All Your Twisted Secrets – Diana Urban – ARC Review

Title: All Your Twisted Secrets
Author: Diana Urban
Genre: YA, Mystery
: March 17th, 2020 (HarperTeen)

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?

Thank you to the publisher, HarperTeen, and Edelweiss for providing me with an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

All Your Twisted Secrets follows six high school students who are invited to a scholarship dinner, but arrive to find themselves trapped in a room. On the table is a syringe containing poison, a bomb and a note saying that they have one hour to decide who amongst themselves will die, or the bomb goes off and kills them all. Amber is determined to get everyone out alive, but even as they frantically search for a way out, the bigger question is why they are all there – six students who couldn’t be more unalike, but each have secrets tying them to the others, secrets that could ruin them, and as the hour ticks by and logic gives way to panic, they are all about to be revealed.

Wow. Just wow. I knew this was an instant addition to my TBR the moment I read the blurb earlier last year, but I did not expect it to be this good. It has been a long time since I’ve come across a mystery novel that is so intense and suspenseful! The story is narrated in two timelines – one in the present, in the locked room where they are all trapped, and the second in the past, through various flashbacks, depicting various incidents and interactions involving the six students, giving us possible reasons to suspect them – and the six themselves to begin to distrust and point fingers at each other. Alternating between past and present was an excellent way to ramp up the tension as each person’s secrets and possible motives are uncovered. All Your Twisted Secrets is definitely a book that makes you think, right from the biggest moral question of the characters wondering if it is worth killing one person to save five to the portrayal of the effects of bullying and peer pressure and just how harmful it can be to a person’s mental health.

Guessing the culprit behind this mystery was surprisingly hard! The author does a great job keeping the attention on the mood in the locked room and the rapidly escalating tension, easily drawing distracting from piecing together the clues and though I started to guess who was behind it towards the end, the motive behind it all was a complete surprise. What I was most impressed with though, is how well developed each character was despite the story being told only from Amber’s perspective. It’s really easy to get caught up in their stories and become emotionally invested in their various plot lines as they grow into characters you love – or love to hate – and move beyond the stereotypes that high school life has assigned to them. Amber is a far more complex character than she initially comes off as, and while I found her to be rather dull early in the book, she was a very intriguing character by the end. I also really liked that Amber is a composer and often listens to film scores, many of which I listen to and greatly enjoy myself.

While the plot was masterfully executed and the tension perfectly maintained throughout the story, the ending was where it fizzled out. After all that happened, I expected something more dramatic and the revenge plot was just not strong enough – or atleast, it could have been put to better use.

Fans of Karen McManus’ One of Us Is Lying are sure to enjoy this thrilling debut. With nearly every other chapter ending on some kind of cliffhanger, this is practically impossible to put down, and I binge read this in about four hours. If you read one mystery novel this year, make it this one, because this is completely worth the read. Highly recommended!

All Your Twisted Secrets releases on April 17th, 2020.

Do you plan to read this book? Let me know in the comments below!


2 thoughts on “All Your Twisted Secrets – Diana Urban – ARC Review

  1. Bossylibrarian March 6, 2020 / 8:57 am

    Books like this are why I will never do an escape room 😉 Thanks for posting this sounds very tense!

    Liked by 1 person

    • journeyintofantasy March 10, 2020 / 7:37 pm

      Escape rooms are probably going to make me quite nervous for a while after this book lol 😄 Thanks for reading!


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