Review: All Your Twisted Secrets by Diana Urban

All Your Twisted Secrets

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?

All of the comparisons for this book seem to mention One of Us is Lying, which unfortunately I haven't yet had the pleasure of reading (though it is sitting high up on my TBR), so I can't speak for that.

What I can say is that All Your Twisted Secrets just did not hit the mark for me. It started out super engaging, and to start with I was super interested in the plot. High stakes, mysteries, a complete sense of panic... it was so exciting for me and I couldn't wait to see how the characters were going to deal with the situation they found themselves in.

However as the story continued on, my interest in any of the characters and also their safety and fate just... waned? 

The problem with books like this is that they are hit and miss. You have to have really interesting characters and you need to care about them. You need to build 3-D personalities so that you can see the good and the bad in everyone, otherwise you don't care about the 'mean kid' or the 'popular kid' and you do care about the 'nerd' and the 'good girl'. It also means that any plot twists don't seem too out of character. This book also had the added issue that the present day story took place in a locked room so it relied so much on dialogue and character interactions, and yet it still erred on the side of 'telling' and not 'showing'. 

If the interactions had been richer and the characters had been less stereotypes and more real, this book would have held my interest until the end and thus the ending would have hit me harder and made me go 'wow', but unfortunately it just didn't land for me. 

It was a good enough time killer, but I can't say I would recommend it to anyone unless they were looking for a very specific type of book and even then, there are gritty, thrilling contemporary books that I would recommend over this one anyway.

Book released  17th March 2020 by HarperTeen
Book received from the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review

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