ARC Review: “All Your Twisted Secrets” by Diana Urban

Thanks to Epic Reads/HarperTeen for sending me a free early copy in exchange for an honest review!

I definitely wasn’t sure what to expect when I went into this and let’s just say I was disappointed.

Content warnings: bullying, suicide, drug use

All Your Twisted SecretsTitle: All Your Twisted Secrets
Author: Diana Urban
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release date: March 17, 2020
Genre: Young adult, contemporary, mystery, thriller
Length: 400 pages (hardcover)
Synopsis: (via Goodreads) “What do the queen bee, star athlete, valedictorian, stoner, loner, and music geek all have in common? They were all invited to a scholarship dinner, only to discover it’s a trap. Someone has locked them into a room with a bomb, a syringe filled with poison, and a note saying they have an hour to pick someone to kill … or else everyone dies.

Amber Prescott is determined to get her classmates and herself out of the room alive, but that might be easier said than done. No one knows how they’re all connected or who would want them dead. As they retrace the events over the past year that might have triggered their captor’s ultimatum, it becomes clear that everyone is hiding something. And with the clock ticking down, confusion turns into fear, and fear morphs into panic as they race to answer the biggest question: Who will they choose to die?”

new two stars

new my thoughts

This book was…er…interesting and weird. I don’t normally read thriller but I decided, “What the hell? Why not give it a whirl?” Perhaps this was the wrong book to do it with. 🤣

At first I found myself interested. Six people locked in a room with only an hour to decide if they should kill one person or a bomb will kill them all? Okay. Color me intrigued. The story is told in present (during the hour) and in past events (leading up to the hour). We see the main character, Amber, and how she comes to know the rest of the characters central to the story. It’s…interesting. I know you’ll keep hearing me say that but I can’t think of a better word. Amber really throws herself to this “popular” (Sasha and Robbie mainly) group and for what? To feel better about herself? To feel wanted? I don’t know. Everything really spiraled after that.

I didn’t care for any of the characters. I did feel bad for Priya, Amber’s best friend, and really wanted to strangle Sasha for being such a horrible person. Amber is extremely driven, that’s for sure. I liked how she was determined to go to film score school and seemed to have genuine talent. What happened to her sister was horrible and is very relevant in today’s society and what not only teens but those younger and older deal with. It sucks, but do I think what Amber did was justified? No. And I’m not sure if that was the author’s intent or not since we’re left with a somewhat open-ended ending.

I was also cheering for Diego and Amber more than Robbie and Amber since the latter really couldn’t seem to get it through his skull that his girlfriend has dreams of her own and he’s really overlooking them. If I were Amber I would have dropped Sasha like a hot cake and turned back to my supposedly best friend Priya. That girl does not deserve all the trauma she faced in this book.

Would I recommend this book? To be honest I don’t really know. It shows the consequences of bullying and what happens when you try to show people their true colors. It’s also pretty awful. I mean, the writing was good but this book failed a bit in its execution.

You can purchase this book from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, BookDepository, or find it at your local indie bookstore with IndieBound.

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