It’s no secret we’re thrilled that Cassie Gustafson’s The Secrets We Keep is out in the world, with two starred reviews from Kirkus and Publisher’s Weekly already.
In the vein of Amber Smith’s The Way I Used to Be and Kelly Loy Gilbert’s Conviction, this heartbreaking yet hopeful young adult novel follows a girl’s struggle to reconcile friendship, sexual abuse, and the secrets we bury deep down inside to survive.
High school freshman Emma Clark harbors a secret—a secret so vile it could implode her whole world, a secret she’s managed to keep hidden away. . . Until the day her best friend, Hannah, accuses Emma’s father of a heinous crime. Following her father’s arrest, and torn between loyalty to Hannah and to her family, Emma is devastated to learn she must testify against Hannah’s word in order to keep her family together. As Emma wrestles with this impossible decision, her fractured past begins to resurface piece by painful piece—causing the line to blur between her present-day reality and the dark fairytales she writes to survive, all of which threaten to expose Emma’s long-buried truths.
The Secrets We Keep explores the complex, powerful bonds of friendship and family, asking the difficult question: at what point does Emma’s loyalty to another become a betrayal of herself? And perhaps the toughest question of all: Can Emma find the strength to finally unbury her secret?