Book Review: All My Secrets- Sophie McKenzie

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‘There’s a terrible secret. Mr Treeves shuffles from side to side, but I’m frozen to the spot.’ 

Let’s start by saying I read this in four hours. I hope this gives a good indication of how this review is going to go. Evie Brown is a normal teenager at the start of a long and boring summer waiting for her birthday. She doesn’t know that the next knock on the door is going to change her life. She is told that she has inherited £10 million, but at what cost? Soon Evie finds herself shipped off to Lightsea, an institute for troubled teens by those who love her most. Who can Evie turn to now?

I’m a big fan of Sophie McKenzie, after reading her adult thriller Close My Eyes last year, it was one of the best twists I’d read in a while and so when I heard that All My Secrets was for YA I was instantly drawn to it. As I said earlier I read this in a matter of hours  and as with her earlier novel McKenzie allows you to think you have it all worked out before throwing a spanner into the works. The novel really waves in and out giving the reader clues throughout making you question yourself at the end as to why you didn’t figure it out.

I really liked the character of Evie and the journey she goes on through the novel, I didn’t see the first twist and now I find it brilliant. It is something that completely changes her world and how she see’s the people in it. While many would think, I’d take £10 million no matter what, I can assure you that this would make you think twice about it. As Evie delves more and more into the mysteries of Lightsea she has to consider who to trust or risk losing her life. I feel like Evie is very realistic in the way she handles the situation she is left in, she has her flaws and is not a seemingly perfect character.

One of the few things that I got bored of quickly in the novel is the love interest that Evie has during her time at Lightsea, I understand teenagers will be teenagers but I really wanted to know more about the other young people. There are such interesting and vibrant characters created by McKenzie and I really wanted to know more about them as well as the island itself, which has been well described throughout.

I’m going to give this 4 stars ****. This is the first of McKenzie’s YA novels that I’ve read and it was a great start. I love the fact that she has been able to seamlessly branch across genres. The reason I didn’t give this novel 5 stars is simply because I wanted to get to know the other characters better and see more of who they are and why they are also at Lightsea, their reasons are mentioned but quite quickly but not in detail.

Book Review: Keep Your Friends Close – Paula Daly

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You’d trust your best friend with your life…right?

Natty has the perfect life, a successful business, two daughters she adores and her teenage sweetheart as a doting husband. While the stresses of work build there is nothing Natty can’t handle…apart from maybe her mother in law. That is until she receives a phone call that her daughter is desperately ill, her oldest friend steps in to help out but what Netty doesn’t know is that this could be the start of her world beginning to unravel.

I will start out by saying that Daly’s novel is delicious and addictive.I give you fair warning, this book will keep you up until the early hours desperate to know what’s going to happen next. There was no part of me that wanted to put this novel down at any point of the day. Daly has an incredible talent for creating a world in which anything can happen and anyone can have secrets you’d never even consider. If there was anything I’d change about this novel it’s that I’d want it to continue. I want to know what happens after it ends because it was just so damn good.

The protagonist, Natty, is a determined woman, she’s worked hard for all she has and has never had a reason not to trust her best friend, until now. There are twists, turns and ‘oh my god’ moments throughout the whole book. I also particularly liked her daughters, they grow as the book goes on and become incredible characters, in fact I would have liked to have known more about them. I was also pleased to see the return of Joanne, the policewoman (those of you who have read Just What Kind of Mother Are You? will remember her).I also found the character of Eve to be written in a breaktaking way. I hated her, but at the same time I couldn’t get enough. I’ll leave it there in fear of spoilers.

It’s hard to write a review for a novel such as this because I could easily drop in some spoilers without realising. Each twist and turn has been carefully thought out and although there are some clues throughout, there is still the ability to shock, especially in relation to Natty’s past…Daly’s one of those writers that once you’ve read one of her books you’re hooked and I can’t wait to get my hands on her latest novel this summer. I only have a few weeks to wait but I can assure you Keep Your Friends Close has wetted my appetite and I’m sure it will do the same for all of you. 

It should not come as surprise that I’m giving this novel five stars *****. It is written with a sharp mind and pure talent on Daly’s part. I read this book in less than a day, with other things to do. The thought will always be at the back of your mind too, who do I really know? This novel really is a must read, I promise you wont regret it.

Daly’s new novel The Mistakes I Made is out on the 27th August.

This is not a sponsored post.

Review by Chloe Metzger