Publication Date: August 22, 2016.
Publisher: Entangled: Crush.
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, LGBT, and Romance.
Selling points: Extraordinary f/f romance, magical writing, and diverse characters.
Synopsis: 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.
Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains drinking, sexual situations, and a fairy-tale romance sure to make your heart melt.
Thank you, Entangled: Crush, for my review copy of Keeping Her Secret. I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review; this does not affect my opinion. Any quotes mentioned below are taken from the ARC and are subject to change upon publication.
Keeping Her Secret is a book that stays with you like a beautiful sunset is engraved in your mind for days or even weeks after you’ve seen it. This book is refreshing, beautiful and fills your heart with love and joy. Keeping Her Secret has now become one of my favorite books of all time, I already want to reread it and experience these emotions all over again. You can review a book where you analyze it point after point, however, the one thing that has always had the greatest impact on me is how a book makes me feel. Keeping Her Secret makes me feel a lot, in the best way possible.
“Courtney, I’m bi,” Riya explained.
But Courtney gave her a blank look, and her head twitched. “Bi?”
Riya Johnson is a half Indian bisexual girl and I absolutely love her. She’s brave, sporty yet clumsy and honestly one of the most refreshing protagonists I have ever read about. Seeing such good on the page representation is valuable and precious, and something I wish we got more of. Sarah Nicolas does it so well. What I love about Keeping Her Secret is that it’s in a lot of ways about bravery, and in more ways than one. Riya, who has always had a supportive family, was never scared to come out and has always been true to who she is.
Courtney, on the other hand, is rich and has always been surrounded by people in the social elite, something that has made her conform to being the perfect it-girl. Beautiful and someone all the boys want. However, that’s not who she is on the inside, and that’s what is so beautiful to see. Courtney is brave but in a very different way than Riya. She is willing to go after her passion, ballet, even if her parents do not approve and she is slowly but surely coming to terms with her sexuality. She is finally starting to accept who she is and what she desires after struggling with it for so long.
“David was a beautiful distraction, but she appreciated his six-pack and dimples the same way she appreciated Monet paintings. She acknowledged they were pretty, but she didn’t experience an emotional response to them. Not like she did with Picasso paintings.”
Even though Riya and Courtney are the heart of this story, the side characters are just as amazing. We have Colt, Courtney’s twin brother, who is the most supportive guy in the entire book. He knows about the kiss that happened between Riya and Courtney all those years ago and, though Courtney insists she doesn’t like girls, Colt is very supportive. In fact, in many ways, he knows Courtney better than she knows herself. We also have Dee, who is funny, a total prankster and a really good friend to Riya. These supporting characters make the story more dynamic and captivating than it would have been if they hadn’t been there.
“God, she was so unworldly beautiful, like a river nymph bathing in the moonlight.”
Keeping Her Secret is a story that will stay with me for a very long time. This book had me crying, it touched my heart and gave me so much hope. It’s a book that’s beautiful, funny and absolutely mesmerizing. You will root for Riya and Courtney, you will scream for them in the hopes that they get their happy ending and in the end, you’ll feel alive. Keeping Her Secret is a sweet summer story that will set your soul on fire and make you feel brave and invincible afterward because that’s what these characters are. They are girls loving girls, brave and unstoppable, and no one can get in the way of what they want.