Two Can Keep a Secret is the second book by author Karen M. McManus. Her first book, One of Us is Lying, is one of the best YA books I’ve read so I was very excited to read this one.

Two Can Keep a Secret is set in a small town in America which has suffered a number of tragedies. Two Homecoming queens have been murdered and the perpetrator has never been caught. In the present-day, Ellery and Ezra move to Echo Ridge to live with their grandmother. Their aunt was the first Homecoming queen to be murdered 20 years before and perhaps because of this Ellery has a fascination with true crime.

When someone starts leaving threatening messages around town Ellery takes it upon herself to find the perpetrator as well as investigating the original murders. It becomes personal for her once again when the current nominees for Homecoming Queen start receiving direct threats (she is nominated along with three others). The intensity really ramps up when one of the Homecoming Queens goes missing. The town faces a race against time to prevent another murder in the town.

Without spoiling too much of this book I would recommend reading it for yourself. The mysteries are compelling and had me hooked until the end. It brings up themes that are relatable to many people: fear, guilt and anger are felt by the main character at various stages of the book. Normally I find myself rolling my eyes when the lead female goes into dangerous situations to get information but this time, I felt like I understood her decisions at each step. I certainly wouldn’t do everything she did (I am terrified of my own shadow), but you learn so much about her as a person that by the end you are rooting for her to succeed.

-Michelle O’Brien
Contributing Writer
Girl Museum Inc.

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