Publication date: May 16th, 2023
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Thriller
An ambitious and juicy whodunit doused in Hollywood lore, perfect for readers of sexy summer thrillers like The Twin by Natasha Preston and The Agathas by Kathleen Glasgow and Liz Lawson.
No one at Hollywood High knows who’s behind We’ll Never Tell—a viral YouTube channel where the anonymous creators trespass behind the scenes of LA’s most intriguing locales. The team includes CASEY, quiet researcher and trivia champ; JACOB, voice narrator and video editor, who is secretly dating EDDIE, aspiring filmmaker; and ZOE, coder and breaking-and-entering extraordinaire.
Now senior year is winding down, and with their lives heading in different directions, the YouTubers vow to go out with a bang. Their last episode will be filmed at the infamous Valentini “murderhouse,” which has been left abandoned, bloodstained, and untouched since a shocking murder/suicide in 1972. When the teens break in, they capture epic footage. But someone trips an alarm, and it’s a mad dash to get out before the police arrive—at which point they realize only three of them escaped instead of four. Jacob is still inside, slain and bleeding out. Is his attack connected to the historic murder, or is one of their crew responsible?
A week of suspicions and cover-ups unfolds as Casey and her remaining friends try to stay alive long enough to solve murder mysteries past and present. If they do, their friendship may not survive. If they don’t, the house will claim more victims.
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This is my first book by this author and I do believe I may need to check her others out after reading this one. It was a ride!
I enjoyed the articles included as a part of the story, they lend just a little bit more depth and uniqueness to a story. The ambiance and sense of the group not belonging in the house was fantastic. The house definitely got my imagination and blood pumping. Especially how it appeared inside, frozen in time – if not for the blood stains and disuse, the Valentini’s could walk in at any moment. The interwoven stories of past and present meshed together really well.
That’s the thing with being the victim of a crime. It collapses an entire life down to its violent conclusion. It’s perverse and wrong that victims are remembered for a crime committed by someone else–in my mom’s case, a complete stranger.
My younger self resonated with Casey’s character the most and she was by far my favorite. Casey’s new friendship did feel a little too convenient but then again – stranger things have happened in the wake of a tragedy. Each of the group brings their own unique personality and while eclectic, it works. Most of my friend groups in high school and even now fall into the eclectic mix category. I thoroughly enjoyed all the representation in this book as well – it’s raw, emotional and real. I think that’s the best thing about this group of friends, they feel like real people.
But in reality, there’s no romance in a crime of passion. There’s just the ending of a life, small and quiet, and the broken people who get left behind.
There were several twists in the book that I wasn’t expecting and they were pretty big ones. The synopsis gives us a hint at one secret the characters in the book are hiding from others & it was interesting to see that play out in the book. It was a fast read with shorter action packed chapters and I blew through this book. A big thank you to TBR & Beyond Tours, Wendy Heard & Christy Ottaviano Books/Little, Brown & Company for choosing me to participate in this tour. All opinions are my own.
About the Author:
Wendy Heard is the author of suspense and thrillers for adults and teens, including THE KILL CLUB, SHE’S TOO PRETTY TO BURN, and DEAD END GIRLS. Wendy has spent most of her life in Los Angeles, California, which is on fire more than she would honestly prefer, and can often be found haunting local hiking trails and bookstores. She loves all things vintage and has a collection of thrillers and adventure books from the 80s.