Take

Like Jill, I loved the premise of this book, but I had a hard time with the protagonist, whose choices often seemed nonsensical to me. The flow of the story jarred me as well: it starts out as teen lit, crosses into supernatural, then crosses over into suspense/thriller territory before landing back in supernatural. The plot elements in each section don’t really overlap, either, which only adds to the disjointedness.

Rachel’s Take

Again, I too agree that the premise of the book is interesting. Unfortunately, I had a hard time getting into the story and put it down several times before finishing. I felt it took too long to get to the main conflict. The big, horrible secret and the big, horrible bad guy (which I will NOT spoil for you) isn’t even hinted at until 42% of the way into the ebook. If you can overlook those minor flaws, it is still an entertaining read.

The book can be purchased here.