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Tuesday, April 4, 2023

REVIEW: Tell Me What Really Happened, by Chelsea Sedoti

There are stories about the woods around Salvation Creek, about the people who have gone missing. Now their friend is one of them. A riveting, fast-paced YA mystery told entirely through first person police interviews of four teens over the course of a few hours.

It was all her idea. They would get away from their parents and spend the weekend camping. Down by Salvation Creek, the five of them would make smores, steal kisses, share secrets.

But sometime around midnight, she vanished.

Now the four friends who came back are under suspicion―and they each have a very different story to tell about what happened in the woods.

The clock is ticking. What are they hiding? Who is lying? Dark truths must come to light if their friend is to be found...

Told entirely through first-person police interviews, this riveting mystery asks: what really happened that night?

I love a good thriller, and I love when it centers around a cast of characters that has a little something for everyone, like The Breakfast Club. Sedoti pulled that off quite well. Her character development is some of the best I've ever written and I could "hear" the voices quite quickly and easily in my head.  This will make an amazing audiobook---and I'd love to see it as a movie.

Four unreliable narrators telling the story of a fifth in their party who has disappeared. All are guilty of something, but no one really knows what. There were twists and turns, and some expected bits, but overall, I was captured by this read and had to know just what happened to Maylee.

The storyline unfolds during the four separate, and long interrogations held in the police station. The quick change between narrators made the story move more quickly than a strictly linear telling would have. Often, in YA, there's a lot of "drama" that, for me as an avid YA reader, takes away from the story and characters. Not in this book. It was very like listening to my students talk about things, with the occasional asides that are related but not moving the story forward much. I was convinced right up until the end that I knew what had happened and who was to "blame." I was wrong. 

Being YA, there is some language and a few sexual overtones--nothing overt or explicit, just touched on. 

My only "eh" is regarding the ending. It seemed very abrupt to me, initially. I mean, we were rolling along and the pieces fell into place, and was done. I don't normally go for an ending like this at all, but I think the fact that my minds keeps wandering to it and wondering how it played out made it work, probably as intended.

What do you think??

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this ebook galley from SOURCEBOOKS Fire through the netGalley publisher/reader connection program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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