Review | Keeping Her Secret by Sarah Nicolas

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Title // Keeping Her Secret
Author // Sarah Nicolas
Pages // 356 pages
Publisher // Entangled: Crush
Series // Endless Summer
Release Date // August 2016
Find it on Goodreads and Amazon

Two girls. One Kiss.

The last person Riya Johnson expected to run into at her new summer camp is Courtney Chastain—her childhood best friend and the girl who broke her heart after a secret, mind-blowing, life-altering kiss. She definitely didn’t expect to be sharing a bunk bed with her for four long weeks.

Courtney has what every girl wants—she’s beautiful, rich, and the object of every boy’s desire at Camp Pine Ridge. Too bad none of them make her feel an iota of what Riya’s kiss did all those years ago. But Courtney needs to uphold appearances at all costs—even if it means instigating an all-out prank war with Riya as her main target.

Neither girl can stop thinking about the other…but that doesn’t mean they can give up past hurts and take a chance on a future together.

b o r d e r

A step forward for the LGBT community, Keeping Her Secret is a strong tale of friendship, courage and love. The book was moving and honest at all times, and kept a reasonable pace, making me want to continue reading the novel. Which is exactly what I did.

Entangled: Crush novels are quickly becoming fast favourites (with the exception of the odd few), and Keeping Her Secret highlights why exactly. I adore the simplicity of the novel, that allows me to read it while feeling switched on and motivated, or bummed out and ready to sleep. That’s the beauty of these books – they’re your every day kind of novel and not just the paperback you buy in The Works to take on holiday, but never get around to reading. In summary of that – they’re fantastic, and right up my alley-way. There is a nagging feeling in my chest which is really my gold-digger side, begging me to spend money on physical editions. If I could, I would – but I be broke. Any who, Keeping Her Secret was a big reminder as to why I treasure the stories Entangled provides to readers such as myself. There was a fluid, fast writing style which helped ease me into the novel, quickly understand the background and aid me in sliding through the book. It took all about two and half hours (a rough guestimate) to finish and it had had me hooked. I was like a fish on a hook. Something which I found useful was the ability to just slip into the book without having confusing anecdotes or overly complex characters. The beauty of this book is its simplicity. This is a book stripped down to its roots.

Characters are always something I look forward too. Rhia and Courtney were absolutely no different than any other character I have ever come across. As protagonists and the focus of the story, you feel their guilt, their passion and their courage with every written word. The incorporation of a separate ethnicity was a real hit with me, as a lot of YA lit tends to focus on Caucasian protagonists. Keeping Her Secret definitely hit on the goal with strong female vibes. Since Fifth Harmony stepped on the scene, claiming to be the ‘boss’ and ‘worth it’, there has been a dramatic increase in the idea of a strong female leader. Courtney was most definitely a strong female leader, and definitely captured the ‘queen bee’ essence. It’s important that books such as these, which are targeted at young women and new adults stress the importance of being your own boss and living for yourself. It’s all too easy to let our worries and loved ones dictate our actions, words and behaviour. Keeping Her Secret really emphasises the need to make yourself happy, especially through the embodiment of Courtney.

If you are now a regular reader of this blog, I thank you. Also, you will by now understand that I am a total sucker for romance. From sobbing my eyes out at Me Before You to wanting to rip my heart out with The Fault in Our Stars, happy endings mean the world to me. And who doesn’t love a good happy ending? Although the LGBT theme is quickly being injected into mainstream YA, it was refreshing to find a novel about such an issue in its simplest form. It makes me immensely happy that there are novels out there like this, which promote social harmony and inclusion. Another winner was the breaking down of the social backgrounds – proving that this is 2016, we are in the modern world and it’s okay to want to be more than a privileged middle-class girl – just the same as its okay to break down the stigma behind parents of a certain ethnicity who might generally be portrayed as negative towards the LGBT community. Generalisations had absolutely no room in this novel, and for that, I am glad.

Let it be said that this was definitely a book I enjoyed. It had incredibly positive vibes, was fun to read and the simplicity of the writing made it a breeze to take on. I expect big things from this author, and will continue to adore Entangled: Crush so long as they endorse fantastic novels such as this one. Keeping Her Secret earns a fabulous 5 out of 5, and maybe a spot on my Christmas booklist.

5 starsboreder

Still unsure on whether this is the book for you? Have a look at what these fabulous had to say about the novel.

Lauren and Megan @ YA Bookers said “Highly recommend. This one should definitely be on your TBR.”

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