Review: All Your Twisted Secrets by Diana Urban


My rating: 2 out of 5 stars
Genre: YA Mystery/Thriller
Pages: 400
Publisher: HarperTeen
Published: March 17th, 2020


Trigger Warnings: Mental Health Issues, Suicide, Bullying, Drug Use.
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? – Synopsis from Goodreads 


“Now you all know who you really are.”

When All Your Twisted Secrets went up for request on Edelweiss,  your girl slammed that request button pretty fast.  Even though I have a very hit and miss relationship with YA thriller/mystery types – I still am always a sucker for wanting to give them a shot and this one was no different.  Unfortunately, I found myself with a cliche/basic story and a cast of characters that got less interesting the more the story progressed. Get ready for that unpopular opinion.

All Your Twisted Secrets definitely has some Breakfast Club and Saw feels going for it and you’ll see a lot of reviewers mentioning those films.  However, the book is nowhere near as good as either of those movies, so I hate to put in the comparison – but they were obvious inspirations.  Story starts off well with our cast of characters, which are mostly Ivy League types, get invited to a scholarship dinner by the Mayor at a local restaurant.  When the the group shows up, there is no one there but them and a table with all their names – as well as a syringe and a very ominous note.  The note says that the syringe is filled with poison and they have one hour to decide which one of them will die, if they don’t make a choice then a bomb will go off and kill them all.  The door slams shut and things get pretty uncomfortable for the next 60 minutes.

The story is told in past and present flashbacks.  It’s how we get to know all the young people in the room and what types of people we are dealing with.  I did enjoy that part at first and it was fun watching them squirm as their lies started to come out slowly bit by bit as they all threw each other under the bus.  One issue I had is we are only getting the perspective of one girl in the room – I think it could’ve been more interesting if we got more POV’s but then again, with the flashbacks, it might have gotten too confusing I suppose.  Our main character is alright, I didn’t feel strongly towards her one way or another, she was just there.  The other characters are all your classic basics – jock, nerd, slacker, bitch, etc and this isn’t a bad thing if it is done well.  It just was alright for me and nothing I haven’t seen a hundred time before.  There are some twists, but sadly I figured it out and the reveals just weren’t that surprising to me.  I so wanted it to be cooler than it was.

I was not a fan of One of Us is Lying and I know that is a more controversial opinion, but if you are then there is a good chance that you’ll enjoy this book.   I would take my review with a grain of salt.  If you want something that is quick and fun and like the book I just mentioned, then you’ll probably have a good time.  I just was left with wanting a lot more.


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