Book & Author details:
The Secrets We Kept by Lily Velez
Publication date: November 8th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
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.
This book involves the lives of foster kids forced together under the rule of their foster “parent”, Ol’ Man Peterson, who suffers from some severe emotional issues that he dulls with alcohol and beating the foster kids in his care. The book mainly involves Sulligan “Sully” Graham and his biological brother, Spencer, Cadence and Novah. The book starts out at the present time and then throughout the story jumps back in time to give you more background about Sully, Spencer, Cadence and Novah.
They once all lived and protected each other from Ol’ Man Peterson. Mr. Peterson finally snaps one day and the kids are taken to other foster homes. Sully and Spencer are placed together, Cadence had previously been moved to another foster home to be adopted, and Novah is moved to another foster home. On the postive side, they all seem to have much better living arrangements and not placed into other stereotypical foster homes of not being wanted.
Sully and Cadence had formed a deep friendship when she came to live at the Peterson house, where Sully and Spencer had already been living. As they continued to grow older, their friendship developed into a loving romantic relationship. Cadence was eventually adopted by a good family and Cadence finds out that her father has been transferred to California for his job and she must leave all of her friends and Sully behind. This ultimately starts the unraveling between the foster kids.
Cadence returns to New Jersey after being in California for a year but she isn’t the same girl and is harboring a very dark secret that has pushed her into a very deep depression, and she is finding it difficult to resume her life before California. Cadence is forced into individual and group therapy, where she meets Haley, who happens to be placed in the same foster home with Spencer, after Haley’s entire family dies in an auto accident.
Through therapy and her new friend, Haley, Cadence starts to slowly begin to deal with her issues, including Sully, who she continues to push away.
While Cadence was in California, Sully didn’t deal well with the break up and started working three jobs to avoid his own secrets and pain, and his relationship with his brother suffered as well.
Although Cadence was the one in therapy, it was what she learned in therapy that ultimately aided all her foster friends.
What is Cadence secret that is tearing her apart? Can Sully and Cadence ever get their loving relationship back? Will Sully’s own secret destroy his relationship with his brother forever? You will have to read the book.
This book was truly an amazing and inspirational read and a true testament that blood alone doesn’t always make you a family.
Favorite quote from the book: “…..No, we may not have parents and we may not have money, but if there’s one thing we do have, it’s heart. And heart has taken plenty of people further than any other thing out there”
I give this book four out of four “BALLERINA SLIPPERS”. See rating system HERE.
Lily Velez has been writing stories since she was six years old. Not much has changed since then. She still prefers the written word and her overactive imagination over the ‘real world’ (though to be fair, her stories no longer feature talking dinosaurs). A graduate of Rollins College and a Florida native, when she’s not reading or writing, she spends most of her days wrangling up her pit bulls Noah and Luna, planning exciting travel adventures, and nursing her addiction to cheese. All this when she isn’t participating in the extreme sport known as napping. You can learn more about Lily and her books at http://www.lilyvelezbooks.com.
Lily’s debut young adult novel, The Secrets We Kept, released on November 8, 2015.