All Your Twisted Secrets, the debut by Diana Urban, is one of the books I was most looking forward to in 2020. Although it doesn’t come out until March 17, I was privileged to have been chosen by HarperTeen to receive an advance copy. This is a fun, twisty thriller that slowly reveals secrets and complicated relationships across two timelines.
From the publisher:
“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?
As soon as I read the premise of All Your Twisted Secrets, I knew I was going to have to read it. I’m thrilled to report that the book exceeded my expectations.
One of my questions/concerns going in was how the author would be able to build tension and conflict in a book that essentially takes place over one hour. Urban accomplishes this by using a group of classmates who are each in conflict with the others (all for different reasons).
All Your Twisted Secrets also uses dual timelines to establish and deepen the conflict, showing how those relationships started and progressed, leading to the scholarship dinner in the present. As facts are revealed in the past timeline, we see the characters reveal those secrets to the group under the pressure of the ticking timebomb in the present.
The characters in All Your Twisted Secrets all seem very real, each with their own flaws. I found myself choosing favorites and then switching my allegiance throughout the book.
There are a couple of BIG twists at the end that are surprising and inevitable – the best kind.
I highly recommend All Your Twisted Secrets. It was a great book to kick off my 2020 reading list. Note: Although I received a complimentary copy of All Your Twisted Secrets to review, these opinions are my own.