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All Your Twisted Secrets

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This thrilling debut, reminiscent of new fan favorites like One of Us Is Lying and the beloved classics by Agatha Christie, will leave readers guessing until the explosive ending.

Welcome to dinner, and again, congratulations on being selected. Now you must do the selecting.

What do the queen bee, star athlete, valedictorian, stoner, loner, and music geek all have in common? They were all invited to a scholarship dinner, only to discover it’s a trap. Someone has locked them into a room with a bomb, a syringe filled with poison, and a note saying they have an hour to pick someone to kill … or else everyone dies.

Amber Prescott is determined to get her classmates and herself out of the room alive, but that might be easier said than done. No one knows how they’re all connected or who would want them dead. As they retrace the events over the past year that might have triggered their captor’s ultimatum, it becomes clear that everyone is hiding something. And with the clock ticking down, confusion turns into fear, and fear morphs into panic as they race to answer the biggest question: Who will they choose to die?

400 pages, Hardcover

First published March 17, 2020

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About the author

Diana Urban is an award-winning author of dark, twisty thrillers, including All Your Twisted Secrets, These Deadly Games, and Lying in the Deep coming 5/2/23 from Penguin Teen. (Get the preorder gift for Lying in the Deep here!) When she’s not torturing her fictional characters, she freelances in video game narrative writing. She lives with her husband and cat in Boston and enjoys reading, playing video games, fawning over cute animals, and looking at the beach from a safe distance. Connect with her on Instagram, TikTok, or Twitter.

(Diana doesn't use Goodreads, but you can contact her here.)

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 3,096 reviews
Profile Image for Nilufer Ozmekik.
2,315 reviews44.1k followers
November 16, 2021
This book has perfect set-up and intriguing plot idea: Breakfast Club meet Saw and “Escape Room” with Agatha Christie novels’ whodunit vibes and small similarities with “ One of Us is Lying”

A musical genius, popular athlete, drug dealer, queen bee, outcast, entrepreneur geek gets a dinner invitation. That are selected six people to get 20K scholarship with bright future lies ahead of them. Or not? Because the entire diner organization is a trap. They’re locked in their sweet dining room with ticking bomb it about to explode in one hour and a poisonous There is note instruct them: they will decide who is going to die in one hour to save themselves.

Let the game begins and find the jigsaw/master who pulls the strings of these six puppets (Minor spoiler: five puppets because one of them is the master!) Let’s find the one who knocks and who is the danger!

I loved the promising, exciting start and fast entrance but as I resumed my reading I lost my interest definitely because:

-The story started to repeat itself and lost its action packed excitement.

-The characters are so dull, boring and they’re categorized with one word. Amber is musical genius and… I cannot find too many adjective to describe her (Neither the author did) Sasha is bitch and queen bee and… ? See, I didn’t find anything to like or dislike about them because they haven’t been developed yet. They seems like they stuck in their mom’s wombs and they need at least six more months for their birth. (Creation ache should be something like that! So sorry but those characters are too raw, too shapeless, unlayered.

-The puppet master, perpetrator is so predictable and ending was also hmm okay but not earth or soul shattering kind of conclusion.

So I’m giving 2.5 stars only for amazing cover illustration and promising start but this is one of my Switzerland, I don’t like or hate it, let’s meet in the middle kind of mediocre reading! I was expecting so much more but I truly disappointed.

Profile Image for megs_bookrack.
1,605 reviews10.7k followers
July 30, 2022

Arriving to a scholarship dinner at a local restaurant, Amber Prescott and a select group of her classmates, quickly suspect something is amiss.

The teens seem to be the only ones there and once the doors to the banquet room close, they're locked in.

As the rules of their entrapment are revealed, and the heat starts to rise, they realize they have an important decision to make.

They have to choose one amongst them to die. If they don't, all in the room will be killed.

Alternating between the present timeline and the months leading up to the night of the action, this story pieces together the relationship dynamics of all the characters involved.

Amber, our narrator, is a musical prodigy, whose main goal is to attend USC for musical composition. The other characters include Queen Bee, Sasha, Amber's ex-BFF, Priya, Amber's boyfriend, Robbie, bad boy, Scott, and childhood entrepreneur, Diego.

The characters were stereotypical, but generally I don't mind that and I didn't really mind it here.

While the set-up was compelling, I was hoping for a bit more mystery. This seemed like a dramatic YA Contemporary to me, with a teensy-tiny bit of suspense sprinkled over the top.

Some of the interactions between the teens were quite interesting, however, it just wasn't what I was looking for. Overall, it was entertaining, though I wouldn't say it was particularly memorable.

If you are looking for a quick, dramatic story though, it's absolutely worth reading, just expect more drama than suspense.

Profile Image for Miranda Reads.
1,589 reviews157k followers
April 16, 2021

Congratulations! It is our pleasure to inform you that you have been selected as a recipient...
Amber Prescott - musical genius - along with a few "friends" were invited to a scholarship dinner with the Mayor.

Only when they arrived, the reception they expected was far less than welcoming.
The massive oak door behind me slammed shut with such force it reverberated through my chest...
Stuck in the room with five others, Amber quickly realized they're locked in the room.

There's a single note - explaining that one of them must die in order for the rest of them to leave this room.

And there's a syringe full of poison strong enough to kill them all with a single drop.

Who will it be?

Stoner? Loser? Miss Popularity? The star athlete? The questions are endless...time on the other hand...is not.
I spent the last hour wondering if I would die tonight.

This book came out of the gate swinging.

Punch-after-punch with the way the six students were stuck in the building, the pressure from the decision-making and the steadily increasing tension all wowed me.

But considering that the "present" of this book was an hour-long event, much of the page space was devoted to flashbacks to round out the world and the character's reasoning. That started to take some of the momentum away.

And, there's only so many times you can swap who you want to kill before it gets a little samey.

However, the ending RAMPED back up once the decision was made and the after events were equally wild.

The main thing that kept it from being any higher was that the VERY end of the book was a bit of a downer. I wanted that high-energy-did-they-really-get-away-with-all-that sort of feel and the direction the book took just felt too logical or realistic to truly be satisfying to me.

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Profile Image for Arini.
857 reviews1,774 followers
May 24, 2020

“The thing about being trapped in a room with five other people, a bomb, and a syringe of lethal poison is that at some point, shit’s going down.”

There’s something to be said about recycled ideas that just never get old. All Your Twisted Secrets is blurbed to be a redolent of One of Us Is Lying and classic mystery thrillers by the likes of Agatha Christie. It’s a great marketing strategy bcs I—as were other readers, I believe—was caught like a fish on a hook for that one little bait. However, despite the author’s best efforts to give the book its own spin, it just fell short for me.

That’s not to say it isn’t good. It’s still a pleasant read. It just doesn’t have what I’m hoping to find in a genre such as this. That being said, this book is read more like your average high school contemporaries with requisites of friendship drama, miscommunication, fluffy romance, and some type of imminent future college or career goals plotline. Add a sprinkle of mystery on top and you’re good to go.

I’m okay with this kind of scenario. You know I liked the book One of Us Is Next. But it all come back to the fact that I wanted darkness and thrills and creeps which this book delivered very little of. Rather than giving me all the chills and tingly scary feelings, this book committed itself to being a teaching life moment by incorporating themes, such as bullying, suicide, death, violence, PTSD, and drug abuse. Again, I’m not mad about it. But where’s the fun in that?

All Your Twisted Secrets is told from the viewpoint of one of the six characters, Amber Prescott, in a short bursts of present day and extended flashback that lead up to the fateful night inside the locked room. I get that this was supposed to help build suspense, but much to my annoyance, this only served as to diminish my sense of urgency in figuring out the culprit. There’s a lot of repetition that I was tempted to just skip the flashback chapters. (I didn’t.)

Basically, some tea got spilled in the locked room. Then we are thrown some time into the past that showcases how said dirty little secret came to be. This setup is not entirely useless bcs we find out how the characters are connected to each other and this, in fact, also helped me find my own suspect. I should tell you that the BIG REVEAL was not at all shocking bcs I CALLED IT. However, there’s one other plot twist that did make me feel like the rug was pulled under my feet.

The wrap up chapters explain in great detail the motive behind the bogus dinner and locked room shindig as well as how the perpetrator organizes the whole arrangement in carrying out the plan. It was quite an unnecessary recount of the events, but I suppose it’s good to have all the facts. I also liked the ending. What with this book being an after school special “life lessons”. I appreciate the underlying message that we should always take full responsibilities of our actions.

All in all, despite the commonality of the storyline and themes, All Your Twisted Secrets is a noteworthy debut. Admittedly, it’s a watered down version of what I would’ve liked to consume as the overall tone is rather light. Nevertheless, I won’t be quitting this type of books anytime soon bcs I enjoy reading them and still have yet to find my favorite. If you’re drawn to this book bcs of all the Breakfast Club meets Saw reference, then go for it. Expect cat fights and bitch slaps, but don’t hope for gore and mayhem.

Read Alikes:
One of Us Is Lying
One of Us Is Next
Profile Image for Peyton Reads.
178 reviews1,784 followers
March 14, 2021
That ending ruined the entire book for me. Felt super out of character and random. This book was easy to fly through on audio, but I was left feeling super disappointed.
Profile Image for Michelle.
637 reviews505 followers
March 25, 2020
Until the end I was going to rate this 4 stars. Read on to find out what happened!

Everyone here knows that I live on the struggle bus with YA. I still like to give it a try from time to time because there are stories that genuinely interest me. This was one of them. The cover reminded me of Sadie, and I thought the concept of 6 different teens being stuck in a room where they had to decide which one dies in an hour sounded intriguing. (I guess this is a pretty popular trope?? I didn't know that so I'm unable to compare to others.)

So for me, I thought this was a great YA (for the most part). I thought the characters were well written (although they fit the obvious stereotypes), but they didn't annoy the heck out of me. There were complex issues that they dealt with in the book (gun violence in schools, bullying, opioid/drug use, stress/perfection a lot of kids are dealing with to prepare for college, etc.) and I thought these aspects were written well and true to the teen experience today. My attention was kept for the most part, but I do agree with other reviews I've seen where it did get kind of repetitive after a while.

I was confused by the ending because I didn't see it coming at all (which is okay and also points out how I'm never good at guessing the end), but it didn't feel genuine to me. I mean, at all. Am I that gullible? I honestly think this was more of a "shock factor" plot device than anything and I wasn't on board. Even if I was, the ending then just came to a screeching halt. I was left with a lot of questions. So I read this entire book and you're not even going to tell me how this really ends?? I was very annoyed. It reminded me of The Scent Keeper where I was frantically scrolling my kindle to see if I missed a hidden chapter or something. Just very bizaare.

HOWEVER - with that said (to make everyone even more confused if you're even still reading this), I would read another book by Ms. Urban again. There was enough good for me here to try again. Hence, the 3 star rating.

Thanks for sticking with me on this one. I encourage you to read it and let me know if you agree regarding the end!

Thanks to Edelweiss, Harper Teen and Diana Urban for the opportunity to provide an honest review.

Review Date: 03/24/2020
Publication Date: 03/17/2020
Profile Image for Diana Urban.
Author 6 books1,253 followers
July 24, 2020
I can’t tell you how much it means to me that you’re taking the time to consider, read, and review my book. Your hard work makes it easier for readers to make informed decisions about the books they purchase, and the worlds they escape into. So thank you!

I respect and value the opinions you share, whether positive or critical. And reviews are for readers, not for authors. As such, I will not seek out, comment on, or otherwise engage with reviews here on Goodreads or on book blogs. However, if you’d like me to signal boost your review, I’d be thrilled to do so! To alert me to your review, simply tag me on Instagram or Twitter @DianaUrban.

I hope that you enjoy getting to know Amber as much as I enjoyed writing her. And I hope this story keeps you up until 3 a.m. 😈

This book contains themes and/or mentions of bullying, suicide, death, violence, post-traumatic stress disorder, and drug abuse.

OMG people are going to read my book! 😱 Thanks so much to everyone who's checking out All Your Twisted Secrets and adding it to their "Want to Read" shelf. I can't wait to share this story with you all.
Profile Image for Melanie (TBR and Beyond).
514 reviews367 followers
February 2, 2021
How can I put this nicely....”ya basic”.

When All Your Twisted Secrets went up for request on Edelweiss,  your girl slammed that request button pretty fast.  Even though I have a very hit and miss relationship with YA thriller/mystery types - I still am always a sucker for wanting to give them a shot and this one was no different.  Unfortunately, I found myself with a cliche/basic story and a cast of characters that got less interesting the more the story progressed. Get ready for that unpopular opinion.

All Your Twisted Secrets definitely has some Breakfast Club and Saw feels going for it and you'll see a lot of reviewers mentioning those films.  However, the book is nowhere near as good as either of those movies, so I hate to put in the comparison - but they were obvious inspirations.  Story starts off well with our cast of characters, which are mostly Ivy League types, get invited to a scholarship dinner by the Mayor at a local restaurant.  When the the group shows up, there is no one there but them and a table with all their names - as well as a syringe and a very ominous note.  The note says that the syringe is filled with poison and they have one hour to decide which one of them will die, if they don't make a choice then a bomb will go off and kill them all.  The door slams shut and things get pretty uncomfortable for the next 60 minutes.

The story is told in past and present flashbacks.  It's how we get to know all the young people in the room and what types of people we are dealing with.  I did enjoy that part at first and it was fun watching them squirm as their lies started to come out slowly bit by bit as they all threw each other under the bus.  One issue I had is we are only getting the perspective of one girl in the room - I think it could've been more interesting if we got more POV's but then again, with the flashbacks, it might have gotten too confusing I suppose.  Our main character is alright, I didn't feel strongly towards her one way or another, she was just there.  The other characters are all your classic basics - jock, nerd, slacker, bitch, etc and this isn't a bad thing if it is done well.  It just was alright for me and nothing I haven't seen a hundred time before.  There are some twists, but sadly I figured it out and the reveals just weren't that surprising to me.  I so wanted it to be cooler than it was.

I was not a fan of One of Us is Lying and I know that is a more controversial opinion, but if you are then there is a good chance that you'll enjoy this book.   I would take my review with a grain of salt.  If you want something that is quick and fun and like the book I just mentioned, then you'll probably have a good time.  I just was left with wanting a lot more
Profile Image for Candace Robinson.
Author 51 books1,036 followers
October 6, 2019
First, I'm big into thriller, mystery, and horror movies, but it's very hard for me to connect to those types of books. I'm glad I found one that broke through that barrier! What I really liked about this one was that it was like the Breakfast Club meets Saw but not bloody or with crazy contraptions!

Even though the story is told from Amber's perspective, I felt that each character was well developed. I felt bad for some, wanted to slap some, and wanted to hug some of them. I don't always read books fast, but I flew through this one! 

I especially loved the timeline of the story going back and forth between past and present to get the full story. I can't say too much because I don't want to give the story away, but I will say it was fun yet also with life lessons that make you think about things, especially bullying and mental health. Loved it!
Profile Image for Andrea Ashwood.
144 reviews50 followers
September 30, 2020
[Review Preview]
I stood and lifted the lid from the biggest platter in the center of the table.
My heart fell into my stomach as everyone gaped at the contents of the tray.

A syringe.
An envelope.

And something that looked an awful lot like a bomb.

I set the lid under the table and plucked the envelope from the tray, opened the flap, and pulled out a sheet of paper. Unfolding it, I cleared my throat and read aloud.

"Welcome to dinner, and again, congratulation on being selected. Now you must do the selecting. Within the hour, you must choose someone in this room to die. If you don't, everyone dies."
Wow... That was too many tension for me...
I really enjoyed reading it.
It was one of my most anticipated books of 2020, and I liked it a lot, not so much as to exceed my expectations, but in the end the plot has taken a 180° turn and I really liked how everything has developed.
The chapters are quite short and concise, making the reading very agile.
Each end of the chapter left me wanting to continue and not stop until I knew what was going to happen.
At first I was not very convinced by the fact that the story is written in two different times, but now seen how the whole story has developed, I think it's the best thing the author could have done.
I had a great time reading it, and that I don't usually read thrillers.
I recommend it, could be a great summer reading.
It talks about very important topics that make the story more realistic. 😊

Review coming soon...
Profile Image for jesslyn.
318 reviews243 followers
March 21, 2020

I actually intended to rate this book three stars, but since Diana Urban is a debut author and I think this is one hell of a powerful debut, I’m adding another star of appreciation *slow hand claps*

Funny thing, I actually found out about this book right after I finished One of Us Is Next. It came up on my recommendations and the synopsis sounds intriguing enough so of course I have to add it to my ever-growing TBR list. I was brimming with detective theories for One of Us Is Next and the fact that this book came to me at the exact right moment! It could’ve been destiny. Fairly enough I might add, the synopsis sounds a hell lot like Karen McManus’ debut novel One of Us Is Lying with the breakfast club style squad. But All Your Twisted Secrets has an escape room… and a bomb! I didn’t just fall for it because I don’t think ‘escape room’ would make such a good story (have you watched the movie called escape room or something? It’s horrible and ridiculous) but apparently it didn’t and I ended up liking this one!

First of all, let’s start with the basics: enter our narrator, Amber Prescott, an ambitious music prodigy who dreams to be a scorer for Hollywood movie soundtracks, hence the reason she was so hell-bent on getting to USC during the entirety of the book. Amber might not nail her SATs, but her talents are dayum so it’s no surprise that she got invited, along with five others, to this scholarship thing-y, supposedly held by the mayor (I think it’s the mayor???). So there’s that, there’s food and stuff. But once six of them were in the reserved room, the door closed on them and they’re locked. Unsurprisingly, there are two things along with the food on the table, a bomb and a syringe, along with a note to kill one of them or the bomb will go off. The story is told in intersecting parts, one in the present, and another taking place in the past.

*rubs hands*

Just like I said, I ended up liking this book despite feeling discouraged. But this book is kind of one of my most anticipated releases, I’ve been dying to get my hands on another YA mystery-thriller that isn’t Karen McManus (not like that Karen, I love your books okay? It’s just a genre that’s easy to find) and I’m glad to see that this book met my expectations, for a debut author. I like the pacing and the book is such a page turner (I even finished it in a day!) I can’t put it down! Though I admit the ‘past’ chapters went a bit slow and I was kind of hoping that it would end so I could get to the ‘present’ chapters. I like it when thrillers also insert mundane teen stuff like stealing your boyfriend, the bitch queen bee or shit but like I said, some of them are unimportant and doesn’t contribute to the main story we’re working on here, and when you read thrillers, are you care about is the revelation. These parts were too repetitive and too long. The ‘present’ chapters were fast and nerve-racking enough that I want to know what happened next, it’s basically the only thing that kept me going. The plot, and the events leading up to the present is plotted in a good way and Diana Urban added some cool foreshadowing that would leave readers (especially the ones new into the genre) scratching their heads and saying “WHY DIDN’T I THINK OF THAT?!?!”. Well… I kind of guessed the culprit right, I actually guessed a lot of things right, but I think that’s because I read too much of these books already that nothing surprises me anymore. But all things aside, when the plot twist bomb dropped, I was actually intrigued and feeling victorious. Though the plot and pacing is good, the ‘past’ chapters are actually too repetitive for me and there were lots of unimportant stuff in there that I don’t really care about so I was mildly annoyed. All I wanted was to finish them and get back to the ‘present’ chapter which was more interesting.

Since this is Diana Urban’s debut novel, I think she did a solid good work on this one but I think she could improve on some things, she has potential I can feel it. I mean she has to start somewhere right? The first problem I noticed was that few dialogues actually felt too forced and it doesn’t come naturally, especially in the beginning, for example:

”Fortunately I’ve been blessed with the talent of microwaving popcorn myself”

I don’t know about you but who speaks like that? I mean there are lots of them but I didn’t keep track of it. That’s just the one I remembered because I stifled a laugh.

As of the characters, I think Diana Urban needs to work more on them. I get these characters. Yes, I also felt sympathy and all that stuff. Also, weaving a story with six characters in the spotlight is no easy job. But some characters, even Priya! are like ‘paper characters’ to me and I find it hard to imagine them as… well, people.

Also I kind of don’t like that Sasha is such a bitch. I mean I know she’s meant to be that way but I want some… conflicted feelings. Now writing about her as if she’s the biggest bitch in the world, and all of our characters agreeing to that statement too, makes her uninteresting. It seems like she’s only there to be the villain you know? And suddenly she’s another ‘paper character’. I also like Scott and I think his sarcastic remarks is like a candle in the dark and it keeps the situation light-weight even though everything was going to hell but his sarcasm came so often that he feels like he doesn’t have any personality because we couldn’t look past his sarcastic façade.


Actually if the book ended up differently I was going to say that I don’t like how Amber looked to be the only one who has a brain and the others were either panicky or has anxiety issues. If it ended any different, I was going to complain that the author doesn’t give the others the spotlight. So I kind of got suspicious of her. I actually wrote so in my reading progress and it basically spoiled the entire book (and I’m so proud of myself).

When did I guess it might be her? I don’t know it’s just that my gut feeling said so and it would be such a good twist (it reminded me so much of Dangerous Girls, with all the unreliable narrator thing going on). Also along the way of reading the ‘past’ chapters, I can’t help but feel like Sasha was manipulating her all along (like do you really need booze just to convince someone? And how could the entire drama club not make it to a party? Surely at least somebody could make it. Unless of course, Sasha didn’t invite them at all). So in that case, if that’s true, then Amber must’ve been the person with a lot against Sasha. When I found out that ‘Natasha Jane’ is the name of the girl who bullied Maggie, well man that was the exact time I knew it was Amber all along. I actually had a friend whose name is Natasha and goes by Sasha. Who even name their kid just ‘Sasha’? It has to come from a longer name! I also find it hard to wrap around the fact that Amber didn’t fucking knew. You’re in the same class as this girl, you literally spent time with her. Okay, Sasha not knowing about Maggie is acceptable since Amber doesn’t talk about it but how can you not know the name of your so-called ‘best friend’ who actually have classes with you? That’s just plain ridiculous.

Sherlock out
Profile Image for Rachel  L.
1,868 reviews2,246 followers
July 1, 2021
3 stars

This book was really great…. until the reveal.

From the beginning this book is so intriguing, six teens locked in a room together where they find a bomb and a syringe. The message, kill one person or all six of you die. From there we flash from the past to the present as the six try to escape without anyone getting hurt.

A compelling young adult mystery that kept my interest the whole way through. I liked the characters and really wanted to know who did it. And then I found out who did it and I wish I hadn’t. But, I’d be willing to read more by this author in the future.
Profile Image for Vee_Bookish.
1,471 reviews356 followers
December 18, 2020
I'm also a book blogger: Vee_Bookish

To be disappointed with my most anticipated March 2020 release is, in itself, disappointing. I was so ready for this book, the blurb whispered promises of Breakfast Club and Agatha Christie, so I was expecting something pretty powerful, explosive and with a killer ending that left me flipping through the pages. In reality, I had to remind myself at one point when I was feeling like it should be close to the ending that I was in fact, only 40% into the book and I only finished it because my chronic insomnia had me awake until 4am last night.

I didn't spend my time guessing whodunnit throughout the story, because I made my guess early on and every clue told me I was right. So the big reveal was just a pat on the back, a well-done-you-slogged-through-300-pages, sort of thing. I was initially wary of the present - past storyline, as I felt that being dragged back into the past, away from the present danger, would be a bad choice because you don't get that build up of tension. That proved correct.

The biggest problem this book had was weak, uninteresting characters. If this was what I thought it would be, a murder house people dying, The Hunt movie, sort of deal, this wouldn't be an issue. Unfortunately the present chapters were very short compared to the past chapters, which was your typical, bland, high school drama. I honestly didn't really care for it.

Profile Image for Ari.
849 reviews186 followers
March 25, 2020
Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Amazon | B&N

Thank you Edelweiss and HarperTeen for this ARC. All thoughts and opinions are mine.

I wanted to prevent people from hurting anyone else
the way they hurt Maggie.
But the last hour was born out of anger,
desperation, and revenge...
and now I had to find forgiveness.

Years after her death, Agatha Christie continues to inspire murder-mystery novels, and years from now we will still see the legacy of her writing in other authors' works. While it doesn't stand out as a full retelling, All Your Twisted Secrets shows enough similarities to Christie's And Then There Were None to make it noteworthy. It was easily the hook that drew me to the story.

The premise is easy to grasp: six teenagers, who attend the same school and are connected—if not by friendship then certainly by past circumstances—are invited to dinner with the ruse of a $20,000 scholarship win, and become locked in not long after they all arrive. Soon after, tensions arise, secrets come out, and the six teens begin to turn against each other while racing against the clock to either choose one among themselves to kill, or succumb as one to the threat that is posed against them by the person that locked them in.

You can't help but race through this book, it's compulsively easy to read and entertaining. I appreciated the way that the chapters were set up, at once going into the past to show how characters related to one another depending on where they were in the present, while the clock counted down their hour locked together. But there's a usual sense of urgency that captures moments like these that I did not feel while I read this book. While it's a great novel with which to pass the time, I wasn't as invested in the characters' determination to get out as I should have been. Sure, yes, they are clearly aware that they need to escape, but there's a lot of repetition from them that something bad is going in, and it didn't really reach a high emergency level until halfway through the novel.

One of the best chapters in the story is the revelation that Sasha was the girl who bullied Maggie, Amber's sister, and who was inadvertently the reason why Maggie hit such a dangerous level of depression before ultimately committing suicide. It's such a sensitive topic, and was such a big part of Amber's life after her sister's death that the reaction it received was very well created. I don't know that Sasha deserved to die, herself, as a result of being a bully to Maggie—and then to Priya. She's an absolutely abhorrent human being, driven by pure selfishness that cannot be excused no matter what she may have lost on account of her accident. But death is such a final and harsh end to someone that has done such horrible things, it's almost as if she missed out on her true punishment.

The wrap-up of the story was alright, but nothing to be excited about. Amber's recounting of how she set everything up—while naming herself as the person who actually planned and executed the hour-long lockup of the other five teenagers—was overly long and full of details that were not always necessary. Even at the end, as she tells Diego and Priya that she's going to tell the police what she did, she goes on and on about why she's doing it and what the importance behind her actions are. This is part of the reason why some of the novel holds a casual tone rather than the necessary earnestness that it deserves: events are at times drawn out for longer than it is necessary.

I'm still a huge fan of this theme in mystery novels, and while All Your Twisted Secrets doesn't necessarily offer anything new, it's still a pleasant read.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for JenacideByBibliophile.
210 reviews127 followers
March 17, 2020
Actual Rating: 4.5

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the publisher, HarperTeen, via Edelweiss+ for an honest review.

The Queen Bee.

The Jock.

The Brains.

The Stoner.

The Loner.

& The Orchestra Geek.


It’s The Breakfast Club meets Saw!


And DAMN is it epic.

What they all assumed was a scholarship dinner with the mayor at one of the local restaurants, quickly turns into a game of survival against the clock. Six seniors are locked in a banquet room with no way out, and forced to play a sadistic game. Upon being locked in the room, the teams discover a bomb, a syringe filled with a lethal liquid, and a note instructing them to pick one person to kill within the hour, or they all die. Frightened and unsure if the game is real or not, the teens try to find a way out as the clock starts ticking down. But why would someone throw them all in a room together, wanting someone to die? Who is the common enemy? As the hour goes by and they become frantic, their morals and judgments are put to the test, as well as their pasts. The real question isn’t about who has to die, it’s about what you will do to survive.

“It was do or die time.”



I did NOT see that coming!

I came into this expecting a fluffy who–done–it with a little teenage angst, maybe some bully/slut–shaming, a few screaming matches and possibly a flying fist or two. But what I got instead, was so much more than that. With a collection of teens that resembles the cast of The Breakfast Club (with an orchestra geek) set in modern times, and a Clue-esque murder mystery styled game that has all the horrific appeal of Saw , it was bound to get a little wild. The high stakes of only having an hour, being stuck in a blistering hot room with people you know but also despise, and then having to choose who to kill or risk exploding?!


“The thing about being trapped in a room with five other people, a bomb, and a syringe of lethal poison is that at some point, shit’s going down.”

And down that shit went.


The story is told by Amber Prescott – Orchestra Geek extraordinaire. From the beginning she comes off as a level-headed, conscientious and plain ol’ teenage girl. She has a passion for music that takes president in her life, as she hopes to one day score movies in Hollywood like Danny Elfman. She is dating The Jock – Robbie, who is a baseball star and again, proves to be a truly nice guy despite his popularity and dashing good looks. The Queen Bee – Sasha is of course gorgeous, intelligent, and has her toe in practically every aspect of their high school. She has big aspirations and is a go-getter, but also rumored to be a bit nasty towards her peers. Diego – The Brains, is exactly what you’d expect. Super smart and inquisitive, and he has a history with Amber that has now evolved into something complicated, to say the least. Scott is The Stoner who is rumored to sell drugs, do drugs and be an all-around pretty doped up guy. And lastly is Priya – The Loner. The former best friend of Amber, Priya is a super quiet girl who keeps to herself while practicing magic tricks and sleight of hand.

The story flips between the present, where the teens are trapped in the room and the clock is ticking down, to different moments in the past year. Each “flashback chapter” gives a piece of insight into the relationships between these characters – the good and the bad. The reader learns how their lives are connected, the things that each of them has done to affect one another, and why they have all ended up in this room together. At first the teens start out assuming they are being pranked. But when the doors are bolted, their cell phones have no signal, and they can’t escape through the barred windows, they begin to worry that maybe it isn’t just a practical joke after all.

“No matter how frantically you claw at rationality, how desperately you cling to common decency, you eventually give in to your basic instinct to survive.”

This book is a web of lies, and I LOVED. EVERY. SECOND. OF. IT. I was hooked like Popeye on spinach, like Homer Simpson to doughnuts and beer. This story sunk its claws into my skull and refused to let me look away until the very last page. Not like I’d want to! I devoured this book and drank up every tiny detail the author left dripping on each page. The characters felt so incredibly authentic and developed, the plot had countless twists and turns that made me so unclear of who could have been behind it, and the amount of truly important topics this author included was executed perfectly!


Bullying, peerpressure, suicide, gun violence, drug abuse and societal and parental expectations are huge themes to the story. Each character’s backstory has been affected by one or more of these issues and it brings a raw realism to this YA tale. It made connecting with each character effortless because these are all issues, experiences and feelings that so many of us can relate to. And the best part is that each issue was weaved into the story in a very natural way. A lot of times when an author wants to include THIS many hot topics, it feels forced and rubs me the wrong way. But Diana Urban did an amazing job of blending each one into the story like a damn professional.

I really wish I could unleash and give away every secret to this sneakily crafted work of fiction but I won’t ruin it for you guys. Even if it does pain me to keep my mouth shut about it! This book just blew my mind and I loved how sucked into it I got. It’s a twisted web of lies, deceit, manipulation, trauma, regret, anger and vengeance. It was phenomenal. So buy it and buckle in buttercup, cause it’s about to get CRAZY!

“Now you all know who you really are.”
Profile Image for Mattie.
369 reviews48 followers
February 2, 2020
All Your Twisted Secrets focuses on six high school students (I'm guessing seniors, idk how the American school system works) who have all been granted a scholarship and invited to a dinner with the mayor. But when they find themselves locked in the room and discover a ticking bomb and syringe, they realise that all is not as it seems. Between them, the six must decide to kill one person by injecting them with the deadly poison in the syringe within one hour, or face the bomb going off and killing them all. As time ticks by, the six are left wondering how are they all connected, who brought them all here and who will they choose to kill?

I was so gripped by the premise of this book, which only made my disappointment in its execution worse. The book has six main characters and they are all one-dimensional. They're even set up in the description as stereotypes and they never pull away from those stereotypes. Amber only cares about music, Robbie only cares about baseball etc. I couldn't get invested in the characters lives because they're not presented as real people. We're told that Amber and Priya have been friends forever, yet we get no insight into that friendship and it's not evident at all from the way they talk to each other. Nothing about the characters has a sense of reality to it, they're just caricatures.

I could forgive the one-dimensional characters for a gripping plot, but the plot revolves solely around the characters. The story alternates chapters between what is happening in the locked room between the six and the events leading up to the present day. But at the start of the book, we're already told that Amber and Priya are no longer friends, we already know that Robbie and Amber are having problems because he's trying to force her to follow him to college, and we already know that Amber has a crush on Diego. So I was left just waiting for 200+ pages to find out HOW that all happened to characters I don't care about???

I was also massively disappointed by the "reveals" in this story. I guessed basically everything that was going to happen within the first 50 pages of the book. Nothing about this story was thrilling to me. If you're a thriller reader, I suspect you will be able to figure the whole story out pretty quickly.

And let's talk about the final reveal at the end because I have a few *rolls out my long scroll* complaints.

The whole story felt underbaked. The characters were poorly written and didn't have any depth to them, the "reveals" in the book were disappointing and the majority of the book was just telling us what we already know about the characters. The last thing you want a thriller to be is predictable, and unfortunately most of this book was predictable.

1 star because it's the lowest goodreads will let you rate.
+ 1 star because the premise is brilliant, even if it was poorly executed, and there are some good messages in the book about bullying, abusive relationships and pressure to achieve.
Profile Image for Syndi.
2,994 reviews690 followers
September 16, 2022
I am taking a chance to YA thriller. I do not have much experience in reading this genre. All Your Twisted Secrets is not disappointing. I do feel the writing is bit choppy and the plot lack of originality. All Your Twisted Secrets have many similarity with One of Us is Lying. Since that book became popular, similar books with similar twist appears.

Good thing that Miss Urban writing is easy to follow. Although I wish each characters have more complexity instead of flat undeveloped characters. Miss Urban also putting distracting plot into her story to throw me out of balance.

Overall, I do like this book. Maybe next time, I pick up another thriller.

4 stars
Profile Image for Meaghan.
570 reviews74 followers
September 22, 2020
Was really hyped for this one, but this ain't it. This was actually one of the 2020 releases I was quite excited for, but unfortunately it just didn't live up to the hope I had for it.

In my opinion, this book didn't work on so many levels.

1. The Characters: I've rarely read an ensemble cast where I've literally hated every single character. From the start, I was put off by the single POV in a book with such a large main cast (though this does make sense in the end). These types of thrillers heavily rely on a reader's connection to the characters, as it is the desire for their favorite to not die (or for a despired character to die) that makes these books so 'thrilling'. You lose a lot of potential connection by limiting the POV to just a single character. On top of that, all of the characters were insanely tropey, and they never really move beyond that. It's like each character was assigned a trait or two, and that's all they get. The star athlete's personality is minimized to only caring about sports, the music geek (the main character) only cares about getting into her dream music school, and the loner is defined solely by the fact that she's always alone, even in a group. They never grow or move beyond these initial tropes, and it only makes harder for the reader to connect with them. You can't connect with just a shallow concept. Lastly, they all just sucked?? Like in not the way that morally grey characters are mildly evil, but you love them anyways. These guys just all sucked to varying degrees and I just, didn't enjoy that at all.

2. The Past vs. Present Storytelling: I normally like when stories play with formatting and aren't just told in a linear manner, but this just is not the way to do it. The two halves of the story are entirely unbalanced, with the Past getting a lot more page time (due to the insane amount of random drama that needs to be explained to understand the Present), and it leads to any tension that may have built up in the meager Present chapters (where they're literally deciding who to kill) to dissipate almost instantly. It makes for an extremely boring thriller, and I honestly wasn't on my seat for any of it until the end, where we get a few Present chapters strung together. On top of that, the Past chapters just sucked? Like, all we get is a bunch of high school drama thrown together (bullying! drinking! drugs! kids with guns! romance trouble! serial killers!) and it's all way too much and tropey, just like the characters. It felt unrealistic and thrown together just to make the plot twist make sense.

3. The Plot Twist: I can't really discuss this fully here without spoiling the entire book, but honestly this was a let down for quite a few reasons. First, it didn't seem to fit the characters, especially the main character, at all. Second, it basically killed the growth/importance of the events in the Past, since they're rendered irrelevant due to the results of the plot twist. And third, it honestly was quite a disappointment overall. The twist itself was wholly uninteresting, even if some of the consequences of it were wild (and not necessarily in a good way).

Overall, I wish I loved this, but I honestly didn't at all.
Profile Image for Kaylee Ding.
200 reviews62 followers
June 9, 2020
I had low expectations for this book... and it managed to disappoint even those. I wouldn't have finished if this weren't the pick for my book club. The ending made the rest of the story worse––it was so moralizing and hypocritical. Please take my advice and steer clear of this book.

Stereotypical high school teenagers are just the tip of the iceberg of all the problems this book has. Amber is dull and insipid––and as a side note, I hate when main characters think their interests are so quirky. Like Amber, you're interested in composing film scores; that's not that niche considering your favorite composers are famous and have scored highly popular films. Get over your lame attempts at trying to be quirky. The other characters were either unlikable (Sasha) or just overall completely uninteresting to me (though perhaps I just no longer relate to teens in high school).

Given that a lot of the conflict is character-driven, this did not bode well for my enjoyment of the plot. The murder plot the high schoolers find themselves in just felt so wacky/camp that I couldn't really take it seriously. My lack of investment in the characters meant a lack of investment in the flashback scenes. I had absolutely no desire or momentum to keep reading.

The ending is just the cherry-on-top of this trash cream sundae. It employs one of my hated tropes, , which I dislike because I find it manipulative of the author towards the reader. It's such a cheap way to create a plot twist, in my opinion.

Moreover, the person and reasons behind doing this whole bomb and poison thing was just so unbelievably stupid. The fall-out is rushed and sends extremely mixed messages about bullying, suicide, and mental health issues. I don't know what sort of message I'm supposed to take, and one of the characters acts so righteous even though their actions are so wildly inappropriate and irrational.

This book is not just poorly written, but actively sends dangerously mixed messages about serious issues. This is not a book I would recommend to anyone.
Profile Image for Danielle (Love at First Page).
726 reviews621 followers
March 18, 2020
I had been looking forward to this book all year, but it just wasn't for me. The characters were unrealistic, two dimensional, and most of all unlikable, and unfortunately the plot wasn't "twisted" enough to make up for that. Everything leading up to the big reveal was surprisingly banal and brought little new to the genre. While I will say that the twist ended up being somewhat clever, it also wasn't very nuanced and I don't think it would hold up well against future re-reads. Oh, and there was a love triangle. Overall very disappointing.
Profile Image for Umairah (Sereadipity).
216 reviews111 followers
April 18, 2020
All Your Twisted Secrets was a young adult escape room thriller that gradually revealed a web of secrets and lies. It was a quick and fast-paced read, driven forward by the tension between the characters, and I found it exciting although I predicted most of the plot twists.

Plot: 3.5/5
Characters: 4/5
Writing: 4/5

Six teens were supposedly invited to a scholarship dinner but upon arrival they realised it was a trap- they were locked in the room and told to choose someone to die within an hour or they would all meet untimely ends. There was Amber, an incredibly talented music geek. Sasha, a smart and ambitious queen bee. Robbie, a popular athlete and Amber's boyfriend. Diego, the class genius and entrepreneur. Priya, a quiet and lonely magic trick enthusiast. And Scott, mysterious and known for drug dealing. Confusion and panic ensued but as they all tried to get out alive the past was dredged up and they realised there was more connecting them than they initially thought.

The novel alternated between the locked room and flashbacks of the past to help us understand how the relationships and conflicts between the characters had changed and how they affected their actions in the room. I liked this structure as it created a fast, exciting pace and slowly revealed the characters' personalities.

Furthermore, the book incorporated many themes like bullying, suicide, drug abuse, school pressures, mental health and peer pressure in a way that cleverly showed the effects these issues have on people's lives without seeming forced. It also explored moral ideas surrounding accepting responsibility for one's actions and what happens when someone doesn't.

However, I wasn't overly impressed with the ending because I'd predicted who had put them in the room already and I found it a bit over the top. The characters were interesting, each with their own goals, problems and secrets. They could have had a bit more depth but I do appreciate that it's hard to balance that many characters.

So in conclusion, All Your Twisted Secrets was a thriller that I would definitely recommend to anyone looking for a fast-paced read that, as the title suggests, is full of twists and secrets.

Thank you to HarperTeen for providing me with a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.
Profile Image for Fanna.
992 reviews532 followers
September 27, 2020
April 2, 2020:

➝ Sum it up in points!

✔ time-bound, closed doors thriller
✔ high school kids trapped for a selection
✔ past & present timelines
✔ changing friendship dynamics
✔ perfect for fans of Agatha Christie

All Your Twisted Secrets brings a poison-filled syringe and a ticking bomb to the table where six high school students have been invited for a scholarship dinner, only to find themselves trapped in a basement with no exit and a letter that asks them to choose between everyone dying or killing one among themselves. The thrill is set up right from the first chapter and the progressively projected mystery through a dual timeline narration is perfect. Greatly oriented towards the changing dynamics between teenagers, the need to overachieve, end-of-school stress, old friendships growing apart, misunderstandings, and frequent judgements passed, this YA certainly impresses. Important themes like bullying, chronic stress, and suicide are well spoken about. The different personalities offered by this group brings a delicious variety to the commentary and while it isn't always easy to justify the happenings in a teenage thriller, this one does a good job at it.

➝ Trigger Warnings

✔ claustrophobia, locked basement
✔ panic & acute stress
✔ hypoglycemic fainting
✔ glass shards, broken ankle
✔ bullying & suicide

March 31, 2020: YA thrillers are a tough nut to crack because the reasons and actions have to be so well justified, but this one certainly makes you believe everything that unfolds without questioning it as a mere move to falsely hook readers. Full review to come!

January 30, 2020:
- debut thriller
- compared to Agatha Christie classics
- multi-young adult-cast
- R.L. Stine recommended it (!!!)

Disclaimer: I received a digital copy of this via my participation in a blog tour but that doesn't influence my opinion. Thank you, FFBC Tours & HarperTeen!
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