Keep This to Yourself
It's been a year since the Catalog Killer terrorized the sleepy seaside town of Camera Cove, killing four people before disappearing without a trace. Like everyone else in town, eighteen-year-old Mac Bell is trying to put that horrible summer behind him—easier said than done since Mac's best friend Connor was the murderer's final victim. But when he finds a cryptic message from Connor, he's drawn back into the search for the killer—who might not have been a random drifter after all. Now nobody—friends, neighbors, or even the sexy stranger with his own connection to the case—is beyond suspicion. Sensing that someone is following his every move, Mac struggles to come to terms with his true feelings towards Connor while scrambling to uncover the truth.

Keep This to Yourself Details

TitleKeep This to Yourself
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseMay 21st, 2019
PublisherAW Teen
ISBN-139780807541517
Rating
GenreMystery, Young Adult, LGBT, Thriller, Mystery Thriller

Keep This to Yourself Review

  • C.G. Drews
    January 1, 1970
    this book was so so stressful...I am sTRESSED. At one point I literally had to tell myself to relax my jaw lmao...which is the sign of a good thriller right!? Now I'm aware it doesn't come out till April (shh i got excited and read early) so I'll just cobble a few thoughts here and fill out the review closer to the date!➸ it is about a serial killer so like, dude, cREEPy➸ quiet soft narrator➸ m/m romance➸ trauma? we gotcha trauma➸ it's a year-old case now but Mac's best friend was murdered and h this book was so so stressful...I am sTRESSED. At one point I literally had to tell myself to relax my jaw lmao...which is the sign of a good thriller right!? Now I'm aware it doesn't come out till April (shh i got excited and read early) so I'll just cobble a few thoughts here and fill out the review closer to the date!➸ it is about a serial killer so like, dude, cREEPy➸ quiet soft narrator➸ m/m romance➸ trauma? we gotcha trauma➸ it's a year-old case now but Mac's best friend was murdered and he can't let it go unsolved➸ the ending did require a bit of suspension of disbelief with something the police did➸ I totally enjoyed it and didn't guess the twist (EPIC twist)
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  • Kyle
    January 1, 1970
    Actual rating: 3.5 (rounded down) I really struggled with this rating. It’s one of the rare instances in which a book is ACTUALLY halfway between three and four stars.I’ve also tagged *SPOILERS* appropriately, so I say: only open them if you’ve already read the book! Many thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for this eARC. *It should be mentioned that the copy I read is an unfinished draft, and may be subject to change upon release. Thereby, my opinion henceforth is of the said uncorrected docu Actual rating: 3.5 (rounded down) I really struggled with this rating. It’s one of the rare instances in which a book is ACTUALLY halfway between three and four stars.I’ve also tagged *SPOILERS* appropriately, so I say: only open them if you’ve already read the book! Many thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for this eARC. *It should be mentioned that the copy I read is an unfinished draft, and may be subject to change upon release. Thereby, my opinion henceforth is of the said uncorrected document.*Right from the start, I was hooked! I breezed straight through this one, which is always a happy surprise. It’s the sign of a great story when it keeps you reading ‘til well after you should’ve gone to sleep. I simply could not put this book down!As far as characters go: they were not nearly as fleshed-out as I’d have liked them to be. Outside of Mac, every character felt a bit like paper people with some personality traits written on their sleeves— Mac’s parents were just figures in the background, the group of “friends” like Breakfast Club caricatures.I didn’t buy the romance one bit. The story would’ve been so much better off without it being so prevalent. It was too ‘lust at first sight’ (view spoiler)[Quill is immediately flirtatious with Mac, while Mac fantasizes quite a bit about Quill... and they’ve only known each other for, what? A few hours cumulatively? (hide spoiler)] The whole thing just seemed too forced— like, “Okay, here’s one gay character, and here’s another gay character... and they’ll obviously fall in love with each other instantly, because they’re the only two gays around.” What did they even like about each other? There was nothing there— no chemistry. Just the fact that they both liked the same gender? And I am just gonna put it out there: I. Didn’t. Like. Quill. At. All. Some of his behavior was aggressive and petulant, which is unhealthy and uncalled for.There was some repetitive imagery: three or four instances of “curtains shifting” and people sneaking in windows, and male midriffs as they stretched. *This may be fixed/adjusted upon the release of the completed, edited book.*I wanted to like the *big* twist more, but I called it pretty much from the start. It had been my main, running theory after (view spoiler)[the dog tag was pulled out of Connor’s time capsule (hide spoiler)], but it’s an interesting twist, and I still give it credit. I also called (view spoiler)[Ben killing/stopping Connor once he found out the truth, and the note to Mac actually meaning to lure him to the caves to kill him (hide spoiler)], but I DIDN’T call (view spoiler)[Doris being involved with covering up Connor’s murder, and being the one to initiate the blow to the head (hide spoiler)]. So, kudos to that. But there had to be a helluvalot of disbelief to suspend with the whole situation with the police at the end.So:•Quick, engaging story•Exciting mystery•Cardboard characters•Forced insta-love•Predictable (but *humble brag, but really just a full-on BRAG* I’m too perceptive for my own good)
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  • Karen
    January 1, 1970
    Thrillers can be really hit or miss with me - they either take too long to solve, have a ridiculous amount of red herrings, or have a predictable villain with poor motivation.But I LOVED this book.It takes place in Camera Cove, a small town that was rocked by four murders last year. The murderer was never found. The last victim was named Connor, a boy in high school who was also one of our narrator's best friends. One year later, Mac has decided to reopen the case himself and figure out who kill Thrillers can be really hit or miss with me - they either take too long to solve, have a ridiculous amount of red herrings, or have a predictable villain with poor motivation.But I LOVED this book.It takes place in Camera Cove, a small town that was rocked by four murders last year. The murderer was never found. The last victim was named Connor, a boy in high school who was also one of our narrator's best friends. One year later, Mac has decided to reopen the case himself and figure out who killed Connor and the other three victims. This book never slows down. It's twisty, with few down moments. Mac feeds his obsession, searching every last lead to solve the murder. He gets in trouble more than once with his friends, neighbours, and boyfriend.I loved the ending reveal. It was so entirely unexpected. I was really worried it would take a generic route, but I was genuinely shocked and loved the ending. It was so clever and well-done.I do think the ending after the reveal was a bit rushed, but it doesn't ruin the novel. Overall, a highly recommended thriller: it's short, punchy, and twisty.
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  • Bunni
    January 1, 1970
    **I received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review**I don't think that this book was for me, but I DO think that others will like it. I didn't connect to any of the characters; it could have been because the main was male and usually in my YA reading the leads are female.That is probably why I found myself wanting to know more about things from Doris' and Carrie's POV. Especially Doris, of course. Or Ben, even: would've liked to know more about his problems.I was very surprised **I received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review**I don't think that this book was for me, but I DO think that others will like it. I didn't connect to any of the characters; it could have been because the main was male and usually in my YA reading the leads are female.That is probably why I found myself wanting to know more about things from Doris' and Carrie's POV. Especially Doris, of course. Or Ben, even: would've liked to know more about his problems.I was very surprised at the twist ending and felt satisfied with how things turned out. If it had gone the Mr. Anderson route I was prepared to be even MORE surprised but upon reflection that probably would've come out of left field.This really has no bearing on the book itself, exactly, but I think I am sick of teen amateur investigators discovering things the cops all missed...yes, let's just forget their years of training and experience and bring in some kid who pokes around in the grass for 5 minutes and discovers a clue. COME ON. Although I did feel like the part with the watch was more realistic and I felt better about that. I read a LOT of books where the teens one up the cops and solve it all so I think I'm just over that trope. I really felt sympathy for the Detective Parnatsky. I liked her.I feel like I would've liked the WHY to be explained a little more, but I can't be more clear than that without spoilers. But WHY? Just because of nature? The signs that were supposed to point to the character's future actions were just thrown in at the end; we hadn't really LIVED the evidence. For example:"Oh, she liked to collect birds.""Well that explains why the world's rarest bird went missing at the zoo." Instead of:"As I searched her room, I noticed pictures of birds everywhere. Magazine pages, hand-drawings, even a few from coloring books. I had never realized before that she had been interested in birds. Or maybe obsessed was more like it. Could SHE be connected to the missing bird from the zoo?"So in my lame example, I feel like the information is just handed to us and in the second try, the character is collecting information about another character through evidence. Or maybe it only makes sense in my head. Anyway.Maybe I missed the reason why the victims had to die, as well. Sorry it's so vague I'm trying to go without spoilers. Maybe it was just me, but I didn't like the romance - it was too instantaneous for it to be believable. Again, I do read a lot of YA where this happens but I don't always buy it.I did think that Mac was a well-fleshed-out character. He had issues, he had backstory (his parents showed up like, what, one time in the book? Meh), and he had complicated relationships.The beginning of this book read like The Sacrifice Box but it definitely is not. All in all, I don't feel like I wasted my time reading this (the ending really made it worthwhile) but it just wasn't for me. I'm pretty sure I would pick up another book of Tom Ryan's.PS: This is also not really a reflection of the book, but it cracks me up sometimes when I see libraries depicted in books. Volunteers never put books back on the shelves (paid employees do) and few libraries have a bookmobile (I only know of one, personally, 3 hours away from me) and a librarian drives it, not volunteers. In my library, we don't have volunteers except during summer and they can't just walk in, either, they need fingerprints and a TB test, etc. They mostly clean. Of course, I only have experience with big, city/county libraries and not small-town ones so the rules could be different. And not everyone who works in a library is an actual librarian, because you need a Masters degree for that.
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  • PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps
    January 1, 1970
    ***Thanks to NetGalley for providing me a complimentary copy of KEEP THIS TO YOURSELF by Tom Ryan in exchange for my honest review.***4.5 STARSWhat an unexpected gem! Ingredients for a perfect mystery: 1 serial killer1 estranged group of friends 1 murdered friend 1 kickass narratorA bunch of interesting minor characters1 possible love interestA generous handful of clues A sprinkle of red herringsAn ending I didn’t see comingKEEP THIS TO YOURSELF is one of those novels I wanted to reread immediat ***Thanks to NetGalley for providing me a complimentary copy of KEEP THIS TO YOURSELF by Tom Ryan in exchange for my honest review.***4.5 STARSWhat an unexpected gem! Ingredients for a perfect mystery: 1 serial killer1 estranged group of friends 1 murdered friend 1 kickass narratorA bunch of interesting minor characters1 possible love interestA generous handful of clues A sprinkle of red herringsAn ending I didn’t see comingKEEP THIS TO YOURSELF is one of those novels I wanted to reread immediately after I finished to figure out the clues I missed. How did I not know of Tom Ryan before KEEP THIS TO YOURSELF?Ryan gave protagonist Mac a likable and sympathetic voice. He’s not only grieving for the loss of his best friend Connor, he’s also harboring an unacknowledged crush for his pal. Additionally, Connor was the glue that held his friend group together, without him they’ve splintered. As much as I liked Mac, I didn’t his other friends, at least for the first 90% of the book. They were interesting people with individual personalities and nuances, whom I wouldn’t have chosen to befriend. Quill, Mac’s new friend and possible love interest, stole my heart.The plot moved quickly, with my list of suspects constantly changing. They all made sense, until they didn’t.A strong recommendation for KEEP THIS TO YOURSELF.
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  • Kal ★ Reader Voracious
    January 1, 1970
    "Last summer a serial killer paid a visit to Camera Cove. By the time the dust settled, four people were dead." I've been in the mood for a mystery/thriller, and when my friend Meaghan wrote a glowing review I decided that I needed to read this one myself. And friends, I am not joking when I say that this book cured my freaking reading slump. Ryan manages to pack so much information into the opening page of the book, relaying complex histories between the characters and hinting to a great tra "Last summer a serial killer paid a visit to Camera Cove. By the time the dust settled, four people were dead." I've been in the mood for a mystery/thriller, and when my friend Meaghan wrote a glowing review I decided that I needed to read this one myself. And friends, I am not joking when I say that this book cured my freaking reading slump. Ryan manages to pack so much information into the opening page of the book, relaying complex histories between the characters and hinting to a great tragedy. The writing is almost lyrical, which is not something that I typically equate with mysteries. I was instantly swept away into this story where Mac struggles to let go of his pain. But after he finds a clue from Connor on the night he died, Mac embarks on an adventure to uncover the truth no matter the consequences. "It's a message from beyond the grave, a year too late." Keep This to Yourself is told in the first person perspective of Mac Bell, an 18 year old gay kid that drifted apart from his friend group after Connor was murdered the year before. Convinced that the killer wasn't a drifted and determined to uncover the truth, Mac begins to look for clues and connections between the murder victims that may have been missed. Through his snooping he meets Quill, the cousin of one of the victims. The chemistry between Mac and Quill is palpable from almost the beginning, and the will-they-won't they dance of first attraction was a thrill to read. I'll admit that I groaned when the first black character we encounter in the story is in the trailer park, but I appreciated Ryan's subversion of what seems to be the typical poverty representation in media and fiction for black characters: Mac meets Quill in the trailer park, but we learn that he lives in an affluent neighborhood and is just visiting his aunt. "All the things I wanted from my life, I just stopped wanting them, and nothing else stepped up to fill in the space." I also really appreciated the depiction of grief and how each of the characters process the loss. The truth is that the pain of losing someone close to you doesn't go away quickly, and each journey is different. I feel that this is handled with care and nuance. It works as a motivator for Mac to try and find answers, but for Ben and Doris they just want to forget and move on. I read a lot of mysteries and typically can guess the killer early on, but not here my friends. I guessed incorrectly every single time and relished in that fact leading up to the big reveal I didn't see coming a mile away. Honestly, Tom Ryan has earned a fan that will be working through his backlist after this book!I highly recommend this book to fans of mysteries, but there is also so much more to it than just uncovering the truth of the Catalog Killer. It's about the bonds of friendship and how fragile those connections can seem to be, a wonderful m/m relationship, and the setting of a small town trying to pick up the pieces after a horrific tragedy. REPRESENTATION: biracial couple, black rep, lgbtiap, m/m relationshipCONTENT WARNINGS: depictions of grief, drugs, loss of a loved one, murder, queer slurs (challenged in text)Initial thoughts (view spoiler)[oh my GOD, this was an incredible mystery/thriller read! I'm hardly ever surprised and usually have the killer pegged early on, but this one kept me guessing until the very end! absolutely incredible and highly recommended full review to come soon! (hide spoiler)]Many thanks to Albert Whitman & Company for providing me an eARC via NetGalley for my honest review! Quotations are taken from an uncorrected proof and may change in final publication.Blog | Twitter | Pinterest
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  • Ludwig
    January 1, 1970
    4,5 stars! "The fear that had drifted into Camera Cove like a fog now morphed into full-blown terror."Nowadays, we often encounter thrillers where events are forced for unnecessary suspense or shock value. This book is definitely not that. Keep This To Yourself is a mystery debut, and the author is already knocking over all cliche YA mystery concepts and gifting us with a fresh, engrossing approach to the genre.I'm such a sucker for small town mysteries but it's definitely been a while since I'v 4,5 stars! "The fear that had drifted into Camera Cove like a fog now morphed into full-blown terror."Nowadays, we often encounter thrillers where events are forced for unnecessary suspense or shock value. This book is definitely not that. Keep This To Yourself is a mystery debut, and the author is already knocking over all cliche YA mystery concepts and gifting us with a fresh, engrossing approach to the genre.I'm such a sucker for small town mysteries but it's definitely been a while since I've read one with a creative spin on it. This book though has so many elements that keep it unique: we have a clever, well-developed gay protagonist, an appealing seaside setting, a beautiful M/M romance AND a serial killer in the mix.It's not just the setting that is captivating, but the way the author describes it is so appealing that the seaside town of Camera Cove registered in my brain in a way it still feels like a real place to me. Now as protagonist Mac digs deep into the serial killer's twisted mind, he can't help but ask, was it a random drifter? Or is it possible that the killer is STILL in Camera Cove? Mac has no option other than to put himself in his dead best friend's (aka. the killer's final victim) shoes, see the town from his perspective and get close to the victims' familes.I loved the effortlessness of both the writing and chronology of events. The mystery felt gripping and believable. The author leads us down this path that's filled with mystery and intrigue and then suddenly slips the rug from underneath us with a final shocking discovery!
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  • Dahlia
    January 1, 1970
    Whoosh, the was the first ebook I've read in a single day in months. Lots of twists and turns, things I saw coming and things I definitely didn't. I don't really like to say any more about thrillers, so, I won't!
  • Taylor (TaysInfiniteThougts)
    January 1, 1970
    My first reaction after reading this book was definitely, “Wow, I did not see that coming.” As you read this book you’ll think you know who the killer is but I promise you that you’re wrong. When I started the book I immediately thought I knew what happened and while I wasn’t entirely wrong, I was still wrong. Which is what makes this such a great book. Unlike most mystery/thriller novels, you won’t know what really happened until the very end. It’ll definitely keep you on your toes.
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  • USOM
    January 1, 1970
    (Disclaimer: I received this book from Edelweiss. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)I could not put Keep This to Yourself down. Sleepily I picked it up after waking up and I could not stop reading. It's a thriller which will keep you on the edge of your toes as Ryan delves into this small town with big secrets. It's a book about grief and searching for closure, not letting all these questions remain unanswered. All of this while there's a swoony adorable gay romance a (Disclaimer: I received this book from Edelweiss. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)I could not put Keep This to Yourself down. Sleepily I picked it up after waking up and I could not stop reading. It's a thriller which will keep you on the edge of your toes as Ryan delves into this small town with big secrets. It's a book about grief and searching for closure, not letting all these questions remain unanswered. All of this while there's a swoony adorable gay romance and a very quiet narrator. Such a win!full review: https://utopia-state-of-mind.com/revi...
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  • Alexandra
    January 1, 1970
    This book had me hooked from the start, i loved it!First i want to say that i really liked the characters in this. They were varied and felt real, and i especially loved Mac. The way these characters acted and the way they spoke just made scenes flow, and it was so easy to imagine what was happening and how it could look.Secondly, i loved the story. There were moments where i kept wondering who the culprit would really be, and i loved that i had my doubts and was kept in suspense until the revea This book had me hooked from the start, i loved it!First i want to say that i really liked the characters in this. They were varied and felt real, and i especially loved Mac. The way these characters acted and the way they spoke just made scenes flow, and it was so easy to imagine what was happening and how it could look.Secondly, i loved the story. There were moments where i kept wondering who the culprit would really be, and i loved that i had my doubts and was kept in suspense until the reveal. Plus i was genuinely chilled by some of the things revealed at the end, but i can't delve into that in case of spoilers.My only criticism is that this book felt a little short, perhaps one or two moments could have been a little more scary or intense feeling, but i still loved the writing style. overall i thought this was a great book and i would absolutely recommend.I was given a free copy of this book via netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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  • c,
    January 1, 1970
    But Connor isn’t here to hold us together anymore, and there’s nothing I can do to change that. On my blog. Actual rating 4.5Rep: gay mc, biracial black gay liGalley provided by publisherYou know a book is good when you finish it and try get your thoughts together and all you have is oh fuck. That’s me with this one. Even after I went away and slept on it (I stayed up late reading this, another sign how good it is).Keep This to Yourself is set a year after a series of murders in a small town But Connor isn’t here to hold us together anymore, and there’s nothing I can do to change that. On my blog. Actual rating 4.5Rep: gay mc, biracial black gay liGalley provided by publisherYou know a book is good when you finish it and try get your thoughts together and all you have is oh fuck. That’s me with this one. Even after I went away and slept on it (I stayed up late reading this, another sign how good it is).Keep This to Yourself is set a year after a series of murders in a small town, one of which was Mac’s best friend, Connor. Mac and Connor made up two of a group of five friends, all living on the same street, who have now all drifted apart following Connor’s deaths. But Mac can’t get over it, and when he finds a note left for him by Connor, he decides to investigate, sure that Connor stumbled across something the police missed.There’s not really a lot more I can say about the plot without verging into spoilery territory, to be honest (you definitely want to go spoiler free into this one. You want to go completely blind to anything in terms of the plot, trust me). But it’s a really good thriller, so tense and creepy at points (I definitely regretted reading it so late at night and freaking myself out). And I really did not see the end coming. It’s one of those ones where you might think you have it all sorted out but you actually don’t. Whatever you think is probably wrong. So yeah. It was so so good, and I couldn’t put it down. Every time I reached the end of a chapter I thought to myself I could go to bed or I could carry on reading, and guess which won out. Every time.It’s not just the plot that’s great, the characters are too. I loved Mac and Quill and everyone else, and if once or twice I might have wanted a little more depth to something, the plot made up for it. I mean, ultimately, yeah, I did occasionally want a little more dwelling on particular things maybe. Like someone said something, Mac felt hurt, next thing he’s almost brushed it aside. But maybe that was more to do with him not wanting to hear particular things (and also to say he brushed it aside is kind of harsh. It wasn’t like that, it was more like he compartmentalised maybe? I don’t know, but my point was I wanted more characters-thinking-about-things at times).Probably the only real thing I had a kind of sticking point on was the romance. It’s cute and all, but it’s pretty rushed. Not in the instalove way. There are no confessions or anything, but the way they get together felt pretty quick. They meet once, then meet again and at this point Quill makes some comment about feeling better since he met Mac. But they only met once before. I don’t know I feel like they could have hung out more before that part, but that’s just me. Always wanting a slower burn.And then the end happened. And all I had was a load of expletives and a ceiling to stare at in shock.
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  • Esha Dickson
    January 1, 1970
    Review: ⭐⭐⭐⭐TW: death, violence, murder, serial killer.Release Date: 7 May 2019.Received an eARC from NetGalley for review. It’s been a year since the Catalog Killer terriorised the seaside town of Camera Cove, leaving 4 bodies behind and very few clues. Like everyone, Mac is trying to move on, but is finding it understandably hard given his best friend, Connor, was the killer’s final victim. When Mac finds a cryptic message from Connor, he’s determined to find out what really happened to the vi Review: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️TW: death, violence, murder, serial killer.Release Date: 7 May 2019.Received an eARC from NetGalley for review. It’s been a year since the Catalog Killer terriorised the seaside town of Camera Cove, leaving 4 bodies behind and very few clues. Like everyone, Mac is trying to move on, but is finding it understandably hard given his best friend, Connor, was the killer’s final victim. When Mac finds a cryptic message from Connor, he’s determined to find out what really happened to the victims and to Connor the night he died.I first heard about this book through @gobletoffiction on Instagram and from there it has just blown up on bookstagram. Needless to say, I went into this book with super high expectations, and for the most part, the book delivered. The story is compelling and the plot begins to unravel immediately. Tom Ryan’s writing is effortless and easy to read and the mystery keeps you hooked until the very end. I must say I had some suspicious as to the killer about halfway through that were correct, however this didn’t lessen my enjoyment as there is so much more to the big reveal than what is expected. I would highly recommend this book!“I think Connor knew the killer. I think something more complicated was going on beneath the surface of Camera Cove, and Connor was the perfect person to notice it.”“This isn’t some crime show; I’m not going to stumble upon some crucial piece of evidence that leads me to the killer.”“Expecting that I would show up to help him with his confrontation, he went to the caves to wait for my help, never anticipating that the killer had plans of his own...”
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  • Christine - LifeWithAllTheBooks
    January 1, 1970
    There’s something about a small town mystery that almost always makes for a juicy story full of secrets and for the most part Keep This To Yourself is no exception. A small community like Camera Cove that is full of intriguing characters gives the book an almost insular feeling that the reader can fully immerse themselves in. The aftermath of a shocking event is also a good place to begin a story of these people who have lived through a string of murders.The book follows Mac whose life has been There’s something about a small town mystery that almost always makes for a juicy story full of secrets and for the most part Keep This To Yourself is no exception. A small community like Camera Cove that is full of intriguing characters gives the book an almost insular feeling that the reader can fully immerse themselves in. The aftermath of a shocking event is also a good place to begin a story of these people who have lived through a string of murders.The book follows Mac whose life has been shaken by the murder of his best friend, Connor, at the hands of a serial killer. Mac starts his own investigation into the murders and along the way is drawn into a romance with another young man connected to the case. I liked the way the relationship between Mac and Quill developed alongside Mac trying to come to terms with his complicated and possibly romantic feelings for Connor. Connor himself comes across as the town golden boy, full of charisma and talent but as is often the case when someone dies young, the less complimentary parts of him are left unsaid, at least initially. Connor is clearly more complex than he appears from the townspeople’s recollections and is perhaps not the wonderful person Mac remembers him as. It is so true that love can blind you to the less desirable aspects of another person, especially a friend and that is definitely the case with Mac and Connor. I thought the slow realisation that things are not quite as they seem concerning the killings was dealt with very well and the author ratcheted up the tension slowly but surely.I must admit that at times I found some parts of Keep This To Yourself a little melodramatic and occasionally far-fetched but overall I was pretty engrossed in the mystery. I didn’t see the twists coming until very close to the reveal which kept me on the hook and wanting to know more and I was satisfied with how the story wraps up even if it does stretch believability a little. I read this book quickly and found it an immensely readable young adult mystery with a few great little red herrings thrown in.
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  • Erin (_everysecondbook)
    January 1, 1970
    "There's a whole unseen world beneath the surface."5/5 stars Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for this DRC in exchange for an honest review.Yes you read that right I gave a YA Mystery/Thriller 5 stars. Honestly I'm having a bit of a crisis of faith. I don't think you should know much about this when going into it, so I'm going to give you the basics:1. It's a YA Mystery Thriller2. It has LGBTQIAP+ representation (and good rep at that)3. I didn't see the ending coming4. The writing is abs "There's a whole unseen world beneath the surface."5/5 stars Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for this DRC in exchange for an honest review.Yes you read that right I gave a YA Mystery/Thriller 5 stars. Honestly I'm having a bit of a crisis of faith. I don't think you should know much about this when going into it, so I'm going to give you the basics:1. It's a YA Mystery Thriller2. It has LGBTQIAP+ representation (and good rep at that)3. I didn't see the ending coming4. The writing is absolutely amazingHonestly, I have absolutely no reasons why you shouldn't read this book when it releases. In fact, I implore to read this book when it releases. I don't think you'll be disappointed at all. I know I wasn't.
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  • Mare SLiTsReaD Reviews
    January 1, 1970
    There is something about a murder mystery that just ticks all the boxes for me in a book. Especially if you throw in some romance. And when its a YA and written really well, well just blow me over from happiness!This one grabbed me from the start. I'm kinda mad at myself for falling asleep last night and not finishing it.I'm usually all pumped up hoping that I get the whodunit, and I was with this book, but I also just let the words take me there without the whole jumping, the book did that all There is something about a murder mystery that just ticks all the boxes for me in a book. Especially if you throw in some romance. And when its a YA and written really well, well just blow me over from happiness!This one grabbed me from the start. I'm kinda mad at myself for falling asleep last night and not finishing it.I'm usually all pumped up hoping that I get the whodunit, and I was with this book, but I also just let the words take me there without the whole jumping, the book did that all on its own.I think I was just as confused as Mac who honestly was such a cute MC. All in all a wonderful book that I am so happy I got to read early!Mare~Slitsread
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  • Crowinator
    January 1, 1970
    Actual rating: 3.5 starsFirst line from my Booklist review: "In this tense, compelling mystery, a gay teen mourning his best friend’s murder turns amateur detective upon discovering new evidence."I found this to be a clever whodunit, mostly because of good use of misdirection, red herrings, and multiple suspects to obscure the fact that the clues needed to solve the case were there all along. This is one of those mysteries where I feel readers could figure it out, not because it's super obvious, Actual rating: 3.5 starsFirst line from my Booklist review: "In this tense, compelling mystery, a gay teen mourning his best friend’s murder turns amateur detective upon discovering new evidence."I found this to be a clever whodunit, mostly because of good use of misdirection, red herrings, and multiple suspects to obscure the fact that the clues needed to solve the case were there all along. This is one of those mysteries where I feel readers could figure it out, not because it's super obvious, but because they've been paying attention. (More attention than Mac, who has some plausible blind spots important to the story.) Ryan drops clues all over the place without smacking you upside the head with them. (view spoiler)[(If you're surprised at the end, go back and find all the times Ryan made it super clear that Connor was a manipulative dick from almost the first couple of pages.) (hide spoiler)] And normally I roll my eyes at the whole "teen finds a clue the police missed!" plot, but this was set up to be as credible as possible. Like, I kinda bought it. (view spoiler)[I do think the resolution between the police officer and Mac and his friends was pat, a way too easy and a simple fix to tie up loose ends that should have had more impact, but well, I did want that happy ending. (hide spoiler)] Mac's investigation also makes him hella paranoid, as he starts to uncover all kinds of secrets in his small town, and that translated well to making me paranoid for him as I was reading. Mac, with his survivor's guilt and the break-up of his close friendships after Connor's death, is isolated, lonely, and unable to move on, even with strong family support. He's also awkward, easily embarrassed, but generally sweet to people, so I found him likable. While his so-called friends have intriguing things going on in the background of his investigation, they aren't strong characters are their own; still, their history with Mac and Connor is what's important to the story. Quill, Mac's love interest and partner-in-sluething, is also less well-realized, though who doesn't love a sweet gay romance in the middle of their murder mystery? And of course Quill does bring an important perspective to both the investigation and to Mac's sense of self-worth.Finally, Ryan makes great use of the windswept coastal setting, complete with eerie sea caves and night-time beaches, and the claustrophobia of small towns in general to enhance the tense, paranoid mood. What can I say? I enjoyed this a lot. I forgot how satisfying it can be to read a normal mystery. I immediately went out and looked for books other readers recommended as similar, like Caleb Roehrig's books. I hope I enjoy those as much.
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  • Teri
    January 1, 1970
    I was in the mood for a mystery that really made me think, and Keep This To Yourself checked off that box, and more.The setting is perfect - a small beach town full of secrets, where everyone knows everybody's business.  I immediately connected with Mac, and his determination to hold onto strained childhood friendships in the wake of a tragedy.  He's fiercely loyal to his murdered friend, Connor, and the fluctuating emotions he feels are genuine and portrayed well.  Mac's budding romance with Qu I was in the mood for a mystery that really made me think, and Keep This To Yourself checked off that box, and more.The setting is perfect - a small beach town full of secrets, where everyone knows everybody's business.  I immediately connected with Mac, and his determination to hold onto strained childhood friendships in the wake of a tragedy.  He's fiercely loyal to his murdered friend, Connor, and the fluctuating emotions he feels are genuine and portrayed well.  Mac's budding romance with Quill is quick, but totally sweet, and they share the goal of finding the serial killer.Tension-filled scenes had me reading late into the night, and I finished over half of this book in one sitting.  At some point, I suspected nearly everyone, and the twist at the end is part of something that occurred to me, but I convinced myself I was wrong.  Keep This To Yourself is a clever YA mystery full of red herrings, an endearing narrator (and he works in a library!), shocking twists, and touch of romance.  I enjoyed it from beginning to end, and I'm looking forward to this author's next book.  I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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  • Brittany Allyn
    January 1, 1970
    3.5. This was hard to rate, because I was really really into the mystery, not so much into any of the characters. Mac was fine, I guess, but that’s kind of it, and when you read a book and all you can say about the main character was “he was fine,” that’s not great. Quill was also just fine, neither of them seemed to have much more going on than wanting to solve their loved ones’ murders and liking each other, and it made the whole thing kind of lackluster. I did get a bit of an I Know What You 3.5. This was hard to rate, because I was really really into the mystery, not so much into any of the characters. Mac was fine, I guess, but that’s kind of it, and when you read a book and all you can say about the main character was “he was fine,” that’s not great. Quill was also just fine, neither of them seemed to have much more going on than wanting to solve their loved ones’ murders and liking each other, and it made the whole thing kind of lackluster. I did get a bit of an I Know What You Did Last Summer vibe, maybe it was the whole small seaside town setting, because the plots weren’t actually very similar, but the vibe was welcome.
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  • Montgomery Price
    January 1, 1970
    I received an earch from the publisher in exchange for a review, all thoughts expressed are my own.Putting my thoughts on this book into words is something that I'm still finding really hard to do. In short, though, it was easily one of the most addicting books that I've read this year and I absolutely loved the journey and the end product quite a bit. Doris is easily one of my new favorite characters of all time, the moments where we got to spend quality time with her were easily some of the hi I received an earch from the publisher in exchange for a review, all thoughts expressed are my own.Putting my thoughts on this book into words is something that I'm still finding really hard to do. In short, though, it was easily one of the most addicting books that I've read this year and I absolutely loved the journey and the end product quite a bit. Doris is easily one of my new favorite characters of all time, the moments where we got to spend quality time with her were easily some of the highlights of the book. Mac though I felt was also a really solid character, especially when used as the character we experience the story with. I was never really annoyed by any of his actions, despite how reckless they seemed to be at times. I also was just a big fan of how Mac's love life was handled and balanced with his investigation into the Catalog Killer. That integration is always what I want from a story and I think that it workes really well as a B level plot without me ever feeling like it was functioning as a distraction.My only real gripe is with the final quarter of the book, and even then it's not really a major complaint. I will say that I didn't see it coming, and while I felt that the explanation is given didn't fully feel like a cop out I don't know if it was all that satisfying? I'm still struggling with it and it's still something that I'm debating with myself, so in that regard, I'm happy that it's the ending we got. If nothing else actually getting to that point was one hell of a ride, full on a roller coaster of emotion so for that least I'm really happy it's the ending we got.
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  • Megan
    January 1, 1970
    This was like Murder She Wrote with a gay teenage boy narrator instead of a busy body old lady. I couldn't put it down and it was a really fun mystery. The twist at the end isn't super surprising if you read a lot of YA but it didn't disappointed. As a librarian I also loved the portrayal of the small town library and librarian.
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  • Rebecca Crunden
    January 1, 1970
    *sees homophobic review on Twitter**immediately adds book to to-read list*LGBT MYSTERY GUYS, COME SUPPORT.
  • Danielle
    January 1, 1970
    This is a young adult novel where a group of high school kids who grew up together are still coming to terms with the death of one of their friends at the hands of a serial killer that plagued their town a year before but who was never caught. One of them stumbles on what he thinks is new information in the case and decides to take things into his own hands to see if he can figure out what happened to his friend. I could not get into this book. I did not care what happened to any of the characte This is a young adult novel where a group of high school kids who grew up together are still coming to terms with the death of one of their friends at the hands of a serial killer that plagued their town a year before but who was never caught. One of them stumbles on what he thinks is new information in the case and decides to take things into his own hands to see if he can figure out what happened to his friend. I could not get into this book. I did not care what happened to any of the characters nor what was the answer to the mystery.
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  • The Bookish Austin
    January 1, 1970
    I totally figured it out before the end. :)Here's my full review: https://thebookishaustin.tumblr.com/p...
  • Annie Deo
    January 1, 1970
    Crossposted to my blog.--I had such a good time reading this! I found it really engaging and raced through it, completely hooked by the twists and turns, and legitimately shocked and impressed by the end. YA mysteries can be hit-and-miss, but I thought this was very satisfying and tightly plotted. It's difficult to straddle that line between teens being too competent and unrealistically astute or being too oblivious and missing the most glaringly obvious clues, but I liked how the teenagers were Crossposted to my blog.--I had such a good time reading this! I found it really engaging and raced through it, completely hooked by the twists and turns, and legitimately shocked and impressed by the end. YA mysteries can be hit-and-miss, but I thought this was very satisfying and tightly plotted. It's difficult to straddle that line between teens being too competent and unrealistically astute or being too oblivious and missing the most glaringly obvious clues, but I liked how the teenagers were portrayed here. It isn't that they're astounding prodigies who outshine the cops, but they have the benefit of personal knowledge and experience that guide them in certain directions or there were good reasons why they were the ones to unearth certain evidence that made sense because of the plotline. Our main protagonist Mac is the most fully realized of the cast, and everyone else is fleshed out predominantly based on their relationship with him at the start. I liked that as the story progressed, the author filled in a little more of their backgrounds and dynamics with each other as well, so they weren't two-dimensional; we would see people based on Mac's perception of them, but then developments would come to light and we would come to a realization along with Mac that more is going on beneath the surface. I think that's pretty realistic when you've grown up with people and known them for years, you put them in a box and grow used to seeing them in a particular manner; it takes actively questioning and investigating to shake that off. I felt so moved by Mac's arc, he wasn't just grieving over his best friend but also the loss of his unacknowledged crush. That's not to say that losing a friend is LESS traumatic, but all the pent-up emotions from suppressing his feelings for Connor meant that Mac was going through a really tough time. On the bright side, the path of his investigation took him to Quill, a new love interest! I know some reviewers considered this to be a case of insta-love, but I honestly thought it was very well-developed. Mac was obsessed with finding the killer and bringing them to justice so he could get closure over Connor's death, and Quill also lost a loved one as his cousin was another victim of the Catalog Killer. He shared Mac's pain and frustration at not being able to move on, and just knowing that he wasn't alone and someone else UNDERSTOOD...that's a really powerful thing and I totally see why they would bond so quickly. Sure, physical attraction was part of the equation, which I think is the case with a lot of people, but there was an emotional entanglement to go along with it that I really felt and so I was rooting for these two. <3 The funny thing is that normally I prefer single-narrator books and yet this is the rare instance where I would've liked to have some chapters from the other kids' perspectives. There was a lot going on in the background that we only touch on at surface level and I would've been interested to see into their heads as well. It's not a huge drawback, though! My only real complaint is that the resolution was a little too convenient - don't get me wrong, I couldn't figure out who the killer was and the reveal at the end was mindblowing, I nearly screamed because it was so clever, but the way it was handled was just a bit too contrived. Still, I liked the outcome too much to quibble, so I was happy overall. Disclaimer: I received a digital copy free from Albert Whitman & Company via Netgalley for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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  • Thomas
    January 1, 1970
    I always tell myself that I don't really "do" mysteries, that the suspense is too much, that I don't like the twists and turns, that they stress me out. And I was stressed with this book - at times I felt like I needed a break just to catch my breath. But I did enjoy it, mainly because I didn't see the twist coming. As has become my tendency, I will break this down in two pros and cons lists.Pros1. I though the twist at the end was genuinely shocking. I didn't see it coming even though looking b I always tell myself that I don't really "do" mysteries, that the suspense is too much, that I don't like the twists and turns, that they stress me out. And I was stressed with this book - at times I felt like I needed a break just to catch my breath. But I did enjoy it, mainly because I didn't see the twist coming. As has become my tendency, I will break this down in two pros and cons lists.Pros1. I though the twist at the end was genuinely shocking. I didn't see it coming even though looking back the clues were all there. I think Ryan did a good job of leaving hints without it becoming too obvious. Maybe others smelled it from a mile away, but I am easily duped.2. It was generally enjoyable. The story and arc was interesting enough to keep me entertaining albeit a bit stressed. I liked the idea of (view spoiler)[ a person being so enamored of another that they looked past their flaws, even their horrible ones, to not even recognize their psychosis. (hide spoiler)]Cons1. The pacing was a bit off for me. It was slow up until the last 10-20% of the book, then things just happened and were resolved within a few pages. I think I would have appreciated a little more build-up and a slower resolution.2. The characters didn't all make sense. I found Mac to be a bit boring as a narrator. Ben, Doris, Carrie, and Quill were all a bit flat and I don't know that the build-up was worth the reveal. I wish more time would have been spent developing a friendship (or ex-friendship) instead of just saying "hey, we used to be friends" because they certainly didn't feel like people who would have ever been friends, even with Connor "holding them together." Mac and Quill's insta-love felt off, as well. There was no build-up for it to feel natural to me. 3. (view spoiler)[ I feel a bit let down. I wish we knew more about Connor and his motivations. I know he was a "sociopath" or whatever they termed him, but serial killers usually have some underlying motivation in their killings. Why the old catalogs, why the rat poison, why those victims (if it has to do with their secrets, what about secrets was a trigger for Connor), why was Mac his next victim and what was his secret (I don't buy his secret was being in love with Connor because the others' secrets were active whereas Mac hadn't even realized his feelings)? There just seems to be a lot of unanswered questions about that. I also feel a bit let down with the resolution of it all. The police is just "yeah okay thanks guys for murdering the murderer I will now play along with your cover-up." Felt a little bit forced to bring it to a close. (hide spoiler)]
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  • Sue~Always Reading~
    January 1, 1970
    This was a really exciting story. I loved the setting in a small, beach town with eerie caves. It brought to mind many mysteries I read and loved as a teenager. The main character, Mac, is a teenager himself at 18. I wouldn’t call this young adult but I think it can be easily enjoyed and appreciated by teenagers as well as adults. This is one I would’ve loved at 16.The story follows Mac throughout the summer after he graduates high school. The town had been disturbed by a serial killer, the last This was a really exciting story. I loved the setting in a small, beach town with eerie caves. It brought to mind many mysteries I read and loved as a teenager. The main character, Mac, is a teenager himself at 18. I wouldn’t call this young adult but I think it can be easily enjoyed and appreciated by teenagers as well as adults. This is one I would’ve loved at 16.The story follows Mac throughout the summer after he graduates high school. The town had been disturbed by a serial killer, the last victim being Mac’s best friend Connor a year before. When Mac finds a note from Connor he hadn’t previously seen it sends him on a search for who the Catalog Killer was. While looking into the victims Mac meets Quill, whose cousin was one of the victims. Quill is as invested in finding out who the killer was and while helping Mac they begin to start their own romance. There is no sex of any kind in the book and in my opinion there didn’t need to be. That wouldn’t have fit with the story. This is a mystery first and foremost.Mac has 3 other friends who made up a group who were close from when they were young. The group consisted of Mac, Connor, Ben, Doris and Carrie. I can’t say I liked these friends, I feel like Mac was the best person out of all of them. This was his story and for being such good friends I didn’t feel like they supported each other. But you have to read the book to find out more about these relationships.I thought I guessed the killer a few times so I was happy to know I hadn’t. I love guessing until the end.There were errors with spelling and paragraphs ran into each other between characters but with this being an ARC I hope they are fixed before the book is released. If you like a solid mystery I suggest you give this a try. **ARC provided by NetGalley for review
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  • Annette
    January 1, 1970
    Keep This to Yourself surprised me. And that's a good thing in a mystery.It has been a year since The Catalog Killer terrorized the seaside town of Camera Cove, killing four people including a teenager, Connor. Mac and three other kids from the same neighborhood were friends with Connor since they were very young. Now they are graduating from high school and still very much missing Connor.Mac, in particular, is having a difficult time. The killer was never caught but is believed to be a drifter Keep This to Yourself surprised me. And that's a good thing in a mystery.It has been a year since The Catalog Killer terrorized the seaside town of Camera Cove, killing four people including a teenager, Connor. Mac and three other kids from the same neighborhood were friends with Connor since they were very young. Now they are graduating from high school and still very much missing Connor.Mac, in particular, is having a difficult time. The killer was never caught but is believed to be a drifter that left the area. Mac decides to open a bag of comic books that Connor left him on the day he was killed. Mac hasn't been able to look at them. Now, when he opens the bag, he finds a note from Connor asking him to meet him that night. Mac feels guilty -- maybe he could have saved Connor from the murderer? Mac takes the note to the police but doesn't get any reassurance that it will help them find the serial killer, who left a picture from a catalog with each of his victims.This begins Mac's determination to begin his own investigation into what happened to Connor and the other victims.The story has many twists, as Mac finds little clues that cause him to change his mind several times about who the killer might be. He teams up with the cousin of another victim, Quill, who also wants to find out what happened. Quill also provides the romantic aspect of the plot. Mac also gets some assistance from Connor's other friends.Mac is homosexual and the relationship is cute, well done, and doesn't overpower the plot. It is nice that both sets of parents are totally supportive of their sons. The writing is easy to read, and the plot moves quickly making this appropriate for younger teens.I was totally blindsided by the eventual revelation of the killer. Well done, Mr. Ryan! Teen mystery fans will enjoy this one very much.
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  • Sam
    January 1, 1970
    You can find this review and others on my blog SleepySamReads!Special thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for providing a free copy in exchange for an honest review.I enjoy these type of thriller books, but they rarely take me by surprise. I almost always figure out the big twist or who the bad guy is. This book is extremely unique for me because it caught me completely off guard. I thought I was figuring everything out like always, but then the twist happened and blindsided me. I LOVED that. You can find this review and others on my blog SleepySamReads!Special thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for providing a free copy in exchange for an honest review.I enjoy these type of thriller books, but they rarely take me by surprise. I almost always figure out the big twist or who the bad guy is. This book is extremely unique for me because it caught me completely off guard. I thought I was figuring everything out like always, but then the twist happened and blindsided me. I LOVED that. It doesn't happen nearly enough. Keep This to Yourself is set in a coastal town in Oregon, which was honestly the perfect setting. I loved the characters a lot. Mac, the main character, has lost his best friend a year before the story starts and you can still see how he's grieving and having a hard time moving on. I also like how Mac is gay, which I enjoyed because there's so few thriller books with a gay protagonist. Now if I could find one with a lesbian protagonist, we'd be set.I thought that Mac and Quill's relationship was cute, though I wish we would have gotten to see more of it after Conner's murder was resolved. I feel like their relationship was based on their mutual interest in investigating Conner's murder and I wonder if they have anything in common other than that. The only thing I didn't super love was the very ending. It was not believable at all and requires a suspension of disbelief that I just couldn't handle. I can do that with fantasy type novels, but with novels like this that are set in the 'actual' world, it's hard. I really enjoyed Keep This to Yourself, even if the ending wasn't completely satisfactory.
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  • Jessica
    January 1, 1970
    *I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*I chose to read this because I was in search of a book with a gay male lead, and this particular plot sounded appealing. I was expecting to be disappointed, but I actually thoroughly enjoyed this book, so much so that I finished it in four days so I could find out whodunit. The mystery aspect of the book definitely left me wanting to read on, and despite all the clues, I still wasn’t able to correctly guess the endin *I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*I chose to read this because I was in search of a book with a gay male lead, and this particular plot sounded appealing. I was expecting to be disappointed, but I actually thoroughly enjoyed this book, so much so that I finished it in four days so I could find out whodunit. The mystery aspect of the book definitely left me wanting to read on, and despite all the clues, I still wasn’t able to correctly guess the ending. There are lots of twists that keep you on your toes. I loved reading about the setting of a small coastal town on the beach, and how gossip can travel quickly in those types of places. The book also delves into how people react to tragedy, and touches on characters with mild PTSD. The m|m couple seemed a little forced, like it came on very suddenly, but it also didn’t overpower the plot, and was subtle and cute to read about. And it being a YA book, it wasn’t too explicit that younger readers couldn’t enjoy it but would still know what was going on despite the toned down writing. There could have been a bit more diversity (two LGBT characters, one POC), but some is better than none, I guess. One complaint I have is that because this is a YA book, 99% of the sleuthing is being done by people just out of high school, which is hard to wrap your head around. My other minor complaint with the book was the names of the teens, in that they don’t really fit the time period (present) or are just strange. For a bunch of 18 year olds, they all seem to have names befitting their parents, not themselves. This isn’t enough to downgrade my rating, but just irked me every time I happened upon one of the aforementioned names.
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