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The Telling

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  672 ratings  ·  188 reviews
Lana used to know what was real. That was before, when her life was small and quiet. Her golden stepbrother, Ben was alive. She could only dream about bonfiring with the populars. Their wooded island home was idyllic, she could tell truth from lies, and Ben's childhood stories were firmly in her imagination.

Then came after.

After has Lana boldly kissing her crush, jumping i
Kindle Edition, 400 pages
Published August 2nd 2016 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
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Popular Answered Questions
Alexandra Sirowy Hey, Rebecca! THE TELLING is not THE CREEPING's sequel. It's a new story, with new characters (who I LOVE and hope you do too).
Alexandra Sirowy Hi, Rachel! Yes, THE TELLING does have a hint (or two) of romance in it. Romance, mystery, and a little Gothic horror. Thanks for asking!
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Average rating 3.65  · 
Rating details
 ·  672 ratings  ·  188 reviews

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Chelsea Humphrey
Feb 02, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
I’m fully aware that this might be a simple case of “not the right reader for this book”. I usually enjoy a good YA novel, especially if it’s a mystery/thriller type, but this one just seemed to lack all the suspense and thrilling notion to propel me forward. Sure, it was an easy read and it did have some parts that gripped me; overall, this wasn’t a terrible book, it just wasn’t great. This story had a major “meh” factor for me.

On paper, this book sounded necessary. That blurb hooked me immedia
I asked him where they came from, more than once. Where did your stories start? He side-stepped. He pleaded imagination. He went silent, stood abruptly, and left me in the blanket fort. Stories have beginnings, origins. But what do they matter? They aren’t real.

Lana lived for her step-brother Ben's stories. Absolutely lived for them from the moment his mom married Lana's dad. The two would get lost in make-believe pretending they were the heroes who always defeated the villains. The stories
Beth Hudspeth
Reviewed by: Hello Beautiful Book Blog

Unique, engaging story. It was told in a manner that had me guessing if this was real or fantasy.

Lana seems like any other teenager about to graduate high school until certain circumstances surrounding her life are revealed. The book starts in the “after” for Lana. The after being the murder of her stepbrother Ben whom she was extremely close to. They did everything together and Ben’s make believe stories were their favorite thing to play as kids. When m
Korrina  (OwlCrate)
Oct 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
Life got a little crazy so it took me awhile to finish this, but I really enjoyed it! I thought the writing was really strong, it kept me guessing throughout the entire thing, and the characters were interesting. My theory about what was going on was so completely wrong, it made me laugh! This was a perfect book to pick up for the SpookAThon. I'm glad the hosts decided to make it their group book, otherwise I may not have ever picked it up.
2.5 stars?

I was beyond excited about this book. The synopsis is intriguing and I couldn't take my eyes off that cover.

I was definitely interested right away, but then my excitement just dwindled with the turn of every page. Lana's inner monologue was bland and uninteresting. I couldn't keep my interest and set the book down several times. I could have easily walked away from this book, not known the outcome, and been just fine.

There are some things I didn't see coming and the ending was pretty
May 24, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
After Lana's stepbrother Ben is brutally murdered she finds herself withdrawing from everything as she mourns until one night her long time crush Josh finally approaches her. Josh is a member of the "core", the group of cool kids that Lana had never been a part of but now they let Lana into their world as she finds herself starting to heal from Ben's passing.

One day Lana and her new friends are out swimming and when Lana dives under and sees a body. Diving down and freeing the body Lana discove
Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)
Crazy read! Full review to come.

Edited for full review:
There is something fun about a read that right from the start, messes with you. You know things aren't normal and there will be some wicked twists along the way and yet, you still aren't completely prepared for them all, even the ones you think you see coming.

This was that read for me. The one that kept me on edge, constantly wondering, constantly guessing, and constantly turning the pages wanting more.

I truly was surprised with how wrapped
Coleen (The Book Ramblings)
The Telling was one of those books that pulled me in at the very beginning, even though I seen the ending coming. Set on an island near Seattle, Lana is trying to come to terms with the brutal murder of her step-brother, Ben, who was killed by an unknown man with a red painted face. The only witness to the crime is found dead, and Lana is the one who pulls the body out of the water. Lana and her group of friends are the likely suspects to the police, knowing that Maggie is Ben’s ex-girlfriend, a ...more
Mar 02, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is my last review for the next couple of weeks *plays the world’s smallest violin*, and unlike the title of this book, I don’t really have a lot to say about it. Which is why this is probably going to be the longest review ever anyways…

The blurb sounded so promising. I haven’t read many YA thrillers, so I was wondering how scary it would be compared to a regular thriller.
I have to admit, a couple of scenes had me on the edge of my couch with some half ass attempt at hyperventilating, bu
Take Me Away To A Great Read
Dec 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The Telling by Alexandra Sirowy
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Release Date: August 2, 2016
Rating: 5 Stars

I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with an advance copy of The Telling for an honest review.

The Telling is a story full of so many twists and turns that I could not have possibly guessed where the story was going. This story has so much suspense, mystery, and swoon. I loved this book so much that I had to find more books by Sirowy.

FULL REVIEW GO TO: https://takemeaw
Jay G
Jun 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Want to see more bookish things from me? Check out my Youtube channel:

Lana spent her childhood hearing stories from her step-brother Ben. These stories fueled her summer on make-believe and adventure, always leaving Ben and Lana as the heroes defeating the villains. Then Ben is killed, causing Lana to be swallowed up in her grief, becoming a shadow of herself. While trying to pick up the crumbling pieces of her life, Lana and her friends discovers a body
Oct 14, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 08, 2016 rated it really liked it



This is one of my favorite lines from Monty Python and it fits so many things in life.  It just sings in my head whenever I come across something I've never seen or experienced before in my life.  And The Telling certainly qualifies for this quote.  I was not prepared for what all the "craziness" in this book.

First and foremost, this is a young adult mystery.  Lana is our protagonist and first person narrator.  She is dealing with the death of her stepbrother Ben only a little over two months
Lee Kelly
Jun 14, 2016 added it
Shelves: blurbed

Official comments: "Thrilling, evocative and compulsively readable, with knock-out prose and sizzling intensity. THE TELLING establishes Sirowy as a master of the who-dun-it, and is an absolute must-read this summer."

Sirowy's second novel, like her first, accomplishes the rare dual feat of being a page-turning mystery and also a study in characters and relationships. And while both books are excellent, this one in particular really spoke to me in terms of the relations
Sep 13, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 3-star
Alexandra Sirowy’s The Creeping is one of the best YA thrillers I have ever read. Suspenseful and full of interesting characters, I knew I was going to have to keep an eye out for what Sirowy wrote next, and here we are a year later with The Telling.

I am not overly impressed by The Telling, but I think it is a solid YA thriller that I am glad to have read. It cemented that I really enjoy Sirowy’s writing style and her themes revolving around teenagers. 3 ½ stars

It’s been two months since Lana’s
Oct 17, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: goodreads-2016
I enjoyed this read. I was interested right from the start. It kept me wanting to know what was going to happen next. Right when I thought I knew who the killer was something would happen and make me think twice. I was surprised about what happened at the very end. Altogether a good ride.
Aug 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
I was lucky enough to get an ARC thanks to netgalley and the publisher.
This book was DISTURBING but in a good story kind of way.
I couldnt figure out "who done it".
It was a goodread.
N.K. Traver
Aug 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A chilling, twisting mystery that blends the line between nightmares and reality. This is now one of my all-time favorite mysteries.
"There were hundreds, all the sort of dark, twisted fairy tales you find in dusty, yellowed books. Except they weren't from books. They were ours. And no matter the faraway land or the plot or the crimes of the villains, Ben always made the two of us the heroes. We were better and braver versions of Ben and Lana McBrooks, It was good against evil, and we always won."

There's this really popular teen show on right now called Riverdale. Based on the Archie Comics, it follows the characters thro
Tressa (Wishful Endings)
THE TELLING was a creepily haunting tale where not everyone is safe from the killer lurking in the shadows. Those who enjoy reading thrillers with an edge of darkness may enjoy this one.

I wasn't too sure about this story. There is a lot of crude banter, innuendo and references as well as lots of partying, bullying, language, etc. Then there is the rather gruesome and macabre violence. We're talking nightmarish here. It wasn't extremely detailed, at least, but your mind can definitely conjure up
Dark Faerie Tales
Sep 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

After has Lana boldly kissing her crush, jumping into the water from too high up, and living with nerve and mischief. But after also has horrors, deaths that only make sense in fairy tales, and terrors from a past Lana thought long forgotten: Love, blood, and murder.

Quick & Dirty: Twisted mystery that will keep you intrigued the whole way through! I really enjoyed this one and would highly recommend it to thriller/mystery fans!

Opening Sentence: This is what af
Christina (Ensconced in Lit)
Jul 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: won
The Telling by Alexandra Sirowy is a chilling story about Lana, who has lost her stepbrother Ben, several years prior. She has gone from goodie two shoes, to hanging out with the popular crowd that contains her longtime crush, Josh. The story starts at a secluded lake where she takes a foolhardy dive. But soon after, the teens find a dead body weighted down at the bottom of the lake, and suddenly, they are all suspects.

I award this book 3.5 stars. I enjoyed the suspense, and the mysterious back
Oct 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
"Adults reach a certain age and they forget tasting the salt of make-believe oceans."

This is a wonderfully spooky story about a gory death of a beloved step-brother and the ripple effect this has in one girl's life. But when there is another murder, everyone wants to know what's happening.

The clues were near impossible to decipher. I just had to roll along with the group and try to glean details. Could it be Josh? Duncan? Rusty? Carolynn? So many options. It wasn't until the final few chapters t
Oct 08, 2017 rated it it was ok
1.5 stars

I was really entertained and enjoying the story at the beginning and then it just became so boring. It dragged and it took me so long to read it. There was no balance between prose and dialogue. And I couldn't grasp the timeline until 200 pages in. Also, the scene changes were convoluted. I hated all the "Ben this...Ben that". Ugh! There are a lot of things I can stand but unfortunately (view spoiler) isn't one of them.
Jess ✩
I received this arc from Netgalley, all opinions are honest!

This was alright. I guess this is mystery, thriller, dark contemporary which is different from what I've read besides R.L Stine because I don't read anything related to contemporary. The beginning is so slow though, be warned but the ending was shocking!

An in depth review will be posted shortly on my blog!

Erica Alyson
Sep 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Well that was an interesting twist. I love books where you don't see the end coming!
Aug 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
WARNINGS: Murders of humans and animals, domestic abuse, stepcest, homophobic slurs, ableist slurs, bullying.
Apr 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It had been two months since the death of Lana McBrooke’s golden-boy stepbrother, Ben. Two months since she shed her eight-semester plan and joined the Core, the elite popular group of Gant Island, Washington. Lana buried the whispers and insinuations that followed her and Ben and became fearless Lana, the girl of the stories that Ben used to tell her when they were in middle school. All of that changed when, a week before senior year, she, her best friend Willa, and the Core discovered a body i ...more
Sarah Nelson
Nov 16, 2019 rated it did not like it
The struggle IS real!!
The characters— especially Lana, the main character— are annoying & unrealistic. The element of incest is disgusting. The way the story is told is a DRAAAAAAAAG.... I had to force myself through this one. The writing, in my opinion, was horrible. I could not “see” the story. It did not draw me into the story. I spent the past 4 hours completely annoyed & wanting desperately to finish the book so I could move on with life.
It’s labeled & advertised as a mystery. And maybe 1/
Kelly Gunderman
Oct 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Check out this and other reviews on my young adult book blog, Here's to Happy Endings!

The Telling was one of those books that I had been drawn to since I first heard it was coming out, way back in the beginning of the year. The cover and the title both sounded downright creepy (have you seen that cover? It's stunning, and it also connects so well with the book), and the synopsis makes it sound so deliciously terrifying that I knew it was going to be a delight to read.

Lana spent a good portion o
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Alexandra Sirowy was born and raised in Northern California. She has a graduate degree in International Studies and loves to eat, laugh, travel, read, and go on adventures. She's the author of the YA thrillers THE CREEPING, the Bram Stoker award shortlisted THE TELLING, and her latest, FIRST WE WERE IV. She lives in California with her husband and daughter. Visit her at

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