Welcome to my tour stop of The Secrets We Kept by Lily Velez hosted by Xpresso Book Tours. You can view the full tour schedule here.
Author: Lily Velez
Tittle: The Secrets We Kept
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, [Young-Adult]
Heat Rating: Cool
Trigger Warning: Depression
Page Count and Format: 226 pages, Ebook
Published: November 8th 2015
Source: I received an eARC of this book from Xpresso Book Tours for the blog tour in exchange for an honest review.
Blurb (from Goodreads):
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. And though broken herself and unbearably lonely, 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. Now 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.
It’s difficult to express this book into one line or so. So I’m going to dive directly into the review…
Cadence and Sully first met at a foster home, since then they have been together but he broke up with her when she moved to California after getting adopted. After one whole year she’s back to New York but something seems different about her. Sully wants her back in his life but she wants to maintain her distance from him. Incidentally Sully discovers her bottle of antidepressant medicine but she shuts him off and her other old friends after that. Can Cadence open up to him or the even bigger secret she’s hiding will destroy their hope for future?
This story definitely isn’t light in any way. It potrays the harsh reality that so many people has to face in foster homes. It deals with so many other aspects as well, like anxiety, depression, death, guilt and moving forward in life by accepting the ultimate truth. I did face difficulty in connecting with the characters but nonetheless they were uniquely portrayed. Every character had their specific voice and they were so different from each other. I liked the bonding between the children in the foster home where Cadence and Sully lived. But the plot felt a bit flat for me, although it dealt with pretty serious issues but it felt like it was neither moving anywhere.
Cadence was definitely a unique character. She didn’t trust people easily and when she did, she trusted them with her whole heart. The story dragged on a bit but finally after the revelation about her big secret I could understand where she was coming from. She suffered from depression after moving away and that intensified much more after the “incident” which I can’t reveal without giving out the main secret. Sully was a nice character. He loved Cadence and he sacrificed his love because he wanted her to actually live her life. That was indeed sweet and I liked that he fought to win her back. Oh before I forget, I loved the friendship between Haley and Cadence, they met in a support group and they both opened up to each other. Without Haley’s support she would’ve never gotten the strength to finally confess everything.
Overall, The Secrets We Kept was a story of love, loss and moving forward. Although I liked Cadence and Sully, I didn’t find myself rooting for them that much. The writing style was simple and easy to read. I did feel a little confused at first because it was suddenly going to the flashback then jumping into the present once again. The pace was even throughout the book, it was neither too slow nor too fast. Everything was neatly executed and realistically portrayed.
Lily Velez has been writing stories since she was six years old. Not much has changed since then. She still prefers the written word and her overactive imagination over the ‘real world’ (though to be fair, her stories no longer feature talking dinosaurs). A graduate of Rollins College and a Florida native, when she’s not reading or writing, she spends most of her days wrangling up her pit bulls Noah and Luna, planning exciting travel adventures, and nursing her addiction to cheese. All this when she isn’t participating in the extreme sport known as napping. You can learn more about Lily and her books here.
Lily’s debut young adult novel, The Secrets We Kept, released on November 8, 2015.
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