Title: All Your Twisted Secrets
Author: Diana Urban
Release Date: March 17th 2020
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Thriller, Contemporary
This thrilling debut, reminiscent of new fan favorites like One of Us Is Lying and the beloved classics by Agatha Christie, will leave readers guessing until the explosive ending.
Welcome to dinner, and again, congratulations on being selected. Now you must do the selecting.
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?
I received an e-ARC from the publisher to participate in the blog tour. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Trigger Warnings: suicide, bullying, drugs
I’m going to keep this short and spoiler-free because you just need to read this book for yourself. I knew the moment I read the synopsis that this was going to be a suspenseful thrill-ride and I was not wrong. It was so fun learning all the twisted secrets (haha) of each character. The book is written in alternating time-lines which allows the reader to unravel the plot as well as the characters tangled histories with one another, while keeping up the tension and anticipation as the clock literally counts down to their doom. A strong debut novel with a captivating plot, engaging writing, and vivid characters that practically jump from the page. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and definitely recommend it if you’re looking for a thrilling suspense novel with an escape room vibe.
Star Rating: ★★★☆½
- I hated seeing myself in pictures. The image staring back at me never quite matched how I pictured myself.
- When you depend on luck, something’s bound to go wrong.
- “When there are give minutes left on that timer” – she jabbed her finger toward the fireplace – “you’re going to want to kill someone, too. You’re going to want to do whatever you can to save yourself.”
- “I think you should’ve been more careful picking your friends. Because they clearly don’t give a shit about you.”
My pulse raced as I stared at the syringe of poison and the bomb atop the gleaming silver platter. Within the hour, you must choose someone in this room to die. If you don’t, everyone dies.
“That’s one sick prank,” said Robbie. “Who the hell would do this?” He grabbed the note from me, his eyes darting across the page. Diego leaned against the edge of the table, studying the bomb.
“Wait, wait, wait.” Sasha clutched her throat. “Does that mean . . . if we don’t kill one of us, that bomb will go off in an hour?”
Scott burst out laughing.
“What the hell is so funny?” asked Sasha.
He leaned back in his chair. “It’s obviously a joke, and you fell for it like an anvil.”
“Doesn’t seem very funny to me,” muttered Robbie.
“Who would do this?” Priya cried. “Who would think up something so awful?”
“Did anyone see who shut the door?” I asked. Priya and Scott shook their heads.
“No.” Diego slumped back into his seat. “I didn’t see anyone.”
“Me neither,” said Sasha. “I was too busy talking to that creep.” She motioned toward Scott, and he scoffed.
“Someone probably stood behind the door and pushed it closed,” said Diego.
Priya visibly shivered. “Does that mean someone was hiding behind the door the whole time?”
“And are they still out there?” My voice shook slightly.
Robbie slammed the note on the table and scooted his chair back with a screech, making me jump. “This is ridiculous.” He rounded his chair and pounded on the door. “Hey! Unlock the door!” His jaw tightened when nobody replied. “This isn’t funny. Unlock the door now!”
“Oh my God,” said Priya. Sasha took slow, deep breaths, trying to keep calm, but her eyes darted around the room frantically.
“Robbie.” I rushed toward him, grabbing his hand. “Calm down. It’s just some morbid joke. I’m sure they’ll get bored and let us out.”
He shook me off and knelt, peering with one eye into the large keyhole below the doorknob. “There’s no key.”
“I didn’t hear a lock click or anything,” Sasha added.
“It all happened so fast.” I touched the oak door, the wood cool under my palm, and turned back to the group. “Think they’re still out there?”
Robbie shrugged. “Who the hell knows?”
“Hello?” I called out. “Is anyone there?”
“This is bullshit.” Robbie kicked the door. “What kind of sick psycho would—”
“Shhh.” I waved him off and pressed my ear against the door, but all I could hear was Priya muttering, “Oh my God, oh my God,” over and over again. “Priya, shut up,” I said. She clamped her lips shut, her eyes glassy.
I pressed my ear against the door again, straining to hear something. A voice. Footsteps. Someone breathing. Anything. But all I could hear were the muffled baritones and strings from the orchestral music playing in the main dining room.
“Nothing?” asked Diego.
I shook my head and knelt, peeking through the keyhole. My heart raced as I held my breath. Years of watching horror movies had trained me to expect an eyeball to appear on the other side. My whole body tensed, ready to leap backward.
But all I could see was one of the red-cushioned booths across the main dining room. There was no movement of any kind. “There’s nobody there.” I stood and turned back to the group. “I don’t see anything.”
“Damn, it’s so hot in here.” Sasha touched the back of her hand to her forehead.
“It really is.” I wiped my upper lip and scanned the walls. “Crap. The thermostat must be out in the main dining room.”
“It’s gotten worse since we got here.” Priya tugged on her hair. “I just want to go home.”
I gasped and bit my lip. Home. I forgot to text Mom when Robbie and I got here. “Oh, no.” I grabbed my phone from the table and raised it toward the ceiling, but I had no signal whatsoever. Sasha tried the same thing, stretching toward the windows facing the alley.
“Nothing,” she confirmed. “I can’t get anything.”
“Crap, crap, crap.” My chest tightened like a vise squeezing my heart. What if something terrible did happen here tonight? What was the last thing I said to my mother as I ran out the door? Did I tell her I loved her? When was the last time I told my parents I loved them? A chill tore through me despite the room’s warmth, and I shook the morbid thought away. This was just a prank. It wasn’t real.
“Oh my God.” Sasha hunched over, hugging herself around the middle. “This can’t be happening.”
“So what do we do?” asked Robbie.
Sasha straightened and rubbed her forehead with trembling fingers. “I can’t believe this is happening. What if we’re really going to have to do this? What if they really make us kill one of us?”
About the Author:
I’m Diana Urban, and I write dark, twisty thrillers for teens including All Your Twisted Secrets (HarperTeen, March 17th 2020). When I’m not torturing fictional characters, I’m a marketing manager at BookBub, a leading book discovery platform. Outside the bookish world, I live with my husband and cat in Boston, and enjoy reading, video games, fawning over cute animals, and looking at the beach from a safe distance.
Blog Tour Schedule:
Prize: Win (1) of (2) copies of ALL YOUR TWISTED SECRETS by Diana Urban (US Only)
Starts: March 17, 2020
Ends: March 31, 2020
Thank you so much for checking out my stop for the blog tour! Don’t forget to enter the giveaway through the link above for the chance to win a finished copy of “All Your Twisted Secrets”. Are you pumped to read the book? Let me know in the comments!
Until next time!