March 9, 2020

Review: All Your Twisted Secrets

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All Your Twisted Secrets by Diana Urban
Grade: C-
Release day: March 17, 2020
An e-galley was provided by HarperCollins via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
Summary: 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?

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: I truly enjoy a good mystery. But sometimes it's the genres we love most that let us down.
All Your Twisted Secrets is like The Breakfast Club meets One of Us Is Lying. And, to me, it leaned into that latter comp a little too hard. I didn't feel like this book had done anything that hadn't been done before. Which doesn't necessarily have to be a bad thing, but then there has to be good prose and something special to set the book apart. I don't feel like that happened. AYTS's chapters flip between the countdown of that one hour til someone has to die and a chronological progression starting one year before the events of the book. Obviously just writing that one hour's chapters probably wouldn't be long enough, but I felt like the story dragged on and on. I found I wasn't engaged by the flashbacks and that I didn't care about any of the characters, even the protagonist. None of them are unlikeable heroes; they're just simply unlikeable (except maybe Priya, but there isn't enough focus on her for her to become a shining star).
Everything about the big reveal felt convoluted and like it wouldn't actually work - which was sort of the point, I suppose. But it doesn't mean I enjoyed it.

Content warnings: bullying, suicide, death, drug usage, blackmail, underage drinking, foul language

The Verdict: The only thing unique was, perhaps, the reveal of who did it.

Will I be adding this book to my library?: Nope

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