Book Review: Shipley’s Secrets


Growing up in foster care, Malcolm has never known his birth family. The first twelve years of his life is riddled with trauma and abuse. His only dream in life is to make it to eighteen years old so he can join the military and change his fate. When Malcolm’s placed in the care of a new foster home, he meets Adler and Sal. Three boys having grown up with no family, no connections and no hope of a steady life, they find something in each other they never thought they’d have. Family. After a horrific trauma occurs in this new foster home, Malcolm, Adler and Sal are thrust into uncertainty and an indefinite separation from each other. That is, until an unlikely savior steps in.

Trauma brought three boys into the lives of the Keating’s. The love they carry as brothers will guide them into the life they’re meant to have. Their shared dream of joining the military just a short time away. Loyalty to each other and their newly built family is the glue that binds all those dreams together. But with loyalty and the need to protect each other, comes secrets.

Clara has had her own fair share of trauma. After a life altering event, Clara vows to move on with her life and be happy despite all that is stacked against her. When she meets the mysterious Malcolm, her curiosity about him leads her to an unlikely turn of events. And a life she never expected. Which way will her heart sway? Will the path it takes tear apart a brother’s bond?

Will all the secrets kept between these lives break the loyalty of this family?

Shipley’s Secret by Jen Simmons is a cross between and YA and a NA. This book has loyalty, friendship, heartache, ugly cry moments, and triggers. This book has a large section of younger adults in foster care that might cause triggers for some. The scenes are not as graphic, but enough that a warning is needed. This book does end on a cliffhanger and book two is currently being written. This book is not on Kindle Unlimited and is $2.99 with Kindle. 

The beginning of this book is just kind of a…WTF did I just read! Right after I read the prologue I messaged Jen Simmons and asked if this book was going to be an ugly cry. You know something tragic has happened but how?! Then the book is 13 years before and how the events in their lives came to pass. 

Now we have the book with three young boys coming together in foster care; Adler, Sal, and Malcolm. The first half of this book lives within the childhood years of Malcolm, Sal, and Adler and how they came to life within the same foster house. After a horrific scene, the three boys are adopted and sent to live with their new principal. This part just gives you the feels. It really is hard to read and you know those tears are going to drop. If you are a Peper Winters fan, I think you would really like this book. 

The other half of this book is about Clara. Clara is a spoiled little brat who finds out her mother is sick after overhearing her parents talk while preparing to move. She thinks about her life and how horrible she has actually been and turns herself around to spend the next few years helping her mom out and being there for her as a daughter. After the skip to when Clara, Malcolm, Sal, are seniors in high school, Clara’s mom dies. I think it is always hard to read about a parent dying from a sickness and Jen Simmons writes descriptive scenes that paint the picture for you very well. 

The boys meet Clara on her worst day ever and we see that more than one brother has developed feelings for Clara. While Clara thinks she is falling for one brother, her first dinner with their family changes everything. This is definitely love at first sight and sparks flying between these two. There is one scene at the end that strays away from the YA scene and into more of the slow burn. Clara has chosen her guy and they must figure out how to let the other brother know. You need to remember that this book isn’t in current times, look at the timestamps on the chapters. After another tragic event happening in both Clara’s life and the brothers that might cause triggers, the book ends on a cliffhanger. What a good cliffhanger though! I’m excited to see what happens at military school and what drama will unfold. 

Since this book is more of a YA I am not including a Sizzle Factor.

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