When I started this book, I thought it was going to be about sexual assault. But it ended up being more of a murder mystery with a hint of blackmail and a mention of rape.

Hello everyone!

I am back with another book review, Please Don't Tell by Laura Tims.

The story follows Joy Morris who wakes up after a night of partying unable to remember anything that happened the night before. But Adam Gordon is dead and she is sure that she killed him. As the story progresses, Joy keeps quite, not really sure if she was capable of murder. Then a mysterious note is left on her window, claiming to know that she killed Adam and blackmailing her into exposing the secrets of some of the people in her school. Joy must do what the blackmailer wants or risk everything.

So, this book had a lot going on. Not only was there the possible murder and blackmail, but there is also the instances of rape and a deeply warped relationship with Joy and her twin sister Grace. I think Tims generally did a good job of balancing the storyline. There was a lot going on and I think it could have been easy for things to get lost in the shuffle.

The narration flips back and forth between Joy in present day, from the party onward, and Grace in the months leading up to the party. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the two perspectives were very different from one another. I'm not sure why, but for some reason, I was expecting that they would sound similar and I would have a hard time distinguishing, maybe it's because they are twins? I randomly thought they would have similar personalities?

I don't know if I really connected with either of the characters. I almost felt like I didn't really know them. The Joy we see in her perspective is very different from the one in Grace's and vice versa with Grace. Her difference struck me the most, I almost felt like Grace in Joy's perspective was a ghost-like figure haunting her life - and I guess in a sense she was. Maybe I should be applauding Tims, she was able to create dual growths in character without me really noticing until I looked closer.

I thought the overall storyline and plot of this book was good and well-paced. There wasn't a moment where I was waiting for something to happen, there was never a dull moment.

The whole issue with the blackmailer really threw me. I definitely thought I had outsmarted Tims and guessed who it was, and then she changed it. And then she changed it again! I had a really *minor* inkling of who it was but I pretty much brushed that off because it didn't seem plausible. But I get what the blackmailer was trying to accomplish. They wanted to be in control and blackmail was their best option.

Intertwined in this mystery were also elements of diversity. One of Joy's friends is biracial, Levi, Adam's half-brother is half-Asian, I believe Grace has some OCD tendencies and another friend went to a mental hospital for treatment. Tims definitely didn't shy away from adding diversity throughout the book and I really loved the nuances these additions brought to the book.

But despite all this book was, I just can't decide if I liked it. At this point, while it had everything going for it, I wasn't necessarily excited to pick it up again after putting it down and I'm left with an overall feeling of meh.

Overall, I think this book has some great elements and many people will enjoy it, but for me, it was just ok.