Welcome to my stop on the Terminal Tours Book Tour for I Know Your Secret by Daphne Benedis-Grabs. I’ve been really into mysteries lately, especially cozy ones or ones like Pretty Little Liars or Gossip Girl. This middle grade definately fits – although I haven’t read one for a middle grade audience before!
Be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom to see the tour schedule for other content creators.
Thank you to Daphne Benedis-Grab and Scholastic Press for providing me with an ARC for this review.
Daphne is the author of middle grade books including Clementine for Christmas, and The Angel Tree, and young adult books including The Girl in the Wall. Her short stories have appeared in American Girl Magazine. She earned an MFA at The New School and a School Media Library Specialist degree from the Palmer School of Library and Information Science. She lives in New York City with her husband, kids and cat, and spends her days writing and being the librarian at PS32 in Brooklyn.
About The Book
Title: I Know Your Secret
Author: Daphne Benedis-Grab
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Publishing Date: December 7th 2021
Page Length: 240
Age Range: Middle Grade
Rating: 3 ⭐
One of Us is Lying meets Pretty Little Liars for middle-grade readers.
The email arrives Sunday night: Do exactly what I say, when I say it, or I will reveal your secret.
On Monday morning, seventh graders Owen, Gemma, Ally, and Todd, who have nothing in common and barely know each other, must work together and follow the instructions of an anonymous blackmailer. None of them want to go along with the blackmailer’s instructions, but each of them have a secret they must protect at all costs.
Set during a single day of school, the students race against the clock to complete a disquieting set of tasks, with fast-paced chapters detailing each moment of the day interspersed with a later interview-style recording made by the quartet.
I Know Your Secret is an exploration of why we conceal the truth, how far we’ll go to keep it hidden, and the power of being honest.
This was a relatively quick read. I found it read a little younger than the characters ages and some of the things thought/said by the characters sounded a lot older (I don’t even know if that was something of a concern when I was a teenager, nevermind a tween). I was really fond of one of the characters, Ally, while I wasn’t as connected with the other three. I found Ally was most well rounded and she was just the sweetest person!
I wasn’t able to predict the exact culprit of the mystery; however, I was pretty close. I felt some of the clues were a little heavy handed, even for the age group, and the morals of the story made it clear who we should expect (or at least the direction). That being said, the overall path that was needed was interesting. I found myself wondering how we would get from where we were in the book tot he ending I expected, and that made this more enjoyable.
One thing that stood out, and was fairly off-putting, was the inclusion of COVID-19. In this book it is fully acknowledged and the book takes place in present time (after pandemic, start of returning to “normalcy”). When it was mentioned, I felt myself being pulled away from the story and it felt rather jarring and out of place.
Outside of that, this book was interesting and the ending felt relatively satisfying. I will be keeping an eye out for more of Daphne’s books.
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