Thursday, November 12, 2020

Teen/YA Review: All Your Twisted Secrets

For the #RIP XV Challenge in October, I listened to a suspenseful teen/YA thriller, All Your Twisted Secrets by Diana Urban, on audio. It was super-twisty with plenty of surprises that kept me riveted.

Amber is preparing for a banquet dinner at a local restaurant, after receiving a letter telling her that she's won a scholarship. Her boyfriend, Robbie, who also received a scholarship letter, comes to pick her up for the dinner. Robbie is a star jock at school who loves baseball, and Amber is a musical genius, hoping to compose music for movies someday. When they arrive, they find four other students from their high school who have also received letters. Diego is almost certainly going to be their class valedictorian in the spring, and despite her relationship with Robbie, Amber just might have a little crush on Diego. Sasha is there, of course. She's the all-around over-achiever at school--leader of a bunch of school activities and a close second for valedictorian who desperately wants to take the position from Diego. Amber's long-time (but recently split-up) best friend, Priya, is also there, adding to the tension. The sixth student is a surprise to everyone because Scott, dressed in torn jeans and a leather jacket, is only known as a stoner at school. Once all six students have arrived, things get weird. The door closes and locks from the outside, and the group discovers that one of the covered platters on the table holds a ticking bomb, a full syringe, and a note. According to the mysterious note, the six of them have just one hour to choose one of them to die, via the syringe. If time runs out and they haven't chosen anyone, then the bomb will go off, and they will all die.

That sets up a very suspenseful, tension-filled thriller, as the teens race against time to try to save their own lives. There is a lot of arguing over who deserves to die, and secrets that each of them carries gradually begin to leak out. Sometimes, a smaller group works together on some side project, hoping to open a window or set up a barrier or otherwise save the entire group, but discussion always returns to choosing one person. Besides the inherent mystery in that decision, there is also the mystery of who set them up like this. Chapters alternate between the present, locked in the room and arguing as tension builds, and the past, slowly providing the backstory for each character and the clearly troubled relationships between some of them, leading up to the fateful night. While it is primarily a fast-paced thriller, there is also plenty of depth here, in their discussions of who "deserves" to die, comparing one life against another, and in their backstories, dealing with topics like bullying, friendship, popularity, and even teen suicide. I enjoyed listening to this captivating thriller that kept me guessing--and surprised me--right up to the end.

400 pages, HarperTeen


Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher in return for an honest review. My review is my own opinion and is not influenced by my relationship with the publisher or author.


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Listen to a sample of the audiobook here, from the first chapter, and/or download it from Audible.


You can purchase All Your Twisted Secrets from an independent bookstore, either locally or online, here:

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Or you can order All Your Twisted Secrets from Book Depository, with free shipping worldwide.


  1. This sounds like a really tense book. Who on earth would do such a thing?! I do like that kind of thing though where a group has to decide "who is most deserving." Sounds like a good read.

    1. The "whodunit" part is one of the many surprises!