Monday, June 6, 2016

Review: Please Don't Tell

Please Don't Tell by Laura Tims
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: May 24th, 2016
Source: ALA Midwinter
Date Read: 4/24/16 to 5/21/16
336 pages
Rating: 


Joy killed Adam Gordon—at least, that’s what she thinks. The night of the party is hazy at best. But she knows what Adam did to her twin sister, Grace, and she knows he had to pay for it.

What Joy doesn’t expect is that someone else saw what happened. And one night a note is shoved through her open window, threatening Joy that all will be revealed. Now the anonymous blackmailer starts using Joy to expose the secrets of their placid hometown. And as the demands escalate, Joy must somehow uncover the blackmailer’s identity before Joy is forced to make a terrible choice.

In this darkly compelling narrative, debut author Laura Tims explores the complicated relationship between two sisters, and what one will do for the other. It’s a story that will keep readers turning pages and questioning their own sense of right and wrong.

I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review. Quotes taken from ARC may or may not be in the published edition.

I went into Please Don't Tell not knowing what it would be about, and I do not regret it one bit. Reading it reminded me how important it is to read out of your comfort zone, even if it is a genre I would have never picked up!

Please Don't Tell follows Joy and Grace, twins that are surprisingly very different from each other. Although Joy is a little obnoxious, she views herself as a protector, both of her sister and her friends. Grace on the other hand is a straight A student, and there's no doubt in anyone's mind that she'll be going to college. Unfortunately, the same can't be said for Joy.

The POV not only switches between the sisters, but it also switches between the past and the present (or more accurately, the "before" and "after"). In Joy's POV, we see her struggling to not only deal with the aftermath of Adam's death, but also a blackmailer who apparently saw her murder Adam. In order for the blackmailer to not turn her in, Joy has to pretty much do whatever the blackmailer says. In Grace's POV, we see how the sisters were before, which was vastly different from the present. I had much less tolerance for Joy then, and Grace was like me in high school. Always studying, never really breaking out of her shell. Not until Joy comes along to drag her off to be a party animal.

To be honest, this is a very hard review to write because I don't want to spoil anyone. I went into this book completely blind, not knowing it dealt with a some hard topics, along with it being a mystery. The most I can say is that I kept on trying to guess who the blackmailer was (and failed to guess right). I really was just pointing fingers at everyone.

Most importantly, I loved how we can clearly see the changes in both Joy and Grace after what happened. It reminded me a little of The Way I Used To Be, where one event can completely transform a person, for better or for worse.

I can't hold it in, so highlight for spoilers! Let's talk about the reveal! [spoiler] I think something in me knew it would be Grace, although I was stuck on the blackmailer being Preston for a very long time (hey you never know). But wow, I can't believe her own twin sister blackmailed her! Makes me really glad that I don't have any siblings, though I'm sure that would never happen haha. [spoiler end] I feel like the last half of the novel was much more fast paced, as the beginning was a little slow for me. But very much worth it.

I really enjoyed Please Don't Tell, even though it doesn't seem like a Val book at all. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who enjoys a good mystery, or likes reading about darker topics.