Blog Tour - The Secrets We Kept by Lily Velez (REVIEW + GIVEAWAY!)

Friday, December 18, 2015

The Secrets We Kept by Lily Velez 

Publication Date: November 8th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult

About The Secrets We KeptOne 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.
The Secrets We Kept is a beautifully written novel about loss, love, friendship and hope.

The plot was very character-driven, which I enjoyed immensely. I felt a deeper connection to the characters, and I thought Velez balanced the foster care/adoption lifestyle, the characters' internal and psychological struggles, and the romance extremely well. Sometimes a certain aspect of a book can overpower the rest, but Velez did not disappoint. She weaved the different components and themes of the story in a way that helped the story instead of hurt it.

There were a few parts that seemed cliche to me (like Cadence's secrets), but compared to what I've read in the past, Lily Velez wrote it so much better. I also thought that some of the conflicts resolved too quickly once the conflict escalated, but as cliche as it sounds, I could not put the book down. I kept wanting to know more and refused to stop until I got the answers I wanted and needed.

The characters were all very well-developed and felt real and raw. Their lives truly exemplified the idea that life is like a rollercoaster — there were so many times when they were on the brink of falling and were constantly trying to make it back to the top. All of the characters were absolutely maddening at times, but at the same time I couldn't help hut love them and want to cheer them on. They all go through so much throughout the novel, and I just wanted them to be happy again.

Sully and Cadence were extremely cute together. Even though most of the novel was building up to them getting back together (or not), the snapshots of their lives before California were absolutely adorable and all I wanted was for them to have moments like that again. It was frustrating to see them struggling within the relationship with each other as well as with their family and friends, but based on the circumstances I could understand why they acted the way they did.

As individual characters, Sully and Cadence were definitely interesting. It was hard to see them close themselves off from their loved ones and I grew irritated with them at times, but I know that I could probably not do much better if I was in their shoes. 

Overall, The Secrets We Kept was a quick and enjoyable read.

My Rating: ✪✪✪ 1/2

About the Author:

Lily Velez has been writing stories since she was six years old. Not much has changed since then. She still prefersthe 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

Lily's debut young adult novel, The Secrets We Kept, released on November 8, 2015.

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  1. Great review! I love character driven books and this sounds like a very well written read overall! Glad you liked it! :)