Reading Time: 3 minutes

Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Thriller

336 pages | Published Jan 8th, 2019

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Goodreads // Buy this book: Paperback & Hardback


Echo Ridge is small-town America. Ellery’s never been there, but she’s heard all about it. Her aunt went missing there at age seventeen. And only five years ago, a homecoming queen put the town on the map when she was killed. Now Ellery has to move there to live with a grandmother she barely knows.

The town is picture-perfect, but it’s hiding secrets. And before school even begins for Ellery, someone’s declared open season on homecoming, promising to make it as dangerous as it was five years ago. Then, almost as if to prove it, another girl goes missing.

Ellery knows all about secrets. Her mother has them; her grandmother does too. And the longer she’s in Echo Ridge, the clearer it becomes that everyone there is hiding something. The thing is, secrets are dangerous–and most people aren’t good at keeping them. Which is why in Echo Ridge, it’s safest to keep your secrets to yourself.



There has been quite a lot of hype around McManus’s books ever since her debut, One of Us is Lying, came out a couple years ago. Although I was interested in it and found the premise to be intriguing, it never became a priority, so I ended up not reading it. This time, however, I was lucky enough to receive a copy of the Portuguese edition of McManus’s newest novel, which has also been getting great reviews – though I’ve some people say that her debut was better.

So, what is this book all about? There are two main characters: Ellery and Malcolm. Ellery has a twin brother, Ezra, and their mother is currently in rehab after a bit of a tricky situation she went through. At the beginning of the book, Ellery and Ezra move to their grandmother’s house in Echo Ridge, where they will live for a few months, until their mom gets back from the clinic. The problem is that this town has a history of missing and/or murdered girls, including the twins’ aunt, and Ellery’s fascination with criminology is thrilled by this.

As for Malcolm, he is a teenager from Echo Ridge, whose brother was a suspect in the murder of one of the girls mentioned above. He is kind of looked down upon by his peers at school due to the population’s belief of his brother’s killing instints, so I would say that he is a bit of a misfit – he has one single close friend, a girl named Mia. When Ellery and Ezra move to Echo Ridge and tragedy hits, they will start their own investigation with Malcolm and Mia, forming a great friendship among themselves.

Going into Two Can Keep a Secret, I had pretty high expectations, considering Karen M. McManus is a popular author and I had heard great things about both of her books. I was hooked from the beginning, and felt that there was no downtime, as there was always something happening. This made Two Can Keep a Secret a compulsive read, filled with action and several misteries that are seemlessly woven together throughout the story – misteries that we, unsuccessfully, try to solve and connect as we read on.

YA thrillers seem to not be too common of a thing, which makes me sad because I’ve found that I really like them. Fortunately, though, I’ve began to see more and more of this type of stories emerging, like McManus’s books and Sadie by Courtney Summers, which I also loved when I read it last year. Truth is, a good mystery combined with the trivial drama of teenage lives is something that really tickles my fancy – and, generally speaking, these two elements seem to work pretty well together.

The plot in this novel is extremely intriguing and, in my humble opinion, very well built. I tried my best, but could never figure out how the story would end so, when it was finally revealed, I was blown away. Also, the last sentence was the cherry on top of the cake – very impacting, I thought it was genius! 😄

Overall, this is a compulsive and unpredictable read, filled with beautifully interwoven misteries and wonderful teenaged characters. After this wonderful read, I have to get my hands on the author’s debut, One of Us is Lying, since so many people loved it and some of them say it is even better than this one.

4.5/5 stars


I hope you enjoyed reading my thoughts on Two Can Keep a Secret and if you’d like, check out my other book reviews!

Have you read any of McManus’s books? Which is your favorite? Let me know in the comments!

Thank you so much for reading,
I’ll see you in my next post ♡