Two Can Keep A Secret

Two Can Keep A Secret

Book - 2019
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While true-crime afficionado Ellery and her twin brother are staying with their grandmother in a Vermont community known for murder, a new friend goes missing and Ellery may be next.
Publisher: New York : Delacorte Press, [2019]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9781524714727
1524714720
Characteristics: 327 pages ; 22 cm

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t
taeyunericakang
Aug 06, 2020

Two Can Keep a Secret Review
5 stars
ages 15-17
Ezra and Ellery move in with their grandmother in a town called Echo Ridge in Pennsylvania, after their mother is admitted into rehab, and are encountered with horror from the night they arrive. The town was known for the disappearance of previous homecoming queens. Ellery, being interested in the field of true crime, took time to learn about the history of the town, and the two girls who had tragically lost their lives. Ezra and Ellery immediately hop into the rhythm of things and get a job at an amusement park centered around the theme of horror. Once school started back up, Ezra and Ellery soon made friends with Malcolm and Mia. Malcolm was the brother of a murder suspect, and had a hard time being confident. As homecoming rolled around, it was time to nominate three girls for homecoming princess, and Katrin, Brooke, and Ellery had been nominated. However, as homecoming approached, the homecoming princesses started to receive threats from a mysterious person, giving the assumption that one of the nominees would be killed. Fear grew and intensified for everyone. Then one day, Brooke disappeared. Ellery was constantly coming up with new theories as to what could’ve happened to the homecoming princess. However, nothing ever seemed to add up. Will Ellery ever be able to find out what happened to Brooke? As the book takes turn after turn, accusing the wrong people, the ending takes you by shock as the killer makes another attempt. I would recommend this book to people who like crime and mystery. The plot keeps you on your toes and makes you impatient to turn the next page. It was a very interesting and intriguing read.

What a rollicking good time this book was! I read and enjoyed One of Us is Lying, but I found it somewhat predictable. This one kept me guessing till the end, and maybe it was just because of the time I read it rather than the content of the book itself, but I enjoyed it a lot more.

Ellery and Ezra move to the small town of Echo Ridge, Vermont, when their mother heads to court-ordered rehab. They're to live with their nana, Nora, a woman they barely know, in a town that's a universe away from the sunny California coast they're used to. And, as it turns out, it's a town with both a missing girls problem and a Halloween theme park that was once aptly named Murderland...welcome to Echo Ridge, Ellery and Ezra. Meanwhile, Malcolm is dealing with the lonely repercussions of being a murder suspect's brother, as well as adjusting to a new stepfather and stepsister. Echo Ridge isn't the friendliest place for him, but he and his best friend Mia befriend Ellery and Ezra, and when new threats arise, they may just uncover secrets of the past at the same time...

I feel like I was one of the few people who didn't absolutely love McManus's debut, so when I finished this one with a satisfied smile on my face, it left me feeling so happy. I found this story to be twisty, fast-paced, and not at all obviously plotted. With these kinds of mysteries, I often find myself questioning everything constantly, and because of that, I usually guess the twists before they happen. In this case, because Ellery has that same kind of spidey-sense always on the go, I found I didn't guess at the perpetrator's identity until it was actually revealed, and I love that I had to go along for the whole ride this time. The couple false "aha!" moments just add to the suspense and the ultimate payoff.

I didn't find these characters to be all that exciting or original, but I also didn't find that to be detrimental to the plot. Especially in Ellery's case, I just liked her enough that it kept me invested, regardless of her relatively basic personality. The writing is tight and easily devourable, and overall, I found the story intriguing and spooky enough to hold my interest all the way through.

p
penelopegomez
Mar 11, 2020

I'm not sure if I just couldn't concentrate on this book... or if this book just made zero sense! This book starts off with two twins moving into their mom's small town nicknamed MURDER LAND. Right from the start the way Karen M. McManus describes this small town and its inhabitants I got cheesy 90's horror movie vibes. I thought for sure this book was going to be bloody, with murders happening left and right. Karen M. McManus honestly had the perfect book setting for a really good thriller, but that just wasn't the case with this book. It was honestly incredibly slow paced. Only like one person died in this book and it was super anti-climactic! In this book the main character Ellery's mom also had a twin but was murdered multiple years prior to them moving back. For some random reason Ellery decides that she is going to solve her aunt's cold case and starts out on a mission of finding clues and interrogating people. This murder mystery was highly illogical, this 17 year old girl just happened to piece this incredibly old cold case together! Every time she found another clue it was just TOO EASY! As a reader I was just expected to believe that a group of Detectives couldn't solve this case but miraculously a 17 year old girl who has only been in town for 1 month can solve it... not likely! Anyway every time a character was being interrogated, I found myself having to go back and reread things multiple times because I couldn't remember who this "key witness" even was, just all of sudden they were being questioned. I did not like this book. It just made zero sense, but I'm giving it 2 stars because I just absolutely loved the setting of, "Murder Land." It was an incredibly good setting, but it just didn't go anywhere.

b
blue_deer_398
Nov 20, 2019

Great book and well written, I was reading it at night and was scared to near panic in someparts-could close my eyes. However, the storyline was a little confusing and the romance bits were in my opinion, unnecessary. The book's main character is too critical and a tryhard. I could love this book if there wasn't teen romance! 8/10

t
tinybookworm
Nov 04, 2019

Such a good book. Lots of surprises and twists. Highly recommend!

c
carlymichelle
Oct 31, 2019

I enjoyed reading this book, and didn't figure out who the killer was early on!
Kept my interest.

b
blue_dog_31717
Sep 04, 2019

A disappointment, to put it kindly. I was definitely a fan of One of Us is Lying, even through I was slightly disappointed with the final culprit. Two Can Keep a secret starts with a great plot: a popular schoolteacher found dead on the road, in a town full of secrets, and a repeat of a homecoming killing threatened again. The story is fast-paced, and very compelling in the beginning and middle, and with a big revelation 2/3rds through the story so good my hopes for the ending skyrocketed(in the end, the twist had no importance in the story). However, McManus finds a way to completely botch the ending. For all those who I've heard say the final culprit was surprising, I have to laugh: I can understand why, as the killer was in the story for maybe one page, but even that was enough for me to get it. From about his second sentence I thought, "Yeah, this guy did it. No doubt about it." Sadly, my conclusion nailed it right on the head. The killer's motive was perplexing but reasonable in an odd way at best, and so far-fetched its not at all fit for any kind of mystery book at worst. Mystery books are supposed to have compelling characters and motives. But the killers motive(and the other wrongdoers motives) are ridiculous. Overall, I rate this book a 6/10, and a "Would Not Recommend Reading".

t
TheQueenofWords
Aug 01, 2019

Overall 1 star. I did not like this book. The one thing that I like about it was the fact that it wasn’t obvious who the killer was. Unfortunately, like her previous book, she thought up a great plot but the execution and ending was horrible.

First off, let’s talk about her previous book as well. She thought up a great plot (for BOTH books to) yet she cannot think of a good juicy twist. The killer was so plain and boring (in BOTH books), the motives were boring and dry (in BOTH books), I cannot fathom why she would think of a person so uninvolved in the victim(s) lives or would interest readers (in BOTH books). Now in this book, “Two Can Keep a Secret”, the only reason I didn’t guess who the killer was is because the protagonist was either too busy wasting her time socializing, pretending to be so smart with her murder theories or misleading readers because WE can’t investigate (in BOTH books). Not only that her murder theories are unbelievable (in BOTH books). Why? Because why would the killer in “One of Us is Lying” do that? I don’t see any reason that’s at least believable. As for “Two Can Keep a Secret”, why would the victims have “business” with the guy. They had perfectly fine lives. AGAIN, explainable.

Secondly, the characters; I didn’t care about most of them because they didn’t really have a depth and I couldn’t connect to them. The reason I could not find out who the murder was is because the main character, Ellery, was looking at all the wrong people and I couldn’t walk into the book and investigate (obviously) so had to follow her.

Finally, the writing threw me off. I just found it a bit weird, I wasn’t used to her style. I definitely DON’T recommend this book.

d
deanna_88
Jun 27, 2019

I liked this book! I would never have guessed the culprit! Nice easy read. Well written.

k
KatG1983
Jun 06, 2019

A decent mystery, I didn't guess the identity of the killer - so points for that. It's a good read for a lazy summer day, but you won't remember the details of it a month afterwards.

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ftudoric
Aug 31, 2020

ftudoric thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

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blue_dog_31717
Sep 04, 2019

blue_dog_31717 thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

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TheQueenofWords
Aug 01, 2019

TheQueenofWords thinks this title is suitable for 80 years and under

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blue_dog_35293
Jul 29, 2019

blue_dog_35293 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

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olive_whale_22
Nov 27, 2018

olive_whale_22 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

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cmlibrary_jcurrie Oct 02, 2020

Twins Ellery and Ezra are staying with their grandmother while their mother completes a stint in rehab. Their mother, Sadie, rarely talks about her family or her twin sister that was murdered several years ago. The murder happened the same night that Sadie was crowned homecoming queen. Ellery has been nominated for the homecoming court and anonymous threats are made against all the girls that were nominated. The threats reference the murder of Sadie’s sister from 23 years ago and it seems as if the killer is ready to strike again.

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