Title: The Secrets We Kept by Lily Velez
Publisher: Blue Typewriter Press
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult, Romance
Length: 303 pages
Book Rating: C+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Blog Tour Company
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.
The Secrets We Kept by Lily Velez is a heartwarming young adult novel about family, friends and forgiveness.
Sulligan “Sully” Graham and Cadence Gilbertson’s relationship began as friendship then gradually blossomed into romance. As foster kids, neither of them is used to things working out for them but Sully and his younger brother, Spencer, were finally placed with a loving family and Cadence was eventually adopted by a terrific couple. However, soon after her adoption was finalized, Cadence’s father received a promotion that meant the family had to relocate to California. Afraid their relationship would prevent her from making a new life for herself, Sully broke up with her before she moved but the two remained friends. However, a few months after she left, Cadence inexplicably cut off all ties with her New York friends. A year later, she and her family have moved back to New York and while she has resumed her friendship with Novah, a mutual friend of hers and Sully, Cadence refuses to let Sully back into her life.
Sully is kind-hearted and very protective of the people he cares about. Now aged out of the foster system, he is working three jobs trying to make end meets and since his split with Cadence, he has distanced himself from everyone he cares about. His heart was in the right place when he broke things off with Cadence but he was pretty miserable within months of her leaving. Sully knew he made a mistake but before he could broach the possibility of a reconciliation, Cadence abruptly cut him out of her life. He is stunned to discover she is back in New York, and although Sully would like nothing more than to get back together with her, Cadence vehemently refuses to explain what went wrong nor is she willing to resume their romance or their friendship.
Although Cadence is glad to be back in New York, she is still pretty unhappy. She absolutely refuses to discuss what happened in California so she maintains a rather distant friendship with Novah. Although she does try to smooth things over with Sully, Cadence has no intention of letting him back in her life.
Learning the truth about what happened to Cadence is the main focus of The Secrets We Kept. However, Cadence is not going to give up her secrets without a fight and sharing this journey with her is a bit frustrating but it is also quite illuminating. Although it is not too terribly difficult to guess what she is so afraid to reveal, part of her revelation comes as a complete surprise.
For the most part, The Secrets We Kept by Lily Velez is well-written but it is incredibly slow paced and a little overly dramatic. The majority of the Cadence and Sully’s relationship is revealed through flashbacks and some of the transitions between past and present are a little confusing and hard to follow. All in all, a well researched young adult novel that is heartfelt and engaging.