My copy of Secrets Never Die was received for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. It is a YA thriller about a teenager who was once a child-star and his friends. They have an annual Halloween ritual in which they go to a cabin in the woods, well more of a shack really, and they share their secrets. Not to each other, but to the ether of the cabin. But when those secrets start to become public and when blackmail leads to trouble, what are the teens to do?
To start, I just want to say how refreshing it was to read this book. One is because it is a YA book that is actually geared towards young adults, not adults who want to read about teenagers. That has become more common in publishing and I feel like the works and the real young adults suffer for it because the writing is heavy, convoluted and sometimes just does not line up with experiences actual teens go through. The author does a great job of making it clear that this is a book about teens that is for teens!
Another reason that I call this book refreshing is that it goes by quick! I read it in a couple settings and probably would have read it faster if I wasn't reading while traveling. The tension, the suspense, the raw emotions of the characters keep you wondering what's going to happen next and before you know it, you're halfway through the book. Not too many YA books can do that now for some of the reasons I listed above (they market YA but the only thing YA about them is that the characters are teens, ugh!). Anyway, right off the bat, this book had things going for it!
I appreciate the way that diversity was brought up in the book. While the cast is not that diverse, the BIPOC characters aren't made to seem like stereotypes or others, Vincent Ralph did a great job with that. I also appreciate that while it is a thriller, it is seen through the lens of a teen so there are moments that are angsty or confused. It made the narrative much more real to me. Tie that with the emotions of the main cast of characters and the betrayals that are commonplace among teenagers and I was all for this book.
The one reason that this novel did not earn 5 stars is that the ending felt too wispy for such a gritty, emotional, action-packed novel. In a Nicholas Sparks novel, the ending would have fit perfectly, but I guess I was hoping for something more? And while I was satisfied with the ending, I just wished that I had seen something else. Does that make sense? But still, this is a book that I wouldn't mind re-reading!
Does this sound like a book you would read? Let me know! And if you've read it, how did you like it?