My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I read Karen M. McManus’s first book, One of Us is Lying, many months ago and absolutely adored it. I generally like the YA mystery genre and McManus has a great way of putting you right back in high school with her stories.
So when I found out she was writing a second book, I immediately told myself I had to read it. Which brings me to Two Can Keep a Secret. While I loved the concept of this book (missing high school homecoming princesses and murder in a small town), I struggled a bit overall. Here are my thoughts…
Things I loved:
1. The way McManus incorporates that nostalgic high school feeling into her books. The characters definitely have a YA, junior essence in both their actions and their dialogue.
2. The ending. I definitely did not see the ending coming and love when I’m caught off guard with a really great twist. This book had it. The twist was fantastic and unexpected… and the last line of the book will leave you with chills up your spine.
Things I didn’t love:
1. There were too many characters and none of them were that well developed. I felt like I was reading a bunch of names and trying to remember who was which character. The cast definitely could have benefited from some more distinguishing characteristics that would help to better differentiate them from each other. And while I understand that the more characters are in the story, the more red herrings there are to throw the reader off track, I did feel like there were maybe too many characters in general.
2. The story wasn’t all that unique. As I’ve said before, the mystery genre is so saturated that authors have to get more and more creative to stand out. While I loved the ending, the road to get there was at times kind of slow and didn’t keep my attention the whole time. There were times that I found myself just wanting the story to get somewhere quicker because I was losing interest.
3. I listened to the audiobook and the narrators were not my favorite.
Overall, this one was just okay for me. In my opinion, it wasn’t as strong as One of Us is Lying, which I really enjoyed. I feel “meh” about it.